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Franklin County Fair royalty named

August 19, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Mandy Clark honed her public-speaking skills in FFA competitions on the topic of recombinant bovine somatotropin and by talking to her cows, practices that paid off Monday night with her being named Franklin County Fair Queen.

She won a county FFA competition on the subject of RBST, a hormone used to stimulate milk production, although she shows beef cattle with her sponsor organization, the Mercersburg (Pa.) 4-H Baby Beef Club. The 17-year-old said she wrote her speech for the fair about a month ago.

"I've been walking around my cow pasture talking to my cows for a long time," said Clark, a senior at James Buchanan High School "They're probably tired of it by now."

All four contestants made presentations on the importance of the county fair to the community and were each asked what issues they would promote besides the fair. Clark said she would speak to groups about farmland preservation.

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"Grab it and hold onto it or it will be gone forever ... and we'll all be naked and hungry," Clark said.

Stephanie Hykes, 19, of Greencastle, Pa., the 2007-08 Franklin County Dairy Princess, was named the alternate. The other contestants for the crown were Olivia Monn, 16, a junior at Waynesboro (Pa.) Area Senior High School, and Angel Beaver, 18, a senior at James Buchanan High School.

In a new pageant event, Brittany Newlin, 11, of Greencastle, was named Fair Princess. The competition is for girls who fall between the age limits for Little Miss and Fair Queen.

A former Little Miss, Newlin said her goal is to eventually win the county and state fair queen crowns.

Trista Taylor, 11, of Greencastle, was named the alternate and 14-year-old Hunter Miller of Mercersburg was tapped for ambassador.

The Little Miss crown went to 7-year-old Katelyn Rodriguez of Greencastle and Alyssa Gaus, 7, of Greencastle was the alternate.

It will be a busy week for Clark as she presides over fair events, but her obligations will extend through the rest of the year.

Katy Mitchell, the 2007-08 queen and Pennsylvania Fair Queen, had some advice for the new queen.

"Take a lot of pictures because fair week slides by fast," Mitchell said. She also recommended Clark make as many appearances as possible during her reign.

Mitchell said she attended at least 75 events since winning the county and state crowns, and figures that will top 100 by the time her reign ends.

"You have to step outside your comfort zone" to get the full experience, Mitchell said. "By the time you get good at it, your year is over."

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