Day camps school kids on farm-related issues

Posted: August 1, 2013

The Winchester Star

Evan Lineweaver talks to day campers about raising his cows to show at the Frederick County Fair.
Chet Boden, 10, walks Evan Lineweaver's heifer around the show ring on Wednesday. Evan, 14, was telling the youngsters attending the Frederick County Fair’s day camp about raising, caring for and showing cattle at the fair. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

CLEAR BROOK — About 20 local youngsters are getting the chance to learn about all aspects of livestock, raising animals and other farm-related issues this week as part of the Frederick County Fair’s day camp.

Mandy Simons, the 4-H agent for Frederick County, said the goal of the camps — which caters to children up to 9 years of age — is to show the kids what goes on at the fair and the effort that farmers and animal presenters put in.

“We think there could be more interest on the youth end ... Getting kids interested, even if they start in rabbits and poultry, those are pretty easy as far as livestock goes and then maybe they could get interested in some of the other species as well,” Simons said.

She added that the day camps have been going on for several years, but not last year due to low enrollment.

“A lot of these kids are actually eligible to show [animals] now, and some of the younger ones will be, and so we’re trying to get that interest going,” Simons said.

Evan Lineweaver, a 14-year-old Frederick County resident and 4-H and FFA member, spoke to the campers Wednesday morning about raising and showing cattle and the prices associated with that practice.

He said that because raising a calf or cow and preparing it for sale typically costs several thousand dollars, it can be difficult to make much money through the process.

Cami Barnes and Hailey Patterson — two 9-year-old Frederick County residents who have been friends for years — both said the day camps have been interesting.

“They teach you how to walk a hog because some of the people like the beginners don’t know how to walk the hog as well [when showing the animal],” Barnes said Wednesday.

They both said the day camps have given them tips for when they’re able to show their animals at the fair.

The girls added that they like almost everything about raising animals except when it comes time to sell the livestock.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com