On Raising Show Pigs

As you know by now, my daughter raises show pigs, trains them, loves them and then shows them at the fair.  After showing them at the fair, she spends time in the swine exhibit letting children ask questions and pet her pig.  On the last day of the fair, she shows her pig one more time during a huge auction and people from the community bid on her pig.  The highest bidder then works directly with a butcher and ultimately ends up with a lot of pork in his or her freezer to eat all year long. Lots of people ask why she does this?  How can she take care of this animal and love it and then ‘let it be killed’.

Julia and I talked a lot about this a few days ago.  Actually, we have talked about it many times.  But coming toward the end of her time with Olive has been hard.  There were lots of tears a few days ago as she grieved and experienced tremendous sadness that Olive would be gone.

I thought it might be good to explain, as her parents, why my husband and I are ok with this process.  First of all, I should say it is really difficult.  My husband and I got really attached to Julia’s pigs last year and after all was said and done, we thought – ‘nope, we aren’t doing this again – it was too hard on us and on Julia’.  After cleaning up the pen and putting away the supplies, we assumed that was one for the books – over and done.  But then around November (8 weeks later) Julia was talking about getting another piglet in the spring.  We asked her if she was sure she wanted to go through the whole process again.  She said yes – it had been such a good experience and she wanted to have another go at it.  Her logical mind explained – Now that I know how to do it, and the pen is built and we have all the gear, I want to do it again.  Ok – we agreed, you can buy another piglet.

Bringing Olive home.

Let’s look at some of the reasons we support this desire of  Julia’s.  First of all, our family eats meat.  As meat eaters, we have to acknowledge the source of our protein.  Animals are raised and then slaughtered on a mass scale for people to purchase and feed to their families.

As a teen, raising a show pig, Julia works very, very hard to balance the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats when feeding her pig.  She understands how to build muscle (the meat from the animal) and fat (where the flavor comes from – think bacon!) She knows how much to feed her pig each day (basically giving a pig three pounds of food a day equates to roughly one pound of weight gain each day).  She balances that all out and decides how much she wants her pig to weigh by the end of the summer and feeds accordingly.   She adjusts this as she sees if the pig is gaining too much or too little so that she is a good size by fair time. Toward the end of summer, she adds in oats and/or corn to “finish” her feeding of the pig. This adds a layer of fat to the meat which is needed or the pork will be too lean and dry. Julia’s goal is to provide a quality meat to whomever buys her pig. There is a lot of science involved in all of this and she really likes this process.

Even more important than the science of raising an animal, is the huge amount of responsibility it requires. Raising a show pig is much more than taking care of a family pet.  After investing a lot of her own money in a show pig,  we want Julia to be fully responsible for taking care of this animal; it is her project and her financial investment. We are supportive and we will help but she does 99% of the work.  If she is gone for a day, I am happy to feed her pig.  But on a daily basis she is up by 7am, no sleeping in for this girl. She feeds her pig twice each day and takes her out of the pen to exercise.

Daily walks with Olive to train her to remain at Julia’s side.

She trains her pig to respond to her show stick and walk in a certain fashion so she can eventually be ready to show in a ring.  If there are issues, Julia is the one to notice them and take care of them.  Pigs are really sensitive to their environment and change is stressful. For instance, when bringing a new pig home Julia is careful to feed it the same food the breeder has been giving it.  She knows that a change in water or feed will probably give the pig intestinal problems.  To avoid this she uses a lot of probiotics to help her animal’s gut flora until it adjusts to the new feed and/or water.

Showing Olive in the ring before the judge.

As time goes on, Julia needs to exercise and train her pig at length to build muscle.  She has learned to look at her animal’s structure and decide if the muscle is developing appropriately. Toward the end of summer, Julia adds additional training time to build stamina so her animal can be in a show ring for a long period without feeling stressed.

A second place ribbon for Showmanship and my very hot, sweaty, tired daughter.

It is a good feeling when all of your hard work shows up in the ring and the livestock judge sees the results of all of the time spent training.

