Cows, Chickens and Pigs, Oh My!

By Jordann Stekervetz –

The sounds of pigs squealing, fans blowing the dust off cows and the mixed melody of human voices on the hunt for farm fresh food signals the 95th Farm Show is in town.

Cows get washed and are blown dry before their class. Photo by Kendal Phillips

Held in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex, the event has once again given Penn Manor Future Farmers of America (FFA) members a showcase to display their skills and produce.

Katrina Reiff, a sophomore, showed off her cross-bred pig, Big Bang, on Monday. She showed Big Bang in Class 15, which was one of the heavy weight (between 268 lbs.  and 280 lbs.) classes for pigs. Katrina has been a member of Manor FFA for the past two-years, but was part of the 4H club for five-years.

“I just show pigs in FFA, but I also show lambs and dairy cows at the Lampeter Fair,” Reiff explained.

When showing pigs, you have to have them look presentable. “You have to wash them, clip them, and clip their ears and tail,” Reiff explained, “some people also use sprays to make them look shiny.”

Reiff also ended up winning master showman for her class, but did not end up making sale which means the animal was not in the top half of the class to qualify for the Farm Show auction.

After the animals are shown, they get sold off and it is hard for non-farm teens to understand the emotional side of it.

“Since I have been doing this for so long, it doesn’t really phase me,” explained Reiff,

Katrina with her pig Big Bang. Photo by Kendal Phillips

“But I am going to be a little sad about selling Big Bang, she has been my favorite pig since I started showing.”

Kaleb Long, a senior, also showed his Duroc pig in the lightweight class. Long ended up winning the master showman award for his class.

Hogs are not the only animals shown out at the farm show. Lambs, steer, dairy cows and many other animals re able to be shown also.

Another Penn Manor student, junior Alex Kuhl, has been doing rodeo for four-years and participated in bull-riding at the Farm Show. “It (bull-riding) is a good degree of difficulty,” Kuhl explained, “It can and can’t be painful. I have broke my arm, hyper-extended the elbow, tore my spleen and have had four concussions.”

Goats take a nap in their pens at the Farm Show. Photo by Kendal Phillips

Along with the rodeo and bull-riding, the farm show hosts barrel-racing, wagon-pulling, plus many other entertaining events throughout the week.

With help from: Sarah Garner, Alex Blythe