Who doesn’t have a set of stock racks tucked away in the back corner of the barn somewhere? Many people converted to hauling livestock in trailers decades ago. But most of them didn’t throw away their stock racks.
“Our kids are in 4-H for the first time,” says Jared Smith, Washington, Ind. He and his family raise crops. “Our oldest, Adalyn, 9, will show hogs. Our son, Keshon, 7, will be in mini-4-H.
“When I realized we were going to need a way to get [the hogs] to the fair, I thought about the old stock racks for a ’62 Ford straight-truck my dad and his family used before they went to trailers. They were nailed up on a wall. I’m not sure how long they’ve been there, but I’m 36, and I don’t ever remember them being used.”
When Smith was in 4-H, he exhibited hogs, but his family raised hogs then. “We had a gooseneck trailer, so getting them to the fair was no problem,” he recalls. “We don’t have hogs or that trailer anymore.”
The Smith family has a trailer typically used to haul lawn mowers or light equipment. Smith envisioned fitting stock racks to the trailer so he could get hogs to the fair.
“The trailer has metal sides going up a couple feet, so I fastened the stock racks to the trailer with bolts,” he explains. “When the fair ends and I want to remove the racks, I can just take out four bolts.”
Smith knows hogs don’t like walking up metal, fold-down ramps. He will make a door in the stock racks big enough for a loading board and walk the hogs up the old-fashioned way. He doesn’t have the loading board yet, but if he can’t find one lying around, he’s certain another neighbor likely has one tucked away.
“My wife, Shaya, says this pig project is all mine,” Smith quips. “Her 4-H animal experiences consisted of showing rabbits.”
If you’re betting, bet on Mom getting involved before her children’s first 4-H fair concludes!