The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Martin
The Times 

Waitsburg Pig Barn Gets Much Needed Upgrades

Kids from Waitsburg FFA and 4-H will have improved facilities for animal raising


March 15, 2018

Courtesy Photo

Jeremy Elsey and Erin Mahre were having fun shoring up walls in the pig barn at Waitsburg Fairgrounds.

WAITSBURG – Waitsburg FFA and 4-H members, and their parents, spent last week's sunny Saturday taking the first steps in transforming the FFA pig barn and the nearby unused horse stalls into well-functioning pens for pigs, goats and sheep.

"We're hoping that by making a space for kids to raise different species, more kids will be interested in joining 4-H and FFA," said Corral Wranglers 4-H leader Lisa Morrow.

Morrow and Waitsburg High School FFA Advisor Nicole Abel will serve as the barn superintendents.

Morrow said the city council approved use of the unused horse stalls last year, and organizers have been busy ever since, raising funds, gathering materials and preparing to work on the facilities.

Concrete pads will be poured at the ends of both the pig pen and the stalls to provide wash pens for the animals. A bio-security station, with sinks, towels and soaps, will also be added for youth to use after washing animals or administering medications. Volunteers will level the ground in the pens and add gravel to walkways.

Morrow said electricity and water will be connected to the stall building and two large fans will be installed at one end to aid in air circulation. On Saturday, kids were busy removing boards from some of the stalls to allow for more air circulation as well.

Other kids and adults had cleaned out the round pen, which youth will be able to use to practice showing their animals. And Morrow said the horse hot walkers will be available for members to exercise sheep and goats.

Courtesy photo

The whole group of workers Saturday took a break for photos.

Morrow and Abel said they are immensely grateful for the many donations that have made the project possible so far. The Waitsburg Lions Club made the largest financial donation, with the Teamsters Local 117 and the Washington State Penitentiary Employee Association chipping in as well.

"We also received help and equipment donations from Oxarc , Total Comfort Solutions and Keith Marlow," Morrow said.

FFA members, along with members from the Pen Pals, Swine Swaggers, Roots to Boots, Crafty Farmers and Corral Wranglers, as well as many parents, were hard at work on Saturday.

Morrow said that youth have until March 15 to join 4-H for this year, and she is hopeful that once word about the new facility spreads, more kids will participate next year.

To find out more about how to participate in 4-H or FFA, or how you can support the project, contact Morrow or Abel directly.


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