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Childhood Passion Continues into Adulthood

If you spent time at the Auglaize County Fair recently, especially near the goat barn, there’s a good chance you’ve came across Katie Fledderjohann of New Knoxville throughout the years.

As a young girl, Katie showed many of the goats raised by her family as her annual 4-H project.

As an adult, she continues to help on her grandparents’ farm, raising goats for future generations to care for and show as 4-H projects.

Katie coaches the kids on handling, training and bathing the goats.

She also assists them with showing and caring for the goats during fair week.

Katie says volunteering to help the kids, the animal judges and the fair board members makes fair time an exciting time of year.

Caring for Cody

As Katie has gotten older, she has taken on more responsibilities to care for the goats.

She feeds them and cleans their pens each morning before attending vocational training at We Can Too in St. Marys.

Katie and her grandmother, Beverly Fledderjohann, have even been known to take goats to area elementary schools and preschools, educating youngsters on the care necessary for raising goats.

During the breeding season, Katie spends extra time at the barn assisting the mother goats with the birthing process.

This is how she came to form her special bond with her goat, Cody.

Forming a Special Bond

Cody had some special needs at birth and was not well.

Katie took extra care of Cody, and as their bond grew, the family decided Cody would never be sold.

Cody is Katie’s goat.

And Katie, who has a diagnosis of autism, says that while having relationships with people hasn’t always been easy; having a relationship with animals is simple.

“It doesn’t take much work, and they don’t judge me,” says Katie, noting her love of all animals.

 

**Submitted by Tonia Byron, Auglaize DD Service & Support Administrator**