When problems arise, and they always do, we watch Julia and let her try to find the solution.  Examples of this might be running out of feed because she didn’t keep track of how much was left.  If something like this happens, I don’t rescue her – she needs to take time and make a trip to the feed store – even if it isn’t convenient for her.  When Olive developed a huge rash early in the spring, Julia was the one to call her breeder, have him come out and take a look and then go out and spend $50 on creams and sprays to soothe the rash.  She was the one to go out multiple times daily to apply the ointments all over her itchy pig.  I didn’t do any of this for her, not because I didn’t want to but because she wanted to.  She takes care of her animal.

Bath time for Olive.

As parents, my husband and I feel the responsibility for this project is invaluable for our teenager. It is truly her summer job and it provides income for her (more on that in a minute). Julia is basically an only child as her brothers are quite a bit older than her and don’t live at home.  Not having a younger sibling to help care for, this provides similar tasks of caring for another being. It is important when raising children to be sure they have the opportunity to care for something other than themselves.  Raising a pig teaches our daughter to care for and respond to the needs of this animal.

Bittersweet goodbyes.

Here is the hard part though.  Caring for and loving on this animal for five months means attachment.  It means it will be really difficult to give her up at the end of summer.  When our family talks about this we acknowledge that piglets are raised for meat.  We talk about how the majority of pigs live six to seven months at most, unless they have been raised as breeders and live on a farm to provide more piglets.  We talk about the life provided to piglets on commercial farms where they have to raise hundreds and hundreds of pigs to provide meat for a meat-eating society.

One more belly rub.

Those pigs are not loved, petted and  played with on a daily basis. No one goes out and talks to them (pigs are incredibly social and vocal with their owners). No one discovers the piglet loves fresh peaches and cuts them up and feeds bits to them for a treat. No one finds out that the piglet loves to be scratched on the belly and thus gives that pig the best belly rubs ever each day. But when Julia raises a piglet all of this happens.  The pig lives such a sweet life while on our property being cared for by a person. We feel it is a great benefit for a pig to live this sort of life as compared to life in a commercial operation.

Showing Olive to prospective buyers at the Livestock Auction

Financially a pig is expensive to raise.  It is like a small version of a commercial farm.  Julia pays $350 for the pig.  We keep track of all of the expenses so she knows what it really costs to do this.  This is one lesson many families fail to teach.  So many parents buy the pig and the feed, pay for the vet expenses and the equipment needed.  Then when auction time comes, the child receives this huge check after the animal is sold and says wow, I just earned $1200.00!  But is this real life?  Nope, not in our parental opinion.  Julia pays for her pig and we help her with the food expense.  But she knows exactly how much all of this costs and she knows when she gets that check, she will pay us for a large portion of the expense.  That way she learns what her “net income” is from her business.

Finally, and some might argue with this,  we feel the sadness Julia experiences at the loss of her pig is also valuable. There is a quote by Carl Jung (see above) that illustrates the value of Julia loving her pig so much that she experiences grief or sadness when losing the animal. Protecting our children from negative experiences does them no favors. It is by experiencing difficult emotions, such as sadness, anger, or frustration and then working through it that humans learn to deal with problems.  It is also how a person develops confidence that they can handle the difficult parts of life. Experiencing sadness and grief makes a person hugely appreciative of happiness and joy. When parents don’t allow a child to do something that might cause distress or tears because they want to protect her, they are doing a disservice.

I had mentioned that Julia had a really tough day on Friday afternoon.  She cried and was terribly sad.  We talked and I rubbed her back.  She cried a bit more.  Then we went to play with Olive.  After a while, Julia’s tears were done.  She looked at me and said, “I feel better, this is how it is supposed to be. Olive isn’t my pet.” On the last day with Olive (yesterday) Julia gave her so many belly rubs.  She gave her a huge dinner (since eating is Olive’s very favorite activity!).  We went and had a cinnamon roll out on the fairgrounds and then came back for one more good bye with Olive.

Spoon feeding Olive vanilla ice cream. She LOVED it.

Julia brought her vanilla ice cream and spoon fed it to her.  Olive went wild for this.  A few more belly rubs and then Julia told Olive thank you for being such a good buddy. (She called Olive ‘buddy’ quite a lot.). She told Olive she loved her and then we left.  It was a good summer, for Olive and Julia both.

