Thursday, August 24, 2000
Hayden Never ever get between two angry, screaming swine. This year's senior 4-H all-around champion in swine showmanship made that mistake Thursday evening in Hayden, and finished off his show with a pig bite on the back of his calf.
"It hurt really bad," Steamboat Springs' 16-year-old Adam Grimes said. "I thought the pig tore a chunk of my leg off."
Grimes walked around the Routt County Fairground with a slick patch of yellowed, iodined-skin on the back of his right leg, happy nonetheless, because he had finally won that big, shiny, 4-H all-round champion belt buckle.
"I've been working on this for a few years," he said, "so I'm a little surprised, but really happy."
Watching 4-Hers squirt their swine with a spray bottle of water and brush them clean in anxious anticipation of showtime, onlooker Levi Prince said, "The only thing they're good for is eatin.'"
Grimes and the rest of the senior 4-Hers disagreed. As part of this year's show, each senior member was required to step up to the microphone and tell everyone around just what he or she thought was so great about raising pigs, and how doing so would help him or her later on in life.
"I want to be a vet," Grimes said. "And even if I didn't, I live on a ranch and having raised these pigs I'll just have all that much more knowledge: their eating habits, sleeping habits, what to do and what not to do."
Senior 4-Her Amanda Sumerlin said she raises pigs because it's a great way to learn to care for animals to be able to appreciate the sorts of things other living things go through.
Although Grimes said there's more to a pig than eating, that's exactly what he intends to do dine on pork chops all winter long after having his 212-pound hog butchered.
"You can raise 'em to butcher or to sell," Grimes said.
Raising swine not only provides practical experience for vets- and ranchers-to-be, and not only fills the plate with fresh-roasted meat, but fills out the bank account nicely as well.
Instead of butchering his swine, Grimes sold his last year to Russell's Auto Salon for $1,500, which he added to his vet-school savings fund.
He is hoping to make just as much this year by selling his second swine he raised two this year, and showed just one.
"The first time I raised one, it was really hard to let it go," Grimes recalled. "You get them when they're just little guys in April, and buy the time August rolls around you get to be pretty good companions. So that first time I watched it go into the trailer, it was heart-breaking. But it's OK now. You get used to it. I have no problem eating him."
To reach Bonnie Nadzam call 871-4205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org