Henry County Harvest Show

Parade of horses new to
2003 Henry County festival lineup

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

NEW CASTLE, Ky. (July 2003) – The words “horses” and “Kentucky” are often synonymous in this region. Henry County is not to be excluded from these terms, due to a new event taking place at this year’s Henry County Harvest Showcase.
A Parade of Horse Breeds will include information about pleasure and working horses, said county extension agent Steve Moore. Many different horse farms have been invited to participate, said parade organizer Kathy Roberts.
The fourth annual Henry County Harvest Showcase will be held to exhibit local farmers and agricultural related businesses in an effort to continue the farming tradition. This free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 26 at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Donna Williams as the Broomaker demonstrates her craft

Photo by Helen E. McKinney

Donna Williams
as the Broomaker demonstrates her craft.

Roberts is owner of Royal Acres Morgans, along with husband Brad, her mother Mary Douglas, and her two daughters, Sarah and Stephanie. With more than 30 years experience, Roberts is a second-generation Morgan breeder. She also gives riding lessons and has two stallions for breeding on her farm.
Roberts said the idea for the Parade of Horse Breeds developed from a similar event she had attended at the Kentucky Horse Park at Lexington. Onlookers will learn about the different characteristics of each breed represented at the Showcase.
Her interest with Morgan’s began when Roberts went with her high school 4-H club to visit what used to be known as the Shamrock Morgan Farm in Smithfield, Ky. She went to work there, along with her father, helping to train and do general labor around the farm for owners Julie and Rob Wilson.
So enthralled by these horses was Roberts that when she took a trip to Buffalo, N.Y., to look for a mare, she came home with a Morgan stallion instead, she said. The Showcase gives Henry Countians such as Roberts the opportunity to introduce onlookers to what the county has to offer.
“It’s an effort to increase the public’s awareness that local farmers produce really valuable services and products,” said Moore. “It’s one of the best agricultural-type events ever produced.”
The Showcase is a direct result of planning by concerned members of the Henry County Community Farm Alliance. Organizers strongly encourage participation to grow and market local materials as a way of keeping the farming tradition alive.
A strong point of the event is that it draws in crowds from several nearby counties, said Judge-Executive John Logan Brent, who has been involved with the Showcase from its conception. “So many people made contacts from Oldham and Jefferson Counties,” which helped market their products throughout the year in urban and suburban areas, Brent said.
The Showcase is also an educational eye-opener for children. For the first time, “Kids from urban areas are able to identify a food item with a farmer, not with a grocery store,” said Brent.
Children are introduced to old-time games, hayrides and a petting zoo. Since the occupation of farming is not as prevalent as it once was, many children have never experienced it firsthand. Organizers of this event strive to make it educational and enjoyable.
Brent said a new draw for this year is a horseshoe-pitching tournament. The focus of the event still remains on “food and a fun day for the family.”
A full day of activities center on an emphasis on good, locally grown produce. Scheduled attractions are livestock exhibits, a Boer goat show, arts and crafts, food art, KDA rollover safety demonstration, entertainment by Music ‘N A Box and Country Faith, drawing for a premium black angus heifer donated by Capstone Farm, and noted chefs from the Patron Restaurant, Country Bo’s BBQ and the Henry County Cattleman’s Association preparing locally grown food.
The number of attendees has steadily increased since the first Showcase. The first year, 600 people turned out, followed by 1,200 the second year, with more than 2,000 last year. With more than 100 participants this year, Showcase hours have been expanded.
Brent said the KDA (Kentucky Department of Agriculture) has always had a presence at the Showcase, but has really increased their involvement this year.
While there will be a KDA classroom food education trailer for kids, the educational qualities of the Showcase are not only geared for children. KDA state apiarist Phil Craft will provide information on beekeeping. Through a booth display, Craft will provide basic information on how to get started in beekeeping, a listing of beekeeper associations that might provide more information, his own newsletter and disease and predator protection for bee colonies.
“Beekeeping tends to be an interesting topic,” said Craft. It is a fairly easy venture to get into, and one hive will yield 12 quarts of honey. There are several honey producers in Henry County.
Craft said there is a renewed interest in beekeeping. “There is a lot of support at the state level.” Craft will provide answers to such topics as the parasitic mite problem that has occurred in the last decade and pollination. With more farmers producing large alternative vegetable crops, such as pumpkin and squash, the bees are needed for pollination, he said.

For more information, contact John Logan Brent at (502) 845-5707 or Doug Bates at (502) 845-0806.

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