Adult 4-H

As you recall my Parents gave me their blessing to get pigs. This has been a dream of mine for several years. The deal is, I promised my Parents that I would pay for and care for my pigs and they would not have to pay for or do anything for the pigs. I also promised I would get a heritage breed hog.
What is a heritage breed you ask? Generally they are breeds of animals that are not raised commercially. For that reason, the breeds can be rare. For example, the type of pig I want, Red Wattles, are considered critical. I kinda look at heritage breed animals, like heirloom vegetables, for some reason that analogy makes sense in my head.
I started thinking about this, a lot. I really enjoy raising my own food, it makes me happy and I know others enjoy it too. I’m also 30 kinds of stoked to be raising a heritage pig! I feel like I will be getting a superior pork product and bringing attention to neat breed. And in typical Megan fashion, I have a plan.

The pig pen. It needs a lot of work.

I was already planning on getting at least two pigs (so they wouldn’t be lonely. Happy pigs are healthy pigs!). But since I am so freaking passionate about agriculture and education – I thought this pig project would be a great opportunity not only for myself, but for some of my friends.
I am incredibly lucky to know a large group of people that want to be connected to their food. They buy local, know their farmers and do a fabulous job of educating themselves about current food issues, I am proud to call them my friends. I see a lot of these people looking for ways to get involved with production agriculture, but having little success, unless they want to pay dearly for the experience.
Light bulb! Adult 4-H. Many adults yearn to re-connect with their food and get their hands dirty, but there are still few opportunities for them to do that. Like I said above you can pay to intern on some farms, you can pay to work on a Dude Ranch, you can pay to be in a CSA (community supported ag), you can pay to go to school. Kids and teenagers at least have 4-H and FFA to learn from. But adults, especially ones with no or little ag background/training, can have it tough.

Milkshake stop – it’s hardwork fixing a pig pen!

This is where I can help!!!!! I have the space, I have the knowledge (I raised pigs in 4-H and my Dad knows a lot!) and I have the drive. I want people to have the same opportunities that I had, so they can learn about their food, agriculture and animals. It is in my best interest to share my point of view with as many people as I can. Plus how awesome is it going to be to have two of my friends play on the ranch with me?

Kristen found the pig waterer part.

“Adult 4-H” has started. My friends Kristen and Mahina are joining my “4-H club” as founder members. With the help of The Intern (more about him later), we started fixing up our pig pen last weekend. I’m hunting down Red Wattle piglets to buy. I think this is one of the most exciting endeavors I have started recently. I think the potential to learn and teach is huge. Stay tuned!

16 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, arts & crafts, food, Pigs, Ranch life, Uncategorized

16 responses to “Adult 4-H

    • Thanks! I hope it translate to a great time too!

    • Anita Schwartz

      We raised Red Wattles for years when I was a kid. We don’t anymore b/c Dad sold the farm. But one tip I would share with fellow Red Wattle farmers is that these hogs are what I fondly refer to as “chatty”. They growl and sniff and snort and bark and carry on as if they really have something important to say and they are holding the talking stick. They are NOT what I would call a beginner hog. They can be very intimidating. We loved them. They were efficient breeders, large animals with just the right amount of fat. Big litters. But they are every bit as chatty as the Polish with a bit more growl tossed in for flavor. Don’t become intimidated!

      • They totally are “chatty” that is so true!!!! I think that is why I like them so much! They have a lot of personality! I’m not ready to breed yet, but I will def remember this for the future! Thank you!

      • Carla Vanderford

        I think ours which we bought in SE Texas,near the Louisiana border and transplanted to Nebraska were happiest with plenty of space. They do well foraging, are efficient gainers, and prefer some brush in which to root and shelter.

  1. You may want to check out Cook Pigs Ranch they raise organically fed Red Wattle pigs right here in California. Find them on Twitter at @cookpigsranch they they could probably get you a deal as well as teach you how to breed and raise them.

  2. rysfade

    I was in 4-H as a kid, and now I’m really wishing there was ‘Adult 4-H’ where I live now. Great idea!

  3. Mat

    Ok so I’m confused, you found the nipple drinker at Kmart?

  4. Mat

    I have LOTS of experience with nipple drinkers from a previous life. Can’t believe I’ve never heard of that store, we don’t have them up here but I’ve travelled lots south of the line. I’m looking forward to following your hog adventures.

  5. Pingback: Adult 4-H: Pig Pen Fix-Up Day | The Beef Jar

  6. Pingback: Adult 4-H: PIGS | The Beef Jar

  7. Suzanne

    I have a red wattle gilt. I will be breeding her late March/early April. Alas, no red wattle boar, so my spotted Duroc mix will have to do…..

    • That is great! Ours are crossed with a Tamworth, the hybrid vigor created by crossing the two different breeds has been great! In fact, I plan on doing the same thing next year! Good luck!

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