Moffat County Fair and friendship go together like pigs and mud |

Moffat County Fair and friendship go together like pigs and mud

Pigs are Jolene Rhyne‘s favorite animals to show at the fair because pigs and people are in constant movement in the show ring.
Sasha Nelson |

Some of Jolene’s Rhyne’s best friends have been real pigs.

“They are good companions. They are always there for you. They never turn their back on you like some people do,” said Jolene Rhyne about her animals.

The Rhyne family — mom Christina (Chris), dad Greg, sister Jolene and brother Pepper — work together to raise goats, pigs and sheep for fair. They also show horses.

Chris believes that fair gives families common interests that brings people together and keeps them connected.

“We have several families that we have become friends with. And childhood friends, that I grew up showing with, and their spouses, now all have kids that are showing together,” she said.

Friendships made at fair are a little different than those made at school as fair friendships often bridge differences in ages and grades.

“It’s not just peer-to-peer, it’s older kids helping younger and sometimes younger kids helping older kids,” Chris said.

For the Rhyne’s, fair friends are come in all shapes, sizes and species.

Brother and sister agree that their favorite animals are their horses — Captain, Prissy, Diamond and Izzy, however pigs are their favorite animals to show at the fair.

“You don’t have to use a halter (on a pig),” said Pepper.

Unlike in movies “Charlotte’s Web” and “Babe,” the county fair doesn’t offer a life on the farm for most market animals.

Instead market animals are auctioned to the highest bidder and processed for food.

The proceeds help pay expenses and allow youth to invest in next year’s fair animals and/or help them to pay for college and career development.

After the Junior Livestock Sale many 4-H and FFA participants return home to empty barns and a break from chores.

That wasn’t the case for Jolene. She had a plan to bring home a new friend.

At the Catch-a-Pig Contest held during the rodeo intermission on Friday Jolene bagged a Red Duroc piglet that she has named Gunner.

Having a pig to take home softens the loss of the animals sold at auction.

“After your pigs are gone, you miss them. So it’s nice to have one. And they taste good,” Jolene said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or