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'Fair'ly speaking

July 21, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

Making friends

After a cool bath, Tracy Forsythe's cow Anoika was ready to socialize.

While Tracy walked Anoika back from the washing area, where several cows were getting their final scrub downs before competition at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair, Anoika jerked her head repeatedly at a row of cows to the left.

"She's calm; I've never had any problems from her," Tracy said as she stroked Anoika's head to divert her attention.

Tracy, 16, said she has been coming to the Ag Expo since she was 4. She said she likes the competition, but most enjoys the event as an opportunity to get together with people.

"It's a good time to hang out and see friends," Tracy said.

Anoika seemed to agree.

When Tracy stopped to talk, Anoika was able to get a little extra rope, and spent the rest of the time sniffing the mouth of a nearby cow.

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"She's pretty friendly," Tracy said.

Shear duty

Shannon Uzelac was busy shearing sheep Friday afternoon at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair, and aside from the bleating, everyone seemed happy.

"They make a lot of noise, but they like to be sheared, especially in the hot weather. It feels good on their skin," said Uzelac, a graduate student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore who was shearing sheep for anyone who wanted her help.

Then, as if on cue, the sheep that Uzelac was shearing jerked its head out of its head brace as the clippers went up its side.

"Oh, come on now," said Uzelac as she gently pulled the head brace back up to the sheep's chin.

"They've been good today - for the most part," Uzelac said.

Uzelac said she has been coming to the Ag Expo for several years, but that this is her first year shearing sheep at the event.

"I've done a few sheep for the 4-H kids and others," Uzelac said. "Some people like to have me do it; some like to do it themselves."

Tough steering

Jordan Davis enjoys working with steers, even though he can't look them in the eye.

"It's fun to get them cleaned up and trained to come out here," said Davis, who stands about nose-high to his three black steers.

He said it's not always easy to train a 1,000-pound animal.

"Sometimes, they don't want to cooperate," said Jordan, 11 of Williamsport. "We've had them run off. It hurts your hands."

This is Jordan's second year at the Washington County Ag Expo and Fair. Last year, one of his steers took second place in its class. He said he's hoping to do even better this year.

"I like to get dressed up and go out there and walk around with them, show them off," Jordan said.

Goats get early vote

Michelle Morris said she gave up trying to teach her 2-year-old sister, Lacy, about farm animals.

"She doesn't really care," said Michelle, 10, of Boonsboro. "I think she's too young."

While Lacy wandered off into the grass, Michelle spent hours on Friday afternoon at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair walking up and down the aisles of cows, sheep, goats and pigs before she decided which was her favorite.

"Those baby goats right there," said Michelle, pointing at one of the cages. "They're so cute."

Michelle said she has been to the Ag Expo only once before, when she was "4 or 5," but doesn't remember the trip.

She said this year, she is looking forward to the show.

"I want to watch them all walk around the ring," Michelle said.

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