Eleven-year old Rode Walters said he wants to become a professional baseball player.
“Yeah that one is probably a shot in the dark,” said Walters, who said his other options will be either a baseball coach or history teacher.
For now, Walters, an Early Middle School student, is sticking to something he knows he can see a bright light in.
Walters claimed his second first place belt buckle award after winning Grand Champion Duroc Showmanship at the Brown County Youth Fair on Wednesday.
Walters has been showing pigs for three years, and he received his first winning buckle, which he wore during Wednesday’s showing, at a competition in Mills County last summer. Walters said he remained confident yet humble seconds before he showed Ruby, his Duroc.
“I was calm, but I didn’t want to try and count my chickens before they hatch,” Walters said.
Walters was “kind of shocked” when the judge announced his name, as he said the other pigs presented stiff competition.
Ruby, the name chosen because the color resemblance to a ruby, was given to Walters by his father on July 6, a few weeks before the Mills County showing.
“It kind of surprised me. I never knew (my father) was going to get another pig,” said Walters, whose family, including his sister, also competed in livestock competition.
He said most people on the outside looking in don’t realize the work that actually goes into preparing a pig for competition. One of the duties is walking it 20-30 minutes each day.
“It’s a job of its own and requires a lot of responsibility,” said Walters, whose father once joked with him, ‘Rode, you better walk that pig or I’m going to make him into bacon.’
Other than showing animals because it’s something he loves to do, another reason is to raise as much scholarship money as possible for college.
“Hard work definitely pays off,” Walters said.