PEMBERVILLE, Ohio — After nearly 20 years of competition, the Frobose family finally achieved a coveted prize at the Ohio State Fair last weekend.
Hannah Frobose, 17, and her crossbred hog Moby, won the grand champion market barrow competition Aug. 2.
“This is an absolutely huge family win,” Hannah’s mother, Vicki Frobose, said. “It was our goal to reach this point.”
In the competition, market barrows, castrated male hogs, are judged on a variety of factors.
“Judges look for good muscle, good structure, like how they walk and their skeleton, a good look from their profile, good dimension (width between their legs), and things like that,” Hannah said.
On Sunday, The Kroger Co. purchased Moby, which was worth about $300 on the open market, for $42,000 at the state fair’s sale of champions. The sale’s rules cap Hannah’s prize money at $9,000. The rest of the money goes to fund awards for other swine contest winners and for scholarships.
Hannah, who will be a senior this year at Eastwood High School in Pemberville, Ohio, plans to use her winnings for college expenses.
The Frobose family of Pemberville has a long history with agriculture. Dan Frobose, Hannah’s father, previously worked as an extension agent specializing in beef for Ohio State University and is knowledgeable in animal nutrition. Mrs. Frobose is a veterinarian who works with large and small animals. They also own Frobose Family Farms, which sells freezer meat and club calves.
Mrs. Frobose said her son, Hyatt, and all three of her daughters, Hallie, Hannah, and Hunter, have competed in livestock and agricultural competitions since they were 6 years old.
The children competed in a small, independent fair in Pemberville until they were 9 years old, when they could enter 4-H competitions.
The family buys their pigs from all over Ohio, and it is a major family project to ensure the pigs are ready for competition. Mrs. Frobose said they sometimes pay $150 to $1,000 for show pigs — more than a full-grown hog is worth on the open maret in some cases.
They buy the pigs in April each year and have until late July or early August to train and work with the animals.
This year, the Frobose family purchased 14 pigs. “About 25 percent of the pigs will flunk out and they aren’t good enough to show,” Hannah said. She explained that pigs can be susceptible to disease.
In the end, the family entered six pigs at the Wood County fair and four pigs at the Ohio State Fair.
Mrs. Frobose emphasized how well working with livestock and preparing for the competitions teach responsibility and teamwork.
Hannah said, “It’s definitely a family effort. My dad is basically a nutritionist. He knows what feed will do well for the pigs, so he’s the feeder.”
She said her mom, as a veterinarian, looks after the health of the pigs.
Hannah also plays a major role, of course. “I work the barrow. I’m always with it,” she said. “I have the biggest connection with the pig.”
Contact Kathleen Ashcraft at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.