The Running Of The Pigs

It’s autumn and roadside farm markets around the state are
bulging with fresh produce. Farmers are using some new ways to entice customers
to their road-side stands.

It’s called “Agra-tourism” and for the past several years farmers
have found that providing entertainment for tourists and charging for it is
just another way to make money off their land.
It started many years ago with hay-rides, then came corn mazes and now  pig races are the latest idea of a Trumbull
County farm couple to attract customers to their farm market to buy the
products they raise and sell.

Sharon Grover and her husband, Steve, are the fourth
generation of their family to operate Ridgeview Farm in Mesopotamia Township on
state route 87 in rural Trumbull County.
They came up with the idea last year and it proved so successful they
decided to do it again this year.

Starting September 24th through October 30th,
the running of the pigs will occur each weekend during their “Fall Fun
Weekends.”

How do you teach pigs
to race?

“It’s not easy,” laughs Sharon Grover, “The secret is
cookies.  Pigs love cookies.”  She went on to explain that when they first
get the young pigs they just don’t get the concept of running in one direction
in a race and some of her five children have to literally chase the squealing
piglets around the small race track to the finish line the first time. There
one cookie is waiting for the winning pig.
“Pigs are smart.”, Says Sharon,  “
It doesn’t take long for them to realize that the fastest pig to the finish
line gets the cookie and the pigs soon can’t wait for the sound of the horn that
starts the race.”.  By the way there is
no charge to watch the pig races.

……You can read the rest of this story in the Saturday,
September 24th edition of the Plain Dealer or go to their website at
www.cleveland.com

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