Training an animal for fair season is not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of time and dedication, especially if you are raising more than one species.
"You have to have a passion for it. I show at the state level, national level, just county fair. I mean, this is my summer. If I'm not working with my animals, I'm doing hay or shoveling dirt, just you have to have a passion for it," said Owen DeVooght.
A big key to raising a good animal is feeding it the right food and making sure they are walked every single day. Every species of animal is different and they all take different types of attention. For instance lambs can be walked for a longer distance than pigs.
"You can have more ability of walking pigs and they can listen better than other animals," said Tyler Melchiori.
The goal for pigs is to be around 275 pounds and to be able to navigate an obstacle course with the least amount of direction from a stick. Pigs that will be shown over the next couple of weeks were born at the DeVooght Farm in February, but have been training for the last two months. It's a short time, but a bond grows between the animal and the human. In the end, it can be a little tough to part with the animal at auction.
It's sad because you work really hard with it, but at the end of the day, you know it's going to slaughter and it's going to make someone really happy because the time and the hard work we put into it, and the feed that we put into it, it's a top quality pig," said DeVooght.
Over the next couple of weeks, you can find animals from the DeVooght Farm next weekend at the Marquette County Fair and the following week at the Upper Peninsula State Fair in Escanaba.