Success at State Fair for AGNR Students, Faculty and Staff

Animal science major Melissa Shaughness with "Moonshine," a newborn calf named by fairgoers at the 2014 Maryland State Fair.

Image Credit: Edwin Remsberg

September 4, 2014 Sara Gavin

The 2014 Maryland State Fair wrapped up on Monday, September 1. Students, faculty, alumni and staff from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources spent their final 11 days of summer helping to make the fair a success again this year. If you didn’t make it out to the state fairgrounds in Timonium this year, here’s some of what you missed:

Baby Boom

AGNR students Kaitlin Gnegy, Delaney Honeyford, Anna Koziarski, Edie Blair and Amanda Gillis worked around the clock assisting AGNR Professor Emeritus Tom Hartsock inside the state fair birthing center. In total, the birthing center team helped bring 15 calves, 72 piglets and 250 chicks into the world throughout the 11 days of the fair. And they did almost all of it in front of an audience, helping to educate young and old about animal reproduction as well as where their food comes from. Birthing center students kept up a string of live tweets throughout the fair alerting fairgoers when an animal was in labor so they could witness the miracle of life for themselves.

Meet Moonshine!

The University of Maryland’s very own dairy herd was on display inside the Cow Palace throughout the state fair strutting their stuff for crowds and participating in milking demonstrations. Led by UMD's Dairy Manager Brian Spielman, animal science students Melissa Shaughness, Sal Millington, Megan Lewis and Patrick Creighton helped showcase the herd, encouraging kids and their parents to pet the cows and learn a little bit about the dairy industry. Fairgoers also helped brainstorm names for one of the newest members of the UMD family, a female calf born three days before the start of the fair. After dozens of names were submitted, Moonshine was the eventual winner, beating out top contenders Elsa, Honey Moo Moo and Decalf.

Robotics Rocks the House

New this year, 4-H members from all over the state ranging in age from eight to 18 participated in an intense robotics competition where they put their technical skills to the test and demonstrated robots they built and programmed themselves. The State Fair is an important time for 4-Hers interested in a variety of topics as they show off the conclusion of projects they’ve been working on throughout the year on everything from robotics to livestock and crops to crafts and clothing.

For more fair fun, be sure to check out our 2014 State Fair Photo Gallery!