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HARRISBURG, Pa. — With free parking and admission, plus beautiful fall weather and about 725 exhibitors bringing hundreds of top-notch livestock for competition, the Keystone International Livestock Exposition (KILE) brought not only visitors to the multi-day event — Sept. 27 through Oct. 6 — but also drew competitors from 27 states and Canada.

Its Friday agenda included hitting the quarter century mark for hosting its annual Farm City Day, a free day open to students in grades two through five, who get to visit the Farm Show Complex to learn about Pennsylvania agriculture and get a better idea where their food comes from. In fact, on Oct. 4, nearly 2,500 students took a field trip day to come see 28 educational exhibits.

While younger students learned about farming, older students came to compete. At the Tony Dobroski Memorial Stockman’s Contest, students age 13 and up spent several hours working through 12 categories of agricultural knowledge — ag-based current events, cuts of meat, equipment or breed identification, and placing several classes of livestock and wool. The Rockingham, Virginia, 4-H Team A took first place honors.

In the hog barn, judge Al Snedeger chose the grand champion Duroc Boar owned by Ken Wetzel of Rossiter, Indiana County, as supreme champion boar.

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The supreme champion gilt was the grand champion spotted gilt exhibited by Madisson Foster of Millers, Maryland.

Also on Friday, visitors to the equine arena had the chance to see Orndorff’s Captain Memory, a Belgian mare exhibited by Corbly Orndorff of Waynesburg, Greene County, in the ring. The mare went on later to be awarded supreme champion draft horse.

Memory won the title of grand champion Belgian Mare before being awarded best Belgian and besting a field of champions for the title of supreme draft horse. Other breeds represented in the show included Percherons, Shires and Clydesdales. Best Clydesdale was awarded to Granville’s Black-Hearted Gypsy, exhibited by Jennifer Cleary, of Pine Grove, Schuylkill County.

Best shire was awarded to Northeast Intrepid, shown by Sandra Rutter, of Bloomfield, Ontario, Canada.

Best Percheron was awarded to Yo-Durs Lynn, Jackson Fork Ranch, of Little Jackson, Wyoming.

Friday’s other events included the national Hereford show, where CSF Ramsey Teva’s Mercy Me ET, the spring yearling class winner, exhibited by Ray Ramsey of Greenfield, Indiana, earned grand champion female honors in the National Hereford Show.

Mary Carter Shirley of Sparta, Tennessee, exhibited the grand champion bull with her junior yearling, RW KLD Ruger 109 7029 ET.

Billy Elmhirst, of Indian River, Ontario, Canada, judged the show.

Lancaster Farming