Students Prepare for Livestock Competition - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students Prepare for Livestock Competition

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October 31, 2007

Albany - - Along with the food and fun games that come with the Albany Exchange Club Fair is a competition that means a lot to some school kids. The annual live stock competition is a big event that draws hundreds of students for prizes and bragging rights. Wednesday, students kicked off the contest with the swine event.

This sound is very familiar to 12 year old Aubrey Wynn.

"About 2 years now."

For 2 years, he's learned what it takes to care for a pig and what it takes to raise them. It's become a hobby for him.

Wynn is one of hundreds of youngsters at the Albany Exchange Club fair to show off their skills with livestock.

Wednesday, there were plenty of these guys.

"We have over 249 head of hogs coming in," says Jeff Sheffield with the Exchange Club.

But the competition isn't really about them.

"It's strictly the student and how they show the hog and how they train the hog," he adds.

All day long, students from across South Georgia put their skills to the test. The first step was dividing the swine into their various categories, based on weight and breed.

"When they come in, we have to grade them whether they are pure bred, or whether they're commercial or market hogs," Sheffield says.

They had to be washed down real good so they'd be in tip top shape.

Sometimes, Wynn has learned they don't always cooperate.

"They're like hard headed...When you put the whip in front of their eye, they know what they're supposed to do," Wynn says.

And when they do what they're supposed to do he knows he's done his job. He's hoping to walk away with the judges stamp of approval.

"I hope I get first place. Grand champion," he says with a smile.

That smile shows his pride for what's turned into a passion for the 7th grader. The swine competition wrapped up Wednesday afternoon. Thursday, students will come out for the goat show. Then on Friday, students will display their showmanship skills with lamb. The biggest event is on Saturday. That's when the cow show will take place at 9 am.

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