Big Fresno Fair Livestock Auction

October 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The hard work is finally paying off for hundreds of children and teens who've spent the last year raising animals for the Big Fresno Fair. Saturday they did their final primping and prodding before their beef, sheep and swine hit the auction block.

Cole Rinehart's hog, Bear, was adorned with ribbons and bows after winning 'supreme grand champion.' "This is my showmanship pig, so I put a lot of time and effort into developing him and working with him and training him for show day," said Rinehart.

Rinehart spent six months feeding and exercising Bear. Over time, they developed a special bond. "He's so funny. He's got a great personality. And I think that's what? what helped us get connected," said Rinehart.

After the auction block students posed for a picture with their animals. Some of the animals put up a fight, though, and had to be lured in front of the camera with treats. "They like sugar, like a little sugar-water and they like water because they don't sweat? This isn't a normal environment for them, and because it's not, and with the excitement with the auction, and the people, it's a little harder to handle them," said livestock advisor Leanne Potstada.

After their final pictures, it was time for goodbye. Soon, Bear will become pork. It's something Rinehart and the others have prepared for from the beginning. "He's going to have a special place in my heart? What he did is going to help me in the future," said Rinehart.

Rinehart's hog Bear sold for $475 dollars and he'll also get an additional $1,000 dollar scholarship for getting the top prize. Rinehart, like most of the students, will now put that money toward college and animal costs for future exhibits.

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