For 17-year-old Trent Rodman of Novinger, agriculture is something his family takes pride in, with a big interest in raising cattle and hogs. He helped show pigs with his brother as a kid, but then took a break. But his interest in agriculture kicked back in when he got involved with the Novinger FFA this past year and decided to go back to raising pigs and hogs. Trent says they are his pets and best friends.
"Pigs are just like a dog. They come out and show some love. It's a very good experience being with them. Cattle are a huge learning experience. They are as fun as they can be. I really enjoy my time with them," Trent said.
When Trent helped his brother show pigs at the NEMO and Sullivan County Fairs, he won Grand and Reserve Champion. This will be Trentâ??s first year showing his pigs on his own. According to him, it takes a lot of hard work and responsibility to take care of his animals and prepare his hogs for the shows. "All you got to do is lead them around where you want them to go by tapping them on the left or right side and showing them where they need to go and not get between them and the judge. It's a bit tougher than people expect," Trent said.
Trent has also had some funny and cute moments with his animals. "One day I came out to feed them and play with them to get used to me when they were small. I sat down and one of my pigs came up and sat down right beside me and looked at me. That put a big smile on my face," Trent said.
Trent is planning to continue working in agriculture as it helped shape him into the person he is today, "It teaches me so much about being around all of this. It can teach everybody something as long as they take the time to learn it. It's fun as it can be."
When not working with his pigs and cattle, Trent keeps himself busy on the basketball team at school.
He is planning to attend college at either Iowa State University or Northwest Missouri State University after graduation to study to become a veterinarian.