Today I met a boy who shows pigs! Aidan Garey is 10 years-old and is from Harrington, Delaware. He lives with his mom, Susan, dad, Ashton, and younger sister Miranda. I met Miranda and Aidan in the airport in Los Angeles, California, shortly before our flight halfway across the world to New Zealand. In Aidan’s 10 years on this Earth he has now managed to travel to New Zealand 4 separate times with his mom! Conveniently, one of his favorite foods is a New Zealand favorite, fish n’ chips. Susan, Aidan’s mom is one of our professors on this trip. Because of this experience Aidan is very knowledgeable in New Zealand culture. The first thing he told me when we arrived was that we were eating mutton and not young lamb and explained the difference! Sitting around a campfire in Hokitika and whale watching are two of Aidan’s absolute favorite things to do here. As advice for this trip, Aidan told me to, “lay down and look up,” and to go whale watching.
At home Aidan has quite the assortment of animals he cares for. He was one fish, called “Mr. Fish,” and two cats named Gator and Squinchy, who is the “chief of farm police” around his farm. Aidan also has a dog named Riley and a horse named Grinch. Aidan’s love of animals does not stop there, though. Aidan shows sheep and pigs! He does this through Delaware 4-H and the last 5 years he has made the auction he was trying to make. He is quite the handler! In addition to making the auction each year he says that the past four years he has made the livestock extravaganza and was in consideration for reserve champion last year. As I am illiterate in the world of showing, he explained that he is allowed to sell 3 animals total and this past year he made it with 2 out of 3. He will continue to show his pigs and sheep but does not wish to graduate into the world of judging. Showing is not the only thing Aidan does with his pigs, though. He rides them too! He would like me to clarify that he only rides the pigs and not the sheep. Aidan’s mom also does some farming at home and he says that one of his other favorite foods is a “homegrown Jersey burger.”
Outside of his 4-H showing career Aidan loves to play recreational soccer in his town and build outdoor forts. The forts he builds are composed of fallen tree limbs and can be multiple rooms; there is even a bathroom in the one he is currently building! His best friend Tom also plays soccer with him but they do not go to school together. Aidan goes to school at the local public school, Lake Forest Central Elementary School. He is currently in the 4th grade and his favorite subject is science.
Aidan is an adventure loving boy who cannot wait to see what this trip to New Zealand brings him!