Hog Club Gives Kids Valuable Skills

Hog Club member Abigail Foust at the state show

The Union County 4-H Hog Club headed to the state competition last weekend, a truckload of middle schoolers, high schoolers, and the hogs they spent the fall and winter raising. The Hog Club has been going strong since 2014, teaching students valuable skills from animal care to public speaking.

Folks like to complain about “kids these days” with their heads in their phones all the time, but would you believe that the impetus for starting the Hog Club was a teenager? Union County’s UT Extension Agent Shannon DeWitt said it started as a little bit of a love story.

“A young man came into the office in fall of 2013, and his girlfriend had given him a show pig,” she said. “She lives in another county and showed pigs with 4-H, and he wanted to show his pig. I said, ‘OK, we’ll figure it out.’”

DeWitt got the young man registered to show his pig locally in December and at the state show in January, but his truck broke down the week of the show. DeWitt volunteered to help him haul his pig to Nashville.

“Honestly, it was so much fun,” DeWitt said. “I saw that young man have so much fun and enjoy it, I said we’ve got to get more kids involved in this.”

That spring, the UT Extension office promoted the program in local schools and with existing 4-H students, offering them the chance to get a show pig at a great bargain, raise the pig with guidance from the Hog Club, show it and sell the pig for meat at the end of the season. Parent volunteer Trevor Jones helped purchase and transport the pigs that first year and continues to haul the pigs from Indiana at the start of each season.

Most kids choose to sell their pigs for meat at the end of the showing season, many rolling the earnings into another pig the next fall. Some keep the pigs. Student Kennedy Hill even offers the offspring of her first pig to Hog Club students for purchase each year. As DeWitt said, the program has come full circle.

While buying, feeding and caring for a pig requires funds and responsibility, it is a relatively easy step up from the 4-H Chick Chain project, and a step towards raising and showing larger animals like sheep or cattle.

“Pigs are a lot of fun,” said DeWitt. “They’re very intelligent. They have a lot of personality. As far as livestock showing goes, this is a really affordable project, a step up from our chicken project. It’s very easy to sell pigs, easier to sell pigs than beef cattle, and it’s helped our other 4-H programs to grow. We have more kids showing beef animals than we ever had before, and our livestock judging team that is the really educational deal. I feel like the Hog Club has been kind of a stepping stone to other things.”

What a student takes away from the Hog Club, DeWitt said, is really up to the student. Each one develops different skills.
“Responsibility, making sure the animal is healthy, learning animal welfare and how to treat animals well, leadership skills, sportsmanship,” she said. “They compete against each other, but we learn together. They learn to win and lose gracefully, and they learn teamwork because they help each other.

“This is something I’m very passionate about. I really love this project. I love working with the kids, and they love working with the pigs. We also have a great group of parents who are 100 percent willing to jump in and help however they can all the time.”

Limited scholarship opportunities are available, and DeWitt said she tries to let any student participate no matter what their financial situation is.

The best way to help, DeWitt said, is to purchase a pig from a Hog Club student and give them a premium price if possible. People who want to help can also donate towards the end-of-season awards club banquet. Help with transportation is also needed from folks with animal handling experience.

For more information, call the Union County UT Extension Office at 865-992-8038.

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Events

Facebook 101 for Direct Farmers

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 08:00

Taught by UT Extension Marketing Specialist, Megan Bruch Leffew, and Area Information Technology Specialist, David Yates, the workshops will be held:

• November 14 in Kingsport
• November 15 in Knoxville
• November 28 in Jackson
• November 29 in Nashville
• December 5 in McMinnville

Exact location information will be emailed to registered participants the week prior to workshops. Participants can bring their own laptop or tablet or use a tablet provided by the instructors. Because of the hands-on nature of the workshop, space is limited.

Job Fair

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 14:00
Job Fair

The Union County Job Fair will be held Thursday, Nov 15th from 2-7pm at the Union County Senior Citizens Center (298 Main St, right behind the Maynardville Public Library). This is a free event open to the public. Please bring a resume and be properly dressed. The Union County Job Fair is sponsored by the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

Family "Treasure Hunt" - November 17 @ 1-4 p.m.

Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 13:00

NEWS RELEASE

REVIVAL VISION CHURCH INVITES FAMILIES TO GO ON A TREASURE HUNT!

Maynardville, TN Revival Vision Church of God will host Treasure Hunt Fall Fest on November 17, 2018. Adventure awaits families at Treasure Hunt. During this three-hour interactive program, kids and grown-ups alike will uncover mystery messages, witness volcanic eruptions, and collect treasures along the way. But that’s not all! At each station, they’ll dig deep into a valuable experience that helps them get to know Jesus in a fresh, new way.

Need A Ride To Church

Sunday, November 18, 2018 - 10:00
Need A Ride To Church

Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.

