4-H Fair: Pigs, Pigs and More Pigs

Swine remains one of the more popular animals for exhibitors to show at the Carroll County Fair.

The market swine show at the Carroll County Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 3 was another demonstration of just how popular pigs are among exhibitors.

This year there are 239 pigs shown by approximately 132 exhibitors, said swine superintendent Vicki Wagner. And this isn’t even the most pigs that have ever been at the fair.

“I think in 2008 we had the maximum amount possible, with about 167 kids. We showed for three days,” Wagner said.

Market swine is often a project chosen by first-year exhibitors for a number of reasons. Wagner said she believes that probably 65 to 75 percent of exhibitors who start their 4-H or FFA careers showing pigs stick with the species until they leave their respective program.

“They’re an easier project to start out in. The kids think pigs will be fun to do and, except for the feed, the equipment is less expensive,” Wagner said.

Matt Talbert, who has been showing pigs for 10 years has brought three to the fair this year. He echoed Wagner’s theory that pigs seem to be easier than other animals to show and maintain. Talbert is also showing sheep and cattle at the fair this year.

“I guess I also just like the animals better. Sometimes I think the sheep are kind of stupid,” Talbert said.

Showing swine at the fair seems to be a family affair. Exhibitors Maura McAndrew and Casey Burtnick both said that they first became involved with showing pigs because of tradition.

“It’s what my family has always done. Pigs are what I know best,” Burtnick said.

Many swine exhibitors are in the same situation as Burtnick. Wagner said that there are lots of families who show pigs together at the fair.

“A lot of the time, the older one will start showing pigs and the younger will just follow suit,” Wagner said. “I can’t think of many families where one child shows pigs and the other one doesn’t.”

McAndrew, who has also been showing pigs for 10 years, said that she never chose to show another species at the fair due to the time commitment required.

“I don’t have a lot of time and so I think it’s best to just devote all of it to one species,” McAndrew said. “And I just love pigs.”

For more fun at the fair check out these events:


  • Beef Cattle Show--11 a.m.
  • Senior Day Entertainment (Country Jam Band)--11:30 a.m.
  • Senior Social--1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dairy Steer Show--2:30 p.m.
  • Beef Steer Show--6 p.m.
  • Skid Steer Rodeo--7 p.m.
  • Cross Fire Band--7:45 p.m.


  • Dairy Goat Show -- 9 a.m.
  • Pit Beef & Pork Dinner -- 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Livestock Sale -- 5:30 p.m.
  • Iron Ridge Blue Grass Band -- 7 p.m.
  • 1st Annual Vintage Grain Truck Racing -- 8p.m.
  • Silent Auction Closed -- 8 p.m.


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