The Herald Bulletin

July 19, 2012

Teen loves her pigs — and lets them go

By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — Cheyenne Morgan was brushing off Berk, her 7-month-old Berkshire barrow, as her dad, Dave Morgan, grabbed a scoop of feed.

“It’s a family thing for us,” Cheyenne, 15, said. “We are all a part of it. My brother and sister come and help out as much as they can. And my dad is here. We are here all week.”

Siblings Scott and Shelby Morgan are 10-year 4-H members, and she has four younger siblings who will be coming up in the program soon.

In her fifth year of 4-H, the Anderson teen is part of the Grand Champions Club. This year she won two reserve-champion ribbons, a third, two fifths and a sixth place and showed six hogs.

“I love 4-H so much,” Cheyenne said. “I come to the fair every year, meet my friends, take care of my pigs. It’s a great time. And it teaches you a lot of responsibility, especially taking care of an animal that requires more attention than a dog or a cat.”

The care and attention needed isn’t just during fair week — although Cheyenne said she’s pretty much at the fair all day every day. She has to attend to Berk and her other pigs daily with tasks such as feeding and watering, spraying them down in the summer, spreading shavings for bedding, walking them one to two times every day — and one of the more dreaded tasks, shoveling and removing poop.

“Caring for my animals is very important to me,” Cheyenne said. “Sometimes people will show their hog on Monday and not come back until the auction on Thursday. I water my pigs every two to three hours. They drink a lot.”

While patting Berk, Cheyenne said it can be tough to send her pigs to auction. But she said she’s always understood that it is part of the process.

“Earlier, I went out to the barn. ... Not seeing all the pigs, that was tough,” she said. “But I know that’s the way it goes. You have to do it.”

Some animals can be shown year after year, but pigs have to be a certain age.

“I’m excited about next year,” Cheyenne said, explaining that she hopes to take on a few more animals for the 2013 county fair. “There’s a lot more to come.”

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.