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Monroe County Fair Returns With Livestock Shows

Monroe County Fair

The Monroe County Fair Runs June 28- July 4, with a rodeo and demolition derby Friday, July 2 and Saturday July 3, respectively. (Holden Abshier, WFIU/WTIU News)

After being cancelled in 2020, the Monroe County Fair returns this week.

To the average visitor, the county fair means fried food, rides and demolition derbies. But for those in 4-H, it’s the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work.

John Kale Redden is 10 years old and shows swine and cattle in the Monroe County Fair every year. He said a lot of people don’t understand what it takes to raise an animal for competition. 

“A lot of people will say it’s like, just like feed slop and just let them lay in the mud,” he said. “But no not really. It’s like walk them, feed them, water them, rinse them.” 

John Kale’s older brother, Jace Redden, is 12 years old and said he and his brother know what it takes to raise a strong pig.

“The goal is just to get them to have big legs,” Jace Redden said. “You want them to be nice and big, so they have a lot of meat and muscle.”

But raising a pig to be physically strong is only half of the process — you also have to train it to behave in competition. 

“You gotta look at the judge, you gotta keep your pig moving, and you gotta keep its head up,” John Kale Redden said.  

In order to keep the pig moving, the person showing it has to lightly whip the pig’s ribs and chin. But no need to worry, because the Reddens said the pigs are treated like family pets at home. They even have time to do essential pig things.

“Whenever we rinse them, there’s this mudhole to the side of it and they’ll lay in it,” John Kale Redden said.

The two brothers will continue showing their animals throughout the summer with another stop at the Indiana State Fair next month.

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