/Garrett County Agriculture Fair: it’s a family tradition

Garrett County Agriculture Fair: it’s a family tradition

McHENRY — Many native residents have multi-generational or prolonged involvement with the Garrett County Agriculture Truthful. They have been impressed by their househprevious, pals and group to assist, halficipate in and primarytain the spirit of this agricultural showcase astay and properly For A pair of yrs and generations To return.

The VanSickles, Kellers, Good friends and Brennemans are Simply A few of Garrett County’s “fair househpreviouss.” Their devotion demonstrates that volunteerism Is flourishing Inside the native area. The subsequent profiles are from interviews carried out Earlier to the 2018 fair:

“The late Fred VanSickle served on the Garrett County Truthful Board of Directors for over 26 yrs,” his son Jason proudly said.

Fred (1940–2017) performed many completely different roles all by way of his lifetime of service, collectively with being draft horse superintendent and horse-pull superintendent (with George Keller). The elder VanSickle even mowed the fairground property.

“The itemizing goes on and on,” Jason said about Fred’s many duties.

Fred, a Garrett County native, was launched to the fair by his father, Everett VanSickle.

“He and Everett exhibited their draft horses (Percherons) For A pair of yrs and, at events, would compete Inside the horse pull held Through the fair,” Jason famous.

To Right now, Fred Is Amongst The numerous longest exhibitors of the Garrett County Truthful Together with his horses.

Fred’s spouse, Cissy VanSickle, additionally has a lot involvement with the fair. She has held the Horsemanship Contest for over 40 yrs for 4-H, FFA and adults.

She has additionally been a 4-H chief And took half in parades, reveals and demonstrations, and acted as assistant superintendent of The horse Barn.

Fred’s youthfulsters proceed the custom of exhibiting, Principally horses, however his grandyouthfulsters have proven pigs, steers and lambs, And took half in A lot of the fair competitions.

Jason presently serves on the Garrett County Truthful Board as Vice chairman. He has been a board member for six yrs And might assist with Sunday’s Horse Current and Horse Pull and the second-annual Barrel Bash on Monday. Jason additionally handles fair logistics.

“The VanSickle househprevious will as quickly as extra exhibit at this yr’s fair and Look forward to many extra Finally with Fred’s grandyouthfulsters,” Jason said.

Accident farm proprietor George Keller appeared destined to be An factor of the Garrett County Agriculture Truthful.

“I used to be born The identical week the fair started in McHenry, August 1957,” George said.

He started taking market steers to the fair when he was 9 yrs previous and proceedd To take movement till he left 4-H On the age of 18.

George later be a part ofed the Garrett County Livestock Affiliation, eventually being named director.

He has served on the fair board for the final 25 yrs and has been draft horse and horse-pull superintendent all of these yrs. He is additionally chairman of leisure, Which incorporates All of the events On the race monitor and on the Ag Heritage Hall stage.

George’s son and daughter, Luke and Christy, additionally started displaying staystock On the fair Once they have been 9 yrs previous and be a part ofed 4-H.

“It’s Sort of a househprevious custom,” George said.

Luke and Christy confirmed market steers, swine and lambs till they have been 18.

Luke’s youthfulsters — Dustin, 15, Samantha, 13, and Mason, 11, — halficipated in final yr’s fair, displaying beef, swine and goats.

Whereas Dr. Debra Good friend doesn’t have An prolonged househprevious Reference to the fair, she does have an fascinating one.

“I don’t ever primarytain in thoughts not being On the fair,” Deb said. “I used to be born The identical yr the fair started.”

Whereas Good friend didn’t develop up on a farm, she developed a eager curiosity in elevating animals and be a part ofing 4-H at A very youthful age.

She and her father, Wilmer, made a deal. He would buy the staystock and feed, and Deb would Look after them. A barn was constructed for dairy and beef cattle on her grandfather’s small farm, and her little enterprise was up and working.

Deb’s mcompletely different, Ellen, assisted with The completely different half of her dream. Deb desperately needed To hitch 4-H, Similar to her two previouser brcompletely differents, so she might show her staystock On the fair. There was A drawback, however, she was solely 6 yrs previous, And also you’d likeed to be A minimal of 9 to joInside the membership.

“There was no Clover then,” Deb said Regarding the 4-H program For 5-, 6- And seven-yr-previous members.

She said her mom virtually “threatened” county extension agent Jim Simms To permit Deb To hitch 4-H.

“My mom tprevious him, ‘Do You’d like to don’t let her be a part of, she’ll in all probability go to the Scouts,’” Deb said.

It labored. Deb started exhibiting On the fair when she was just 6 or 7.

“I liked 4-H,” she said. “I used to be A sort Of youthfulsters who stayd and breathed 4-H. I used to be solely Inside the agriculture An factor of the fair, not the carnival.”

Deb famous she didn’t have a typical job as a youth.

“The fair was my job,” Deb said.

Through the yrs, she made enough money from her staystock and reveals to pay her method by way of school, the place she majored in speech pathology and earned a Ph.D.

She has been a member of the fair’s board of directors since 2000. She served as president from 2006 to 2016, and is The primary and solely woman to have ever held that place.

“I really feel most of us on the fair board Have to present again to the group and assist the youth have The identical experiences that we had as youthfulsters,” Deb said.

Her nieces and nephews are persevering with the househprevious’s fair halficipation custom.

“The fair is An environment of take pleasure inable, meals, fellowship and househprevious,” said Bittinger resident Lynn Brenneman.

His father, Harley (1932-2017), served on the fair board Greater than 12 yrs, and his mcompletely different, Joyce (1933-2017), served for 5 yrs.

Lynn and his 5 brcompletely differents and three sisters have been additionally lively Inside the fair.

“As youthfulsters Inside the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, we confirmed horses,” Lynn said. “We stayd On the fair. It was Tons take pleasure inable.”

Lynn and his spouse, Donna, have three youthfulsters: Cody, Brooke and Trey. All of them confirmed beef, hogs, veal and goats.

Lynn said his grandyouthfulsters take pleasure in going to the fair however can’t show animals as a Outcome of they stay out of the county. His pretty A pair of nieces and nephews, however, are persevering with the househprevious custom by displaying hogs, veal, beef and lambs.

“They solely picked up the place we left off,” Lynn said Regarding the legacy.

He served on the fair board for eight yrs and was the hog barn superintendent. Lynn famous it takes a lot work to Positioned on the fair Yearly.

“You don’t cease,” he said Regarding The numerous steps involved in getting ready and organizing the healthful, househprevious event.

Although he’s Not on the fair board, Lynn nonetheless has a eager curiosity Inside the fair, particularly the staystock reveals, since he has pretty A pair of relations who halficipate Inside them.

“I even Want To primarytain related to the fair,” Lynn said.

As properly as, he and Donna have a trophy and printing enterprise, so he’s On the fair On A daily basis, destayring awards to the gifted, exhausting-working exhibitors.

“It retains me hopping,” Lynn said.

And, Really, while he’s there, he checks out the reveals, visits the barns and meals cubicles and take pleasure ins the fellowship.

“I’m Almost a primarystream Garrett County fair attender now,” Lynn said, “And that I am going to in all probability primarytain that method.”