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      Meet this week's Ag Kid: Aric Laudwig

      Meet 16-year-old Aric Laudwig of Kirksville. He has been involved with raising hogs since he was 8 years old. He always has been interested in agriculture due to his long family history of taking care of swine dating all the way back to his great-grandfather. But it was his dad and older brother who got him into it.

      My dad and grandpa have been raising hogs since they were little. I have been watching my brother and cousins since I was a kid showing pigs. I just wanted to join in with them. Laudwig said. It TMs a lot of fun and teaches you a lot of respect. I TMve learned a lot from my brother and my dad.

      When Aric got involved in 4-H, he began to show pigs. He has won many awards such as Showmanship, Champion 4-H Hampshire, Champion Gilt and Reserve Champion at the Sullivan, NEMO and Missouri State fairs. Aric says that raising and training pigs to show require a lot of hard work to get to the recognition.

      I usually start a month before I start showing. I walk my pigs around and get them use to our sticks. I also get them use to showmanship to help make them calm and relaxed during the shows.

      Even through the hard work, Aric has also had some funny moments with his hogs.

      I was trying to get my pig back in the pen. She turned on me and got in between my legs. I rode her down the aisle, Laudwig said. I was hitting my head against the gates the whole time. I finally fell off, it was pretty fun. Everybody thought I was hurt but I had fun.

      Other than farm life, this junior from Kirksville High School is very involved with the school TMs FFA club. Aric also likes sports and is part of the Kirksville High varsity wrestling team. He has future goals of going to Northwest for college to study animal sciences and wants to continue in the agriculture business of raising swine.

      I really want to do hogs and swine production. I want to raise hogs and have a family. I want my kids to show them too. I also want to sell them 4-H and FFA members or anyone who wants to get into hogs.

      Congratulations Aric on being this week TMs AG Kid.