Area 4-H members showed off their hogs during Wednesdayâ€™s Junior Fair Market Hog Show at the Auglaize County Fair.
Participants led their hogs around the swine arena as they were judged on their size and coat.
â€śThey want really big muscles in the pigs and a big loin â€” the line down their back,â€ť Wes Hirschfeld said after showing a gilt. â€śThey want a very full look.â€ť
The St. Marys student said this is his 11th year in 4-H, and he started out as a Cloverbud. It is his seventh year of showing pigs.
Wes noted all of the other fair events he is participating in this year.
â€śI have steers, sewing, woodworking, designing interiors, art is expression, demonstrations, a safety speech and a safety skit,â€ť Wes said. â€śI have six projects and three speaking events.â€ť
He noted what he likes about being in the fair.
â€śYou get to do a lot of different things, and you learn a lot,â€ť Wes said.
Wes, along with his older sister, Victoria, are members of the Lakeside 4-Hers Club. Victoria also participated in the Junior Fair Market Hog Show.
â€śI did take steers for several years,â€ť Victoria said. â€śIâ€™m just taking hogs this year.â€ť
She has been showing for a few years.
â€śIâ€™ve been showing hogs for about 10 years in regular 4-H,â€ť Victoria said. â€śI did do Pee Wee Showmanship. In all, Iâ€™m a 14-year member of 4-H.â€ť
Victoria is also participating in other events.
â€śIâ€™m also doing sewing, woodworking and demonstrations,â€ť Victoria said. â€śI like sewing because it gives me a lot â€” itâ€™s a big learning experience â€” and I can prepare my own clothes.â€ť
She described showing at the fair as a â€śgood learning experience.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m not doing it to win, but if I get something, thatâ€™s great,â€ť Victoria said. â€śItâ€™s a big learning experience. Itâ€™s fun being able to do all you can do here.â€ť
St. Marys student Shelby Core also participated in the Market Hog Show â€” bringing home first place in her class for one of her hogs.
â€śAt the fair this year, I am doing my swine project â€” Iâ€™m taking two pigs, and Iâ€™m the pork queen,â€ť Shelby said. â€śThis is my 10th year and my last year of 4-H.â€ť
To prepare her hogs for the fair, she said it takes a lot of work.
â€śyou have to work with them a lot, you have to walk with them a lot,â€ť Shelby said. â€śYou have to know the right things to feed them, things like Paylean, which makes their muscles leaner.â€ť
During fair, she said water is a big focus because of the heat.
â€śYou have to make sure they have fresh water all the time,â€ť Shelby said.
She said she also participates in quality insurance meetings, which entails the â€śmoral way to care for your animals.â€ť
â€śBasically, you treat them how youâ€™d want to be treated,â€ť Shelby said. â€śYou have to keep the animals clean and spend time walking with them. The more time you spend with them, the better they are at walking with you.â€ť
She said she has enjoyed participating in the fair every year.
â€śAll the work youâ€™ve been doing has paid off,â€ť Shelby said. â€śEveryone comes here â€” you get to see everyoneâ€™s project and meet new people. I like the whole atmosphere.â€ť
Shelby, who is a member of the Moulton Lucky Livestock Raisers, said she will miss participating in the fair in the years to come.
â€śEven though this is my last year, Iâ€™m definitely coming back next year and the year after that,â€ť Shelby said, noting her father is the adviser of her 4-H group, so she may continue to help with the group. â€śMaybe Iâ€™ll try and be an adviser or helper or something because I really like it.â€ť