By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
There was no bigger smile in the show arena than the one coming from 12-year-old Devin Medina, who proved to be a competitor to be reckoned with at his first try at the swine show of the Roosevelt County Fair.
Medina, of Portales, wore his second-place ribbon proudly Tuesday night as he sat back and watched other 4-H students compete in other show classes. He had won his ribbon in the Market Swine First Year Feeder Show.
“It feels good, it’s pretty fun,” Medina said as one of his competitors congratulated him with a high-five.
Medina said the judges of the swine shows look for the quality of the muscle tone in the pigs as well as the size of the animals.
Medina said he hopes to replace his regular belt buckle with one much larger from winning but his ultimate goal is to make it to the Junior Livestock Sale on Friday, something he’s worked for all year.
“We have to practice walking (the pig), brushing it and feeding it,” Medina said.
Elida student Kaytlyn Queener has been showing animals at the Roosevelt County Fair for four years. She wanted to prove that girls ruled and she held her own by winning first place in her class.
“I hope to at least place high enough to get to the sale,” Queener, 12, said.
Queener said she thinks it was how her pig walked and how her backside was shaped that helped earn her the first-place title.
“The hardest part is probably going out every morning and night to clean them and feed them,” Queener said adding that her parents are supportive of her 4-H activities but push her to do the work on her own. “It teaches responsibility.”
Chance Southard, 10, of Elida wasn’t too far behind Queener, placing third in their class. Southard said he was also proud of his accomplishment because it was his first year showing pigs at the fair in addition to showing chickens.
“I love messing with them; my favorite animal to show is the (Hampshire) pig,” Southard said.
Southard’s future goals include going to college and studying animals or something related to agriculture because he said it’s what he’s known his entire life.
Swine show judge Jeremy Cantrell, a native of Oklahoma, praised the children for their work and gave them constructive criticism when handing out awards. But Cantrell said he was most impressed with the community’s support for the show due to the large crowd in the arena.
“It’s a pretty awesome deal you show that much interest in your youth,” Cantrell told the audience.