Thursday morning, we were up before dawn to get ready for the swine show. The kids cleaned the pen, gave Hank and Beulah a good bath, and shined them up with a misting of baby oil. We clipped their bristly hair the week before the show so they were in tip-top shape for the fair. They didn't mind the sound of the electric clippers at all. They'll stand perfectly still for a little bit of food in their bowl.
The show went well. Our hogs weighed 292 and 301 pounds, so they were in the heavier weight classes. Beulah got 5th place, and Hank was 6th. That earned the kids a red ribbon for the overall show. Our girl was doing great in her showmanship class until Beulah stuck her head into the corner and wouldn't budge out of it despite all of my girl's desperate urging. It tanked her chances of moving to the next level, but she looked pretty darn cute out there anyway! Beulah has always been a total diva, and when she decides she doesn't want to do something, she plants herself in one spot like a Sherman tank. Ha Ha!
The next day was the livestock Auction for all of the market animals. My husband and I had been in serious prayer about whether or not to keep one of our hogs so that we could have meat in our freezer this winter. If we sold both of them, then we would continue to have to purchase pork until it was warm enough to raise another hog next summer. We really wrestled with whether or not we should allow both hogs to go through the ring. In the end, we reluctantly decided to sell them both.
Our son was a bit nervous to go in the sale ring with huge bleachers full of bidders, but as the sale price on his hog started to rise, the fear was replaced by relief. His hog was purchased by his orthodontist, and was one of the higher priced hogs of the day. Our boy just got his braces taken off two days before, and he was grinning from ear to ear. His pearly white smile was the perfect advertisement for the orthodontist's office! Ha Ha! We gave our orthodontist three little mouths to fix, and he supported us by buying our hog. What a kind and generous man!
Our daughter's sale story was a complete blessing as well! Unbeknownst to us, the person who committed to buying her hog was detained in another town and unable to make it to the show in time. Instead, her hog was purchased by our local pig farm that produces thousands of pigs for a well known national pork brand. I would love to shout their name from the roof tops but I don't know if I'm allowed to. This company supports our community on many different levels with jobs and economic growth, and they have been champion supporters of 4-H kids in our local county as well.
Not only did they purchase our daughter's hog, but they donated it back to her as well. YES, you read that right! They bought the hog and we got to keep the meat!!!!!
Praise God for his rich blessings in our lives, and praise God for local businesses who passionately and generously support 4-H and this country's next generation of agricultural leaders.
We'll be eating lots of bacon and biscuits with sausage gravy this winter!