FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — For many, the Great Frederick Fair is a beloved annual tradition… But it’s more than just rides and popcorn.
This year, the fair was focused on what started the annual fall tradition in the first place.
Karen Niklas, the General Manager of the Great Frederick Fair, explains that the fair has always had a large agricultural section alongside the rides and other activities. She highlighted that this year’s fair is really paying homage to the origins of the event.
“We always have a significant agricultural section of our fair. That’s our main mission statement. We promote Ag [agricultural] education and educate the youth about the industry of agriculture. So that is truly what we are doing this year. And with the live-streaming, we’re also able to outreach into the public and have everybody join us as well even though they’re not here physically.”
Jacqui Nigh, the sponsorship and marketing director for the fair, stated that the virtual livestock show opens new doors for the participants. She explained that the participants can not only review the footage of their show to prepare for next year, but can also show their friends and family who might not have been able to come in years past.
Oftentimes, the Youth Livestock Show is the only time during the year when kids of all ages can show the animals that they have raised, like 10-year-old Kourtney Bell who showed animals in two categories.
Kourtney Bell, who was lovingly petting her cow, Lucky Star, stated that she is very proud of the week that she had at the fair.
“I’m very happy to have my animals. This is Lucky Star, she is a junior two year old. She gives about a hundred pounds of milk a day which I am very proud of. This past Tuesday, I showed my two livestock hogs.”
Bell won a first place ribbon and Honourable Mention, finishing just behind Reserve Champion. She also placed first with both of her livestock hogs with one hog even earning the title of Reserve Champion.
Every year, the state crowns a representative for each animal category and this year’s Maryland Jersey Princess was 16-year-old Morgan Osborn Wotthlie who has been showing Jersey cows since she was two years old.
As the Jersey Princess, Wotthlie not only presents the awards to the participants but educates the public about Jersey cows, even explaining the process of milk production.
“My favourite part of fair? I love when consumers come and ask me questions. That is my favourite part. I love talking to everyone and getting their opinion on things and me telling them the real story of how everything happens.”
The Great Frederick Fair also emphasizes agricultural education with the 4 H’s, head, heart, hands, and health, at the core of the curriculum.
11-year-old Dakota Flook is the secretary of the 4-H club at her school. She has been showing cows all her life and was excited to recite the 4-H Pledge.
“I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health for better living for my club, my community, and my country and my world.”
For the full livestreams of each livestock category, head to our Virtual Livestock Show page.