Area 4-H, FFA youths win in market show

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 10, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

The youths of Suffolk, Surry and Isle of Wight are bringing home the bacon along with blue ribbons and trophies as they are recognized by 4-H Clubs and Future Farmer of America (FFA) chapters in the 55th Annual Smithfield Junior Market Hog Show.

Held each year for young people in Suffolk, Surry and Isle of Wight, the hog show and sale is staged to award them for their abilities in raising a champion hog.


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This year, the show took place April 5 at the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Holland. Participants competed in a number of classes including showmanship (based on the experience of the youth), single classes or a pen of three classes. Each contestant was eligible to show up to five market hogs.

The market hogs were bought by the youths and raised on the farm from Jan. 31 until the show. Project contestants provided care, food and water for the animal for the nine week period bringing the market hogs to the show (optimal weight is between 220-280 pounds).

&uot;The project is to teach our youth about the animal science industry whether it’s herd health, feed efficiency or facilities management,&uot; said Surry 4-H Agent Billie Jean Elmer.

&uot;Once they get into the contest, the animals are judged on the fat-to-lean ratio and how well they have matured. Many of the youths come from farm families and this program serves as a great learning tool for their future. However, living on a farm is not a requirement of the program.

&uot;My two daughters, Mary and Kate, raised their hogs at the farm of a nearby neighbor. I’m very proud of their second place wins. Mary, like most of the kids, has an interest in animal science. Kate and the other children are more interested in horses, but this program is a great way for kids to learn responsibility and it teaches them about budgeting time and finances.&uot;

Winners for the event included; Sr. Showmanship: 1st place, Breyon Pierce; 2nd Wendy Drake; Intermediate Showmanship, 1st place- Jessica Estienne, 2nd – Mary Elmer, 3rd – Jake Estienne, and 4th – Brandon Pierce; Jr. Showmanship -1st – Bobby Estienne, 2nd- Kate Elmer, 3rd – Mike Estienne, 4th – Westley Drake; Light Singles Class- 1st – Jessica Estienne, 2nd – Mike Estienne, 3rd – Jake Estienne, 4th – Kate Elmer, 5th – Westley Drake, 6th – Kate Elmer; Middle Singles Class- 1st – Jessica Estienne, 2nd -Brandon Pierce, 3rd – Westley Drake, 4th- Breyon Pierce, 5th – Breyon Pierce, 6th – Mary Elmer 7th – Mary Elmer; Heavy Singles Class – 1st – Brandon Pierce, 2nd – Mike Estienne, 3rd – Wendy Drake, 4th – Wendy Drake, 5th – Jake Estienne, 6th Bobby Estienne, 7th – Bobby Estienne; Light Pen of Three Class – 1st – Kate Elmer, 2nd – Mary Elmer; Heavy Pen of Three Class – 1st Brandon Pierce, 2nd – Breyon Pierce, 3rd – Wendy Drake.

Grand Champion Singles – Brandon Pierce, Reserve Champion Singles – Mike Estienne, Grand Champion Pen of Three – Brandon Pierce, Reserve Champion Pen of Three – Breyon Pierce.

A volunteer committee of parents and community supporters coordinates this special educational event. Funding is provided by generous donations from local businesses in Suffolk, Surry, Sussex, and Isle of Wight.

For more information on this annual event, call extension agents in your local Virginia Cooperative Extension Office; Rex Cotten in Suffolk at 923-2050; Melanie Goerger in Isle of Wight 365-6262; and Billie Jean Elmer of Surry 294-5215.