On 200-acres of pasture and paradise just outside Crow, Oregon, three young ladies have dutifully prepped their pigs day in and day out for fair. Of course, this year is different. But that hasn’t stopped this trio of 4-H enthusiasts from putting in the time and doing their best.
Kassidy Dorsey, her sister Sivana, and their kin Avery have been involved in 4-H for as long as they can remember.
“I started my kindergarten year,” Kassidy recalled. “Then 4-H got canceled in Lane County because it lost its funding. It wasn’t until I was in fifth grade that it started back up.”
Now a high school graduate, this is Kassidy’s last year in 4-H.
“In the past, I’ve done quilting, scrapbooking, woodworking, and raised small animals, including chickens. Then five years ago, we started doing York Exotic pigs,” she said. “Normally, we’d be working with our pigs a lot more right now. Giving them baths to ensure their skin is ready for judging. But this year is different.”
Aside from no judging or interaction with their fellow 4-Hers, Kassidy, Sivana, and Avery are switching gears to find a buyer for their animals named after country superstars Loretta, Dolly, and Waylon. They even have a backup pig named Willie.
“Finding buyers this year is really, really hard,” Kassidy said with a glance to her sister. ”Normally, we’d go out three weeks before fair and send letters to possible buyers. We’d tell them all about our pigs. That’s how you get folks to bid on them at fair.”
But as Kassidy explained, the pandemic changed all of that.
“it’s my last year in 4-H, so I’m going to miss out on my final fair. I’m sad about that,” Kassidy said through a sad smile. “But I will get to help out with 4-H as a volunteer. It’s always been a huge part of my life.”
It’s been a big part of her sister’s life as well.
“It’s not the end,” Sivana said as the trio easily corralled their pigs for a quick photo. “I’ll be a senior, so I can show my statics next year, but we cannot show these pigs again.”
Sivana’s pig, as well as the others, will likely be sold online thanks to work being done by Lane County Youth Ranchers and matching donations up to a maximum of $6,000 by Coastal. More at laneyouthranchers.com.
“I think it should work out,” she added. “We really appreciate Coastal doing what they can. Pigs usually go for a lot less per pound than they do at fair. But with donations going on, and everything getting split up for all of the 4-Hers, we should break even.”
In years past, the two Dorsey girls made enough from fair to buy their first rigs. Kassidy bought a ’97 4-Runner with just over 200-thousand miles on it. And Sivana found a Toyota Tacoma from the late ‘90s.
“You learn a lot about responsibility and leadership from 4-H,” Kassidy said. “I’m sad for Avery that she didn’t get to witness this firsthand, but she has a lot of years left.”
Kassidy shared her experiences with Coastal over the years.
“Coastal has everything we need for fair. We buy our boots there, including show clothing, and shampoo for the pigs. They have everything for 4-H. And they help out a lot, which is greatly appreciated.”
Life on the farm and in this small town goes on. There are always cattle to feed, pigs to raise, mud that begs for tire marks, and fish to be caught. Kassidy, Sivana, and Avery are the perfect trio to get it all done – in style.