PIG PEN: Kids pick up pigs for 4-H program

Published 3:02 am Saturday, June 3, 2017

Fifteen 4-H’ers from Pike, Crenshaw and Covington counties are now the proud owners of 50-pound pigs that will remain in their care until October when they are entered in the 4-H Pig Pen Program show at the Pike County Fair.

The rain came in torrents Friday afternoon but that did not deter the 4-H’ers from claiming their pigs at Cattleman Park. They are the 2017 participants in the 4-H Pig Pen Program. Some of the kids will be participating for the first time. Others are seasoned pig farmers.

William Morgan was picking up a couple of pigs for his 12-year-old sister Emily Ann.

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“She participated in the Pig Pen program last year but we’ve raised pigs for a long time,” William said.  “This is not new to her or to me. I’ll help Emily Ann by checking on the pigs for her but she does all the work.”

William said Emily Ann’s pigs are freezer pigs.

“We don’t name our pigs,” he said. “We don’t want to get attached to them. Emily Ann will show her pigs at the Pike County Fair and then they’ll be gone. We already have them sold.”

William said a lot of people like homegrown pork and the pigs that are raised in the Pig Pen Program are good eating hogs.

The pigs weigh-in at about 50 pounds but, when they are entered in the Pike County Fair Show, they’ll weight about 250 pounds.

Derrick Bryan, Extension coordinator Crenshaw County, said the Pig Pen Program is an outstanding learning experience for the 4-H’ers.

“They learn about responsibility and dedication to task,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to learn about showmanship and it’s also a way for 4-H’ers to learn about marketing a product.”

Kathy Lee 4-H Regional Extension agent for Covington and Crenshaw counties, said the Pig Pen Program is a family project. The 4-H’ers learn to accept responsibility and the meaning of dependability

“Working together as a family is always a memorable experience for the 4-H’ers,” she said.