Area 4-H members showed off their hogs during Wednesday’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.
“They want really big muscles in the pigs and a big loin — the line down their back,” Wes Hirschfeld said after showing a gilt. “They want a very full look.”
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.
“I have steers, sewing, woodworking, designing interiors, art is expression, demonstrations, a safety speech and a safety skit,” Wes said. “I have six projects and three speaking events.”
He noted what he likes about being in the fair.
“You get to do a lot of different things, and you learn a lot,” 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.
“I did take steers for several years,” Victoria said. “I’m just taking hogs this year.”
She has been showing for a few years.
“I’ve been showing hogs for about 10 years in regular 4-H,” Victoria said. “I did do Pee Wee Showmanship. In all, I’m a 14-year member of 4-H.”
Victoria is also participating in other events.
“I’m also doing sewing, woodworking and demonstrations,” Victoria said. “I like sewing because it gives me a lot — it’s a big learning experience — and I can prepare my own clothes.”
She described showing at the fair as a “good learning experience.”
“I’m not doing it to win, but if I get something, that’s great,” Victoria said. “It’s a big learning experience. It’s fun being able to do all you can do here.”
St. Marys student Shelby Core also participated in the Market Hog Show — bringing home first place in her class for one of her hogs.
“At the fair this year, I am doing my swine project — I’m taking two pigs, and I’m the pork queen,” Shelby said. “This is my 10th year and my last year of 4-H.”
To prepare her hogs for the fair, she said it takes a lot of work.
“you have to work with them a lot, you have to walk with them a lot,” Shelby said. “You have to know the right things to feed them, things like Paylean, which makes their muscles leaner.”
During fair, she said water is a big focus because of the heat.
“You have to make sure they have fresh water all the time,” Shelby said.
She said she also participates in quality insurance meetings, which entails the “moral way to care for your animals.”
“Basically, you treat them how you’d want to be treated,” Shelby said. “You 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.”
She said she has enjoyed participating in the fair every year.
“All the work you’ve been doing has paid off,” Shelby said. “Everyone comes here — you get to see everyone’s project and meet new people. I like the whole atmosphere.”
Shelby, who is a member of the Moulton Lucky Livestock Raisers, said she will miss participating in the fair in the years to come.
“Even though this is my last year, I’m definitely coming back next year and the year after that,” Shelby said, noting her father is the adviser of her 4-H group, so she may continue to help with the group. “Maybe I’ll try and be an adviser or helper or something because I really like it.”