Seen and heard at Ag Expo

August 03, 2004|by RYAN C. TUCK

"How much do they eat?" "Did this one have a baby?" "What is this one?"

Those were the questions from an excited Frankie Laredo, 5, of Clear Spring, as he ran through the petting farm at Washington County Ag Expo Monday.

The reason for Frankie's excitement was simple.

"I like the animals," he said. "They're cute."

Frankie and others were able to gawk, shriek, laugh and, of course, pet the various animals, including a blue-butt sow, goats, cattle, chicks and a lamb.

Levi Bucher, 8, and twin siblings Joel and Alli Bates, both 10, said the petting farm is always one of their favorite parts of Ag Expo.


"It's cool," Levi said. "Every year we get to see all the new babies."

The blue-butt sow was expected to give birth during the week, according to a sign posted on its fence.

Debbie Rauer, who was chaperoning Levi, Joel and Alli, said she hopes the children will be there when the sow gives birth.

"It helps them to relate," she said.

Timmy Martin, 14, of Ivy Hill Farm in Smithsburg, may have been hitting his pig in the face, neck and belly Monday, but he said his actions at the Market Swine Show were strictly "professional."

Timmy was showing his pig, which he said probably will sell Friday in the swine show. He was awarded first place in showmanship for the intermediate division and for his "cool demeanor," judges said.

Having shown pigs since he was 8 years old, Timmy said the goal of showing a pig is to "keep the pig close ... and move it around the ring and in front of the judge."

He said to direct a pig, a large stick is used to strike it across the face, neck or underside, something for which you have to practice.

"You never really know how it'll react in a new environment," Timmy said. "You have to take him out and walk him, to get him used to walking with you."

Katie Frey is not a veterinarian, but while caring for her rabbit, Scruffy, she sounded like someone with years of experience.

Katie was showing Scruffy as part of Monday afternoon's Rabbit Show, and was clipping his nails and combing his fur to get him ready.

Scruffy's reputation was at stake after winning the second-place prize at the show last year.

Scruffy squirmed a little while having his nails clipped, but Katie thought he'd be OK.

"You just have to watch out for the pink part of the paw," she warned. "That can hurt them."

Katie and Scruffy have been together for five years and despite one unsuccessful attempt, Katie plans to breed Scruffy, who is a broken mini-lop.

If Scruffy can stand the heat, Katie said she thought he could win again this year. If not, she and her family also have goats and sheep to show.

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