Pig Shows at the NC State Fair!
Post by John Taylor
So it is that time of year, and if you are from around North Carolina, you probably have heard lots at lots about the NC State Fair, and probably have already been to it! I’d hope so, because by the time this gets posted, the fair will be almost over. For those of you not from the Old North State, the North Carolina State Fair is an annual festival at the fairgrounds in Raleigh – just barely off campus, next to Carter-Finley – and is one of the many things that North Carolinians love about the month of October in Raleigh.
When I went to the fair for the first time this year, I didn’t go to any of the normal attractions that most students go to. This year, I stopped at the Friday morning junior big show, which my cousin – also an NC State student – shows pigs, or competes in. When I got into the fairgrounds about 8:30am, the place was relatively empty. The pig, sheep, and cow pen however, was quite packed. People and animals alike were everywhere, and lots and lots of NC State red, imagine that!
The show was a cool thing to see, my Uncle raises the pigs for Hog Wild 4-H Club, and he was super happy about the pigs that he had grown. These pigs were big, the easiest way to say it. One was 2 pounds short of being TOO big for competition. The way the show works, pigs are separated into classes by their weight, and then when their class is up, the pigs and their showers walk around a large judge pen, and the judge looks at the pigs to decide which is the best in his opinion. The pigs are judge on the size of their hams, bacon, and shoulders, as well as how sound the pigs are. When I say sound I mean how easy the pig can walk/run. One of Grayson’s (my cousin) pigs had a twisted ankle so was not the soundest, the other pig however, was a track star. A week before the show, he got out of the pen and ran around and around a field to its heart content, and then it got tired and was herded back to its pen. So basically, the pig was extremely sound.
My cousin’s first pig ended up ranked 9th, and the second made the cut, but was only placed 5th in the grouping of 18. After this competition the pigs either will go to Harris Teeter (if they win) or to the slaughter house to be sold from there. Either way, we will eat them next week!!