Taneytown 4-H member off to Europe for international contest

June 24, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Marie Speak of Taneytown is off on an exciting adventure.

Not only will the Francis Scott Key graduate represent the United States in an international dairy judging competition in Scotland, but she will also visit the home of her favorite breed, the Brown Swiss.

Ms. Speak, one of four members of Maryland's 4-H dairy judging team, was to touch down in Glasgow, Scotland, at 2:20 a.m. Eastern Standard Time today. She and her teammates will represent the United States at the Royal Highland Show, then travel through seven European countries in 16 days.

Ms. Speak will be away an additional 10 days in Switzerland.

For most of their trip, team members will stay with European farm families.

"I'm really excited," Ms. Speak said in an interview. "When we go to stay with the families, we'll all be separated. There's a lot of mystery in that. I don't know if any of them speak English, any of their customs or what any of them eat."

Mark Iager of Howard County, Kristi Geary of Montgomery County and Chip Savage of Frederick County are the other Maryland team members. The team, chaperoned by Carroll County residents Robert Shirley and Brian Derr, won their trip at the national competition in Wisconsin in October.

The national 4-H livestock judging team and the Future Farmers of America dairy and livestock judging teams also will compete at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Ms. Speak will stay a bit longer in Europe than the rest of her team to tour Switzerland, the native land of her favorite cattle breed. For 10 days, she will stay at Daniel Arnold's family farm, bTC located an hour south of Zurich.

"The main breed that I like to show is the Brown Swiss, and that's where they originated," said Ms. Speak, who earned the title Maryland's Swiss Miss in 1992 as a representative of the state's Brown Swiss cow farmers.

Becky Long, a Frederick County Brown Swiss breeder, arranged the trip through her contacts in the National Brown Swiss Association of Switzerland. Ms. Long said she became friends with Hans Rust, the executive secretary of the Swiss organization, on her two trips to Switzerland.

She also has chaperoned a trip to Switzerland with seven young Brown Swiss breeders and arranged exchange programs with farms in Austria, Italy and Switzerland for five other teen-agers.

"I asked her [Ms. Speak] last fall when she won the trip if she'd be willing to go, and she was just delighted and excited," Ms. Long said.

"I just feel if the kids are over there, they should have the chance to taste the culture and stay with farm families," she said.

4-H DAIRY TEAM ITINERARY

The Maryland 4-H dairy judging team left yesterday to participate in an international competition in Edinburgh, Scotland, and to tour parts of Europe. Here is the team's itinerary:

Yesterday: Met with the national 4-H livestock judging team and the national Future Farmers of America dairy and livestock judging teams in Boston to fly to Scotland.

Today: Arrive in Glasgow, Scotland, and travel to Edinburgh by bus.

Tomorrow: Travel to the Royal Highland show grounds to meet with the United Kingdom judging teams and participate in a government reception for international visitors. Livestock judging practice in the evening.

Saturday: Compete at the Royal Highland show ground. Party with other contestants in the evening.

Sunday and Monday: Travel to the English Lake District for leadership activities and to visit agricultural operations.

Tuesday and Wednesday: Travel to London to tour historic landmarks.

July 1: Travel to Belgium from Dover, England, to visit historic sites and farm operations.

July 2-3: Travel to Holland to tour Antwerp's harbor, historic landmarks, a Dutch dairy and a horticultural operation.

July 4: Travel to Germany to tour a greenhouse operation, the cathedral in Cologne and the city of Bonn.

July 5: Visit the farmers market in Bonn, then travel by bus to France. Stop at a farm in Luxembourg on the way to Paris.

July 6-9: Tour Paris through July 7. The Maryland group will remain for two extra days to visit agricultural operations in France.

July 9-19: Marie Speak visits Switzerland to stay with a family that raises Brown Swiss dairy cows.

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