GFB News Magazine

Norton cousins sweep state goat and lamb shows

Posted on November 7, 2020 12:00 AM

Article and photos by Jennifer Whittaker

First cousins Lily and Tanner Norton of Grady County are well known on Georgia's goat and lamb show circuits. They've shown a cumulative 19 years – Tanner for 10 and Lily for nine.

This year they made history by becoming the only first cousins to win all three species grand championship awards at the  Georgia Jr. Market Goat Shows (Doe & Wether) and Georgia Jr.  Market Lamb Show.

Lily is the daughter of Chad & Brandi Norton of Cairo. Tanner is the son of Clay & Cindy Norton of Cairo. 

The  2020 shows were held Oct. 9-11 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. To comply with COVID-19 health recommendations, shows were held as private events open only to exhibitors, their immediate families and project support staff. The shows were livestreamed on Walton Webcasting thanks to Georgia Farm Bureau’s sponsorship.

Lily, a senior at Cairo High School, won both the Market Wether Grand Champion prize of $1,500 and the Market Doe Grand Champion prize of $1,500. Tanner, a sophomore at Cairo High, won the Market Lamb Grand Champion prize of $1,000. Both Lily and Tanner  showed as Grady County 4-Hers.

GFB sponsored the grand champion prizes  for the goat and lamb shows. GFB  was also a premier livestock sponsor for the Georgia National Fair shows.

The double win was especially sweet for Lily who participated in the fall shows for the last time as a student.

“I’m so thankful for  the family  and friends who  have got me this far. It’s a great way to end my senior year,” Lily said. “When they canceled the fair, I was scared the shows might be canceled. I was very thankful to the fairgrounds and state of Georgia for letting us show since for a lot of us it is our senior year.”

Georgia Farm Bureau Assoc. Director of Field Services Clay Talton presents Lily Norton the $1,500 prize for the wether show while show judge Steve Sturtz presents the show banner. Lily also received a $1,500 prize for her grand champion doe.

Director of Field Services Clay Talton presents Tanner Norton the $1,500 prize while show judge Steve Sturtz presents the show banner.

Tanner is no stranger to the winner’s circle. He won the grand champion market wether award in 2019 and grand champion market doe and lamb awards in 2018. “Picking good animals and working them every day,” is his secret for winning.

The market goat  show attracted 308 4-H and FFA members who showed 550  goats. The market lamb show drew 172 exhibitors who showed 342 lambs.