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75 thoughts on “On Raising Show Pigs

  1. Laura

    Beautiful post. For those of us who have had the privilege to experience a small family farm environment, this is exactly what things are like. The small groups of animals are raised and loved by their caregivers, but there is always the knowledge that the purpose of this care and attention is to provide food for the family and others. It’s always a wonderful experience to raise a creature with love whether the relationship is long or short. Kudos to your family.

    Reply
  2. SarahZ

    Okay, just give me a minute to work thru MY tears!!! Totally get all this….could never do any of it!!! But I AM a hunter of 30+ yrs and the bittersweet is always part of the balance. Death is part of the reality of life. Kudos to Julia and her parents for taking this on, and so well.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Sarah. This sort of thing doesn’t work for all people. To each her own, right? But I did want to give readers an idea of the thought process behind it. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Wendy

    Bernie, this is such a great post. I agree with all of it. Thank you for letting us take a peek into the days of Julia and Olive! Give her a hug for me. I’m getting a Kleenex now, just to dab at my eyes a bit. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Wendy. It does make me tear up too. I was pretty sad yesterday to say good bye to Olive. She was just the most fun – we loved having her here and not hearing her call to us when I am outside in the garden is strange and a little sad. Sorry to make you tear up though. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Pamela

    I’m crying a bit, too…thanks for sharing your outlook and experience. I think we all need to remember where our food comes from, it doesn’t just appear in the supermarket by magic. You are raising a wonderful daughter who will be a very compassionate person!

    Reply
  5. Nikki DeRamus Moshier

    Thank you for this post. Being a “city” girl I have wondered how children can do this and you have explained this so clearly. I need to remember where my meat comes from. I believe, after reading your lessons in what goes into the pig I will visit the local 4H auction. Sounds like I would get healthy meat and help in a child’s development also.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Nikki. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your response is exactly what I hoped for when I wrote this post. And, yes, support the local kids if you can. Many people will bid on an animal as a group – If three people bid on a pig they then share the expense and the meat. This is more appropriate because one hog gives a person a huge amount of meat and most people cannot even consume all of it in a timely fashion. At any rate, I loved hearing from you.

      Reply
  6. Beth Stanfield

    Thanks for this honest truth Bernie. We’re facing the imminent sad choice to put down our beloved 13 year old Pug, Annika/ Anni. She’s been our empty nest child- very much loved. In July we found out she has aggressive melanoma so we know she won’t get better. It’s hard to say goodbye to a family member, human or not. Love is risky, but so worth it. Bless Julia. She’s impressive, as is your family.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh Beth, I am sorry about Anni. I know this will be so hard for you. I hope she isn’t in a lot of discomfort. Take care.

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh yes – we do a lot of Charlotte’s Web references around here when Julia has a pig. Haha – It is a lot like that except no spider and Julia isn’t allowed to sneak her piglet to school either! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Tish

    Bernie, this was a wonderful post! I have to say I’ve been silently wondering about some of this as I have kept up with the adventures of Julia and Olive.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I know Tish. I think lots of people don’t get it so I just thought I would try to describe our philosophies on this sort of thing. Thanks for your sweet comment.

      Reply
  8. Kathleen

    Well, I knew this must take a lot of work on Julia’s part, and this certainly explains it! Such a wonderful experience in love and responsibility. It must be very hard at the end, but still a rewarding experience. I am curious though, how Olive and Julia did in the part where she had to show how well Olive can walk, and not be distracted by other pigs and people. I know you had mentioned that sometimes can go awry.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Good question Kathleen. Julia was concerned because Olive was a very playful pig. She worried that Olive would just go tearing around the ring chasing the other pigs. But she didn’t. She was very curious but it was a strange environment so she stayed right be Julia’s side and responded to Julia’s prompts with her show stick. This was partly just luck. It is really difficult to predict how the animal will do. But as long as the person showing the pig doesn’t get flustered or annoyed, the pig will most often cooperate. Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.

