Friday at the Washington County Ag Expo

July 18, 2008

Brian Spielman, 32, Fairplay

Sitting at a table, selling and handing out passes, Brian Spielman was prepping Friday for the annual ag expo and fair.

"This is my third year on the board of directors," Spielman said. "Right now, we're just hoping to get the exhibits in place. We're having bull riding tonight."

A new activity that Spielman said will be incorporated in this year's expo is a carnival.

"We had a carnival many years ago," Spielman said. "Some rides are already in place, and the others should be ready either on Saturday or Sunday."


Spielman said he thinks the highlight of the event will be the tractor pulls on Tuesday and Thursday.

Hannah House, 16, Hagerstown

Resting in a chair next to her sister, Hannah House played with a deck of cards, awaiting Friday's events.

"I've had animals and have been coming out here for like seven years, " Hannah said. "I look forward to it. It's a big part of my summer."

Hannah and her family will be selling pigs Thursday.

Besides pigs, "on our farm, we have beef cows and a horse."

Along with assisting with the animals, Hannah plans to help with the concession stand.

"I'm expecting to have a good time out here this year," she said.

Nevalene Uzelac, Hagerstown

Nevalene Uzelac was busily setting up Friday for the annual ag expo.

Uzelac, the 4H home arts superintendant, has been a participant of the event since it began.

"All three of my children grew up here," Uzelac said with a smile.

The highlight of the expo for Uzelac is getting to see the people and being back with friends.

Uzelac said the purpose of the event is to "promote agriculture, and for the 4Hers to exhibit their animals and projects they worked on during the year."

Adam Griffith, 16, Boonsboro

Washing and blow-drying his steer named Diesel, Adam Griffith, who wore a pair of rubber work boots, was hard at work Friday.

Adam doesn't recall when he first started attending the event, but he is a regular participant at the annual ag expo.

"This is my first year showing, but I've been coming since I was pretty young," Adam said.

Adam said he was having a good time at the expo.

"I'm just having fun and working with the animals."

Megan Thompson, 19, Sharpsburg

For Megan Thompson, this year's ag expo marked the end of her run with the 4-H Club.

"It's my last year, so I'm hoping to have fun," she said.

Thompson plans to show her 1-year-old steer Oatmeal Pie, an exotic Belted Galloway that was purchased in 2007.

She said even though the ag expo is a good time, it is not all fun and games.

"If you have a steer here, you have to take care of it and train it," Thompson said.

She said she hopes her hard work will turn a profit at the auction where some of the animals are sold for meat.

"That's what we raise them for," she said.

Katie Frey, 17, Smithsburg

While some teenagers swam at the pool or hung out at the mall Friday afternoon, Katie Frey sheared her sheep.

"Between me and my brother, we have 14 sheep," she said.

Katie prepared her animals for the Supreme Championship that will take place Sunday at the ag expo.

"They have to be what we call slick-sheared," she said.

According to Katie, it's basically a haircut.

As Katie sheared the goats, she expressed her anticipation about the upcoming competitions.

"It's pretty kind of nervewracking," she said. "It's a feeling of accomplishment when some do win."

Kerri Nicley, 17, Smithsburg

According to Kerri Nicley, raising animals at Papi's Pig Pen is a family affair.

"I have siblings and cousins who help with the animals on our farm," Kerri said. "All of us show pigs, but only my sister and I show goats and steers."

Kerri has worked with animals for 10 years. She will show two swine, two market goats and a second-year dairy steer at this year's ag expo.

A new addition joined the family Friday when one of their goats gave birth either late Thursday night or the following morning.

"We discovered some baby goats this morning," Kerri said. "You can see them in the petting zoo here."

Morgan Smith, 18, Clear Spring

Morgan Smith sat on a stool and watched her very pregnant Brown Swiss cow as it laid in its pen Friday.

"She's probably going to be giving birth within the next few months," she said. "I'm hoping for a heifer calf."

Smith said she likes working with heifers, because she doesn't like selling them like the male cows.

"They're my babies," Smith said. "I love them."

Smith has been involved with the 4-H Club since she was 8 years old.

She said coming to these events lets her interact with other teenagers who share the same interests.

"It's great to hang out with other 4-Hers, since we all go through the same things with our animals," she said.

-- Compiled by Thaisi H. Velasquez and Angelica Roberts

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