Hard work pays for 4-Hers at Franklin Co. Fair show

August 18, 2010|By By C.J. LOVELACE, Staff Correspondent
  • Ellie Rush of Waynesboro, Pa., reacts Tuesday to trying to milk a cow for the first time at the Franklin County Fair. Her reaction? "Just gross," she said.
Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Countless hours of hard work paid off for many Franklin County 4-H'ers Tuesday night.

Numerous Franklin County Fair goers were treated to the fruits of the 4-H Baby Beef Club's labors, and no one was more overwhelmed than the event's judge, John Spiker.

"I was really impressed," said Spiker, a native of Jane Lew, W.Va. "I thought all these kids were just phenomenal in the way they handled their cattle and the way they handled themselves. You can tell they put a lot of time into it... I'd be proud if I lived in this county."

Out of 16 total club members, 12 showed their prized steers and heifers with two coming out as the evening's biggest winners.

Samuel Wingert, 16, of St. Thomas, Pa., won both the Grand Champion Steer and Grand Champion Open Steer competitions with his 1,205- and 1,185-pound cattle.


"It feels really good," said Wingert, who has participated in the 4-H club for eight years and raises his cattle on a family farm in Mercersburg, Pa. "It's a lot of hard work, but in the end with results like this, it's worth it."

The steers were judged on a number of characteristics, such as muscling, adequate finish, structural correctness and good capacity of the rip and chest areas.

Mandy Clark, 19, of Mercersburg, took the Reserve Champion Steer crown, but also took Grand Champion Heifer later in the evening.

A four-year 4-H member, Clark said when she first started raising cattle she was "terrified," but her boyfriend told her to get over her fear, which she has done, also earning the top showing honor earlier in the show.

"They're just gentle giants," she said of her steer, calling him "basically a little puppy. If you give them respect and show them the respect that they deserve, then they act very nice for you."

Looking for an exhibitor that showed as much respect for the judge as they did the animal, Spiker had difficulty picking a winner between the three showmanship classes, featuring senior class winner Clark, intermediate winner Claudia Hissong and novice champ Rachel Clark.

Spiker, who has judged steer competitions at the county and state level for the past 10 years, said in some shows, the senior class winner is often the automatic winner because of their experience, but he had trouble picking the best Tuesday night.

"It wasn't easy tonight," he said to the crowd, just before announcing Clark as the winner.

Even though her hands were full of trophies and plaques by the end of the competition, the emotion and sense of accomplishment was clear on the face and in the voice of Clark afterward.

"I almost started crying in the ring because all your hard work finally pays off," she said. "At the end of the year, you finally get something for what you've put your heart and soul into."

Now with the show complete, the 4-H'ers will see just how much their hard work has been worth throughout the last year when their steers and heifers will be auctioned off at a later date.

Skid Steer Rodeo tests operators' abilities

Capping off Tuesday night's activities, the Skid Steer Operators Rodeo drew a total of 16 adult division competitors and four youths at the Fair's arena.

Evan Moser, of Boonsboro, won the youth division with a combined time of 4:15 after two runs through the course, which is meant to challenge the operator's speed, agility and accuracy in handling a skid steering machine.

The adult division results were not available at press time.

A skid steer vehicle, which cannot be maneuvered in conventional manners, uses independently turning right and left side wheels or tracks, which dictate the direction that the vehicle will move.

Competitors got to chose between a New Holland, Case or Bobcat skid steer vehicle, said one of the event's co-chairs Tuesday night.

The course itself required operators to zig-zag through several barrels, then numerous other maneuvers where they had to accurate place barrels on or through obstacles using the vehicle's front-mounted bucket.

Competitors were to run through the course twice, then the winner would be crowned by the lowest combined time.


4-H/FFA Junior Steer & Heifer Show Results


Senior (14 & up): 1. Mandy Clark 2. Samuel Wingert 3. Lindsay Upperman 4. Dakota Grove 5. Cory Stitely 6. Garrett Rife 7. Robbie Hartung III

Intermediate (11-13): 1. Claudia Hissong 2. Kayla Hartung

Novice (8-10): 1. Rachel Clark 2. Ashton Grove 3. Nathan Statler



Light Weight: 1. Mandy Clark 2. Claudia Hissong 3. Lindsay Upperman (Open: 1. Aaron Clark)

Medium Weight: 1. Dakota Grove 2. Ashton Grove 3. Kyle Grove (Open: 1. Lindsay Upperman)

Light Heavyweight: 1. Robbie Hartong 2. Nathan Statler 3. Cory Stitely (Open: 1. Samuel Wingert 2. Nathan Statler)

Medium Heavyweight: 1. Samuel Wingert 2. Rachel Clark 3. Kayla Hartung 4. Garrett Rife






Light Weight: 1. Claudia Hissong 2. Lindsay Upperman

Medium Weight: 1. Mandy Clark 2. Mandy Clark 3. Aaron Clark



Skid Steer Operators Rodeo Results:

Youth Division:

1. Evan Moser, Boonsboro, Md. (4:15) 2. Grant Martin, Chambersburg, Pa. (4:45) 3. Shaylin Deardorff, Greencastle, Pa. (5:19) 4. Tyler Krick, New Park, Pa. (10:00)

Adult Division:

Results not available at press time.

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