Claiming the Prize

Hannah Cooper (center) of Perquimans County holds one of her awards at the N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Show in October. Cooper won awards for Champion Overall Market Barrow and Reserve Supreme Champion Breeding Gilt.

A Perquimans County teen earned top awards at the N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Show in October.

Hannah Cooper, a student at Perquimans County High School, won awards for Champion Overall Market Barrow and Reserve Supreme Champion Breeding Gilt at the State Fair in Raleigh.

Cooper said she’s very excited with the wins and looks forward to competing in the show next year.

The 14-year-old explained that she gets the pigs from Lander Promise Farms in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and raises them until they are ready to show. She gets them in June and cares for them over the four months leading up to the State Fair.

It takes about two hours a day to care for the animals. She feeds them twice a day and washes them once a day and takes them for walks.

Hannah said the competition focuses on showmanship and details such as making sure the animal’s skin and hair are in good condition.

She said she got started in 4-H livestock shows because her father had done it as a child and she wanted to try it herself. Beginning in kindergarten she has competed in the Albemarle Area Livestock Show, and for the past four years she has competed at the State Fair.

Hannah’s father, Caleb Cooper, said he’s proud of how hard his daughter works taking care of animals and getting them ready to show.

“It’s more time that goes into it than a lot of folks think,” he said.

In January Hannah will travel to Georgia to compete in the National Junior Livestock Show.

She also went last year and her father noted there were kids there from 13 states.

“It was a good experience,” Cooper said.

Hannah has her eyes on a career in agriculture, though she hasn’t yet narrowed it down to a specific field.