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Ag Expo to feature new events

July 27, 1997

By SAMANTHA KRULEWITZ

Staff Writer

Animals are being brushed, washed and crammed with last minute knowledge for the big event.

Saturday marks the beginning of the 17th annual Ag Expo, which runs a week, at the Washington County Ag Ed Center on Sharpsburg Pike.

This year organizers expect an increase in spectators to 50,000 from last year's 35,000 because of Bull Ride Mania, a new event which begins at 8:30 p.m. on opening night. The program will feature professional bullriders in qualification and championships rounds, professional cowgirls barrel racing and mutton bustin', which is a contest for children under 45 pounds, who can sign up to ride sheep. It is being produced by Dave Martin's Championship Rodeos.

"If too many kids sign up for mutton bustin' then kids will be picked. The kid that wins will get a buckle," Washington County 4-H Extension Agent Jeff Semler said. "You know what they say, `How do you know when the belt buckle is too big? When it hurts too much to bend over.'"

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Other events on opening day include the judging of home arts and horticulture exhibits, the bake sale, 4-H Fashion Review and the Ag Expo Queen Contest.

Registration on exhibits and animals closed Friday, July 18, said Joanna Calimer, an Ag Expo organizer. The superintendents have picked up the entries and will put together brochures for each event, she said.

"Ag Expo never stops. The board meets monthly, and as soon as it's over, we start planning for the next year. It takes a year of planning to put it together," she said.

Another new event this year is the Little Farmer-Farmerette Contest, Calimer said. The show begins Wednesday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. in the show barn and features any child of a Farm Bureau member or an Ag Expo participant who has not yet started the second grade. It features the contestants singing, reciting a poem or reciting a rhyme and is sponsored by the Washington County Farm Bureau's Women's Committee.

Other Ag Expo events this year include:

* An expanded petting farm will be available to visit throughout the Ag Expo. It will feature an assortment of chicks, ducks, turkeys, a lamb, goats, a horse, a buffalo calf and a dairy calf from the Holstein, Jersey, Ayshire, Guernsey and Brown Swiss breeds. Special exhibits will include the Texas Longhorn cattle, llamas and emus. There will be a mother pig expecting her babies during Expo week again this year.

* An Ice Cream Churning contest is Sunday, Aug. 3, at 6 p.m. in the Show Ring following a milking demonstration. The contest is open to anyone as long as they have a team of four members. Contestants must also be able to provide their favorite ice cream recipe on an index card, and it must include all natural ingredients. They should also bring a hand-cranked ice cream churn.

* A baby contest and miniature parade will be held Monday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. To compete all contestants must be residents of Washington County and have updated inoculations. They can't have reached their third birthday by the contest date. There are two classes, birth to 14 months and 15 months to 3 years. For more information call Anna Mummert at (301) 797-2788.

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