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Fun (and work) continues at Jefferson County Fair

August 19, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

LEETOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Fair fans who were lucky enough to get some time away from work Monday afternoon were in for a relaxing time at the beef judging contest.

It was practically perfect fair weather.

The sun was out, but not overbearing, and a cool, shady seat could be found in the barn for the Beef Showmanship and Judging.

The event was a culmination of months spent raising beef cattle.

Youths like 15-year-old Warren Cogle often juggle school work with the responsibilities of raising livestock.

During the school year, Cogle said he gets up at about 6 a.m. to feed his livestock. Then he heads off to school, and takes up his farm chores again in the afternoon.

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Cogle said he became interested in raising livestock after watching his father work in the field for so many years and show animals at the fair.

"My dad's been in it since he was 15. I was pretty much born into it," said Cogle, whose family farm is off Mt. Hammond Road near Charles Town, W.Va.

The long family history in farming paid off for Cogle.

He won first place in the Senior Beef Showmanship class Monday after out-distancing about 10 other competitors in the event.

The cattle were judged on how they are presented. Owners paraded the animals around in a ring while Judge Tommy Carper took a close look at the them.

The youths have a long prod with a hook at the end, which they can use to nudge the legs of the animals to create a perfect stance.

Carper praised many aspects of Cogle's work, including his neat appearance, which included a white shirt buttoned to the top.

"He does a really, really good job," Carper said.

Members of the Cogle family were all smiles as they gathered around the Jefferson County youth at the back of the barn after the event.

One of the family members celebrating the win was Sharon Cogle, Cogle's grandmother.

Sharon Cogle said another grandson, Justin Lopez, came in second in the competition.

"It was a no-lose situation for me," Sharon Cogle said.

The fair continues today at the fairgrounds off Leetown Road with meat goat judging, swine judging, a sheep dog demonstration, the figure 8 demolition derby, slow tractor race and other events.

Admission is $3 for ages 16 and older, $1 for ages 6 to 15 and free for ages 6 and younger.

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