MIAMI COUNTY — The 2014 Miami County Pork Princess knows her swine stuff — barrows, that is.
Ten-year-old Darby Welbaum of West Milton won not only the crown, but also Reserve Champion Market Barrow in the Junior Fair Market Barrow Show with Rocky. She also placed third in the Born & Raised Barrow Show, class 21, with Maximus.
“Champion barrows have bone, muscle, and are clean all the way through,” Welbaum explained. “You don’t want its legs to walk weird, either.”
Welbaum is a second generation 4-Her (her mother also showed at the fair) who shows pigs along with her 14-year-old brother Larkin with the club Farrow to Finish. They buy their pigs in the spring and feed and show them all summer. Every morning, they walk the pigs for 20 minutes to get them ready for shows.
“We walk them to get used to what you do with the pig,” Welbaum said.
For the Pork royalty contest, Welbaum had to have an interview and write an essay. She chose to write about “showmanship.” When the Princess and teenage queen was announced, Welbaum was ecstatic to hear her name.
“It was very exciting,” she smiled.
As a princess, Welbaum got to hand out ribbons to showmen at the Junior Gilt show at the Ohio State Fair, and showmen at the swine shows at the Miami County Fair. She takes turns with the queen so they can show their own pigs as well.
Her parents are prominent in the fair field, too. Father Matt Welbaum is a member of the Miami County Fair Board, and mother Carrie Welbaum is a 4-H advisor.
But when it’s not fair season and there’s no pigs to take care of, what does the princess do?
“I’m thinking about pigs for next year,” she pronounced.
Welbaum will be a fifth grader at Milton-Union Elementary School.