FFA, 4-H participants prepare for Farm Fair

MARISSA ALTENBURG KAYLA SMITH, Reporters

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The Harford County Farm Fair has an exciting show season this year with many North Harford students
participating. The school’s Future Farmers of America program will be bringing seven students to show pigs. NH
also has many 4-H participants who will be attending.
This year the Farm Fair will be held from July 23-27. Freshman Maria Davis is most excited to learn to show a
pig for the first time. Math teacher Mrs. Sparks is also very excited to see the pigs that North Harford will bring.
North Harford has many 4-H students that will also be taking their projects to the fair to compete. Junior
Brennan Stewart is a 4-H participant and this year he will be taking his pigs to show, along with vegetables and
photography.
Stewart says every year he wants to keep showing because “entering in the fair is something that my family has
done forever so I feel that I need to keep it going,” he also enjoys the competition.
Sophomore Sarah Nevin is FFA, she cannot wait to show pigs and hang out with her friends and have a great
time. Junior Brynn Schaedel also participates in 4-H and shows goats and sheep. She added that she is excited to
come to the fair every year because “it’s a week without technology and I get to be with all my friends that I don’t
get to see a lot and that is the one week that we dedicate to hanging out.”
Many 4-H and FFA kids they love working and being around their animals and that is why they choose to show
during the summer. Schaedel adds that sheep have always been in her life.
At the shows she works with her two pigs. She also sews and cooks there. Altenburg says that last year
she went in for the reserve drive for pig showmanship which “was a big honor” for her.
She loves that she can “show off all the hard work [she has] I have done”. This freshman says that working
with animals takes “true dedication and time all summer” to get to a point where the animals are at show weight
and quality. According to Altenburg some nights she even sleeps out with her animals to make sure that they get
fed enough food.
She thinks that more people should begin to show at the fairs or just join 4-H because they can “learn so
much about responsibility and leadership that you cannot get anywhere else.”
Joining 4-H has been something her family has done for years. Altenburg says her cousins are national
sheep showers and she “wanted to join in their footsteps.” Also, every Monday through Thursday she works on a
horse farm. She says without 4-H camp she would have never tried out working at the farm or showing at the fairs.
Other students at North Harford also work at the farm and state fairs, such as, junior Kassie Reeves. She
works at the Harford County Farm Fair running the snowball booth, covering shifts at the indoor exhibits, horse
shows, and runs the barnyard. She shows her animals at both fairs.
Her favorite thing about working at the fairs is that she loves being able to hang out with all the animals,
meet new people and “see the faces of kids when they touch an animal for the first time.”
This junior’s favorite memory from this event is being able to show Thunder, her pony. Also, “winning
against the girl [she has] I have always looked up to.”
For Reeves it is difficult working here when people ask questions that she doesn’t know how to answer
but has to try to. She started working there when she was eight years old and she “had a lot of friends that did it so
[she] I wanted to do it too.”
Many of the students have made goals that they would like to accomplish during their show or week at the fair.
FFA showman Davis has a goal “to help people when needed and try my best.” another one of the participants
Nevin says her goals are to ‘hopefully place in showmanship and selling the pigs at the highest price to raise the
most money for the ag program.” Stewart's goal for the 2019 show season is to sell both of his pigs at the auction.

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