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Ag Expo begins today

August 01, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

There's nothing wrong with being fat in Ryan Corgard's book.

The 8-year-old has been fattening up his two meat goats for the past seven months in preparation for the annual Washington County Ag Expo, which begins today at the Washington County Agriculture Educational Center.

"That boy should be the fattest," he said as he pointed to one of his goats whose gut was brushing against the hay piled inches thick in the pen.

Ryan, like many other contestants Thursday, had blue ribbons on their minds. Bakers, cross-stitchers and others lined tables set up in a pavilion humming with the exchange of pound cake recipes and 4-H glories, where judges gave their appraisals and contenders waited for praise.

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Daveeda Land, 16, inched her cardboard box full of crafts closer to the judges as she juggled moving a stand she made alongside it.

The Hagerstown teen entered between 45 and 50 items, ranging from rabbits to photographs, into this year's competition.

She made a plaid wool skirt this year, which she hopes brings home a champion prize. So far, she's won blue ribbons for most of her items except for a photograph of a landscape, which won her third place. The angle was a little off, she said.

"I'm a perfectionist," she said. "I want everything done right."

Abigail Yeager, 12, was carrying a plate of chocolate chip cookies, sealed in a ziplock baggy.

Although she worked hard to make the cookies, she's hoping the bell-sleeved shirt she made will bring home a big prize.

The Hagerstown girl said preparing for the weeklong event can get exhausting, but she still looks forward to it every year.

"I like it after everything's entered because then you can just sit back and enjoy it," she said.

Laura Forsythe, 15, spent Thursday making sure 12 of her dairy goats were settled into their four pens before a Saturday judging.

"The calmer they are, the better they look," she said.

Five-year-old goat Blue-Ridge Lizzie won overall grand champion in the 4-H division, she said.

Lizzie wandered around the pen nudging her 11 competitors.

Many of them have a good chance at placing high, Forsythe said.

She owns 23 goats, but not all of them made it to the Ag Expo.

The event may be new for Rachel House, but it doesn't mean the Cearfoss girl is sheepish about a little competition.

Rachel, 9, is entering two chickens, two sheep and two pigs in the expo.

"For me, it really doesn't matter what I win. Whatever I win, I'll be fine," she said.

The Ag Expo runs through Aug. 9 at the Washington County Agriculture Educational Center off Sharpsburg Pike, about seven miles south of Hagerstown.

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