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Fulton County Fair focuses on animals

August 16, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - Although the 87th annual Fulton County Fair boasts its nighttime entertainment - which includes rides, a demolition derby, tractor pulls, lawn mower races and fireworks - some argue animal shows are the most valuable part of the event.

"Fulton County is extremely rural, (but) now we have more and more kids who haven't seen animals up close," said Pat Bard, Fulton County Fair Board livestock superintendent. "The fair has evolved to an educational experience for people who don't deal with animals each day."

"People don't have any idea of how produce is made - only 2 percent of the population have exposure to agriculture," said Clem Malot, president of the Fulton County Fair Board. "This keeps it alive."

Malot also said that Pennsylvania loses an area of farmland about the size of Pittsburgh every six months to a year, which is another reason exposure to agriculture at the Fulton County Fair is important.

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"For FFA (Future Farmers of America), 4-H - it's the roundup," Bard said. "This is where they win awards for programs they've worked all year on."

In Wednesday's Youth Dairy, Meat and Market Goat Show, competitors showed their goats in a variety of categories.

Levi Truax, Amy Bard and Dillon Gordon were the Grand Champions in the Market, Meat and Dairy Goat categories, respectively. They each went on to compete in the Supreme category, which means "best goat on the fairgrounds," Pat Bard said.

Dairy goats are bred to produce milk, meat goats are bred to produce meat and market goats are those ready to go to market, Bard said.

Amy Bard, 14, won the Supreme category. She said she felt great about winning because it meant that "(my goat's) not that old."

Amy's goat is 6 or 7 years old and she has been showing her for about five years. Amy also won Reserve Grand Champion in the Showmanship category.

Keri Schriever, 17, showed three goats in the Meat category and one goat in the Market category. She won Reserve Grand Champion for one of her meat goats.

"I feel proud of them. I think they did a good job," said Keri, who also is the FFA state chaplain.

Along with goat, sheep, horse, cow and rabbit shows, eight other buildings on the fairgrounds displayed items such as arts and crafts, fruits and vegetables, plants, home furnishings and antique cars that also were judged.

The fair also has completely new rides, courtesy of Mid Valley Amusements of Middleburg, Pa., and for a fee of $7, those visiting the fair have access to all of the exhibits, entertainment and rides. For $5, visitors can see the exhibits and entertainment, but not ride the rides.

"Your admission price pays for the rides to be here," Malot said.

"It's all volunteers who want to keep the fair going," he added. "It's a part of our culture, our heritage."




If you go



What: 87th annual Fulton County Fair

When: Continues through Sunday

Where: Fulton County Fairgrounds, McConnellsburg, Pa.

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