Big pigs become huge projects

Because the pigs are so big, none was eligible for awards.
CANFIELD -- Bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to pigs. But they certainly are more impressive.
Mackenzie Crowe, 11, of Springfield Township knew months ago that her pig was going to be big. It was the best of the bunch when she selected it from a slew of piglets, any one of which could have been her 4-H project.
But she never dreamed it would grow to 380 pounds. Pierre is the biggest pig at the fair.
Weighing in
Mackenzie said she had no idea he'd outweigh all the others until "we came to the fair, and all the pigs were little." This is the third year Mackenzie has raised a pig, and Pierre is bigger than either of her others.
A four-year member of Springfield Booster Boys 4-H Club, Mackenzie also raised a steer and completed sewing projects. She is a sixth-grader at Springfield Intermediate School and the daughter of Michael and Amy Crowe.
Cousins Nick and Matt Maker, both of Lowellville, also raised giant pigs. Nick's weighed in at 300 pounds, Matt's at 320. Both boys belong to Friendly Farmers 4-H Club and raised their pigs at their grandfather's farm.
Because the pigs are so big, none was eligible for awards, Nick, 15 and a freshman at Lowellville High School, explained.
"They have to be between 220 and 290 pounds," Matt chimed in. He is a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Lowellville.
Pigs also are judged on their proportions, Nick said, "if they have a long back and baby butt cheeks."
Lots of responsibility
Both boys also raised spare pigs in case their project pigs died. They sold the spares a few days ago for meat, recovering about what they spent to raise them.
If he makes a profit on his fair pig, Nick said he hopes to put the proceeds toward buying a four-wheeler.
All of the fair pigs were to be sold at auction Thursday evening.
Neither of the boys said it would be difficult for them to let their pigs go, but Mackenzie said it would be difficult for her, having spent the last several months nurturing Pierre.
"The last day of the fair is always hard," agreed her dad.
Nick is the son of Carla and Nick Maker. Matt is the son of Barb and Don Maker.

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