Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

‘A taste of Carroll County’: First day of fair draws tractors and competition

Josh Ambrose of Westminster wandered through the fair grounds on Saturday with his family. He came for the pigs and sheep because that’s what his kids are excited to see.

He was surrounded by a table full of Romney raw wool fleece, jars of honey being judged and a table of produce with ribbons attached.


“I try to bring as many kids and friends as possible because there’s no better way to get a taste of Carroll County then what’s going on here,” Ambrose said.

Carroll County 4-H and FFA fair was back in full swing this year after the pandemic caused last year’s fair to be closed to the public. Held annually since 1897 and at the Carroll County Agriculture Center since 1954, the fair runs through Aug. 6, although there are some big entertainment events scheduled just before and after the fair.


This year, all visitors had access to the Mason Dixon Historical Society showing off their tractors, young 4-Hers presenting cattle, contestants submitting their work to be judged and prized and kids pedaling the distance on mini tractors.

Before the young people competed on mini bike-like tractors, the Mason Dixon Historical Society presented their much bigger and older tractors to those who walked by. It was the first time the group had its own exhibit at the fair.

“They’re not seeing any of the old stuff anymore. Only the new agriculture,” said Larry Airing Sr., the vice president of the group.

He said all the tractors under the canopy, including the big red 1938 F-20 Farmall and the 1949 Farmall M, still runs. To prove its functionality, Alex Cooper, president of the Mason Dixon Historical Society, tried starting up the F-20. Its engines started to churn after a few cranks, but only for a short while.

“I think she’s out of gas,” Cooper said.

Later, the same group demonstrated its feed-grinding process with a machine from the 1930s. As Airing poured in the corn and wheat, Cooper filled the ground results in a bag. At least nine bags were filled by 12:30 p.m.

As some fair goers watched the demonstrations, others were waiting for the results of their submitted works. Like those who submitted honey from their bees. Mike Rawlings, one of the judges, said they were looking for a certain odor and taste in the jars.

It also mattered if it was the right jar, the fullness of the jar and the right weight, he added.


Aiden Lute, who was playing on the Mason Dixon Historical Society tractors, received a fourth place in the rocketry contest and a champion award in junior photography. The eight-year-old said his picture was of a backside of a barn that’s across the street from his house.

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Lute, part of the Sams Creek 4-H group, said he “kind of takes pictures here and there” after mentioning his dad watches the show “Aerial America,” a series that shows landmarks across the country from a bird’s-eye view.

Dozens of parents and kids were hovered outside an event tent at 1 p.m. for the pedal pull competition. The 30 kids who signed up competed in different age groups. The three- and four-year-olds did their best to pedal the mini John Deere, holding 5 pounds of weight, as far as they could. Some went a few feet, and others needed a parent’s help to leave the starting line.

The weight was increased for the five- and six-year-olds to 12 pounds. Bennett Rosier, 5, of Westminster had a strong start and kept pedaling well beyond the 30-foot path. However, technical difficulties with the weight caused him to start over. He was able to finish at the 25 foot mark.

“I’ve been practicing,” Rosier said after his performance. “We have a pedal tractor. We had a trailer but it broke off.”

Sadie Frock, 5, of Littlestown, Pa. competes in the children's pedal pull competition at the Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair in Westminster Saturday, July 31, 2021.

Sadie Frock, 5, of Littlestown, Pennsylvania, managed to push 29 feet. Although she’s never did a pedal pull before, Frock’s reasoning for her performance was “because I’m in ballet.”


More weight was added for the few who tied and Violet Miller, 6, of Westminster, took home first place after the tiebreaker. She pedaled 28 feet with 27 pounds in the back. Afterward, she said she felt “strong” while holding her first place prize of a toy tractor, a ribbon and a card that grants her free ice cream.

Tanner Lease of Gettysburg placed second and Frock placed third.