New Barn Enables Countryside FFA Students To Raise Pigs

Countryside Academy in Benton Harbor is hosting a new program this year for its FFA students. FFA adviser Steve Rigoni tells WSJM News the kids in the past have taken care of sheep and pigs, but this year, they’ve two pregnant hogs, and they’re going to raise the piglets.

“The kids have been already taking car of the sows, and they’re going to assist in the birth of the animals, and then they’ll raise them all the way from birth clear up to showing them at the fair,” Rigoni said.

Rigoni says the school’s new Agriculture Resource Center has made the program possible. He adds raising the pigs will be a unique educational opportunity.

“Our students here do not come from farm, and if we did not do this, they would not have the ability to raise these animals to show at the fair.”

The new pigs will be auctioned at the fair. Rigoni says the students have already learned a lot about how much to feed the mother hogs, who by the way, are named S’more and Brownie. The FFA program may expand in future years to raise sheep from birth.