Kids learn how to raise and groom livestock at Pig-a-Palooza

Kids from around the area have gathered at the Marquette County Fairgrounds this week for a three day camp called Pig-a-Palooza.

It’s a livestock camp intended to teach young people in 4H how to raise, groom and care for their livestock, with the intention of preparing the animals for show at the fair.

“They learn where to purchase their animals; they learn about nutrition,” livestock camp director Mary DeVooght said. “They’re going to learn about health care. They’re going to learn how to groom their animals also, and they’re going to learn how to feed them, how much protein. They’re going to learn about diseases and how to take care of those, how to give them shots and run their animals.”

One of the main inspirations for starting the camp was the lack of such an experience for kids in the U.P.

“There are really no opportunities for the kids in this area, so I thought, ‘well, why don’t we bring the resource people up here and do a camp in a fun atmosphere?’,” DeVooght said.

The kids utilize the knowledge gained at the camp to show and sell livestock. Many of the kids will use the revenue from their sales to defer the cost of college when they’re old enough.

The price an animal will sell for depends on size, appearance and a successful showing. Generally, hogs weigh between 220 and 280 pounds and will sell for roughly $3.20 a pound, though buyers have been known to pay more, depending on the circumstance.

Today, the kids got an education in showmanship for various animals including, goats, steer and hogs.