Shaggy cows, baby bunnies, piglets and more are in Franklin County Fair Baby Barnyard

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Two piglets named Thing 1 and Thing 2, a miniature donkey called Stormy who loves everyone, four newborn bunnies and a trio of cows that has people asking "what are they?" are some of the residents of the Baby Barnyard at the Franklin County Fair.

The Baby Barnyard is a project of the junior fair board, formed in 2018 to foster the next generation of fair leaders who can educate others their age — and younger and older — about agriculture.

A cow made of round hay bales was put up near the Franklin County Junior Fair Board tents. Adult coordinators, Jeremy Laman, far left, and Selina Horst, far right, are shown with some members of the junior board, from left: Kaiden Fauver, Amy Ocker, Amber Long, Mariah Hewitt, Michaela Hewitt and Mattison Freeman.

"We didn't touch a thing, these kids do everything," said Brett Reichard, president of the fair, which runs through Saturday, July 17, at the Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club off Warm Spring Road.

In addition to the Baby Barnyard, the junior fair board asked for a second tent this year to provide educational displays, activities and programs, according to Selina Horst of Marion. Horst, all of 21 herself, and Jeremy Laman, 23, of Chambersburg are the adult coordinators for the 12- to 21-year-olds in the junior group, whose membership start at six and now stands at 22.

In the barnyard

Horst and Laman, along with member Amber Long of Greencastle, own most of the residents of the Baby Barnyard.

Selina Horst, a Franklin County Junior Fair Board adult coordinator, is shown with her Highland cows Sweetpea, Buttercup and baby Charlotte in the Baby Barnyard.

Sweetpea, Buttercup and baby Charlotte, the shaggy Highland cows that are a little hard to identify at first, belong to Horst.

"Highlands are very friendly and they're so cute," she said.

Other cattle on display include twin red and white Holstein calves — one a little bull and the other a heifer — born last week.

In addition to Stormy, there's another mini donkey named Shiloh, a mini pony called Sophie, Boer goats Dottie and Rose and a sheep who goes by Charlie. Laman calls Charlie a "butthead" became he likes to butt people in a friendly way. He hangs out with bovine friends Howie and James.

Fair-goers also will find creatures fluffy, feathered and finned in the Baby Barnyard.

Jeremy Laman, a Franklin County Junior Fair Board adult coordinator, holds a newborn bunny in the Baby Barnyard.

One of Laman's bunnies just gave birth on Sunday and other little ones may arrive during the fair. He's also set up an incubator to hatch chicks to join his chickens and turkeys.

"And you always have to have goldfish," Laman said, pointing to a tub of the swimmers. "Who doesn't like to see goldfish?"

Visitors also can peek into an old milk tank cooled to house five trout supplied by the Chambersburg Road and Gun Club. They have to be kept at 50 degrees or colder, and chunks of ice are added from time to time to bring the temperature down, Laman explained.

On and off the farm

Some of the junior fair board members come from farm families and some don't — just like their leaders.

Horst is part of the Horst Seeds family and lives on a hybrid seed farm, where beef cattle are raised, too.

Both of Laman's parents work at Manitowoc, but he got hooked when his cousin married into the Reich-Dale Jerseys family and he started showing cows and working on the farm.

Week-old red and white Holstein calves can be found in the Baby Barnyard at the Franklin County Fair.

She is a veterinary assistant at Waynesboro Veterinary Clinic and a med tech at Dream Farms, a heifer raising service, "making sure cows are healthy and happy."

He is a team lead manager at Tractor Supply and also works for Long's Family Catering and Donuts.

Both speak knowledgeably and articulately about the animals and agriculture, a skill they credit to past experience — Laman with FFA and 4-H and Horst as a Franklin County Dairy Queen and Franklin County Fair Princess.

Charlie the sheep is part of the Baby Barnyard at the Franklin County Fair.

"Those organizations made me come out of my shell ... I learned to speak in front of people," said Laman, who is largely self-taught.

Horst traces of her love of promoting to serving as fair princess in 2012, when she learned more about the industry that is now "110% my passion."

She is an alumnus of the Franklin County Career and Technical School veterinary assisting program and they have both taught classes about large animals at the school.

In the community: Greencastle Sidewalk Days has something for everyone

Agriculture and more: Could you find love at the Franklin County Fair? These couples did

Education and activities

Their interest in educating others is evident in the junior fair board's second tent.

A display in the center of the tent showcases plants, their growth and their uses. It includes seeds, seedlings and larger plants.

There's a bee station, a Franklin County Fair royalty booth and a dairy royalty booth. At the education station, kids and adults can learn about jobs in agriculture and what farmers do on the farm and in the community. There are programs each evening focusing on a different animal, and time for questions and answers.

A Franklin County Junior Fair Board education tent display covers various stages of plant growth, beginning with seeds.

"The youth are the next generation in agriculture," Horst said. "We want to stress farmers are doing good things ... and there's no better place to do that than the fair."

Youngsters can complete their visit to the tent with fun activities, including story time, face-painting and a coloring contest.

The junior fair board also offers barrel train rides and a dunk tank and is in charge of the Saturday morning Barnyard Olympics, featuring events like bale throws and sack races.

The group meets monthly throughout the year to discuss ways to promote the fair and agriculture. Members also attend events together and "have fun as a Junior Fair Board family!" according to information in the fair book.

For example, before this week's fair, some junior members and a few Baby Barnyard animals participated in petting zoos at Greencastle Sidewalk Days on July 9 and the Chase-ing the Dream fundraiser for Chase Andrews, a St. Thomas boy battling Duchenne muscular dystrophy, on July 10.

Anyone interested in learning more about the junior fair board can call Laman at 717-404-4199 or Horst at 717-552-0655 or email

More generation information can be found on the Franklin County Fair website.