Lawrence County’s 4-H Pig Squeal project is kicking off for area students this fall, according to organizers.
The Pig Squeal project—designed to teach 4-H members the recommended management practices for growing and raising swine—opened registration to 4-H students this week. Any young person between the ages of 9 and 19, as of January 1, who lives in or attends school in Lawrence County is invited to participate.
Those interested should complete a registration form (available at the Lawrence County Extension Office on Alabama 157 in Moulton or online). To participate in the project, students must also pay a $225 fee, due no later than Monday, Nov. 1, organizers said.
In completing the project, organizers said participants will develop swine management skills, learn to produce healthy pigs, develop an awareness of business management skills, and learn record keeping skills concerning income and expenses.
Students who participate will also be required to attend the 4-H Pig Squeal Training Session, where they will receive valuable information to help prepare them to raise their pigs, organizers said. The exact date, time and format of the training are still to be determined.
“(During the training) we will discuss what to expect on the day of the show, the importance of record books, and project promotion,” organizers said.
Students in the project will be responsible for providing all the care for their pigs, which includes preparing a suitable pen for the pigs, providing feed and water for them, and incurring any unexpected expenses that might be necessary.
Following the November registration deadline, participating students will receive two feeder pigs approximately 60 days old and weighing approximately 50 pounds.
“These pigs will be vaccinated before you receive them,” organizers said. “You will take them home and begin care for these pigs until the show and auction on Saturday, March 5, 2022. You will continue caring for them until the processing date.”
During the project, students will be contacted by a 4-H Agent or 4-H Agent Assistant to schedule a home visit. This is a mandatory part of the project, according to organizers. Failure to complete a home visit will result in disqualification from the show and sale at the end of the project.
Before the Pig Squeal Show in March, students will select one pig for the 4-H Pig Squeal Show, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 5. At the show, participants will auction the chosen pig at the Lions Club Fairgrounds in Moulton.
Participating students will compete in two classes—weight and showmanship. Participants will receive prizes and auction proceeds, less a small auction fee, organizers said.
“Youth are encouraged to ask friends, family and local citizens to purchase their pig at the Auction. We will follow CDC guidelines regarding community events,” organizers added.
“As for the additional pig, if you need assistance with securing a processor, let us know as soon as possible. Processors are booked in advance and the chances of finding one to process your pig on a specific date will be better the earlier you book. You may use your own processor.”
Students will also be required to submit a record book. The 4-H Pig Squeal Record Book will be due in the Lawrence County Extension Office no later than Friday, February 25, 2022—one week before the show and auction.
For more information, contact the Lawrence County Extension Office at 256-974-2464. Lawrence Extension Coordinator Donna Shanklin, 4-H Foundation Regional Extension Agent Melinda Smith, or Lawrence County 4-H Agent Assistant Marsha Terry will be happy to answer questions or assist with registration.