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Preparing Pigs For Show
For months, kids from all across central Illinois have been preparing their farm animals for some fierce competition. With fair season in our midst, they're hoping all their hard work pays off.
Tori Bruno has been training her pig, Phil, since March, and spends at least an hour a day by his side.
"Right now, hogs are our main focus, so they're our really big push right now," Tori said.
Both Tori and her younger brother Clay have been showing animals at the Sangamon County Fair for their entire life, and they said it's just part of their family tradition.
"It's just part of what I've known, and it's fun because I have so many friends in this," Clay said.
It's not just about making friends and winning prizes. It's about the time well spent as a family.
"It's hours, hours spent with your kids," Amy Bruno said. "It's just something nationally families do. 4H, FFA, and livestock is a national thing. We've taken our kids to Denver, Louisville, Kansas City."
When the family is not traveling from fair to fair, they are back at the farm training, making sure their pigs are primped and proper.
"You just make sure that the hog is between you and the man that is judging, so you just let them loose in the ring and just follow them around," Tori said.
One of the toughest parts of the competition is making sure your pig doesn't go hog wild.
"They can go running around in circles, and you just have to remember to stay calm and not run after them," Tori said. "Walk after them."
"They get to know the animals pretty well," Amy said. "Each one has a different personality. It's hard to believe, but yes, pigs have a personality."
Although Phil may have a great personality, once the competition is over, saying goodbye is the tastiest part.
"I don't get too close with the, because we eat them, and it doesn't make sense to get close to them when they are going to end up on the table anyway," Clay said.
The Sangamon County Fair kicks off next weekend. Generally, about 300 families show animals.
If you would like to see Phil in action, he'll be at the Sangamon County Fair barrel show Friday, June 21. The show starts at 8 p.m.
Click here for more information about fair events.