Long-time participant ages out of the Belle Livestock Show, leaves advice for those coming up –“Don’t give up.”

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 8/13/20

BELLE — For Faith Gieck, the 2020 Belle Fair Livestock Show that was downsized due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19, will be her last as she is about to age out 4-H.

“I am not showing …

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Long-time participant ages out of the Belle Livestock Show, leaves advice for those coming up –“Don’t give up.”

Posted

BELLE — For Faith Gieck, the 2020 Belle Fair Livestock Show that was downsized due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19, will be her last as she is about to age out 4-H.

“I am not showing next year, I am too old,” Faith said.

Faith was washing down her hog between shows, which was pinned up with her brother’s hog at the sales barn.

“I have to wash them down and make sure they are fenced in so when they go to show, they don’t look nasty,” Faith said.

She said the lead-up to the abbreviated fair and smaller livestock show hadn’t really affected her.

“I get feed from someone in town,” Faith said. “He makes it, so I would get it from him.”

Her family kept four pigs at their barn for the show but were only able to bring one animal per person.

“They limited the animals to just the county FFA and 4-Hs,” Faith said.

She has been raising two hogs a year for nine years now. Her pig this year does not have a name.

“I try not to name them because I get connected too easy,” she admits. “I don’t know how many hours I have spent with them. If I go out to feed them, then not long, but if I go out to walk them it takes about two hours to walk both of them. They are fat and slow.”

She and her brother have been raising their pigs since March, when they got them as piglets. She was disappointed when she thought there was not going to be a fair.

“We show four hogs, but there are six in their pin,” Faith said. “That would have been six hogs that we would have had to get butchered. That is a lot of meat going somewhere with no money. That’s no money in equipment or feed.”

She and her brother still have a pig each at their house, so they will butcher those and give some to family members. As far as raising her animals this year though, not much had changed.

“Nothing was really different this year except for everyone freaking out about what was going to get done,” she said. “A lot of people were starting to sell them because they didn’t think we were going to have a fair. They were selling them before the fair even hit. I am glad they made a decision on having one.”

She said if the fair board had decided against a livestock show and auction, she and her brother probably would have given away two of their pigs and butchered the other two. As it is, she knows it is a hard choice for the ones behind her that may want to raise animals for next year with the threats of COVID-19.

“Just don’t give up on them,” Faith said. “Even if they don’t have the shows, you can always find something to do with them. If anything, you can continue to raise them until the fair and then give them back to where they originally came from.”

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