BELTON — Top honors were awarded in three categories at the Bell County Youth Fair in Belton on Wednesday as family and friends lined up in droves to support the competitors.

Breeding goats, meat goats and fryer rabbits were exhibited by Bell County youth from third-graders to high school seniors.

The day started early. Contestants in the goat categories were led into the arena, some of them reluctantly, by the young exhibitors.

In the breeding goat category, James Robison of Florence took the grand champion honor. Hard work and dedication paid off, James said. The prize goat is bathed two to three times a week, and is brushed and worked with every day.

James left after the show and headed for San Antonio, where he will compete in another livestock show.

“My goal is to make enough scholarship money to go to college,” the Salado High School senior said.

Merah Winters of Temple took first place in the aged nanny class for older breeder goats (5 years and older) and grand champion in senior showmanship. Her daily responsibility, named Rogue, garnered a blue ribbon for her efforts. Templetown 4-H member Merah was the grand champion winner last year, and hoped for another award and coveted belt buckle prize.

“I was very excited to win the first place in the class,” she said. “This is my passion.”

Merah’s mother, Stacee Winters, said she was very proud that the hard work her daughter put in every day paid off.

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