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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow A boy and his hog

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A boy and his hog

TREVOR Leithner readies his gilt pig Lavender for the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show 4-H and FFA auction June 9. Lavender should weigh in at just over 200 pounds at auction time. MIKE SHEARER photo
TREVOR Leithner readies his gilt pig Lavender for the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show 4-H and FFA auction June 9. Lavender should weigh in at just over 200 pounds at auction time. MIKE SHEARER photo

Cove eighth-grader readies Lavender for EOLS auction 

COVE — If raising a 4-H pig for sale at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show looks easy, it isn’t.

The day starts early for Trevor Leithner and Lavender.

Leithner is a Cove eighth-grader who maintains a 4.0 grade point average. Lavender is the robust and sweet-dispositioned gilt pig he’s been babying for months for the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show 4-H and FFA auction June 9.

“From the end of March until the beginning of September,” Leithner said, “I get up by 7 a.m., put on shorts and tennis shoes and run one of the lambs on 50-yard sprints.”

Then Lavender, usually with another gilt named Sugar Snap who’s being groomed for the state fair later, will get walked for exercise a half hour to 45 minutes every day.

On warm days, Leithner will wash her. “And every day she gets skin conditioner,” Leithner said, “so she’s not all scaly.”

She requires lots of handling so she’ll perform well in the ring on auction day, Leithner said. “Once in the ring, she needs to be right in front of the judges so she’s in their line of sight.”

He even spends time training her to get on the scales. The scales become all important because while the judges are looking the pigs over, so are the buyers who pay by the pound. Lavender should weigh in at just over 200 pounds.

Leithner is preparing Lavender and “two or three breeding ewes” to market at the EOLS auction this year, which will be his fifth year of showing and selling at the livestock show.

As with most participants in the auction, Leithner comes from an EOLS family.

His father, John Leithner, is co-chair of the auction, and Trevor’s sister, Brittany, has shown and sold at the auction for several years.

Of his sister, Leithner said, “Brittany taught me everything I know. I had to listen to her about a lot of things.” Brittany graduated from high school this year.

Asked what’s the hardest part of raising and selling livestock, Leithner said, “Letting go of my market animals, that’s the saddest part. Especially the lambs.”

But the money he makes selling at the livestock show and other fairs and shows doesn’t get spent frivolously.

“I put it in a bank account to pay for other animals and feed,” he said.

That bank account may help him with his long-term goal of going to Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla., and eventually on to Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

His father said, “He’ll be able to put a couple of hundred in his pocket” from the sale of Lavender. “It benefits kids. I think it’s the most important part of the show.”

The auction will be at 8 a.m. June 9 at the livestock show grounds in Union.

Those interested in buying locally grown livestock need to get a pre-assigned buyer’s number to participate.

Auction co-chairs John Leithner at 541-786-1750 or Billie Jo Boothman at 541-975-9519 can answer questions about buying at the auction, and there is a copy of the EOLS Junior Auction Buyer’s Guide on the EOLS website: easternoregonlivestockshow.com.

 

FULL SCHEDULE of EOLS EVENTS

 

Monday

4-H horse show — 9 a.m.

 

Tuesday

4-H horse show — 9 a.m.

 

Wednesday

Livestock weigh-In — 1-7 p.m.

4-H, FFA goat showmanship — 5 p.m.

 

Thursday

Cowboy breakfast — 6 a.m.

4-H, FFA livestock conformation — 9 a.m.

4-H, FFA judging contest — 3 p.m.

Carnival, family night — noon-10 p.m.

Happy hour, clubhouse — 5 p.m.

Ed Miller Memorial Xtreme Bulls — 7 p.m.

 

Adult dance, clubhouse — begins after rodeo

 

Friday

Cowboy breakfast — 6 a.m.

4-H, FFA showmanship — 9 a.m.

FFA awards presentation —  1 p.m.

Carnival — noon - 10 p.m.

Main Street parade — 2 p.m.

PRCA rodeo and horse racing — 4 p.m.

4-H awards presentation — 6 p.m.

Youth dance — 8 p.m.

Adult dance begins after rodeo

 

Saturday

Cowboy breakfast 6 a.m.

4-H, FFA livestock auction — 8 a.m.

Kids Corral, Knott Family Barn — 10 a.m.

Carnival noon — 10 p.m.

PRCA rodeo and horse racing — 2 p.m.

Adult dance begins after rodeo

 

Sunday

PRCA rodeo and horse racing — 1:30 p.m.

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