Kids showing hogs at Brown County youth fair say raising animals teaches responsibility

brown county youth fair 2018 hogs.jpg

Justin Duncan and his three boys have spent months training their swine for the Brown County Youth Fair.

"Sports are good, but this kind of stuff you build relationships with your kids in the barn that you can't get anywhere else," Duncan said.

All of his boys have been showing livestock for the last six years inside the youth barn along Hwy 377. This is the 66th year for the Brown County Youth Fair, which draws participants from across the state.

On Thursday his son Luke Duncan, who is in 8th grade, was showing a few of the pigs he raised in his family's farm in Bangs.

Duncan said these livestock shows are about fulfilling family traditions. But his son Luke likes the competitive nature of these events.

"It's fun to come out here and work with your pigs and just take care of them," said Luke, who recently won a buckle at a Lampasas youth stock show. "But it's better and even funner, when you win."

Besides hogs, throughout the week kids have exhibited lambs, goats, cattle, rabbits, and horses.

Last year the Brown County Youth Fair set a record during its premium sale collecting nearly $600,000. The entire pot went to the children who either used put it toward their college fund or invested it back in their animals.

Hunter Mares, a senior at Brownwood High School, said he's picked up a few skills raising pigs that will serve him well when he attends college in the fall.

"The effort, attitude, time, dedication, all that," Mares said. "As much as you put in is what you're going to get out of it."

As for Justin Duncan, he wanted to instill in his boys that it's never about their pig winning but the responsibility they learned taking care of an animal.

"You win some, you lose some but you learn," Duncan said. "They continue to learn and they continue to get better."

The fair's premium sale will be on Saturday at 3 p.m. inside the youth barn.

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