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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Eric Martin- Swine project leader

  • Eric Martin is no stranger to working with swine. His brother taught him and his family about showing pigs while he worked for a show pig producer in Ohio.


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  • Eric Martin is no stranger to working with swine. His brother taught him and his family about showing pigs while he worked for a show pig producer in Ohio.
    "He got my family started," said Martin in an e-mail interview. "Since that time our family has had bred winners at the Kansas State Fair, Kansas Junior Livestock Show, National Western and American Royal."
    Martin's son shows swine now, and it has been a very rewarding project for the family, so when Martin saw that the number of 4-H members participating in the swine project were dwindling, he felt he needed to try and help.
    "I called the county extension agent and told her I was willing to take on the responsibility," said Martin. And just like that he became the swine project leader.
    As the project leader Martin tried to hold monthly meetings but, with everyone's busy schedules it was hard to get everyone together at the same time. So, for the most part, he communicates with 4-H members through e-mail. This way he keeps everyone up-to-date with where their animal should be at certain times of the year, as well as to easily direct them to online resources for more information. In addition he is available to give members any general guidance or advice they might need.
    "I think most new members need to be aware of when things need to be done, for example, when to buy their project, what they should weigh, when to start training their project and how to enter the fair," said Martin.
    Martin grew up in Ford County and was very active in 4-H himself; judging and showing cattle. His wife was also an active member growing up.
    "4-H is a great family activity for us," said Martin, "and I got involved as a project leader because I felt that I could share some of the knowledge that my family has learned over the years the hard way with current and new members. We have made plenty of mistakes and I hope I can help others to not do the same."
    Martin is an advocate of 4-H because he thinks it teaches young people about the projects they are enrolled in, as well as other important life skills.
    "The projects get them involved and the leadership, parliamentary procedure, record keeping and friends they make are the things that help a person for the rest of their life."
    The Ford County Fair starts Friday, June 20.  Look for more fair articles next week.
     Reach Julia Kazar at (620) 408-9913 or e-mail her at julia.kazar@dodgeglobe.com