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Viewfinder: 14-year-old has grown up with goats

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Adams County Christian School 9th-grader Tory Rollins, 14, stands with a few of her 14 dairy goats Monday behind Gamberi Farm Supply on Morgantown Road Monday afternoon. Rollins – and her goats – won four grand champions and two reserve champions in the Mississippi State Fair this year.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Adams County Christian School 9th-grader Tory Rollins, 14, stands with a few of her 14 dairy goats Monday behind Gamberi Farm Supply on Morgantown Road Monday afternoon. Rollins – and her goats – won four grand champions and two reserve champions in the Mississippi State Fair this year.

NATCHEZ — Tory Rollins was raised by goats, just ask her mother.

Tory, 14, has been taking care of goats since she was 3, and showing them since she was 8.

Tory’s mother, Deidra Rollins, got them into the dairy goat business as a way to spend time together and to have something to pass down to her daughter, but it has become more than that.

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Adams County Christian School 9th-grader Tory Rollins, 14, heads to her goats.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Adams County Christian School 9th-grader Tory Rollins, 14, heads to her goats.

 

The mother-daughter team started out with six goats of one breed, and though it fluctuates depending on the breeding season, they now have 14 goats spanning four breeds. Tory competes in about six to eight competitions a year and recently won grand champion in four categories and two reserve champions in the Mississippi State Fair.

Deidra hopes Tory learns more than how to win competitions from her goats.

“It teaches values, it teaches work ethics,” Deidra said.

Chores have to be tended to twice each day, ranging from feeding to milking to cleaning the barn. Because the goats are shown at competitions so regularly, the upkeep is constant.

“That’s one of the lessons, you get out of it what you put into it,” Deidra said.

Tory, who is a freshman at Adams County Christian School, runs cross country and has an active social life, but always makes time for her responsibilities.

Part of the draw for her is the opportunity to teach others the joy of taking care of animals.

“Its fun watching the new people get into it,” Tory said. “When you go to the show you get to meet new people and answer all their questions.”

After graduating high school, Tory hopes to go to Mississippi State to become a 4H agent or a veterinarian.

Raising the kids — or babies — is her favorite part of the process.

“Feeding the babies has got to be my favorite part,” Tory said. “They just grow up so fast.”

But it’s not all fun and babies. Distributing medications and dealing with injuries is a common occurrence.

“We’ve had one with a broken leg, we’ve had one get its ear bitten off,” Tory said.

Deidra hopes along with the lessons learned, Tory can earn some money for college.

She’s already won a $2,000 scholarship through competing, and aims to win more.

The duo plans to compete in the American Dairy Goat Association National Show held in Louisville, Ky. in July, which will hopefully garner more titles, as well as scholarship money.

 

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