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Teens getting ready to sell their livestock
From left, Janelle Thompson and Marisol Rodriguez of the Lathrop FFA show their Yorkshires. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

It wasn’t quite time to send the pigs out to market.

Rather, the San Joaquin AgFest Junior Show and Auction won’t see that day until Saturday.

That’s when students of the local Future Farmers of America and 4H clubs will look to bid adieu to their livestock projects.

“Those are bittersweet moments,” said Sierra High FFA advisor Todd Ingalls.

He’s been at taking students to the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds for the better part of 16 years.

During that time he’s witnessed his fair share of students invest a bulk of the school year with their livestock, feeding and caring for them only to sell the animal off to the highest bidder.

That investment can pay off handsomely in dollars and cents.

“I’m planning to go shopping,” said Lathrop High’s Marisol Rodriguez, who spent Wednesday showing her 267-pound Yorkshire named Chester.

This was her first year showing the larger livestock. “Last year I had a rabbit,” Rodriguez said.

She found that her Yorkshire needed much more tending.

“We were there (at the Manteca Unified school farm) feeding it every day,” said Rodriguez, who was rewarded for her efforts during the first day of AgFest with a first-place ribbon in Marketing.

The judges liked the well-roundness and muscle structure of her Yorkshire.

Rodriguez, who will be a senior at Lathrop High, will have a chance to do it all over again at AgFest come next year.

Janelle Thompson just graduated from LHS. She, too, had a Yorkshire, naming it Diesel.

It’s also her first time with a swine project.

Diesel weighed in at 271 pounds.

“The judges liked his thickness,” Thompson said.

She will be attending Modesto Junior College in the fall. Anything she makes from her livestock will go towards school. 

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