FORT ASHBY - There's a hog population explosion at the Mineral County Fair.

By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
FORT ASHBY - There’s a hog population explosion at the Mineral County Fair.
“We have the most hogs this year than we’ve ever had,” Howard Page said early Monday afternoon as he stood in the barns and watched the youngsters getting their animals ready for showing.
WVU Extension agent Stacey Huffman agreed with Page’s assessment, numbering the amount of hogs to be shown this year at around 57.
“But all the other numbers are a little higher than in the past too,” she said, adding that the livestock showing and sale later in the week are “looking good.”
In a departure from the past few years, the 4-H and FFA Livestock Sale has been moved to Saturday evening, with a buyers’ social set for 5 p.m. and the sale to kick off at 6 p.m.
“It’s going to be a good year to fill your freezer,” Huffman said of the number of animals slated to be sold.
For many of the FFA and 4-H members showing their animals this year, the Mineral County Fair is an opportunity to show off the results of their hard work and perhaps recoup some of the money when their animals are sold.
For exhibitor Robby Moncrief of Elk Garden, however, it’s an important step toward his ultimate life goal.
“He wants to start his own club lamb business,” mom Krista Kitzmiller explained as she watched Robby trim up “Mamba,” his lamb.
“He’s got 11 girls he’ll be breeding for next year’s fair,” she said.
Elsewhere, Helen McCarty was giving her heifer “Gabriella” a bath with the assistance of her sister Tressie. In her second year of showing animals, Helen has participated in the fair by exhibiting 4-H projects for approximately seven or eight years.
Animals aren’t the only game at the fair, however,
In the exhibit hall Monday, David Westrom of Burlington was registering some plants for granddaughters Kara and Macy Gordon.
He said the sisters were given the seeds and they grew the plants with some help and guidance from him.
“They brought them to Pap  Pap to help them,” he said, adding with a smile, “That’s what Pap Paps are for.”
Also Monday afternoon, Susie Long of Fort Ashby was at the veggie table registering her cabbage, peas, lettuce and zuchinni.
“I’ve never brought vegetables before; I’ve always done artwork,” she explained, pointing to her handiwork that had already been registered and placed on display.
“Now I’m going home to get some flowers!”
The fair gets underway for the public at 6 p.m. Tuesday, when the gates officially open.
Highlights tonight will be the Mineral County Fair Queen Pageant, music by country music favorite Josh Oldaker, and bull riding and barrel racing by Diamond J Rodeo in the grandstand.

Cole Amusement Company is returning this year with the rides, games and other attractions from Tuesday through Saturday.
On Wednesday, Frankfort Middle School's Teal Steel band will perform at 7 and 9 p.m. A new event, the Orlo Ink Truck Pulls, is set for 7 p.m. at the grandstand.
Thursday will see the demolition derby featuring 4- and 8-cylinder vehicles at 7 p.m. along with The Voice local singing talent competition at 7 p.m.
The stock and modified class Mug Bog is set for Friday at 7 p.m. along with two performances by West Virginia's own award-winning Gospel Harmony Boys at 7 and 9 p.m.
28 Speedway band will round out fair week on Saturday with shows at 7 and 9 p.m. along with the super stock and super modified classes of the Mud Bog at the grandstand. The grand feature parade will line up beginning at 3 p.m. June 22 on Dan’s Run Road. The parade will start at 4 p.m.

The 4-H and FFA Livestock Show is Saturday night.
A pay-one-price fee includes gate admission, parking, all rides and stage and track entertainment. Fairgoers 62 and older are admitted each night for half price.
This year’s fair grand drawing takes place June 22 at 10 p.m. Tickets are available from any member of the Fort Ashby Volunteer Fire Company and at the grand drawing booth.