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Challancin’s pigs win 4-H prize

Hope Challancin, a Charles Henderson ninth-grader, participated in the 2020 Wiregrass 4-H Pig Pen project and the pig she raised was judged the Reserve Champion at the culminating show at the Coffee County Extension office in New Brockton.

Hope also took first place honors with both her pigs, Pickles and Barbecue, in their weight classes and first place in average daily weight gain. She also took third place honors in showmanship and sixth in record book.

Selina Dodson, 4-H Pike County Foundation Agent, congratulated Hope on an outstanding and award-winning project. “Each year 4-H youth from the Wiregrass have the opportunity to participate in the Wiregrass 4-H Pig Pen project,” Dodson said. “During this project, the youth receive two market hogs from the swine unit at Auburn University and raise the pigs for 127 days. At that time, time the pigs are judged at the culminating show.

For Hope, participating in the 4-H Pig Pen project is old hat. The year 2020 was the fifth year she has participated. She has raised a total of seven pigs, including 2020 Reserve Champion Pickles and Barbecue this year.

Hope said participation in the 4-H Pig Pen project is challenging and rewarding. It is also very time demanding and a lot of work.

“I had to keep a record book showing how much feed the pigs were fed and how much weight they were gaining and also train them for showing.

“I trained them by tapping on their shoulders with a stick to let them know which way I wanted them to walk in the arena.”

Hope’s pig “parlor” is a pen in her grandparents’ backyard outside the city limits of Troy. That’s where she feeds and grows her pigs into hogs.

Hope got her pigs for the 2020 Pig Pen Project on July 13, and they went to the processor last week.

Both pigs weighed 48 pounds when they arrived and, at the time of the Pig Pen Show, they weighed in at 300 and 260 pounds. Both weights took first place honors in their weight classes.

After the culminating 2020 Pig Pen show, Pickles and Barbecue were off to the processors.

Hope is a member of a farming family and an experience grower of pigs for meat so she was not bothered by the future of her two pigs.

The money she got from the sale of Pickles and Barbecue was deposited in her college account. Already, Hope is looking forward to next year’s 4-H Pig Pen project.

She recommends the annual pig project to others who enjoy working with animals and learning responsibility and dedication to task along the way.

Fifteen 4-H youth from seven counties in the Wiregrass showed off their hard work in raising their pigs at the show.

Once the show is completed, the youth are able to keep their hogs and determine what to do with their animals. Some hogs will remain on the farm while others will be sold.