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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Holmes raises reserve champion hog


Last updated 7/30/2019 at 12:50am

Raelynn Homes, center, displays her banners won by her reserve grand champion hog, Rugrat.

Raelynn Holmes raised the Future Farmers of America reserve grand champion hog at the San Diego County Fair's market livestock show.

Holmes, who graduated from Fallbrook High School in June and was a member of Fallbrook's FFA chapter, showed a 231-pound Yorkshire cross she named Rugrat who was chosen as the FFA lightweight champion hog before receiving FFA reserve champion honors.

"It was a really fun and cool experience. I didn't expect it to happen, but I'm glad that it did," Holmes said.

Rugrat, who was male, was six months old when he was shown at the fair. Holmes acquired Rugrat from Small Town Genetics, which is in the Stanislaus County town of Denair, in March.

Holmes, who attended Bonsall Elementary School and Sullivan Middle School, was not in 4-H prior to enrolling in Fallbrook High School and taking agricultural science courses.

Her FFA membership was associated with her agriculture classes. "I got to meet a lot of really cool people and I'm glad I had that experience. It shaped me into a better person," Holmes said.

In 2016 Holmes auctioned a 225-pound hog. Her hog auctioned in 2017 weighed 271 pounds. Last year Holmes' 273-pound hog was sold at the auction.

Although Holmes had obtained the blue ribbons which allowed her hogs to be sold at auction, she had not raised a weight champion until Rugrat was selected as the top lightweight pig. "That was really fun. It took a lot of practice to get there, to get him to show," Holmes said. "Glad he did his best."

The FFA weight class champions then competed for FFA grand champion and FFA reserve champion. "There were a lot of really good hogs, and I thought he did his best," Holmes said.

Jordan Mani of El Capitan FFA raised a 252-pound hog which was chosen as the FFA grand champion. Rugrat was designated as the FFA reserve champion.

"I was really proud of where he ended up," Holmes said.

The 4-H or Grange grand champion, the 4-H or Grange reserve champion, the FFA grand champion, and the FFA reserve champion then compete for supreme grand champion and supreme reserve champion. "I thought that was a lot of fun even though he just hid in the corner the whole time," Holmes said.

Mani's hog won the supreme grand champion award. The 4-H grand champion and reserve champion hogs were both raised by Sagebrush 4-H members. Aubree Hoyt raised a 256-pound hog which was the 4-H grand champion and Monica Ferris won 4-H reserve champion honors for her 302-pound hog. Hoyt's pig was the supreme reserve champion.

Holmes also entered Rugrat in the showmanship competition, but he did not place.

Rugrat was sold at the June 29 auction for $5.00 per pound. Mike and Laurie Rector of MLR Services Group, Inc., purchased Rugrat.

Holmes raised hogs during all four of her years with Fallbrook High School's FFA chapter but did not raise a steer until this year. Duke, who was 15 months old when brought to the fair, was acquired from Wiese Cattle, which is in the eastern Nebraska town of Lindsay. Holmes obtained the Angus cross in October and raised him for eight months.

"He was really raunchy, but I'm glad," Holmes said of raising a steer. "He was a lot of fun. I'm really glad that I did it."

Duke weighed 1,141 pounds on the fair scales. He was not selected as the mediumweight champion or reserve champion, and he did not place in showmanship.

Holmes plans to spend the 2019-20 academic year at Mira Costa College pursuing an associate's degree in political science. Future Farmers of America has an alumni year provision; Holmes is undecided whether she will show at the 2020 San Diego County Fair for her alumni year.


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