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January 24, 2012

Hogs are hobbies, shows are group efforts for Royse City residents

Lawton Berry and father, Jeff

A surprised Lawton Berry hoisted a blue ribbon over his head and a crowd of Royse City residents roared.
Berry, 11, walked Squeaky by himself as the Poland China Spots gilt took first place in the Swine Show Breeders Class 65 Monday. But you’d have thought the 60 or so family members and friends were next to him at every step.
“We’re all here for each other,” said Texas State Trooper Jeff Berry as he rubbed down his son’s pig in a pen near the Swine Arena at the Fort Worth Stock Show.
Randy Hancock, the Royse City school district superintendent and former agriculture teacher, said that bringing about 35 hogs to the Stock Show is about more than showing what farmers in the town northeast of Dallas can do.
“It’s all about the kids,” he said.
That’s why Lawton’s family pitches in to help raise an FFA project like Squeaky, said his mom, a pharmacist named Lezlee Berry.
“It’s a family hobby,” she said. “We do it as a group.”
And as a group, Royse City FFA won the Herdsman Award, which recognizes their effort to keep their pens clean and organized. That’s something almost as great as taking a blue ribbon, Hancock said.

By Terry Evans

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