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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Having an oinking good time

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  • - When you go to the fair, there are many exciting activities for you to enjoy no matter your taste.
    A big portion of the Wayne County Fair consists of livestock. You can make your way through several barns and see sheep, goats, pigs, cows, horses, chickens, rabbits and even a donkey.
    Throughout fair week there are various events for livestock, with judging, showmanship and a livestock sale.
    On Tuesday, members of area 4-H Clubs took part in the 4-H Swine Showmanship. There were 15 divisions based on age group.
    Clubs that participated in the show include Tri-Gal, Calkins Ag., Pleasant Mount Go-Getters, Explorers, Achievers, Waymart Horizons, Laurella Community, Bethany, Cherry Ridge and Creamton Area.
    The judge was Troy Longenecker from Annville. Swine superintendent was Russ Labar and assistant swine superintendents were Tom Warnock, Diane Rickard and Jimmie Ann Fries.
    The members of each division had their pig in the large arena at once.
    They were judged on how they handled their pig and how it behaved for them, as well as making eye contact with the judges.
    They were also asked questions about feeding and training methods of the pigs.
    Each division had around 10 people. Longenecker narrowed them down based on how they handled their pigs. The bottom four received red ribbons for participation.
    There was a Champion Showman and a Reserve Champion Showman in each division, which represented first and second place. The top six received yellow ribbons.
    What a ham
    The Champion Showman for Division A was Bryar Mead, 19, of Preston Park. He is a member of the Pleasant Mount Go-Getters.
    He just missed the cutoff to be in 4-H another year because he was still 18 prior to the deadline. This will be his last year in 4-H.
    “It's definitely a really cool feeling,” he said after winning. “It's the first time I won in my division.
    “It's more special that I came in first because I'll never get another chance again. It's my last hurrah.”
    Mead showed a six month old hampcross named Odyssey. She was born on Valentine's Day.
    He said it was the first year his family started breeding their own pigs.
    “I've been in 4-H since I was 10,” Mead stated. “My dad got me into it and I've been doing it ever since.”
    Now Mead and his four other siblings do 4-H and have animals at the fair. Between all of them they have nine pigs and 15 dairy cows at the fair this year.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Pigs are difficult to show,” Mead said. “You have to know what you're doing.
    “You need to become friends with your pig so they know you.
    “You have to clear your thoughts and clear your head.”
    He added 4-H is good to get into.
    “You get to learn a lot about raising animals and you get to work with a lot of great people,” Mead stated.
    The Champion Showman for Division B was Jennier Carey, 18, of Honesdale. She is a member of the Cherry Ridge Club.
    “It's awesome,” Carey said about winning.
    She has two pigs and two goats at the fair this year. This is her eighth year in 4-H.
    Carey showed a six month old purebred yorkshire named King. Her other pig is named Ariel.
    “I went with a Little Mermaid theme,” she said.
    Carey stated pigs have to weigh between 225 and 275 to take part in the 4-H Swing Showmanship.
    “It's tricky getting the right weight,” she said. “You have to watch how much you feed them so they aren't too big, but also aren't too small.”
    She added she weighs her pigs a lot on a scale at home.
    “It takes a lot of dedication,” Carey said about working with pigs. “I try to work with mine every day.
    “You have to spend a lot of time with them to make sure they'll behave [for you].”

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