A number of families have supplied multiple winners in the history of the Miss Howard County Farm Bureau Contest. It happened again on Sunday.
Jackie Bauer, who graduated from Glenelg High School in May, was named the 2015 winner by a panel of three judges in front of an appreciative crowd inside the Show Pavilion at the 70th Howard County Fair in West Friendship.
Bauer, 18, followed the success of her 23-year-old sister, Danielle, who won the Miss Howard County Farm Bureau Contest in 2009.
"When she won it, I knew it was something I wanted to do because she's a huge inspiration to me and a great role model," said Bauer, who will travel to Stillwater, Okla., this weekend to begin her first semester at Oklahoma State University as an agriculture communication major. "I couldn't have done this without her help, and it means a lot to know that I did follow in her footsteps and I hope I can continue to follow her in her footsteps."
Danielle Bauer won her title after being named runner-up the year before. Jackie Bauer did the same thing, finishing behind Katelin Johnson in 2014.
Jackie Bauer, who won a $1,500 scholarship, beat out two rising seniors at Glenelg -- Jennifer Brigante, 17, and Rachel King, 16. The contestants had individual interviews with the judges earlier in the day and also had lunch with them. In front of a mid-afternoon crowd that filled the Show Pavilion bleachers, all three gave a short introduction about themselves and then had to answer a surprise question that was created from what they wrote in their application.
Bauer, who is showing a lamb, a goat and pigs at the 4-H competitions, will fly back from Stillwater to show her animals and represent Howard County at the Maryland State Fair, which opens Aug. 28, in Timonium. She acknowledged that being halfway across the county will make it more challenging to represent the Howard County Farm Bureau.
"It's definitely going to be difficult but I don't think it's anything that I can't handle," said Bauer. . "This is something I am passionate about. This is what I want to do."
She said her role is "to continue to promote the Howard County Farm Bureau, to educate others about agricultural and where food comes from and what farmers do.
"As a farmer myself, I feel there is a large gap between farmers and the non-farming community and I would like to fill that gap," Bauer continued. "The most important thing I can do with my title is to educate people, no matter where I go, about agriculture and about what we do. I want to promote this cause and bring people back to the family farm."
Bauer interned during her senior year at Glenelg at the Howard County Economic Development Authority, working with Agricultural Development Manager Kathy Zimmerman. The agency awarded her a paid internship over the summer.
"I was told I had to do my own project, and I wanted to educate people about agriculture, so I looked online and there is a site called National Agricultural in the Classroom," said Bauer. "I got lesson plans from there and I went into the elementary schools and I educated the kids about agricultural and where their food comes from."
Thirty minutes after posing for pictures and accepting congratulations, Bauer said the award was "not real. It hasn't sunk in yet. Hopefully, sometime this week."
Anyway, there was work to be done.
"I have a lamb show tonight," she said. "I have to wash my lamb and get it ready. The animals come first."
Johnson, the 2014 winner, also graduated this year from Glenelg and will attend McDaniel College, majoring in special education.
"I've been so proud to attend so many agricultural events and represent Howard County," said Johnson, who was fourth runner-up in last year's state fair. "I am so proud of everything Howard County has accomplished and is projected to accomplish in the agricultural industry."
As for offering Bauer some words of advise, Johnson said "enjoy it while it lasts because it really goes by quick."
Peytin Hereth, 11, of Woodbine, was named the Little Miss Howard County Farm Bureau winner; and Anthony Poston, 11, of Glenelg, was named the Future Farmer Howard County Farm Bureau winner.
Milking a win
Danielle Bauer had never milked a cow before. After all, her father, Ricky, is a fulltime grain farmer (corn, wheat, soybeans, hay) on the family farm in Dayton.
But the 2009 winner of the Miss Howard County Farm Bureau Contest was one of four contestants selected to compete in the 33rd Cow Milking Contest inside the Show Pavilion. The four Jersey Dairy cows were brought in by members of the Howard County 4-H Dairy Club, which sponsored the event led by enthusiastic Rhonda Winkler, who won the 1988 Miss Howard County Farm Bureau title.
Bauer sat calmly on her stool and started squeezing the teat, from which the milk is discharged from the udder. By the end of the five minutes, and despite having the cow kick over her bucket twice, she had more milk than her competitors.
"I think I got more milk on me than in the bucket," said Bauer, who graduated this year with an agricultural degree from West Virginia University and now does marketing for a Frederick company that sells farm insurance. "It was kind of messy because it was hard to aim. But I had some good coaches from the 4-Hers."
Close call pie contest
The Pie Eating Contest was scheduled appropriately at high noon inside the Show Pavilion. Nothing creates drama more than people eating a pie with only their mouth and their hands behind their back.
This was a competition of speed. The pies – lemon, cherry, apple and peach -- were of the 4-inch snack variety. The total fat for each one was 16 grams, of which 7 grams was saturated fat. Each one contained 13 grams of sugar.
There were four age group winners. In the 5-8 age group, which ate half a pie, Hunter Patrick, 8, who lives on Maple Dell Farm in Woodbine and will be a third-grader at Waverly Elementary in Ellicott City, beat out 19 competitors.
"It tasted good," said Hunter about his first pie eating contest. "It was fun."
Alvin Hailer, 10, of Berkeley, W.Va., won the 9-12 competition; and Justin Grosko, 16, of Baltimore County, took the 13-17 contest.
In the 18 and over contest, 40 people wanted a little pie. In the end, it was five-time grand champion Ken Langer, 54, who stuffed his mouth and swallowed the fastest.
That led to the four winners meeting for the grand championship. In a race that was too close to call, someone had to win, and it was Grosko, who had lost to Langer in last year's final.
"I really don't have a plan," said Grosko, who is 6-foot-5 and weighs 230 pounds. "I just eat them as fast as I can. Maybe I just inhale."
Langer, of Clarksville, took the defeat in stride.
"It was getting caught a little bit in the throat on that last swallow," he said. "It was a little dry."
Langer said competing in the contest is "a fun thing to do" and it gives his daughters Corinne, 21, and Alyssa, 23, "something they can boast about. They can also make fun of me."
"It's a terrific skill," said Corinne Langer with a smile to her father.
"Somebody's got to do it," replied Langer with a laugh.
Animals, owners compete in cuteness contest
In the Cute Animal contest inside the Show Pavilion, the Most Original Award went to Leila Janney, 10, of Olney. Leila dressed up as a can of Old Bay and her dog, Amos, a pit bull terrier, was dressed as a crab.
Brittney Morris, 11, of Woodbine in Carroll County, was dressed as a cowgirl. So was her dog, Frisco, a miniature Australian shepherd. Together, they won the Cutest Award.
The Funniest Award went to 2-year-old James Bradley Brown, who was dressed as a Minion. The son of Jen and Jamie Brown, who reside on a 100-acre farm in Glenelg, Bradley walked with authority holding a leash to a Pygmy goat.
The award honoring the best 4-H message went to Max Schwartz, 6, of Ashton in Montgomery County. He was dressed as a cow, as was his 6-month old Suffolk cross lamb named Dirt.