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Teens preen animals for Pa. Farm Show competition

January 07, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Serena and Frosten get pampered with showers and blow dryers like most females, except they are purebred shorthorn beef cattle.

Frosten won "shorthorn reserve junior champion female" for Kevin Stahl of Mercersburg, Pa., on Friday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Stahl, of Slate Wind Farm, said his class was judged on the cattle's femininity and thickness.

"When it's cold, they don't get washed as much as they should. ... It's been warmer this year, which makes it easier," Stahl said.

Caitlin Black and David Seiders grabbed a corner pen in the West Hall on Sunday afternoon to bathe their pigs, which are scheduled to be shown today.

Black, of Hustontown, Pa., has shown for several years at the farm show without much success in the ribbons. Seiders, of McConnellsburg, Pa., will be showing in Harrisburg for his first time.

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The Fulton County teenagers said they are only slightly nervous when showing their pigs, which weigh 270 pounds and 260 pounds.

Ben and Chase Cashell, of Chambersburg, Pa., are each showing one pig in their fourth year at the farm show.

"We just moved in this morning," Ben Cashell said while feeding the swine Sunday afternoon.

The brothers hope to be in the top half of their class today to advance to the sale.

"Usually they bring twice the market price here," Ben Cashell said.

That can be about $300 a pig, Chase Cashell said. Buyers like to support 4-H and FFA, Ben Cashell said.

The Cashells' pigs weighed in at 220 pounds and 270 pounds.

"The one we worried was going to be over" the 270-pound weight limit, Ben Cashell said.

They expect 10 to 14 people to be in their class.

"Sometimes they have up to 16 or 18," Chase Cashell said.

The Cashells said they don't have much of a plan for the pigs when they get into the ring.

"At home, we feed them by hand, so they're used to us," Ben Cashell said. "But they go where they want to go and you just guide them."

"They pretty well do what they want," Black said.

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