Local 4-H members head to Franklin County Fair

Shawn Hardy
Jill, a black and white Holstein, is one of two cows Kaleb Keefer of Greencastle is exhibiting at the Franklin County Fair.

Kaleb Keefer likes both the animal and human sides of the Franklin County Fair and the 4-H Dairy Club program.

“I like to show cows. They’re so cute and they grow so fast,” he said Tuesday, when both Jill, his black and white Holstein, and Leeza, his brown Swiss, were in the 4-H Dairy Round-up.

He also likes spending time with his friends at the fair.

He said younger brother, Brandon, 8, “likes taking poop to the manure spreader.”

Brandon was a little disappointed that his cow came down with pink eye and he was unable to take her to the fair.

Their parents, Melissa and Barron, own Valley View Farms near Greencastle and the boys are members of the Greencastle-Antrim 4-H Dairy Club.

So is Caden Hudson, 12, of Greencastle, who brought three red and white Holsteins, Betty, Missy and Amp, to the fair. They live on the Williamson area farm of his grandfather, Ron Statler.

“I like to come to fairs and show animals and have something to do during the summer,” said Caden, whose sister, Kinzee, 9, was also at the round-up.

About a dozen members of the G-A 4-H Dairy Club were showing at the fair, according to Dr. Daniel Oliver, who leads the club with Lucy Crider and Emily Wingert.

“We have herds from south of Waynesboro to Dry Run and Newburg and everywhere in between,” said Oliver.

Linda Steck was in the G-A barn with her grandchildren, Hallie and Gary Steck, on Tuesday. On Wednesday she was in Hershey when their father, Mark, received the award for South-Central Pennsylvania Conservation Farmer of the Year.

“I’m really proud of him. My husband died 21 years ago and Mark took over the farm at 19,” she said.

He earned the award last year at the county level for work done at the family’s Green Valley Farm in Dry Run.

The Western 4-H Dairy Club also has members from throughout the county, according to Robert Eckstine, who leads the club with Jamie Hartman and Shani Ferguson.

Andrew Trostle, 13, of Mercersburg has been helping on neighbor Glen Brake’s farm since he was 4 years old.

“They got me into showing and now I keep three animals at their farm,” Andrew said. “I like showing animals, spending time with everyone in the club and learning new things.”

Erika Cauffman, 19, lives in the Quincy area and joined the club last year. Her friend, Quinn Cashell, 24, has been involved with 4-H her whole life. Quinn knew Erika was interested in agriculture and thought 4-H would be a good fit. Erika is majoring in ag business management at Penn State and plans to minor in agronomy.

Another member of the Western 4-H Dairy Club is 10-year-old Reese Burdette of Mercersburg, who was badly burned in a house fire Memorial Day weekend 2014. The community rallied around Reese and her family, including parents Justin and Claire and little sister Brinkley, as she spent 662 days at Johns Hopkins Hospital and came home to streets lined with cheering supporters in March 2016.

“It’s great to be at the fair, seeing her interacting her friends,” her mother said. “It’s a great comparison from last year when she was in a wheelchair and on oxygen.”

“I am not a morning person,” said Reese, who was up at 5:30 Tuesday to get Pardi Gras and Poser ready for the show ring.

“I like taking care of my cows and showing them,” Reese said as she smiled, moved easily around the barn and got ready to change into her white competition clothes. “I’m happy to be back here.”

The fair continues through Saturday, July 15, at the Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club off Warm Spring Road in Hamilton Township. Admission is free and the parking fee is $5 per vehicle. The attractions open at 6 p.m. and attraction arm bands are $7.

For more information, visit www.franklincountyfair.org

The schedule:


6 p.m.

All Breed Show

6 p.m.

Children’s Events by Franklin County Farm Bureau

7 p.m.

ATV & Side by Side Pull

7:30 p.m.

David King


7 p.m.

Truck and Interstate Tractor Pull

7:30 p.m.

4-H & FFA Dairy Showmanship Contest

7:30 and 8:45 p.m.

Lucky Punk

Saturday, Family Fun Day

10 a.m.

Registration begins for Youth Barnyard Olympics

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Youth Barnyard Olympics Events


Registration for Adult Barnyard Olympics

1 p.m.-2 p.m.

Adult Barnyard Olympics

1 p.m.

Registration begins for Cornhole Tournaments

2 p.m.

Cornhole Tournaments

7 p.m.

Demolition Derby

7 and 8:15 p.m.

For more information, visit www.franklincountyfair.org