Having their children join and have the experience of 4H was always something the Fehrenbacher’s wanted. Beginning in 4th grade, Hailey was finally able to do what she wanted, to raise and show her own animals.“You can’t start till 4th grade. She always loved fair and taking care of animals. Mostly dogs and pigs. And she loves horses,”said Hailey’s mother, Autumn Fehrenbacker.
Through these experiences, Hailey has created many memories that she will carry within her heart for the rest of her life. The lessons she learned throughout her years of raising and showing animals includes a very important one: to be patient. “If they are not responsible while they are working in their project, it shows at show time. Then they only have themselves to deal with it. Parents can’t help them at show,” said Autumn Fehrenbacker.
Hailey Mae Fehrenbacher has many fond memories of her years in 4H, but especially remembers one incident.“I was watering (pigs), and the fence was really wobbly, and I was standing on the fence, and I was really tiny, I fell into the pig pen in the mud and I just layed there with my pigs for a little bit, so that’s kind of one of my favorite memories,” said Hailey.
Autumn Fehrenbacher also has a favorite memory of her daughter in 4H. “Well, she hates lambs. She only likes to show pigs. One year, I made her show lambs. In the show ring, the judge asked her why she was showing a lamb. She told her that she hates them and her mom made her do it. I saw the whole thing. Me and her leader just laughed. The next show, she had a pig. He really was grumpy. He got in a fight in the ring. One of the guys helped out who was a family friend. He picked Hailey up and threw her out of the ring so she didn’t get attacked by her pig. Later she got mad at him and told him she had it under control,” remembers Autumn.
Since Hailey’s father grew up in 4H, the Fehrenbacher’s already had a way into getting their children to raise animals. Having connections in the organization made it easier for Hailey and her brother, Tylor, to get in. “Hailey’s dad was involved in it as a kid. And our neighbor was friends with the leader. So she got us started in it,” said Autumn Fehrenbacher.
There are no requirements for the animal’s pen sizes; however, as long as participants are in fourth grade; and their animals reach their proper age, weight, size, etc, they can participate. Hailey clarifies that if an animal does not meet their necessary requirements they can wait until the next show or the animals can be sold separately. “ You have to sign up at the (4H) office and you have to be a certain age, I think you have to be in fourth grade, and then you have to get your animals but they have to be a certain age, too,” said Hailey.
Throughout all of her years participating in 4H, Hailey has learned responsibility, patience, honesty, and hard work. These are lessons that she will carry on with her throughout the remainder of her life...and it all it took was a few pigs.