HITCHCOCK — Anyone in agriculture anticipates challenges associated with fickle weather and ornery animals. But the members of Lonesome Dove 4-H from Hitchcock didn’t anticipate a fire burning down their barn in November and killing six piglets they purchased the same day.

The fire stared when a light bulb from the heat lamps used at night to keep the pigs warm cracked and dropped a hot coil onto the wood chips on the floor, agriculture teacher Randy Williams said.

The piglets were the only animals housed in the barn at the time.

“I thought they were joking when they told me the barn had caught fire,” said Brent Smith, a seventh-grade student at Crosby Middle School. “But they weren’t joking. It may sound silly, but it smelled like cooked bacon.”

The 4-Hers were given first pick from the breeder and chose the piglets based on their superior genetics and character, he said. While they were disappointed, they didn’t let the setback sabotage their plans to compete in the Galveston County Fair and Rodeo.

They bought another round of pigs the next day and had the barn rebuilt in a few more.

“We took precautions and carried on,” Smith said.

The city of Hitchcock helped the club with some of the costs of buying new pigs and replacing the equipment lost in the fire. Several members took extra odd jobs to help cover the cost, Smith said.

Lonesome Dove 4-H’s pigs competed in the swine show Sunday. Two of them, including Smith’s pig Sandman, made it to auction. The other, named Porkchop, belonged to eighth-grade student Brandon Williams.


This week’s Events

Today

9 a.m.: Schools day

4 p.m.: Gates open, education foundation night

5:45 p.m.: Fajita cook-off judging

7 p.m.: Fair king and queen crowning

7 p.m.: Pee wee swine show

8 p.m.: CPRA open rodeo and concert featuring Spazmatics

8:15 p.m.: Barbecue chicken cook-off judging

Friday

9 a.m. gates open

1:45 p.m. chicken wings judging

4 p.m. gates open

6 p.m. junior commercial heifer show

6:15 p.m. pulled port cook-off judging

7:45 p.m. Junior and Little Mr. and Miss 4H Crowning

8 p.m. CPRA rodeo

8:30 p.m. concert featuring Breelan Angel and Jarrod Birmingham

Saturday

9 a.m. gates open

9:30 a.m. livestock judging

10:30 a.m. Tiny and Lil’ Mr. Cowboy and Miss Cowgirl contests

11:45 a.m. pork rib cook-off judging

12 p.m. livestock judging awards

1 p.m. arena golf

2:45 a.m. brisket cook-off judging

4 p.m. junior commercial heifer auction

6:30 p.m. barbecue cook-off awards

8 p.m. CPRA rodeo

9 p.m. concert featuring 3 Peace

Contact reporter Whitney Hodgin at 409-683-6647 or whitney.hodgin@galvnews.com.

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