The 2019 Pratt County Fair Grand Champion Market Hog winner was 9-year-old Cole Freeman.
Cole Freeman was expecting a Reserve Grand Champion trifecta in the Swine judging at the Pratt County Fair. Freeman was Reserve Grand Champion in 2017 and 2018 and figured he would be there again this year but he broke the cycle in a big way when he took the Grand Champion Market Hog award in the competition.
Freeman, who is just 9 years old, took Grand Champion with his Berkshire and he also had the crossbred champion. He is in the Country Trailblazers 4-H Club and has been in 4-H for three years. He has shown pigs every year and had captured Reserve Grand Champion twice before winning it all in 2019.
Freeman got his pig, Pork Chop, in April from Jordan Nisley and found that his pig was easy to train.
To prepare for the fair, he works with his pig as much as possible, usually three times a week.
Freeman said when he gets older, he can help others with their swine projects. He likes being able to sell the pigs because he can use the money for next years animal and for feed.
Freeman said he likes the swine program because swine are easiest to show among the livestock animals. Plus, he didn’t have to work with them as much as other animals. But the hardest part of showing pigs is when they don’t want go. Freeman has three pigs and will spend 20 minutes a day with one pig then 20 minutes the next day with another and so on.
To get the pig ready for competition, he washes the pig, works with him a little and makes sure they are fed but they don’t feed them on the morning of the competition.
He knows a lot of people that can help him with his project. The biggest help for him has come from Brett Everly and his grandmother Gwinn Mills.
He learns a lot from the judges and he said all the judges were really nice. Freeman said he was very nervous was he watched Swine Judge Bill Toews make his way among the breed champions. He was happy when he reached out and shook his hand indicating he was Grand Champion. It was something he really wanted to get.
Freeman said his pig worked good this year but wasn’t great. He started out a little frisky, as did several other pigs in the competition, but after he warmed up in the arena he did better.
Freeman also had a Hampshire and crossbred in the show this year. He also has projects in beef, goats and horse.
Winning seemed to run in the Freeman family this year with Clayton Freeman taking the Swine Reserve Grand Champion.