4-H Full Time: Q&A with Abel Kiser, long-time 4-H member and senior

and stuff. There’s a lot more than animals, so that was really cool. It’s just kind of a tradition, that’s the thing you do during July: the fair.”

Q: What’s been your favorite experience, if you could pick one out?

A: “I really liked the Pork Ambassadors. Anyone can join it, but it’s for the most part kids that take pigs to the fair and we get to educate the second graders and the county. They go to 4-H fairgrounds every March and they go around and learn about different animals and everything. This March, I did it also. We go and we get a couple pigs there; it’s at the 4-H fairgrounds, so it’s a field trip for them. We just kind of educate them on the pigs and stuff about them, so that’s really fun because a lot of them don’t know where their food comes from or have ever seen a pig up close, that sort of thing.”

Q: Why did you decide to show pigs?

A: “Pigs are pretty easy, which is nice. You don’t have to have a ton of land, and they’re my favorite. They’re nice and easy and cows can get out of hand. Pigs are pretty smart compared to the other animals, so they don’t just poop and then sleep there. They use one corner and that makes it a lot easier, which is nice.”

Q: Do you develop personal bonds with the animals?

A: “A little bit, not a whole lot. Not like I would with a pet, but you do kind of get to know them. You’ve got some that are slow and lazy and others that like to run around and stuff. We have pet pigs at our house, they’re pot-bellied pigs and they don’t get nearly as big but we keep them year round and we’ve had them for 10, 15 years now. Those ones are more like pets.”

Q: Do you guys stay near a barn?

A: “Our pigs stay at our barn and then we’ll take them out to the pasture to walk them out and everything. Then our sheep have got a big pen in the pasture so they stay outside most of the time, in the winter before they have babies we’ll bring them into the barn. Then the cows usually are, they’ve got a pasture they can go into but they can walk into the barn.”

Q: How involved are you in 4-H?

A: “We have one meeting a month so that’s not a big commitment but those are fun, you get to learn about other projects and meet people.”

Q: Are you working on any projects right now?

A: “I haven’t started the projects yet, but I’ll be doing food so I’m baking a pie for that and I usually do arts and crafts so it’s like some kind of school project or woodworking and photography. Our pigs, we should getting our pigs in a couple weeks now. The pigs aren’t born at our house, cause then you’d have to keep the sow all winter long, and we don’t have the facilities set up for that at our house right now. They’re usually a month and half, and then we raise them until the fair. Once we get those, that’ll be just about every day, going out there and making sure they’ve got food, water, doing that sort of thing. That will get pretty involved pretty soon here.”