Porcine personality piques Peterman

Taylor Peterman took first place in market gilt in her age group at the Madison County Fair on Wednesday. She’s been showing porcine projects for eight years. She says their personalities make them enjoyable to work with.

When it comes to hogs what’s not to love?

Taylor Peterman, who placed first in her age group in market gilt Wednesday, has been showing hogs at the Madison County Fair for eight years.

When asked what drew her into raising and showing them, Peterman said, “I love their personality.”

“They’re funny, they act like dogs,” she continued.

She engaged her current project, a cross between a York and Hampshire, in March when the piglet was two months old. From that time, though not inseparable, Peterman and porcine project spent time together every day.

An hour to an hour and-a-half each day, she worked with the hog to coax her to hold her head up and “to walk the proper way,” Peterman said. She uses a long “whip” but at the end is a small piece of string-like material. It’s used to tickle miss piggy’s cheek to guide her the other way.

“So she understands who has authority,” Peterman said.

She apparently understood while in the ring under the watchful eye of the judge.

“She did amazing, really good,” Peterman complimented.

Peterman has experience as a champion as she raised the overall champion market gilt in 2014.

Along with raising and training gilts, the London High Senior is president of the 4-H club, vice-president of the London FFA, a member of the junior fair board and cheers for the London Red Raiders.

Following high school, Peterman plans to become an ROTC Army nurse.

Peterman said raising a fair show animal provides discipline in her life. That pig has needs and it’s up to her to supply them: to feed and care for the animal for its overall welfare.

“If you don’t keep them clean, they get sick. If you don’t feed them, they don’t gain (weight),” Peterman said. “You learn how to feed, take care of them, clean them, give a haircut.

“It’s all fun and games until you figure out you’ve learned something,” Peterman said. “I wish I could do it a couple more years.”

As it is, 2016 will be her last year in 4-H.

Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.