Ag Expo a treat in many ways for many ages

July 19, 2010
  • Abigail Roberts

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After three years of being in a 4-H club, Kathleen Michaels of Leitersburg Pike will have to say good-bye to the group next year because she will turn 18.

Michaels on Monday said she joined the 4-H club because her family owns an alpaca farm with about 15 or 16 alpacas.

Michaels, who will show alpacas at this year's Washington County Ag Expo & Fair, said she likes the Ag Expo because she enjoys being around the alpacas and other animals. She said she loves kids and loves to teach about the alpacas.

"Usually people don't know about the alpacas and we teach them about it. They think they're llamas," she said.

Michaels said alpacas are smaller than llamas, and tend to be friendlier.

"They don't spit on people like llamas do," she said.

Michaels also said alpacas have softer wool.

Michaels said she is grateful to 4-H because of all the organization has taught her, and she said she plans to continue to take care of alpacas.


Emily Britton not only accompanied her friend to the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair on Monday, for the first time this year, but she also brought along her two daughters, Riley and Ella.

Britton said she heard about Ag Expo through others, so she brought the children to see the animals and learn about them.

She said Ella really enjoyed looking at the sheep and goats. Riley, on the other hand, enjoyed looking at the calves. Britton said her favorite animal display was of the baby pigs.

Her daughters enjoyed the kids' tent with the walk-through garden, according to Britton, who said she felt the kids' tent was perfect for her young children.

Even though Britton's children seemed to be having a great time, she said Monday would be the only day she would attend the expo.

"It's hard with this heat and the kids," Britton said.

Despite the heat, Britton was still able to have fun with the family.

"It was nice to have the kids see the animals," she said.

She sat at a picnic table in the shade of the trees Monday as her 14-month-old helped himself to a bowl of cold ice cream during a visit to the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair.

While watching her son make soup of the snack, Kelly Sigel of Hagerstown said she also enjoyed the ice cream.

Sigel said this was her first time attending the Ag Expo.

"It's something to do with the kids," she said. "You get to check out the animals and vendors."

Sigel said her lunch fare was a treat.

"I enjoy having ice cream for lunch," said Sigel, who noted she really enjoyed the baby ducks, as well.

Abigail Roberts, 16, of Hagerstown said she considers herself to be a lover of animals.

Not only does she come to the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair because she is a member of the 4-H club, but also because she wants to see the other animals.

"I love being around animals and seeing how they react to other animals and also see them in their environment," Abigail said Monday.

Abigail said she joined the 4-H club because her Sunday school teacher was a leader of the club.

Abigail said that after she joined the club many years ago, she began to learn about alpacas.

Abigail plans to remain a member of the 4-H until she reaches their maximum age limit. She said she was not sure if she would continue to raise alpacas when she leaves for college.

Ten years ago, Keith Berkeley of Charles Town, W.Va., showed his longhorn cows at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair. This year, he was there as a judge.

Berkeley said he got to judge about 12 to 15 longhorn cows on Monday. After the judging, he admitted to seeing some nice quality cows.

Apart from being a judge, Berkeley said he enjoys the social part of the expo.

"It's always nice to see old friends and good cows," he said.

Berkeley said that this year he saw something that he doesn't remember being at any of the previous expos. He said he really liked the chainsaw display, which was a display of wooden art pieces made with a chainsaw.

One familiar thing Berkeley was looking forward to was getting a snow cone.

-- Lucia Tayo

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