Competitors get down and dirty at Grange Fair swine competition

Cody Harpster has been showing his swine at the Centre County Grange Fair for seven years. He has been a part of the county 4-H program for nine years.

This year, Harpster, 15, a State College Area High School student, said he’s hoping to place in the annual swine show showing off two pigs, Danica and Scar — both production pigs at his family’s farm, Genia Farms, in Pennsylvania Furnace.

“I’m just going to show the judges my animals and hope for the best,” Harpster said. “Each swine breed has a different look and different function.”

The swine show, according to Swine Superintendent Ralph Homan, is where kids and adults are able to show off their animals with a junior and open competition.

Homan said the judges look for showmanship and functionality of each pig.

On Wednesday, the second of two competitions was held that included 108 Centre County competitors, ages 8 to 21 who were a part of the county 4-H and Future Farmers of America organizations showing off 200 pigs total.

“It’s a big event for these kids because they’re able to show off the thing they work with so often,” Homan said.

Each participant was able to show up to two swine and were housed at individual pig pens at a barn near the show grounds.

“The kids work really hard for this. It’s their time to really show us what they’re working with and there is a little pride behind it,” Homan said.

As for Harpster, he said growing up on an farm with animals has made him proud. In his future, Harpster said he hopes to make a career in the agriculture field and owes that to his upbringing.

“Wouldn’t have had it any other way,” he said.