Washington County Ag Expo & Fair vignettes

July 25, 2012
  • Matthew Welling
Matthew Welling

Handling a tractor proved to be more involved than it would at first appear for the participants in a driving contest Wednesday at the Washington County Ag Expo and Fair.
Matthew Welling of Hagerstown knew first-hand what it took to participate in 4-H Tractor Operators Competition.
“I do this for a living, so why not,” Welling said. “It’s basically a way to get hay to the horses.”
Participants had to take a written examination, parts identification, tractor safety and two separate driving events.
While Welling was working on the identification section of the test, he also had to find 10 safety issues.
Welling earned the title of 4-H Reserve Champion.

Three 4-H members were put to the test that challenged their composure and ability to keep precise control of a tractor.
Katrina Smith, 17, of Clear Spring, was the 4-H Champion Tractor Driver.
Maneuvering a five-speed tractor in a figure 8 while making sure not to hit the out-of-bounds sticks was a breeze for Katrina.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve been driving tractors. My brother and my parents have been very encouraging,” she said.
Not only was she on top of her game at the tractor driving competition, she was also the only female.
“Just because I’m a girl, that doesn't mean I can’t do what other people do,” Katrina said.

All of the young people who showed animals Wednesday at Ag Expo seemed to have a certain bond with and a particular knowledge of their pets.
Mariam Harper, 13, of Frederick, Md., really knew her stuff.
“Delissa is one of my favorites,” Mariam said. “She’s a yearling ewe, she loves me and follows me around.”
While most participants of the livestock shows took their jobs pretty seriously, there was one thing that separated Mariam from the rest.
“I don’t show my sheep to compete, I do it for fun,” she said.

While shearing, Bailey Roe, 17, of Frederick, Md., seemed to be in a state of agricultural meditation or, at least, tranquility.
Not skipping a beat while being interviewed, she continued to meticulously shear Frisky, her yearling Romney.
“My motivation comes from not only being able to interact with people, but my family has been participating in 4-H livestock shows for a countless number of years,” she said. “All of the family reunites and it turns into a great bonding experience.”


— Brandon Coley

The Herald-Mail Articles