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Scenes from the 2008 Washington County Ag Expo and Fair

July 25, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

Mackenzie Householder, 7, Boonsboro

Seven-year-old Mackenzie Householder knows firsthand the responsibility required to care for a cow. All week, she has been helping care for her cousin's cow at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair.

"You've got to feed it and water it," Mackenzie said. "When it poops, you have to wipe its butt with a paper towel. It stinks."

Still, Mackenzie has decided she wants to show an animal of her own next year.

"I think it's gonna be really, really fun," she said.

Courtney Gunther, 19, Columbia, Md.

Unlike many of the 4-H and FFA members selling animals at Thursday's market sale, Courtney Gunther didn't grow up on a farm or come from a long line of farmers.

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In fact, this summer marked her first time raising and showing animals at the Expo.

It all started when she visited the Boonsboro home of her boyfriend, Garrett Hamby, she said.

"He's been showing for 11 years, and he was like, 'You want to show, too?'" she said.

Gunther said she quickly took to a pair of young pigs and began feeding them and teaching them to walk with her.

"It's really cool once they start to listen to you," she said. "They're really smart animals."

Despite her inexperience, Gunther went on to win a senior showmanship title.

"It's weird because I'm not from a country area," she said.

Adam Oates, 14 months, Hagerstown

At 14 months old, Adam Oates is just starting to learn his animal noises. He can tell you that a sheep says "baa" or a cow says "moo."

On Thursday, he got to hear the real thing.

"The cow mooed at him and he thought that was very neat," said Adam's mother, Laura Oates, 26, of Hagerstown.

She said her family was attending the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair for the first time this year.

"We figured we'd come see what it is and he could learn about animals," she said as Adam pointed enthusiastically at a caged goat. "He's obviously enjoying it."

Eric Renner Jr., 20, Sharpsburg

It was supposed to be a race car.

At least that was what Eric Renner intended when he agreed to take home a 1996 Ford Probe that had been sitting at a body shop for two years after its former owner crashed it into a pole. But the work and money required to prepare the car for racing was daunting, and Renner's friends pressured him to enter it in this year's Washington County Ag Expo Demolition Derby instead.

He agreed.

"It's an adrenaline rush, that's all it is," Renner said, explaining the appeal of entering the derby.

As Renner prepared for the start of the compact class, he said other drivers tried to rattle him because it was his first demolition derby.

"They told me the driver of a car just like mine hit a car and he broke both his arms," Renner said with a grin.

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