Jared Hammer realizes devotion is essential to 4-H show success, and the GRHS junior hasn’t cut any corners in his preparation for the 57th Annual Somervell County Youth Fair.
“My uncle is an Ag teacher and he got me interested in 4-H,” Hammer said. “I’ve shown pigs, steers and heifers. I won grand champion with one of my pigs before. This my second year to show a steer.”
Hammer, the 4-H vice president at GRHS, will show the aforementioned steer and a barrow (pig) at the county fair.
“We try to make each pig successful for each show we go to,” he said. “We’ll show it in Fort Worth, San Angelo, San Antonio and at county. I hope both my animals do well next week but you never know. Every judge likes something different. ?“I do have more experience showing pigs so I’d say I’m more confident about it. Hopefully the judges like the muscle quality of each of my animals, along with their showmanship. That’s a big part of it.”
Hammer doesn’t name his animals, instead referencing them according to the particular pen they’re staying in.
“It’s easier not to get attached to them that way,” he said.
Born in Dallas, Hammer moved to Glen Rose in the fifth grade and began to participate in 4-H the following year. His daily routine in recent months shows the commitment it takes to shine in the 4-H realm.
“Every day for about five hours I come spend time with my animals,” he said. “Especially with the steer you have to wash and blow-dry its hair. You have to walk your pigs every day to make sure they are calm. I make sure they are fed well each day and that they have no health issues.”
Hammer doesn’t exactly have time to be a couch potato when his school day is done.
“Most of the time you get home, do your homework and then run straight to the (Ag) barn,” he said. “It may be nine o’clock when you get home, then you eat, go straight to bed, wake up and do it all again.”
Hammer also participates in FFA at GRHS.
“FFA prepares you for college through leadership and career development,” he said. “4-H is more about preparing you to go into FFA and do bigger and better things.”
Hammer takes pride in being a 4-H officer.
“It’s really hard work to be an officer,” he said. “Everyone in 4-H comes to the meetings and participates in the events they want to do, but officers coordinate all the events and help out their extension agents the best way they can.”
While his county fair success in 2013 has yet to be determined, Hammer knows what it takes to get the job done in 4-H competition.
“Hard work and dedication are key, for sure,” he said. “Don’t give up your first year if you don’t do good, always keep trying.”
Although he enjoys spending quality time with his animals, Hammer is a people person.
“What I like most about 4-H is the interaction with people, helping younger kids and seeing them be successful,” he said.