Worship Services

Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M

Obituary

Helen Marie Hulsey

Helen Marie Hulsey, 95, of Knoxville, passed away peacefully on November 12, 2018. Born on October 30, 1923 to Giuseppe and Mary Vazzana. Preceded in death by husband of 34 years, John W. Hulsey; daughters, Judy Petree and Brenda Underwood.
Survived by children Deborah Hulsey of Knoxville, James Hulsey, Mary James, and John Hulsey, all of Indianapolis. 16 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandson, and her brother and 2 sisters. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her.

Ruth Jean Campbell

Ruth Jean Campbell-age 79 of Sharps Chapel passed away Monday morning, November 12, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Wayne T. (Kayo) Campbell; parents, Toby and Edith (Wright) Sharp; sisters, Viola and Mona Grace Sharp; brothers, Clio and Sam Sharp.

Survivors: daughter, Donna Campbell of Sharps Chapel; sister, Dot and J. C. Cox of Maynardville; brothers, Larry and Helen Sharp; Jack and Brenda Sharp, all of Sharp Chapel. Several nieces and nephews.

Richard Lewis 'Bud' Richardson

Richard Lewis “Bud” Richardson-age 57 of Maynardville, born October 16, 1961 passed away suddenly Saturday morning, November 10, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, E. R. and Mary (Anderson) Richardson; brother, Eddie Richardson.

Survivors: children, Jason, David and April; four grandchildren. Sisters, Patsy (Billy) Humphrey, Vickie Shope; brothers, Jeff and Jessie (Jessica) Richardson. Several other family members and a host of friends.

Wanda Lee Eldridge

Wanda Lee Eldridge-age 77 of Luttrell passed away Friday evening, November 9, 2018 at her home. She along with her late husband were the owners of the former Mark’s Market in Luttrell. Preceded in death by husband, Alvin A. “Mountain Man” Eldridge; daughter, Robbin Fortenberry; granddaughter, Misty Leann Childress, parents, Samuel and Nana Lane Seivers; brothers, Robert and Bobby Seivers

Curtis Nathan Case

It is with great sadness that the family of Curtis Nathan Case announces he was received into the arms of the Lord after a brief illness Friday, November 9, 2018 at the age of 53 years. Curtis was preceded in death by his father, James Edward Case, mother, Dorothy Ann Case, brother, Michael Case, father-in-law, Ross Miller Sr., brother-in-law, Ross Miller Jr.

Lucy M. Grigsby

Lucy M. Grigsby – age 93 of Luttrell, went home to be with Jesus on Monday, November 12, 2018. She was a lifelong member of Cedar Ford Baptist Church. Lucy made an impact on the community through her service to Luttrell Elementary School and her church.

Rev. William Darrell Brewer

Rev. William Darrell Brewer-age 77 of Maynardville went to be with the Lord Friday, November 9, 2018 at his home. Preceded in death by parents, William O. Brewer and Imogene Sherritze Brewer; sister, Janice Robins.

Survivors: wife, Jean M. Brewer; daughters, Charlotte (Robert) Jones, Elaine (Tim) Smith, Sandra (Rich) Griffith; step-children, Boyd (Mindy) Peters, Eric (Connie) Peters, Kelly (Donnie) Wiggins, 15 Grandchildren, 20 Great-Grandchildren. Brother, Mike; sisters, Kay, Sue and Kathy. Special friend and caregiver, Rebecca Collins.

Linda Sue Wilkerson

Linda Sue Wilkerson-age 71 of Corryton passed away Thursday morning, November 8, 2018. She was a member of Hoitt Avenue Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Harold G. Wilkerson; daughter, Deborah Atkins.

Survivors: children, Mark, Denise, Lonnie and Gabriel; ten grandchildren, Josh Atkins; Suzanne, Amber, Dexter and Steven Bolden; Jake, Riley, Maddy, Jackson and Delilah Wilkerson; six great-grandchildren, Hayden, Hayley, Haylynn, Hadley, Jasper and Emilee. Special aunt, Hettie Paul; special cousin, Ricky Vance.

Evelyn Grace Helton

Evelyn Grace Helton of Knoxville went to be with Jesus on November 6, 2018. She was the newborn daughter of Cynthia Helton and granddaughter of Jo Ellen Helton and Fred Anderson Helton; niece of Kristen Boisbert. Service will be private. Mynatt Funeral Home of Fountain City is honored to serve the Helton Family. Online condolences may be left at www.mynattfh.com.

DeAnna Alexi

DeAnna Alexi, age 47, of Knoxville TN, daughter of Tony and Margo Alexi, of Knoxville, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, under the care of the amazing staff at UT Medical Center, with her family holding her hands at her bedside. DeAnna had been under the care of UT Hospice at home prior to hospitalization. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Gertrude and Herman Cruze of Knoxville TN and her paternal grandparents Anthony and Betty Oleksy of New York. She was born in Silver Springs, MD on January 30, 1971. Survivors are her husband Christopher L.

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