Swine Show a family effort at Moffat County Fair
Families who show together grow together at Moffat County Fair Swine Show
Craig — At the age of 15, swine showman Jared Baker is already a mentor — to his younger sister, Grace, who is following in her brother’s footsteps in showing award-winning pigs at the Moffat County Fair.
“It’s awesome we work together as a team,” said Grace. “It’s great to have that support.”
Jared who won Research Grand Champion Senior Swine Showmanship was clearly proud when Grace won Grand Champion Junior Swine Showmanship.
“From mid-March we work everyday, one hour of training and two to three hours of care,” Jared said. Fair and the market auction are “like a paycheck. You work hard then your paycheck is a bonus.”
The Bakers will use winnings to pay off debts such as bills for feed and supplies, save for college and for next year’s pigs.
The Bakers were not the only team of siblings at this year’s swine show. The swine barn at the fair was full of families.
“The fair, the entire show industry, is a family deal,” said fair parent Nicky Boulger, who was there to support her daughter, Trinity. “You do it together.”
Competitors spend long hours between spring and fair to raise and train their pigs to win ribbons and attract the highest bidders at the Moffat County Fair livestock auction.
“It takes a big commitment, but I have a choice and I committed so I can’t stop. They need me and I’m responsible for them,” Jolene Rhyne said.
The long hours are hard, as is the commitment to work throughout summer during school vacation, but for many of the children the hardest part is saying goodbye to an animal that has become their best friend.
“It makes me sad. After the auction I give kisses and say good bye,” said Katie Jo Knez.
For Jared Baker, saying goodbye after the sale is made easier by remembering “that’s his job. I give him the best life and then help him fill his potential.”
And he helps younger sister Grace through the difficult process of saying goodbye. “She is young-hearted, but I help her know this is part of life.”
Sheep play a big role in Dustin McLaughlin’s life who was showing pigs for the first time this year was a way for him to “try something new other than sheep. It gets my mind of doing sheep.”
His strategy paid off when his pig, Missy, won Grand Champion Market Swine capping off a trifecta, having won Grand Champion Lamb and Goat earlier in the week.
“Even if you don’t show animals, come on down and see us,” said McLaughlin. “It’s a neat experience.”
The community can reward the hard work and sacrifice of these youngsters by bidding high during the 2106 4-H and FFA Junior Livestock Sale at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the livestock barn.
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