      Reply
  9. Deb Brodie

    Extremely well written!
    You pleaded the case well, and definitely won the vote of the jury.
    And now while I wipe my tears away…

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      🙂 Deb, thanks so much for your note. I appreciate it. Julia read this post and I will have her read the comments as well. I am grateful for all of the input from readers.

      Reply
  10. Louise Hornor

    I greatly admire and respect your parenting style, Bernie! Congrats to Julia on her ribbon and her maturity to face the realities of raising Olive. However, I’ll be a little more suspicious next time someone wants to hand feed me any vanilla ice cream 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh Louise, thank you! That is so sweet of you to say. As far as the ice cream, don’t worry – only Olive got to use that spoon!! We were surprised how easily she was able to lick it off of the spoon because she had never done that before!

      Reply
    2. Bernie Post author

      Oh Louise!! Julia was just reading everyone’s feedback on this post and she said “mom, you totally missed the joke in Louise’s comment”. Once she pointed it out to me I was just laughing. Silly me and funny you! Don’t worry, I am sure no one will serve you any vanilla ice cream with malicious intent. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Katherine

    Excellent post. I cried as I read it to my husband. We agree.
    Great job Julia!
    Being a farm girl I know that loved animals are the best.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Do you also have animals Katherine? Or did you grow up with them? I grew up in a suburban neighborhood so we only had a dog. It has been really fun though, experiencing this with Julia.

      Reply
      1. Katherine

        Yes. I grew up on a farm. We had cattle, ducks, chickens, hogs, and sheep.
        My father grew cotton then rice. My mom grew a huge garden. We also had a milk cow my sister and I milked every day. Almost everything we ate, we grew.
        After college my husband and I moved to the country and we have raised almost everything at different times. We had a pig named Dolly. She had such an awesome personality! Loved her! She had 11 piglets.
        Now we have chickens for the eggs.
        We raised cattle and my husband always said they were happy and well taken care of until “they had to leave.”
        I’ve sent your article to our daughter. I’m thinking we should visit the 4 H show this coming year. Never thought of that. Such a great idea!!

        Reply
        1. Bernie Post author

          That is fantastic. We have chickens for eggs and my husband plants a veggie garden each year. He has about 1/3 acre fenced in because we have lots of deer that come through. He also has a peach tree, pear tree and lots of blueberries and boysenberries so we eat fruit from the yard all year long. Today I am cooking down tomatoes. We don’t have a good spot to have a steer or I am sure he would try it. But also, we don’t eat a ton of beef because of the amount of fat in it. It is a great lifestyle though.

          Reply
  12. Cathy

    Bernie, this is one of the most beautifully written posts. You explain it so perfectly ❤️
    So proud of Julia!

    Reply
  13. Roseanne

    Hi Bernie! Thank you so much for sharing this sweet story of Julia and Olive. That little piggy doesn’t realize what a sweet life it enjoyed, nor the lessons it shared with your sweet Julia. I can only imagine how hard it is to part with Olive. It brings a tear to my eyes What a great job Julia did for the summer, and what fabulous life lessons you are providing her. {{Hugs}} to you all! Great job Julia! Happy Monday! ~smile~ Roseanne

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      But Olive did know Julia was someone special. She was so happy when Julia was out there playing with her. I didn’t know a pig could smile until this summer. Olive smiled a lot!

      Reply
      1. Katherine

        That’s awesome! Isn’t it wonderful to walk outside and pick something to eat in your own yard?
        Do you freeze your tomatoes once you cook them down?
        Last year someone told me about freezing them whole to use for okra and in other vegetables. It works great. When you take them out, as they defrost, the shin peels away and you just chop it up in your okra or whatever. Like fresh.
        My husband also plants a garden. We put up as much as we can. I’ve pickled green beans, carrots, and daikon radishes. We also have muscadine grapes. They are ripe right now. So sweet! I’ve made lots of jelly over the years! Lol
        Nice to visit with you! 🙂

        Reply
  14. Judy vaughn

    What a wonderful discourse on this project. I pray
    God truly blesses Julia and you two for such a good job.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Judy. You are so sweet.
      I wanted to tell you I saw your quilts in the exhibit at the fair this week. My favorite is the gray and red holiday quilt. I love the fabric. Do you remember what it was? It looked like you fussy cut the animals or maybe it was a panel? The quilt was just wonderful.

