Levi and Peyton Mixon have worked on their family farm all their lives. Farming is very hard work, but the fourth- and sixth-grade boys will tell you farming can be fun.
The boys have competed in National Barrel Horse Association shows and 4-H horse and pony shows several times. Their mom, Dana Mixon, said getting involved with 4-H has helped them learn about different horse breeds and prepare for college.
“Our family has been in 4-H or Future Farmers of America going back to the boys’ great-grandpa,” Mixon said. “Their great-grandfather raised and showed horses on the family’s (400-acre) farm, so it was passed down through the family. We raise livestock and pine trees on the farm. We have six show horses. Levi has attended 4-H horse school. Both boys are getting ready for this year’s 4-H State Horse Show.”
She said Levi and Peyton recently competed in a 4-H event for the first time, the 4-H State Livestock Show in Perry. It was different but something the boys wanted to do, she said.
The hogs had to weigh 225-320 pounds to qualify for the competition. She said they went to a hog sale back in October where each of her sons picked out a pig weighing 45 pounds.
“Levi picked a Hampshire white with a black belt across her head and rear,” she said. “Peyton picked a Yorkshire, solid white pig. They fed them and trained them every day. They drove them with sticks down to their grandma’s house and back every day. They worked really hard to get them ready for the show on Feb. 18-21.”Delete-Merge Upbodycopy
Even though a trip to the slaughterhouse awaited their pigs after the competition, the boys named them. Levi named his pig Judy. Having grown rapidly over three months, she weighed in at 228 pounds. Peyton’s pig, Ranger, weighed 260 pounds. Each boy made sure his pig was cleaned up and shiny when they went to Perry.
“What a different world (the hog competition) was,” Mixon said, comparing it to horse competitions. “The first judging class was showmanship. It was about how you show your pig, how well you control every move it makes. The next class was the weight class, which included how your pig looks, its muscle mass and how it moved.
“We didn’t place, but we learned so much, met new friends and made some memories,” she continued. “This was our first year going, but it won’t be our last. What an experience 4-H has given our boys!”
According to www.4-h.org, 4-H clubs and school programs provide youth development and youth mentoring to kids ages 8-18. The website says 4-H inspires kids to develop life skills they can use in today’s world. Membership is free, with programs managed by local 4-H offices.
For more information, contact Kasey Bozeman, Liberty County 4-H agent, at 912-876-2133.