A boy and his pigs  carry on family legacy

Posted: July 26, 2013

The Winchester Star

Tyler McDonald, 9, climbs over a fence at his family’s farm Thursday afternoon to take care of Waddles, one of the pigs that he will be entering in the Frederick County Fair. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
Tyler McDonald, 9, brushes his hogs, Waddles (left) and Artemis, Thursday afternoon at his family’s farm west of Middletown. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

MIDDLETOWN — When Tyler McDonald shows two pigs at the Frederick County Fair next week, he’ll be carrying on a family legacy several generations in the making.

Tyler, 9, lives on a farm on Buffalo Marsh Run northwest of Middletown with his parents, Jeremy and Missy McDonald, both 36. Jeremy McDonald is a fifth-generation farmer, and Tyler will be showing his first animals as a 4-H member during the fair.

“We decided we wanted to get him something he could show, and he thought pigs would be nice and calm and quiet to work with,” the boy’s father said.

“He gives them a bath every day, washes them pretty much every day, takes them for a walk every day to help exercise them,” he added.

Artemis, a 218-pound barrow (castrated) pig, and the 240-pound female Waddles are Tyler’s entrants for the fair. They were born in February and the McDonalds bought them in April.

Tyler said that, while he’s looking forward to showing his pigs at the fair, he’s a little nervous.

“[I like] exercising them, feeding them and rubbing and scratching them,” he said, adding that it might be tough to say goodbye to the pigs after the fair’s livestock auction.

He said he’d like to show pigs again at next year’s fair.

“This has been a great pair of pigs for him to learn and work with,” his father said. “They’ve been very gentle and we couldn’t have asked for this to be any better.”

The Frederick County Fair starts with a horse show at 9 a.m. Saturday and has its opening night Monday at the fairgrounds on Martinsburg Pike (U.S. 11), just south of Clear Brook. Additional information on the fair is available online at frederickcountyfair.com.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com