The Boone County Pork Producers sponsored an Open Market Show in the Show Arena at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds Wednesday afternoon that begin with mini 4-H entrants learning how to show a hog.
“I was still scared of pigs at their age, so I give these kids a lot of credit,” Judge Lane Rinderer said to the crowd.
Their boots may be a size two, but they were still out in the ring, giving it their best shot.
Dean Stratman III, donning a cowboy hat, went into the ring for the very first time and came out all smiles.
“I did it, I got a ribbon,” he said as he ran up to his mother after showing his pig.
His mother, Amanda, said this is his first year doing anything in 4-H.
“He’s learned a lot,” she said. “We’ve been reading books about pigs. Even with his Lego project, he read Lego books to figure out what his project would be. It’s been a learning experience for sure and a letting go experience. He’s used to being with us all the time and now he gets to go out and do his own thing.”
Amanda said she was involved in indoor projects and rabbit showing in 4-H and having her son be involved now has made it all come full circle.
“I did 4-H as a kid and I loved it,” she said. “It was an educational thing for me and he may enjoy it as well. He has so far.”
After the pre 4-Hers left the arena, the older youth got a chance to show.
Makenna Harrison, 13, from Jackson Future Farmers, took home the reserve grand champion in the showmanship competition with Jasper, a pig that some may not have chosen.
“This one has been one of the more underrated pigs we’ve had in the barn and nobody’s even given him a fair shot,” Harrison said. “It feels good to win.”
In showmanship competitions, the outfits the showers wear is nearly as important as how the animal looks.
“I’ve went with a button-up and jeans look my whole life because I think it looks more professional,” Harrison said.
Harrison also shows horses, but says pigs are definitely her favorite.
“I wouldn’t say they’re easier,” she said. “They’re just more fun and the show, it’s a lot more of a friendly environment. Everyone in the pig shows are so nice and everyone is friends.”