By: Breanna Sensibaugh
I have been in 4-H since I was 10 and I enjoyed every year of it! I started out in a club that was specifically for cooking and sewing. I did learn a lot through this club but I also wanted to start to show livestock. My dad started a club of our own with a few other families and I started to show hogs and sheep. Showing hogs was one of my favorite things to do in 4-H. As time went on I realized how much I had learned from showing hogs. I had also made many friends and also met many influential people in the swine industry.
Twenty twelve was the last year that I was eligible to participate in 4-H. I wanted to give back and show younger 4-Hers what it’s really all about. I asked my dad if I could become a 4-H leader for our club and help him out. He thought it was a good idea and I became a leader.
My dad and I were trying to find something that I could do that would teach younger 4-Hers about livestock projects. We decided that a good way to do this was to start a pick-a-pig project with just the members in our club. Any member that wanted to show a pig was put into a drawing and two kids were picked from the club. They were then able to pick-a-pig and they both got to show it at the fair. At each meeting the 4-Hers had to weigh the animal and work with it to get it ready for fair time. This really became a whole club project because all the kids helped weigh them and work with them for the fair.
The club also asked local businesses to donate feed for the project. The club got Frontier Cooperative and Sunglo Feeds to sponsor feed for the project. At every meeting each group was asked to write a letter to their sponsor to let them know how the project was going and give them updates on weight and how the pig was doing. Each of these businesses told us that they liked the project that we did and they want to donate feed again next year.
When the fair came around the kids were really excited. It was very cool to see the whole club come together and help feed, clean and water the pigs. I think that the club grew together through this club project. Both of the kids did really well at showing and both also did showmanship and did great for first timers.
This project also made me more confident in myself. It showed me that I can teach kids about the pork industry through a fun learning project. I think that this project was a great idea. I would like to help more kids get involved in this project that wouldn’t be able to participate in events like this otherwise.