An annual agricultural tradition spanning multiple generations of families, the 2019 Culpeper-Madison-Rappahannock Farm Show will take place Thursday through Sunday at Culpeper Agricultural Enterprises on U.S. Route 29 south of town.

The public is invited to come see the hard work of nearly 200 local 4-H youth displaying the animals they raise including cows, poultry, rabbits, sheep, lambs, goats, pigs and alpaca. There will be showmanship, competition, displays and lots of hay for housing the critters filling the stalls at agricultural enterprises.

Admission is free for the multi-day event that will also feature live music, craft vendors, watermelon eating, homemaker’s exhibits, a pet show, tractor driving, a cornhole contest, apple pie eating and the Little Mr. and Miss CMR contest.

New this year will be the Womanless Beauty Pageant during which local adult males are invited to dress as women and prance around in the show ring Saturday night starting at 5:30. It’s free to enter, said Farm Show Vice Chairwoman Marcie Smith.

She got involved with the Farm Show through her husband, who starting showing at the event as a toddler, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who helped build the facility where it’s held. The Farm Show, or something like it, has been happening in Culpeper since at least 1923, according to an old “Culpeper Fair” booklet highlighting the area’s farm heritage.

Smith’s daughters both show cows at the Farm Show and the older one recently received the All Stars award from Virginia Tech, the highest honor 4-H’ers can receive.

“It’s a valuable lesson and it’s work ethic,” said the local mom, regarding the 4-H program.

While the Farm Show is rooted in tradition, lots of new people are also getting involved, Smith said.

“It’s the 4H family, just like a church family—we’re all a family,” she said.

Participating youth have the values it takes to get the hard work done, Smith added.

“Most parents have to push their kids to do things, but not this group of kids. They want to do it and follow in the history of the event. It’s an honor and a privilege for them to be part of it.”

According to the Show’s Animal Exhibitor Code of Conduct, the purpose of the Farm Show is to ensure the overall well being of the animals, to ensure the use of commonly accepted practices in preparing and exhibiting animals for the show, to maintain a safe and wholesome food supply and to maintain the intent and integrity of animal competitions and displays for future generations.

For the full schedule of events, see or Culpeper-Madison-Rappahannock Farm Show on Facebook. Pick up upcoming editions of the Star-Exponent and see for coverage and photos from the annual event.

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