HARLINGEN – The children gazed wide-eyed at the hog trudging past them just feet away.

“You see that thickness?” asked Joshua Garcia, 17, as a fellow Harlingen South FFA member led the hog past the third graders from Ben Milam Elementary School.

“That’s muscle,” Joshua said. “You know what muscle is? That’s meat.”

Joshua was one of 13 Harlingen South FFA students who were at the Harlingen Ag Farm yesterday teaching the children about FFA and livestock. They talked about feeding, grooming, bathing, clipping and showing. The information is especially relevant now with the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo opening today and continuing until March 20.

Joshua pointed out the different breeds of hog, such as cross breeds, pink Durocs and black Hampshires with a band of white about the shoulders. Joshua gestured to one hog asleep in its pen and said, “This is a York. Yorks are completely white.”

Nearby, Isaiah Garza, a senior at Harlingen High School South, spoke to another group of third graders.

“We shave them right before the show,” said Isaiah, 17. “They have to be smooth for the judges to touch.”

The children watched in awe as an FFA member ran clippers across a hog’s back, while another gave his hog a good bath.

Throughout the presentation, the children were invited to step forward and pet the hogs. A jittery thrill swept through them as they waited their turns or went forward in groups.

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