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Ag Expo crowns 2002 queen

August 03, 2002|by Liz Boch

lizb@herald-mail.com

As a sheepish and smiling Hannah Smith tilted her head to be crowned the 2002 Washington County Ag Expo Queen, she thanked the judges who "did a really good job."

Hannah was one of three girls vying for the title of 4-H/FFA Ag Expo Queen. The 14-year-old vowed to increase the public's awareness of the expo and the importance of agriculture.

After the ceremony, Smith easily slid into her new role, saying, "I'm going to go to the track for the wrestling event tonight and will mingle with people and answer their questions. I hope to draw a lot more people to the fair."

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The Clear Spring resident was not the only contestant who wanted to spread her agricultural knowledge. Although admittedly not a fan of public speaking, contestant Ashley Jones of Hagerstown said young people gain valuable lessons from 4-H projects and the Ag Expo.

"I think the kids need to know you don't have to have a big cow or live on a farm to do Ag Expo," the 15-year-old said. "Look at me. I don't live on a farm and I show rabbits."

Contestant Stephanie Lewis of Hagerstown agreed with Jones and suggested the Ag Expo Board hold an Ag Expo King Contest to attract more people.

"Ag Expo is represented by young men also and they do just as much to make this week great," the 15-year-old said.

Sara Wiles, the 2001 Ag Expo Queen who was on hand to help crown Hannah, said she learned responsibility and social skills during her reign.

"I'm a little sad at giving up my crown, but I'm glad to see someone so deserving getting it," she said. "I'd like to support her in her efforts this year."

Carolyn Barmoy, an Ag Expo Queen judge, said she and the other two judges were looking for someone enthusiastic about wearing the crown.

"Hannah's energy is what got us," she said. "She has a passion for what she does."

As the new queen, Hannah will have to find time to hand out ribbons to winners and greet visitors in between watching her rabbits, milking her Brown Swiss and Holstein cows twice a day and cleaning them as often as needed.

"You want them to look nice," she said. "Nobody, especially the public, wants to see dirty animals."

Hannah's mother Paula Smith said her daughter is normally shy and her new title is bringing her out of her shell.

"It was her first year entering, so it was a very surprising outcome," she said. "For her to do that, it's out of the ordinary. I'm very proud of my daughter."

The Washington County Ag Expo will continue until Aug. 9 at the Washington County Agriculture Educational Center off Sharpsburg Pike, 11 miles from Hagerstown.

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