The 2018 Iowa State Fair will be one that the Hick family from Adel won’t forget. Siblings Hayley and Levi made their way to the top in the 4-H pig show at the fair last week.
Hayley placed first in the medium weight gilt class, Levi placed second. As a result, they were both out for the final drive to determine the overall champion. Hayley’s gilt, Sassy, was named grand champion commercial gilt at the fair. The siblings competed against nearly 500 others before taking the top finishes.
“Having both kids out there for the final drive was awesome,” says Hayley and Levi’s dad, Sean.
Twelve-year-old Levi was named grand champion junior showman with his pig, Oscar. There were 105 competing in his class.
The Iowa State Fair results were a combination of strong genetics, but also hard work throughout the year, the Dallas County Farm Bureau members said.
“We walked pigs every day for a half an hour to an hour each pig,” Hayley, 11, said.
“We make sure to wash them every other day to make sure their skin and hair is nice and clean. And it makes the black of their spots stand out,” Levi says.
They pay close attention to animal health and care, they said.
“If they get spots or owies on them you have to treat them right away,” Hayley said.
The pigs are on a strict feeding schedule, and feed rations may differ depending on what their pigs’ needs are.
“We have to make sure we feed them at the right times every day. We do a 12-hour basis. We feed at 7 a.m. and 7 at night to make sure they’re on their times so they don’t get cranky,” Levi says.
Their sister, Kinsey, says she helps too. Her favorite part is helping to wash the pigs.
Dad Sean and Mom Sarah said raising pigs has become an important lesson for their kids.
“Our goal is to create an atmosphere that they’ll want to do it later on and have a good work ethic to make sure they’re getting their chores done,” he said.
Ultimately, he said, winning at the Iowa State Fair shows them that “hard work pays off.”