The Duncan Banner

February 26, 2013

Sherill finds livestock a learning experience

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN —  

Hogs, goats and sheep have been part of Baylee Sherrill’s education.
Sherrill, 14, of Comanche, is a home school student. This week, part of her time is being dedicated to showing various livestock in the Stephens County Junior Livestock Show at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center.
“I learn a lot,” Sherrill said about showing livestock. “I have a lot of fun with them. I have a real good experience with them.”
This is her sixth year to show and her fourth year to participate in the county livestock show. Monday, she was preparing her three hogs — Doc, Mikey and Digger — for competition.
Sherrill said, being home schooled, gives her more time to work with her animals. She has more opportunities to feed, walk and play with the animals.
She has learned how to how to raise hogs, even helping with the deliveries. She has been working with the three hogs she has entered in the county livestock show since the National Swine Registry Fall Classic in November.
She names every animal she has. Many of the names she gets from what she hears on TV.
Part of raising hogs is about knowing how to feed the pigs and get them to eat. Sherrill and her mom, Darlene Sherrill, said the hogs are separated when they’re fed, but they have to be able to see one another or else they won’t eat.
“She’s a hard worker,” Darlene Sherrill said.
And to do the job, she has to work hard.
Raising livestock is more than just feeding the animals. It’s about knowing what they need, keeping them happy and healthy.
While Baylee Sherrill may not have a traditional classroom, many of her life experiences can be deemed classroom learning. Working with livestock is part of that learning process, as well as a family heritage.
Raising and showing livestock is a way of life.
Sherrill took another step in her livestock education Monday. Darlene Sherrill said this part of Baylee Sherrill’s education involved a goat and a pair of shears.
“She sheared her goat for yesterday,” Darlene Sherrill said. “That’s the first time she’s done that all by herself.”
The Stephens County Junior Livestock Show is scheduled to take place all week at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center. Today the focus is on hogs.