Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 6: Stories Make Everything Better

Some of my greatest joys in Wyoming were the times I was working with the local 4-H and FFA students. It was so much easier to share the joy of pigs when there were pigs to share ;)

In lieu of having pigs to share now though I am spreading the word through the Pork Board’s Operation Main Street. I know I have written posts about this before and I will probably write more posts in the future, but I seriously am so glad to be part of this movement.

Do I think I am the world’s greatest presenter? Absolutely not. It can be hard to talk about Ag with high school students that have no interest, but I try anyway. It would be easier for me if I could drag a sow into schools with me...but I don’t really think the administration would be all that thrilled…haha. Something about being able to actually see and touch an animal opens up question gateways like nothing else. 

I have a lot of respect for high school teachers, they are definitely made of tough stock.

That dangerous soul-sucking stare ;)
 It’s always interesting to see the difference between the freshman and the seniors. The freshman are usually so afraid of you that they don’t want you to notice them or ask them questions, and they definitely don’t want to ask you questions. The seniors on the other hand actually look at you like you are a human being and not a monster whose sole goal in life is to suck out their souls ;) The seniors are far more engaged, they ask questions, they make jokes, they want to hear some silly stories such as the following:

-The time the pigs chewed on Dave’s cell phone for a day then so kindly dropped it back in their feed trough so he could find it the next day.
-UW has 2 outdoor pens that are overflow pens because the barn isn’t as big as it needs to be. Well the trick to feeding in those pens is getting in the pen and dumping feed in the troughs before the sows swarm you and make it very difficult to get anywhere. Well one time, in the middle of winter, after the ground had frozen and melted and frozen and melted and left massive ruts and hard knobs in the dirt I was feeding sows. Well I didn’t manage to get to the troughs before being swarmed, an 600 pound sow stepped on my foot and then I tripped over a rut. Feed went flying, I went flying and I developed some nasty dirt burns from that adventure. Just one of those glamorous times when you are really happy nobody is around to witness your misfortune J

-They were amazed by the fact that the outdoor sows would pick up rocks and carry them around then oh so kindly dump them in their waterer. You could almost always guarantee if there was a waterer problem it was due to an overflow of rocks stopping the system up.

None of these stories are exactly life-changing but they illustrate the entertaining personality quirks that pigs have.

While it may be nerve-wracking to be an ambassador for Ag, everybody’s stories need to be told regardless of how scary it may be. At the end of this long day I am definitely tired but honored that I had the chance to share the Pork story with high school students. It won’t be long until they are out in the real world after all…and who knows, maybe they will decide to give the Pork industry a try. 

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