Two Hermiston teens and their pigs take on the county fair

HERMISTON, Ore. — Two teenagers’ pigs became champion showmen at the Umatilla County Fair (UCF) this week.

Addison Garberg and Cozette Cooley have been showing pigs together since they were in fourth grade. They said they go to just about every show together, and this year was a big one for both of them.

They love the Umatilla County Fair — because it’s right at home for them. They’re both from Hermiston.

They went into the fair with different goals, and came out with different stories, but two champion awards.

Addison Garberg and Carla

Garberg showed her prize-winning pig, Carla. She said, “We won showmanship together, and FFA. And her favorite snacks are apples, and she made her weight group by two pounds.”

Carla got Garberg the win for her age group category, grand champion for showmanship, and concluded as the FFA overall winner.

Cozette Cooley and Squealer

Cooley showed a pig she wasn’t entirely sure about…Squealer.

“This is Squealer,” Cooley said. “He’s 269 pounds. He’s actually our backup pig, but so far he’s done really well.” After her original prize-winning pig got sick just before coming out to the fair, she said Squealer is socialized, but not very practiced. She said she was surprised, but pleased Squealer brought home the bacon.

Hard work pays off

Though the work may be hard, that’s not a problem for either of the girls when they get to show their pigs and win some awards.

“It’s a lot of early mornings and late nights, and it being hot and tiring,” said Garberg.

Cooley said, “You know, you’re putting in all of the work and effort and it’s tiring, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but then in the end, you get to see all of your hard work pay off.”

Garberg said, “And I just like the reward of coming out here and doing your best and it paying off.”

Cooley and Squealer, she said, are now the reserved champion showman for FFA ag 1 and 2.

The 4-H and FFA awards program starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the Youth Livestock Auction at 10 a.m. at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds.

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