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Youth keep busy the day before the fair

August 05, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - On Sunday, the last day before the Berkeley County Youth Fair opened:

- The rabbits had frozen two-liter bottles to snuggle with and keep cool. At 3 p.m., a thermometer on the wall read 94 degrees.

Many rabbits had names inspired by food: "Peanut Butter," "Licorice," "Hershey," "Jelly Bean," "Kiwi."

Rebecca Knighten, 13, of Martinsburg, said her first impulse was to call her dark-faced rabbit "Mocha." Then, she decided "Chocolate Chip" fit better, and she stuck with it.

- Roxanne Schroen of Falling Waters, W.Va., stood on a chair to attach a hanging over her children's goat pen. Her design didn't come out quite as she hoped; a string of apples drooped too much.

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In the pen, Amanda Schroen's 7-month-old goat Crackers rested beside James Schroen Jr.'s 8-month-old goat Phill.

Amanda, 12, has exhibited goats twice before, but this was the first time for her brother, James, 11.

The siblings were joined by younger brothers John, who is almost 4, and Riley, 2, and father, James Sr.

The first year, Amanda's goat earned fourth prize in its class. Last year, her goat placed third. But instead of another step up, to second place, Amanda predicted third place again.

- Daniel Laing of Martinsburg hosed and patted his 5-month-old calf, Jasmine, outside the cow barn while his mother, Carol Laing, watched.

Over the last four years, Daniel has won showmanship awards and his cows have placed in their class, Carol Laing said.

Daniel spent most of the summer cleaning his cows and teaching them to walk with him.

Is it hard work or is it fun? Both.

"I enjoy what I'm doing," he said, "and on hot days like this, it is (work)."

- The fair's brand-new poultry cages sat empty.

Neither poultry nor eggs may be publicly displayed in West Virginia because of concerns about Avian Influenza, according to the state's Department of Agriculture. Anyone who violates the ban could be charged with a misdemeanor.

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