Perry FFA shows donated pigs for the first time since devastating barn fire
PERRY, Ga -- Almost two months ago Perry Future Farmer's of America suffered a devastating loss of 55 pigs after a fire burned down their barn. The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend marks their first show since that fire, with donated pigs from around the country.
Anna Lee Raines is 12-years-old and her mom told her about the terrible news on November 18th.
"And she said that I have some news," Anna Lee said. "And she told me about the fire and I just busted out in tears."
The overnight fire killed all the pigs in the barn including Anna Lee's. Her first year in FFA, she said she didn't even want to show anymore. For Molly Williamson, a tenth grader at Perry High School, it was also devastating.
"It's almost like surreal," Molly said. "You don't believe it's almost happening almost like it's a dream, and you kind of just want to wake up from it and it will all be back to normal again."
The middle and high schoolers weren't sure if they were going to get new pigs in time for show season. Once the agriculture community got news of the fire, an outpour of support and donations came their way. It was overwhelming said 8th grader Evan Zammit.
"I thought it was awesome all these people chipped in," Evan said. "People that didn't even know us, most of them and they just chipped in blindly."
It's Molly's second year competing, and she's excited to show with her Perry FFA family.
"It's great to help friends out that don't know the ropes," Molly said.
Veterans like Molly help out first-timers like Anna Lee, who was a little nervous before her first show.
"It's kind of nervous, you're nervous before you step into the arena, and then you're not nervous anymore when you step into the arena," Anna Lee said.
She already learned some things from her first time in the arena Friday.
"If you're stressed then the pig knows that you're stressed and he'll stress too, so I have to keep myself calm so he doesn't get stressed," she said.
The kids are showing all weekend at the Georgia National Fairgrounds.