4-H’s Pig Squeal project builds community for Alabama youth
By Staff Reports
In a collaborative effort, Morgan County and Lawrence County 4H programs have joined forces to present a spectacular showcase featuring 32 pigs exhibited by 16 talented youth. The event, hosted by the Morgan County Extension Office, is set to take place at the Moulton Lion’s Club Fairgrounds on May 11.
Participants in the program were provided with two feeder pigs in January, initiating a journey of care and training leading up to the grand event. A crucial step in their preparation was a mandatory meeting conducted by the Morgan County Extension Office. During this session, the young enthusiasts gained insights into constructing proper pens and facilities to ensure the well-being of their project animals upon their arrival.
Emphasizing the importance of responsible pig management, the Extension Office addressed key aspects such as feeding and health care before the project began. Subsequently, the youth will partake in ongoing training events, including regular meetings facilitated by the Extension Office. Additional support and guidance will be provided through home visits by 4H Agent Juliana Gardner and County Extension Coordinator Brett Crow.
The culmination of their efforts will be showcased on May 11 in a competitive exhibition. The youths’ proficiency in presenting their animals will be scrutinized in the “showmanship” division, followed by the evaluation of the swine in “market classes,” focusing on traits such as potential carcass value.
The event’s grand finale will feature an auction where local business owners and community members can bid on the showcased pigs. This provides an opportunity for them to fill their freezers with locally raised pork while supporting the dedicated youth who have invested time and effort into their projects.
Beyond the exhibition and auction, this initiative serves as a platform to instill values of responsibility, strong work ethic, and animal husbandry practices, according to Crow.
“Ultimately, it cultivates sportsmanship among the participating youth, imparting valuable lessons on their role in contributing to the local food chain,” he said.
Pig Squeal project leaders agree that the success of this program is largely because of community partners who want to see 4-H members succeed. From feed-store discounts to restaurants purchasing hogs for barbecue sales, the success of Pig Squeal is contingent on local partnerships. Learn more about Pig Squeal at www.Alabama4H.com.