Hannah Glazier had mixed emotions Friday as she stood in the pig pen with Savage, her reserve champion hog.
Savage, named by a beloved Burbank teen who died this summer, was the fourth pig sold at the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo's annual Market Stock Sale. The 258-pound pig went for $7 a pound -- which means Hannah got $1,806 for him.
But, the 17-year-old senior at Columbia (Burbank) High School had grown attached to the pig she raised since April.
"We played tag in the backyard at home," said Hannah, a member of the high school's FFA club. "It's kind of hard. I'm a little emotional today."
Savage was named by classmate Justin Savage, who died unexpected in his sleep June 29. The 16-year-old was developmentally delayed but had a constant smile on his face and was friends with everyone.
"Justin named him. At school he said, 'You're naming your pig Savage,' " Hannah said. "And he said that I was going to win the big ribbon for him and I did. That was pretty cool."
Hannah decided to honor her longtime friend by donating half of the money from Savage's sale to the Justin Savage Fund at her school. Money is being raised in the teen's name to support the special needs program at the high school.
Hannah, who's been showing pigs since she was in third grade, is saving the rest for a car and college.
Savage was one of 456 swine, goats, sheep and cattle sold by 4-H and FFA students during the all-day auction. The animals were bought by businesses and community members who often bid higher than the market price to support the kids.
"We have a lot of new showmen this year. A lot of real young kids came in this year, especially in the sheep barn," said Lance Dever, president of the Market Stock Sale Committee. "There's a lot of new families with young 9- and 10-year-old kids started showing this year. It's the next generation coming around."
Dever said the market auction is a great learning experience not only for the kids who have to raise a market animal as part of their FFA and 4-H programs, but also for people at the fair who don't have a connection to raising animals.
"We enjoying educating people," he said. "That's what it's about too. ... We're more than willing to answer questions about how it works, what we do and why we do it."
The sale started at 9:30 a.m. and was expected to run until about 7 p.m. Dever said they had about 45 more animals to sell this year than they did last year. Buyers spent more than $689,000 on animals this year, not counting additional money donated at the end of the sale.
"4-H is teaching life skills and how things work, and this is one of the things. You raise an animal up and part of that is selling it, and getting to do it for college funds," Dever said. "There's not a lot of opportunity for that."
Especially not for kids still in elementary school, like Nicole Thompson, a 10-year-old former Finley Elementary School student. Nicole already is planning to become a veterinarian and was anxious to get her pig, Sassy, sold to add to her college fund.
Her mother, Crystal Manes, is in the Navy and stationed at Pear Harbor, Hawaii, but Nicole returned to the Tri-Cities to sell Sassy and was at the stock sale with her grandfather, Bill Sullivan.
"It's a lot of work, but she really enjoys it," Sullivan said. "It teaches her responsibility, because sometimes you have to stop having fun and go take care of the pig."
Nicole, who sold her first pig at last year's stock sale, appeared a little frustrated with Sassy as she stood in line waiting for her turn. Sassy kept backing up against Nicole's feet while Nicole kept trying to push her forward.
"She has diarrhea. I don't want to be here," Nicole said as she pressed herself against the gate. "She's a big, big handful."
Nicole got $3.25 a pound for her pig last year and was hoping to get "a least $4" this year, but said "you never get that much."
Sassy, who weighed 250 pounds, sold for $4.25 a pound.