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A challenging Pocahontas County Fair

By Kriss Nelson - Farm News editor | Jul 20, 2021



POCAHONTAS — The Pocahontas County Fair, which began Wednesday and runs through Monday, tests a variety of skills and talents for 4-H and FFA members entering their projects.

But, there is one particular challenge offered by a Pocahontas County family that is something special.

Kyle Hornor, his wife Laurie, their son Isaac, and daughter Brittany are Albert City-area pork producers who breed show pigs. They have opened up their farm for approximately 10 years now to 4-H’ers interested in showing pigs at the Pocahontas County Fair that may not have the facilities to do so. This year, seven Pocahontas County youth are a part of the Swine Challenge and have spent most of the year with the Hornors learning the good and sometimes not-so-good things involved in raising pigs.

“Every Sunday night at 6:30 p.m., whoever can come to my farm, we get the pigs out, we wash them, walk them, scoop manure and give shots,” said Honor. “We talk about why this pig might have died this week. The kids come out in the winter time while we are farrowing. They sit in the farrowing house and watch them have baby pigs.”

Each of the youth that have signed up for the Swine Challenge, bring a hog belonging to Isaac Hornor to the fair to show. Not only do they get the livestock showing experience, they may come out ahead with some money in their pocket.

“They don’t own it, but after the show we run it through the auction on Monday,” said Hornor. “They get the premium, but we get the base price. A lot of times, that premium out does the base price. That is pretty cool.”

Hornor, who also serves as swine superintendent for the Pocahontas County Fair, said he does this to not only give those who can’t raise their own pigs a chance to show, but to also help get more kids involved and help raise awareness of the pork industry.

“Not all pig farmers are bad,” he said.

Braylon Beschornor, 11, of Pocahontas, is showing one of the Hornor’s pigs and has been participating in the Swine Challenge. His interest peaked watching his older brother, Carter Beschornor, and sister, Hayley Beschornor, show.

“My oldest brother and sister — they’ve always brought pigs, so I decided to do this one year and I am glad I did it, because I love it,” he said.

Beschornor said he wanted to take the opportunity to share his gratitude for Hornor.

“I will give thanks to Kyle Hornor. He is a very good pig carer,” he said. “You go to the meetings, you listen and follow the rules. I give thanks to Kyle Hornor for all of this.”

Beschornor said he has learned a lot about how to care for and show pigs this year, but has also learned about what they eat, how they might get sick and sometimes die.

A member of the Sharp Shooters 4-H Club, Beschornor used the lessons learned on the Hornor farm to help a fellow 4-H’er wash her pigs in preparation for the swine show that will be held Friday at the Pocahontas County Fair.

“I was being helpful because she was really hungry and she had no time to eat or anything and she had to wash all of her pigs — that was six pigs,” said Beschornor.

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