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Exhibitors ready for Expo

August 02, 2002|by Liz Boch

lizb@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG - John Smith considers himself one of the smart ones.

Despite the blazing heat Thursday, he drove his hay-filled truck to the Washington County Ag Expo grounds in the early afternoon to prepare the family's animal exhibits.

"It took us a lot of years, but we learned," said Smith, of Clear Spring. "We were able to pull our truck into the cattle barn instead of parking it and hauling our hay."

His daughters Hannah, 14, and Courtney, 18, will show dairy cattle and rabbits in the coming week.

After hanging the family farm sign, the Smiths quickly hopped in their truck, escaping the 97-degree heat.

The Leggett family of Boonsboro also beat the crowd, making their first of eight trips to the Ag Expo at about 2 p.m. Brenda Leggett said her sons Spencer, 12, and Denton, 15, and her nephew Andrew, 13, will show 30 rabbits, goats, pigs, dairy cattle and steer.

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Denton said he will sleep in a cot all week to assure the pigs have a constant food and water supply.

"We wash our animals with laundry detergent and a scrub brush and clip them so they're clean," Denton said while standing directly in front of a fan that will, eventually, cool his dairy cattle. "What we do today we'll do every morning, every day for the rest of the week, unfortunately."

Families could begin setting up at 5 p.m. according to the schedule, but some exhibits were up by 3 p.m.

Allen "Whitey" Hess, 17, of Smithsburg, will show hogs, a lamb and a dairy heifer. He said more people would show up today.

"Usually there are people and animals everywhere," he said. "Last year, we had to carry everything in. It just fills up so fast and everyone has something to do."

Megan Drake, 18, of Sharpsburg said although her pens were ready Thursday afternoon, she would wait until today to bring her three steers.

"It's too hot today to bring them," she said while sitting in the shade. "I'll bring my pigs and sheep tonight, but the steers need a pattern. New surroundings aren't good. I'd rather they be here as little as possible."

Morgan Smith, 12, said she was worried the heat would melt the icing on the chocolate cherry cake she entered in the 4-H/FFA Home Arts contest.

"It's going to be hard," the Clear Spring resident said. "I love it, though, It's the highlight of the summer."

Brenda Leggett said her sons were ready to withstand the sun.

"We expect it to be hot, but we'll make it," Leggett said. "My kids look forward to this every year. We usually always get one monsoon and it ruins our setup. It's a lot of work and a lot of fun."

The Washington County Ag Expo starts today and runs through Aug. 9 at the Washington County Agriculture Educational Center off Sharpsburg Pike, 11 miles south of Hagerstown.

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