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Ag Expo kicks off

August 02, 2003|by TAMELA BAKER

tammyb@herald-mail.com

You just can't have a good country fair without some livestock, some home-baked goodies, a few tractors, a healthy dose of country music and a little local royalty.

The annual Washington County Ag Expo offered all that - and funnel cakes, too - during opening festivities Friday at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center near Sharpsburg.

There was a whole lot of judging going on as entries in the home arts and horticulture categories filled tables in one of the ag center's buildings. The baked goods didn't stay around for long, though - the cakes, pies, cookies, breads and candy went to the highest bidders in the 4-H Cake Auction Friday night.

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The judging that got the most attention was for the Ag Expo Queen as last year's winner, 15-year-old Hannah Smith of Clear Spring, relinquished her title to 17-year-old Laurel Senay of Sharpsburg.

"I'm really shocked," Laurel said as she was crowned. "But I would like to invite everybody to come back all week."

The shock hadn't worn off when she left the stage.

So how did it feel to be wearing that tiara?

"It's different," she said. "I'm amazed that I got it."

An active member of the Sharpsburg 4-H Club, Laurel said she's been coming to the Ag Expo for the past seven years.

At Boonsboro High School, where Laurel will be a senior this year, she's a member of the drama club, orchestra and volleyball team. In addition to 4-H, her community activities include Sharpsburg Heritage Days, the annual luminary display at the Antietam National Battlefield and the JFK 50-mile run.

Each contestant for Ag Expo queen is required to enter an exhibit, and Laurel has entered several. She won awards for her spice cake and peanut butter cookies. She plans to show her cats during Sunday's cat show.

The daughter of Terry and Bonnie Senay, Laurel plans to attend Hagerstown Community College after high school and continue her college education elsewhere. She said she hasn't decided what she will study.

First runner-up was Daveeda Land, 16, of Hagerstown. The daughter of Terry and Colleen Land, Daveeda is home-schooled and is a 4-H ambassador.

She also entered several exhibits in this year's expo, and was to participate in the Alpaca demonstration this morning.

As the crowd began to meander over to the rodeo that followed the queen contest, Laurel encouraged the community to visit the expo.

"I hope everyone comes out to see what we've been doing," she said. "It's a wonderful experience."

Tonight, Family Night activities offer adult barnyard olympics (four-member team relays), a tug-of-war, an ice cream eating contest, a goat-milking contest and an animal-calling contest with a prize for the most "unique" call.

Registration for contestants in the Family Night events is at 6:30 p.m.; contests begin at 7:30.

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