County fairs are many things to many people, but they’re truly special when they epitomize all that is good about youth and livestock shows. An article in the Standard Examiner in Ogden, Utah, came across my desk, and it’s worth sharing with readers. The original article was written by Cathy McKitrick, Multimedia Reporter for the paper.
Doctors told Tucker Doak’s parents, Tucker and Jamie, Warren, Utah, that their young son would never walk or talk: the young man has severe autism and a form of dwarfism. He evidently listen to the experts, however, because he was walking at age 5 ½ and is able to say a few words.
Tucker’s 15-year-old sister, McKlay, evidently came up with the idea that Tucker could raise and show a pig at the county fair. “Young Tucker took the task to heart, forming a strong bond with the animal,” writes McKitrick.
The bond between people and animals is well-documented, and the opportunity for Tucker to care for this pig, which he named Hazel, could have been therapeutic. He certainly had an astonishing impact on the crowd at the fair, according to McKitrick. “He and Hazel, the 271-pound hog he’d nurtured for several months, stole the show and hearts, capping the day’s events with a special touch that those in attendance will not soon forget,” she writes.
Tucker’s mom said 300 to 400 people were yelling his name, and he started blowing kisses to the crowd.
McKitrick states, “It wasn’t long before Jamie Doak’s tears began to flow as an all-out bidding war ensued, driving Hazel’s price up to $10.50 per pound. Other hogs had been selling for $4 to $5 per pound.”
Everyone knows that youth programs like 4-H and FFA teach discipline and responsibility. Who would have known that visitors to the 2014 Weber County Fair in Utah would learn a lesson in humility, while witnessing the best of humanity.