Blue Ridge Elementary School sixth grader Chris Kowalewski (top) garnered a seventh place ribbon for his Duroc named Mater. He also had an opportunity to show off his mullet in a separate contest. Sawyer Herbert (above), a member of the Born to Show 4-H Club, placed third with a Duroc hog named Cody. Her brother, Wyatt (not pictured), placed sixth with his Duroc named Booger.
Story by Rick Hiduk / Photos by PA Dept. of Ag. And Rick Hiduk
(Originally published in the Susquehanna County Independent)
Three Blue Ridge Elementary School students attended the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg this year to show Purebred Duroc Pigs. All three did well enough with their hogs to advance them to the Youth Livestock Auction on Jan. 9. The Duroc is an older domestic swine breed developed in the United States that is red or yellowish in color and has noticeably droopy ears.
It was Sawyer Herbert’s second year showing pigs, and she took third place this year with a Duroc named Cody. She said that she enjoys bonding with the pigs during the time that she has with them. Last year, she garnered a second-place ribbon with a pig named Rose. Her brother, Wyatt, took sixth place this year with his Duroc named Booger. They are the children of Courtney and Kyle Herbert of New Milford and are sixth and fifth graders, respectively. Sawyer enjoys English language arts class, and Wyatt likes math in addition to playing baseball.
Chris Kowalewski, the son of Mike and Michelle Kowalewski of Montrose, took a seventh place with Mater in his first year showing pigs. Chris had previously showed sheep. When asked which animal he enjoys showing more, he replied, “Sheep because you have a little more control with them.” As for swine, Chris said, “Some can be laid back and some can be crazy.”
In addition to showing swine, Chris participated as one of more than 60 youths entrants in the PA Farm Show’s first ever mullet competition, which proved so popular that people in the Main Hall stood shoulder to shoulder trying to watch. Chris did not place in the contest, but he had fun. He is a sixth grader at Blue Ridge, where he likes math class the best.
While, in most livestock categories, only the top five finishers move on to the livestock auction, Swine is an exception with the top seven pigs making it to the next level.