      Reply
  15. Diann Bottrell

    Such a fascinating post, Bernie! Thanks for sharing your experiences, and Julia’s, with raising Olive. I’ve really enjoyed following along through the year!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Diann, Glad to hear you enjoyed this. It was a good feeling to write the post as it captures the experience – sort of in a journaling fashion. Plus not everyone understands what all is involved in this and I am happy to explain it. 🙂

      Reply
  16. Mari

    Bernie, this is such a lovely post! Julia is a wonderful young woman and did such a great job with Olive. Its a blessing to give any creature a decent life, especially if that creature is destined to become food. It’s the least we owe to them. The hard lessons that Julia learned will serve her well later in life, plus she’ll get along a lot better when she gets out on her own. I’m so glad to know you! Give Julia an extra hug from all of us out here in quiltland!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Mari! She did a great job with Olive and I am really proud of her. Even when Olive was ornery or Julia was sick of going out there in the hot, hot part of summer – she stuck with it. You are right, it will serve her well as she goes through life. I am so glad to know you too!!

      Reply
  17. Kathleen McCormick

    What a beautiful story! It really is full of life’s lessons and having a single child (as I do) is hard to give them things that having siblings “takes care of”. I wasn’t going to read this, but I am so glad that I did. Congrats to her for raising a wonderful pig.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I am glad you read it too! Thank you for your thoughts and I will pass along your congrats to Julia. Take care Kathleen.

      Reply
  18. Sharlyn

    Such a great post and so eloquently written! I don’t know that I would have been able to put all of that into words had I been tasked with it. And you’re such a great parent – it’s definitely something to look up to ❤️

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Shar, thank you. I really appreciate hearing your feedback. You are going to be a wonderful mom some day and I look forward to being a part of that child’s life.

      Reply
  19. JanineMarie

    It was hard to get through this post because by the end I couldn’t see very well. Something in my eyes. What a wonderful post and a beautiful tribute to Julia and Olive. (It’s also a wonderful testimony to you and Ray as parents, too.) I feel like it should be published in some kind of book form for families or 4-H or something. I have a feeling that there was a part of the quilting community that was rejoicing and grieving right along with your family this past weekend. We all got attached to Olive this year, and were touched by Julia’s loving care. Thank you for sharing this, especially with those of us who tend to be more detached from our food chain. I’m glad you have lots of photos to preserve your memories of a very special pig. (Ha, my phone just wanted to change special to social, but that’s true, too)

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Well darn it anyway, I hope your eyes are better this morning. ;-). Thank you Janine. I love hearing your thoughts on Julia and Olive. I am with you and I love having memories of Olive and Julia recorded. Hopefully she will like having it when she is older. She does read the posts now of course, but it will be a nice history of her teenage years one day. Take care and enjoy the day.

      Reply
  20. Janice

    Bernie, that was such a great post! So well written and very educational for anyone who wasn’t raised around 4H or on a farm. You’re a good mama and Julia is so lucky to have the chance to learn a little of life this way.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you!! That was actually my goal – to help people understand how all of this works. I am glad you enjoyed the post and I really appreciate your compliments. Have a great day Janice.

      Reply
  21. Nancy

    Thanks for sharing this. When I was a kid we raised chickens to eat. A few years ago we got city chickens for their eggs. When they stopped laying we just could not bring ourselves to kill them. We had to find them a retirement home. They had become pets in the four years we had them. We had no motivation to eat tough old birds. But you have helped your daughter with numerous life skills.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Nancy, Thanks for your note. I remember about 30 years ago, my husband and I tried to cook an older laying hen. Ugg, it was just awful. Laying hens are not bred to be eaten and by the time they stop laying they are far too old. It was a learning experience and we threw the meat away. So I wouldn’t feel badly about that!! Take care and have a lovely day.

