A very popular project in the NETLA livestock show is swine. Raising hogs for our local county junior livestock show usually brings more than 90 participants every year. Raising hogs is very different than any other project animal because hogs are very personable, respond very well to human contact and grow very fast. Swine exhibitors also get very excited about their projects and I have seen complete families getting involved raising the hogs. Just like in any other livestock project with the exception of broilers, a good start finding a good project really helps getting ready for showing. Proper raising, feeding and caring of a good project usually leads to a success during the livestock show. I have known 4-H members really dedicated to raising pigs, even helping other members or procuring projects for other families. A particular 4-H member even got involved procuring projects to 4-H families state-wide. Hogs are also funny. Because their size and temperament, chasing pigs when they get out of their pens can be challenging and even funny. The swine project teaches participants proper methods of selecting, feeding, raising, breeding and marketing swine. Either market or breeding animals can be raised. The objective of raising a swine project are: a) To attain a broad knowledge of the 4-H project and related activities as to the way they improve family and community life, b) to acquire life skills through project participation essential for becoming an active, skilled, productive and responsible citizen, c) to adopt and apply the latest practices and research findings in the project area to everyday project experiences and work d) to develop an understanding from 4-H project training and experiences which can assist you in the future for choosing and preparing for a job and to develop leadership skills that promote positive youth development. The start of the project begins by getting enrolled in 4-H or FFA and selecting a good project. You must contact me at the extension office or your FFA mentor to have it validated for the NETLA show. NETLA requires all exhibitors to take a quality counts verification. The quality counts vertification is an on-line training and test that measures their knowledge is quality assurance and character education and can be found on-line at http://agrilife.org/qualitycounts/verification/. Swine exhibitor members of Hopkins County must contact the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-884-3443 before November 20 to set up a time to have the projects validated.
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