Showing an animal at the Frederick Fair: Wash, dry, clip, cut…repeat


courtesy of Taylor Carbaugh

Austin Welty grooms his cow in preparation for exhibition at the Frederick Fair.

by Peyton Johnson, Editor

For most students, the first few weeks of school are consumed with new classes, routines, friends, and teachers. For a student entering an animal in the Frederick Fair, the focus is on washing, drying, grooming, and showing. 

The Great Frederick Fair opened on September 13 and the fairgrounds were packed with people of all ages enjoying the fun. Many students also attended the fair, but for a different reason. These students were showing their animals in hopes to win the title of Grand Champion. Fair enthusiasts work all year to prepare for the week of the fair, so competition is fierce.

Senior Kelsy Wolfe is showing a steer at the fair. She is an experienced exhibitor with nine years of showing experience. She sells her steers for around $5,200 each and uses the money to save for college.

Wolfe said, “Showing offers a lot of opportunities.”

To prepare her animals for a show, she rinses them and blow dries them twice a day. This level of effort is showing of a true fair competitor.

Senior Brianna Mallick has been showing pigs for two years and sells them at the fair. She typically sells one pig a year at the Frederick Fair for around $1,000.

“It’s a lot of work,” Mallick said. “Showing an animal takes a lot of experience and responsibility.”

To prepare her pigs for the show, she shaves them, walks them, and washes them.

This is junior Peyton Marth’s second year showing her chickens in the Frederick Fair. She is showing eight laying hens in the fair: two blue Plymouth Rocks, one regular Plymouth Rock, two Rhode Island Reds, two Buff Orpingtons, and one Dominique.

courtesy of Peyton Johnson
Peyton Johnson at the fair with her hen.

She believes the diet of a show chicken is important, so she feeds her chickens DuMOR layer pellets to give them the proper nutrients. She washes her chickens before the show with chicken-safe soap to make sure they are clean for the judges.

“Showing is a big responsibility but it is very rewarding. The most important thing to remember is to have fun,” Marth said. 

Many other students, including Peyton Johnson, Aubrey Knott, Katelyn Iager, Austin Welty, and Haley Welty are also showing livestock at the fair this year. Be sure to see them in the show ring and the barns this year!

If you are interested in showing your animal for 4-H or FFA next year, visit Ms. Beachy in B124 for more information.