Many people in Tehachapi don’t know that we have our own breeder of high-quality show pigs right here on our mountain.
Tim Sturm, owner and operator of California Swine Services, farrowed approximately 600 piglets this year which will be shown all over California by 4-H and FFA members who take them to fairs and jackpot shows.
Sturm, who has a passion for teaching today’s youth about raising swine, allowed the members of the Stallion Springs 4-H swine group to come to his facility on March 17 to learn to process one-day-old piglets. The kids learned to ear notch, dock tails, administer shots and clip needle teeth. Members learned why these processes are necessary, how to do them cleanly and correctly, and last were actually able take part in the process. They also learned valuable information about pig breeding and husbandry.
Michael Bennette, pig group member for two years, said, ”My favorite part was docking the tails and I learned baby pigs need an iron shot.”
Many of the kids were very excited to help out because these are the pigs they will be taking to the Kern County Fair in September.
Alexia Wilsted, who has been raising pigs for four years, said, ”My favorite part of raising pigs is getting to know their personalities.”
Moria Loyd, who will be raising a pig for her fifth year, said, “At first I was scared to dock the tail and notch the ears, but once I tried it I realized it wasn’t hard to do at all.”
One thing 4-H believes is that kids learn better by hands-on learning. The skills learned from Sturm can easily inspire kids to pursue a career as a vet, rancher, doctor or even a pig breeder! Thank you so much to Sturm for allowing us to experience how to process piglets. See you in the final drive!
Olivia Loyd is the reporter for the Stallion Springs 4-H Club.