The Grange Fair may look like fun and games on the surface, but lift up a tent flap and witness the real drama that goes on out there in Centre Hall. At the swine auction last Wednesday the Future Farmers of America—most of them youngsters—put on a brave show as they paraded the hogs they raised for the past 8 months in front of packed stands while the auctioneers ran the bids up at the lift of an eyebrow. The cadence swallowed you up until SOLD! the spell was broken and the young farmer could herd the hog out of the pen—and let down a stalwart defense with a quivering lip.
Coleton Barger turns 12 this month and is already well on his way to learning some of life’s hard lessons—like how to let go. Subsidized by parents Randy and Theresa Barger, Coleton raised two hogs at their Gatesburg property, learning animal husbandry as well as bookkeeping in the process. He saw his efforts pay off as the hogs gained 2 pounds a day and brought winning bids at the swine auction. He'll be able to pay off mom and dad and earned enough to invest in more livestock for next year. Bucky Koritko, owner of Lion Country Supply, will use the 290 pound hog that he purchased for a pig roast next weekend during his Bird Dog Days customer appreciation event in Port Matilda. That meat will be mighty sweet.