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Somerset County youth are served at the Pennsylvania Farm Show

January 8, 2019

HARRISBURG — Before the doors opened to the general public Monday, Grace Romesberg was rushing her market goat up the Farm Show Complex rows to get ready for the day’s competition.

“Especially before a show it takes a lot of work, and a lot of teamwork,” she said. “If your goat gets dirty, you have to wash it before the show and make sure its legs are clipped the right way. You have to make sure it looks its best before the show.”

The 2019 Pennsylvania Farm Show was the Berlin student’s last year to show animals, and she received sixth place in her class. Romesberg said she’s going to miss the atmosphere of the Farm Show and the people she’s gotten to know over the eight years she’s been participating.

“Being in the show ring is always a great time for me,” she said.

More than 46 students from Somerset County took market animals to this year’s show. The show, now in its 103rd year, is the largest agricultural exhibition in the state.

Braden Durst, a Meyersdale 4-H member, won his division with his heavyweight market goat Monday. Durst said his goat doesn’t really behave and is “scared of everything.”

“If something turns on or someone makes a lot of noise, he’ll jump,” he said.

Durst also joined the square dancing competition, something he got into because of his 4-H friends. But what he was really interested in was the market steer showmanship competition Sunday.

“I was just really excited showing my heifer, and I’m really looking forward to showmanship,” he said.

Hunter Sanner, of Rockwood, said he’s been showing pigs at the Farm Show for almost four years.

“You get to go against new people, and it’s just on a new level compared to the (Somerset County) Fair that’s maybe a little more competitive,” he said.

Sanner said it takes dedication to show an animal, and many people compliment his hard work with the pigs he shows. But compliments aren’t the only benefit Sanner earns from coming to the Farm Show every year.

“I like getting out of school,” he said.

Sanner’s cousin Steven was showing his first pig in Harrisburg this year. He said he was looking forward to meeting new people and getting into the ring.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Steven Sanner said. “You got to walk them and clean them.”

Romesberg said anyone interested in showing animals should look into getting a market goat as their first showmanship project.

“They are the easiest animals because they are so small, and they are really hardy animals,” she said.

Romesberg said she hopes to attend Purdue University next year to study business. While she doesn’t plan to show animals down the road, she has been helping new showmen at the show and recommending they make the most of their time in the ring.

“Enjoy your time here and just take it all in,” she said.

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