The Herald Bulletin

July 18, 2012

At 4-H Fair, responsibility an age-old component

It’s ‘the best thing you can learn,’ says Pendleton boy, 11

By Dani Palmer
The Herald Bulletin

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — For Isaac Mohr and his brother, Cade, of Pendleton, raising and showing their animals for 4-H is about responsibility.

“It teaches responsibility, and I just have a lot of fun with the animals,” Isaac, 14, said.

Showing livestock has been a family affair. Isaac shows sheep, Cade shows swine, and older brother Evan, 18, used to show cattle.

Isaac’s sheep, Leo, was first in Dorset breed this year, so he’s going on to the Grand Drive, where all the first-place winners show.

This is his fourth year showing, and he also participated in the showmanship contest Tuesday night.

Cade, 11, said he got fourth place Monday with his favorite pig, Swag.

Swag got his name because of the way he walks around, “like he’s cool,” Cade said. He showed seven pigs total this year.

Isaac said their family friends, the Smiths, of Smith Family Farm in Pendleton, got them hooked on livestock showing.

Cade said he stayed over there to hang with his buddy and liked being around the swine.

“I got involved and love it,” he said. “It teaches responsibility, the best thing you can learn.”

They, in turn, got friend Alec Wehner, 14, interested. He was hanging out with them at the fair and said he’s thinking about getting involved in 4-H now.

Isaac said Wehner has been helping them out.

The Smiths keep the boys’ animals at the farm for them and the Mohrs travel there daily to feed and walk them, Isaac said.

He and Cade said they feed the pigs marshmallows at fair time.

Cade said it doesn’t make them fat and they really like it. In a way, it’s like a treat for a dog as Isaac said they often give them a marshmallow after a walk.

While Isaac added that they are at a disadvantage not being near the animals at all times, they still enjoy the experience.

The fair may only be a week long, but taking care of the animals is a yearlong role, he added.

Cade added that they have gone elsewhere, such as Greenfield, for other fairs, and could go to the state fair from the county level.

“I just like working and showing them, getting good results,” he said.

Isaac said a champion animal doesn’t necessarily have to come from a champion parent, but rather that an animal’s potential depends on the person who raised it.

It’s about forming a trusting relationship, and Isaac said he likes all of the 4-H livestock showing experience save for the end, when an animal could be sold.

“(4-H is) a great opportunity for kids,” Cade said.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.