Memories are plentiful for Expo participants

August 07, 2004|by RYAN C. TUCK

SHARPSBURG - Another year at the Washington County Ag Expo came to a close Friday and the participants returned home after a long week with memories, dirty clothes and in many cases, a lot fewer animals.

The Ag Expo closed with the 4-H/FFA Market Animal Sale Friday night and for the breeders, it was a time of mixed emotions.

For Lonnie Thomas, 9, of Boonsboro, this year's sale was especially difficult and he admitted that he would cry when he had to sell his beef steer.


"It's sad because he's such a calm and nice steer," Lonnie said.

Lonnie and his friend, Sam Myers, 13, said as a general rule, it is hardest to let go of steers.

"You have fun and show your animals, but then you don't get to see your steer anymore," Sam said.

Asked why they sold their animals, Sam replied bluntly, "money."

Timmy Martin, 14, of Smithsburg, has been a fixture at the Ag Expo for the past six years, working every day with "Timmy's Fine Swine."

He said his favorite part of the Ag Expo is "how everyone works together," and also offered simple advice for people selling animals.

"You don't want to put your head in front of your pocketbook," he said. "You have to try and not get attached."

Although the majority of sellers admitted to feeling some remorse every time they sell an animal, the Ag Expo for most is a time to be with friends and brag about your animals.

Donnie Stoy, 16, of Sharpsburg, who has been showing beef steer for five years, called it a vacation.

"You work hard all year, so you're excited to see how they'll do," Donnie said.

He said this year's Ag Expo will be the first time he takes an animal home. His supreme champion beef heifer will not be sold, he said.

"It's nice to bring one home," he said.

The Ag Expo meant so much to Scott Debaugh, 10, that not even a broken ankle kept him from coming every day.

His show Holstein stepped on his shin and ankle before a show Tuesday, forcing him to watch from a chair with his grandparents for the rest of the week.

Scott, whose brother, Cory, 7, was showing his animals for him Friday, said he wouldn't hold a grudge against his animal.

"It happens," he said.

Although many spent most of the past week at the Ag Expo, few could claim to have spent more time there than Hannah Smith.

Hannah, 16, only left for one hour during the week, spending every night in the stables with her dairy cows.

"It's my favorite week of the year," she said. "I look forward to it all year ... it's awesome."

Hannah was selling a capon in the 4-H/FFA Market Animal Sale, but said she could never sell her cows.

"My dad tried to make me sell them once, but I just knew that I couldn't," she said. "I love them too much."

The Herald-Mail Articles