FFA, 4-Hers show their beef at fair

Posted: July 31, 2013

The Winchester Star

Bailey McDonald, 9, of Stephens City, gives some last-minute instructions to his Jersey bucket calf, Fred, Tuesday afternoon at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. It was Bailey’s first time showing a calf at the fair. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

CLEAR BROOK — FFA and 4-H members were among those taking to the floor of the Frederick County Fairgrounds show barn Tuesday afternoon to display their cows.

About 15 presenters participated in the event, with some showing for the first time and others as veterans of the agricultural pageant.

Bailey McDonald, 9, lives with his family near Stephens City in Frederick County. He’ll join 4-H in the fall and showed a bucket calf named Fred that he’s had since April.

“I like to walk him and feed him,” McDonald said, adding that he was a little nervous to show his 250-pound calf.

While some animals shown during the week will be sold at an auction on Friday, Fred will go back home with McDonald, according to his mom, Heather Barb.

Cody Boden, 16, is a Frederick County resident and member of both 4-H and FFA. He’s shown animals at various fairs for the past eight years.

“I enjoy livestock, I like meeting new people and I like to travel,” he said before showing his heifer and steer.

Boden traveled to Kansas City, Mo., earlier this year to show his animals.

There can be an emotional aspect for some presenters when their animals are bought at auction. However, the presenters receive the money their animals bring.

“Since you’ve worked with them all year long it’s kind of hard to get rid of them, but when you started you knew where they were going,” Boden said.

Ruth Boden, Cody’s mom and a volunteer 4-H leader and branch manager for Valley Farm Credit — one of the show’s sponsors — said raising animals can teach the kids responsibility, good decision-making and financial management.

“It certainly can build their confidence and gives them life skills,” she said. “It is such a wonderful program, the sky’s the limit for what they can do in the program... It’s a lot of commitment that they’ve done that teaches them to persevere and work hard.”

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com