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Local families part of the Pa. Farm Show

January 13, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Several Franklin County families are showing off their agricultural prowess at the 89th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg this week.

With 25 acres under roof, the Farm Show is the largest agricultural event in the country. About 400,000 spectators and competitors are expected to attend.

Spectators can see a myriad ag-related exhibits, including a bison, alpacas named Alonso and Ampato, prize-winning chocolate cakes and apple pies, quilts, birds of prey, fruits and vegetables, school exhibits and uncountable numbers of chickens, rabbits, horses, cows, goats and sheep.

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In the cow barn, Lori and Alan Frantz of Whitehall Farm in Waynesboro, Pa., along with their children, Tim, 17; Addie, 15; and Rachel, 12, take care of their three heifers that will be shown in the youth and open dairy shows Friday.

Rachel said her responsibilities include feeding, washing and grooming the cattle, walking them around and cleaning up after them.

Addie is showing a heifer that placed third out of 16 in its class in the State Show in September. She said she thinks she might earn a second place ribbon in the open show because she had outclassed one of the other entries at a previous show.

It's the family's second time to compete at the Farm Show; they had the Reserve Junior Champion the last time. Lori and Alan Frantz go home to milk their 52 Guernseys and Holsteins, "and the kids stay here. They're responsible kids," Lori Frantz said.

While the children are missing some school, they are doing homework while at the Farm Show, she added. "They have finals next week."

The Frantz's small living area beside the cows is equipped with a toaster, refrigerator, TV, microwave and chairs. They pull cots and sleeping bags out from behind the cow stalls at night.

Other exhibitors in the huge cow barns had similar cozy family areas set up with coolers, chairs, crock pots, coffee makers and radios. Stalls are decorated with flowers, fabrics and artistic farm signs. Stalls and cows are kept clean. Several farmers took a break from their chores and caught mid-afternoon naps on straw bales.

Curtis and Autumn Reichard of Reich-Dale Farm are showing three cows and a heifer. One of their cows won the 2-year-old class last year, and "we brought her back this year as a 3-year-old," Curtis Reichard said. He milks 75 Jerseys and Holsteins near Waynesboro.

Not all the Franklin County exhibitors showed animals. Perennial Farm Show winner Dwight Mickey, who operates Shatzer Fruit Market west of Chambersburg, Pa., with his parents, Jack and Wilma Mickey, won several fruit awards including Best Plate of Five Pears and Best Gift Container.

Displayed in the Best of Show circle in the Family Living area is a monogrammed skirt, jacket and hat ensemble made by Marlee Beckner of Waynesboro. It competed in the 4-H Intermediate Textile Science division.

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