ESE 4-H Goat Team Information

The 4-H dairy goat program at the Eastern States Exposition offers 4-H’ers from Maine a unique, fun experience. This three-day event features showmanship and fitting contests, an ADGA-sanctioned Youth Senior and Junior Doe Show, competitive knowledge activities, public demonstration opportunities,, and team-building activities.

The experience is mostly free for 4-Hers to attend. Eastern States Exposition, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 4-H Animal Science Committees, and the Maine 4-H Foundation provide room and board, meals and organizational and chaperone support. In addition, donors and 4-H parents have paid for transportation and additional expenses. As a team, we strive to ensure that cost is not a barrier. The Big E does not charge entry fees and provides bedding and hay for the animals during the program.

While there are opportunities for individual accomplishment, and many Maine 4-H’ers have achieved these accolades, the program’s emphasis is on teamwork. ESE is an opportunity for 4-H members from across New England who are passionate about dairy goats to gather, learn, and develop friendships. 4-H members from Maine work as a team to travel to the event, compete in shows, and educate the public about dairy goats.

Participation in the ESE 4-H dairy goat program is an opportunity for personal growth and learning. There are no premiums provided for participation. 4-H members ages 12 and above who are willing to be a part of the team and abide by the rules of the program may seek to attend. The program requires 4-H’ers to care for their livestock (including daily care, preparation for the show, completion of their health forms, and maintenance at the exposition) and to care for themselves at the event. This is a youth-driven event. 4-He’rs are responsible for working with their parents, club leaders, project advisors, and county staff to complete their paperwork, read the rules, and comply with the event schedule and deadlines.

Because this is a group effort, individuals are restricted on the number of dairy goats they can enter. It is recommended that first or second-year participants bring no more than 4 to 5 goats. Members with 3 or more years of experience may have the opportunity to bring up to 8 goats if space allows.
For more information on the ESE 4-H dairy goat program please contact Erin McDonald at or 207.324.2814.

There is an open show on Sunday after the completion of the 4-H program. The open dairy goat show is a separate event from the 4-H program. For more information on the open dairy goat shows at ESE please visit the Big E livestock website.