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Franklin County racks up honors during first days of Pa. farm show

January 06, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Randy Sutton of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., checks on his cow, Sena Field, during the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pa., on Sunday.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Franklin County, Pa., cattle had a strong showing in the opening days of the 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show.

The farm show, which continues through Saturday, features 10,000 competitive exhibits and nearly 300 commercial exhibitors in 11 buildings. About 400,000 visitors are expected.

Randy Sutton of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., answered questions Sunday afternoon as crowds gathered around his Texas longhorn cattle. Those animals had their show Friday.

Blue Ridge Longhorns, which is operated by Randy and Pat Sutton, won grand champion bull, grand champion steer, premiere breeder and other honors.

Their 1,400-pound Sena Field won grand champion cow, a title she has claimed three times previously. Randy Sutton compared her to football player Brett Favre because she took a year off and returned successfully to showing.

“This is her last show,” Randy Sutton said. “She came out of retirement for one more.”

The Clark family from Mercersburg, Pa., also found success in the show ring.

Rachel Clark, a 13-year-old who competed in the junior class, won champion short-horn heifer, reserve champion mainetainer female and champion mainetainer bull. They were named premiere exhibitor for shorthorn cattle.

“It’s awesome. It means your program is working,” Mandy Clark said.

The Clark sisters immediately called their brother, Aaron Clark, who is recuperating in a Baltimore hospital after a Dec. 1 hunting accident. Mandy Clark called the wins bittersweet without having him at the farm show.

“He was excited, but he was heartbroken that he wasn’t here,” she said of the phone call.

Matt Adams of Shippensburg, Pa., is hoping for some good fortune like the Suttons and Clarks experienced. On Sunday afternoon, Adams groomed his 1,300-pound Angus cow, Hannah, for today’s show.

Adams has attended the farm show since he was a child but started showing there just a few years ago.

“There are plenty of people down here who have been doing this for years (and can give advice). That’s how I got started,” said Adams, who typically shows cattle at the Shippensburg Fair.

The farm show offers much more than cattle. In addition to a wide range of livestock, the show has a food court, giveaways from vendors, a butter sculpture, produce displays and a rodeo.

Crews parked a record 11,155 vehicles Saturday, according to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Nicole Bucher.

Admission to the farm show is free. Parking costs $10.

For more information, go to www.farmshow.state.pa.us.

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