June 15, 2018

How to walk a pig

Topic: Leadership

As part of a summer series to My NDFB Life, we will be experiencing 4-H through the eyes of 15-year-old Paul Hanebutt. Paul is the son of Pete Hanebutt, NDFB Director of Public Policy. Throughout the summer, we will learn about the joys, struggles and rewards of being involved in 4-H. This is Paul's fourth post.

An important part of a 4-H summer is exercising the pigs. While exercising, I train them to walk just like in the show ring. Exercising keeps the animals healthy and gives them some freedom outside of their pen. It often takes a while for the pigs to get used to the grass and new surroundings outside their pen, but once they get used to it, they love it.

The first time I take the pigs out of their pens and onto the grass they are somewhat nervous and timid. A key point, though, is to be patient and gentle with them, as it is their first time being away from the safety of their pen. It is similar to how a preschooler is going to school for the first time and being away from his or her family for part of the day. When the pigs finally get onto the grass, they are still nervous but are exploring all the new things it offers. By the end of their first time out they are used to the new area.

Read the rest of Paul's post on My NDFB Life.