      Reply
      1. Nancy

        Thanks, my dad used to kill the old girls and they became stewing hens but I don’t think they were ever as old as ours. We did decide no more chickens. Those were the most expensive eggs ever. Our yard was not big enough to really let them run and they distroyed the grass. They went walkabout a couple of times but always came back home. So between feed, coop and new lawn it worked out to about $10 for each dozen eggs. I can buy pasture raised for less.

        Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Carole. Your note is supportive and so kind! I appreciate it and will pass along your congrats to Julia too.

      Reply
  22. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

    Great post Bernie! I enjoyed hearing your strength (as a parent) come through your words and agree with so much of what you said. We grew up with cattle, pigs, and chickens so I have always understood where our meat comes from. Thanks for explaining the process so well. This post is beautifully written!

    Reply
  23. Laura Minnich

    What a beautiful post, Bernie. I also teared up a bit at the end. It is bittersweet, but so many things in life are. As you mention, there is so much value in learning the true cost of our lives here on Earth — not just the monetary and emotional reality of taking care of an animal in preparation for showing and then slaughter, but also the cost of happiness — that it must be balanced by sadness and the attendant weight of that which you describe.

    One thing that really shines through for me is what incredible parents you are! I really applaud you for how you encourage Julia’s independence so thoughtfully, at the readiness to offer help when asked or needed. So often people assume that being a safety net for their children — or anyone, really — means keeping them from stepping off the platform but really it’s about being there to catch them or steady them if/when they wobble on the tightrope.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I love the analogy you used when describing how to help others – It is hard sometimes but usually better to let them find their way when possible. Julia is my youngest of four so this took a long while to figure out – with some of the older kids I do think I came to their rescue too quickly and/or too often. Thanks so much for your thoughts Laura. Really nice input. Take care.

      Reply
  24. Barbara Esposito, The Quilted B

    I have to say that I dared not even ask the question while I was loving all of your IG posts. I am not a farm girl but I knew (even though I didn’t want to admit it) what the end would be. But oh Bernie – Yes Yes Yes! You are a wise parent, and Julia is a brave and strong young lady who will be able to take on anything this life can toss her. Julia is truly blessed to have parents as wise and loving as you are. Thank you for your candor and for allowing us to be a part of this process.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Barb, What a sweet note you left for me. Thanks so much! I am glad you enjoyed getting to know Olive – she was loads of fun. I appreciate your thoughts.

      Reply
  25. Emily

    I’m a fairly recent reader so I’ve only caught the end of Julia’s time with Olive, but I’ve really enjoyed seeing the process of training a show pig and I appreciate all of the thought your family has put into participating in this activity. I’m glad Olive got a good, loving, treat-filled life.

    Reply
  26. Pam Jolly

    I love this post. Your daughter is truly being well prepared for adulthood. I am so impressed with your reasoning and what Julia is learning about life. How great to be learning those big life lessons while your parents are there to support you!

    Reply
  27. Judy Jacque Miller

    Your post is heartwarming! Julia is an amazing young women. And your parenting skills are commendable!
    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  28. Patty Morris

    Bernie,

    As many of the other comments have mentioned, you and your husband are raising a wonderful, smart, caring and loving daughter with life skills that will serve her well. The compassion, the dedication and the commitment Julia demonstrates to raise Olive says a lot about her.

    My husband and I always talk about treating our animals (house pets like dogs, rats and even fish) like kings and queens so that when they are gone we know we gave them the best life possible. Kudos to each of you for giving Olive that wonderful life before it was her time to go away.

    It is inspirational to read other parent’s styles around the proverb “If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day; if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”. Especially in our fast paced world, helping them build that arsenal of tools is so important.

    Thank you for sharing Bernie.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Patty, Thank you for this wonderful note. I really appreciate it. You are such an attentive parent to your son. I believe you and I think very much alike. Take care, B.

      Reply
  29. Nancy Fuller

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It is an important life experience that only farm kids get to have. Your daughter is a very lucky girl, in many ways.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      We really do feel fortunate to live where we do. I like the rural area, having our space to do things like her pigs and our veggie garden. I am glad you enjoyed the post!

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Gale. It was not all that easy to articulate our feelings but I really wanted people to understand our perspective – I appreciate your note.

      Reply

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