Yesterday the last of Madeline’s 4-H pigs went to the locker. A bit of a sad day for her, but all a part of being a hog farmer. And a hog farmer she is. Even though her own hogs are gone now, she still goes out every morning and chores our sows, boar and butcher pigs for us. I laughed the other day when she told a newspaper reporter, “Hogs are kind of my thing.”
You might recall she started out with 8 pigs, lost 2 early on, ending up with 6 to choose from for the county fair. 4-H’ers are allowed to take up to 5 to the fair – a derby barrow, a derby gilt, a market barrow, a market gilt, and a 5th one to round out a pen of 3 entry. Hogs brought to the fair are not allowed to be taken home again. They must be sold right from the fair to the packer, at grade & yield market price.
In the interest of actually making a profit on her hogs, she decided she’d only take 4 to fair and sell the remaining two head directly. One of our customers even came to the farm to select and load their pig themselves (most of the time we select the pig and haul it to the locker for our customers.) Madeline helped them pick the one they took, telling them why she thought he was the better pig, and helped load him up.
We haven’t sat down and figured her actual profit (or loss) yet, but I do know that she’ll gross almost as much on the 2 head she sold directly as she did on the 4 head she sold at market price!