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Scenes from the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair

July 23, 2009

Jess Johnson, 18

Williamsport

Jess Johnson watched a dairy cattle show for the first time Thursday at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair.

"I have a really good friend I'm here to support," she said.

Johnson, a student at Princeton University who is home on summer break, was supporting her high school friend, Tracey Forsythe.

Johnson said she didn't know what the judges were looking for, but she hoped Forsythe did well.

Johnson said she enjoyed learning about the animals and seeing the variety present at Ag Expo.

"Just from hanging around Tracey and watching the other people, I've paid attention to things I wouldn't have before, like how to milk a cow," Johnson said.

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As a newcomer to Ag Expo, Johnson said she enjoyed it.

"It seems pretty cool," she said. "Maybe I'll be able to come back next year."

Jessica Stein

Hagerstown

Jessica Stein said she is used to the show requirements for horses, but a dog show is totally out of her league.

But she decided to take the risk of entering her dog, Zaphod, in the dog show this year at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair.

Zaphod is 1 year, 8 months old and is a black Labrador/greyhound mix. She has owned him for about a year.

Stein demonstrated a couple of tricks that Zaphod could do, such as jumping and bowing. She was hoping to walk home with a ribbon from the show.

"My favorite color is purple and the Grand Champion ribbon is purple, so it would be really nice to win it," Stein said with a laugh.

She has been attending the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair for about three years.

"It's fun and just a good place for people to go and enjoy their community," Stein said.

Donna Schmidt

Horse superintendent, Horse Knowledge Activity

Donna Schmidt conducted the Horse Knowledge Activity on Thursday at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair.

"It's a skillathon," she said.

Schmidt said the activity requires participants to know practical information such as equipment for horses, breeds and how to take care of horses. The activity consists of judging horses, taking a test and a speech supporting contestants' judging.

Schmidt said it helps get contestants' feet wet in preparation for the state competition, and it helps participants learn how to balance multiple responsibilities at one time.

"You still have to work on public speaking as well as knowing your horse knowledge," Schmidt said.

She said this year's group is the largest she has had for the activity.

"They had about 20 kids participating this year, which is a huge increase compared to the first year, which only had five participants," Schmidt said.

The horse knowledge activity has three divisions -- junior, intermediate and senior.

Chloe Bellerive, 10

Keedysville

Chloe Bellerive spent Thursday morning proving her knowledge of horses at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair.

The 4-H member said she usually gets to Ag Expo at 10 a.m. and stays all day hanging out with friends.

Thursday was no different for Chloe, even with the horse knowledge challenge ahead for her.

"I've been doing it all along," Chloe said, referring to her participation in previous years.

She said she has done well before and won ribbons, so she was hoping to earn another this year.

"I want to get first," Chloe said.

As for the rest of her time at Ag Expo, Chloe said she enjoys the majority of the night shows.

"Kind of everything put together is my favorite thing," Chloe said.

Lori Bellerive

Keedysville

Lori Bellerive has been an active participant in the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair, with three of her children in 4-H.

Bellerive's children -- Devyn, Chandler and Chloe -- participated in the Horse Knowledge Activity again this year. She said her children do it every year, and it is enjoyable for her family.

"It's very educational, and it teaches them responsibility," Bellerive said. "The really good thing about it is that they are learning how to back up their reasoning in a fun and appealing way to them."

She said the activity allows her children to have something in common with their friends.

"They're a really good group of kids," Bellerive said.

Besides the horse knowledge activities, the Bellerive family enjoys spending time together at the evening events.

"It's good family fun," Bellerive said.

-- Ashley Reid

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