By Chanet Stevenson
For the Basin Business Journal
COULEE CITY — There is something to be said about the thrill of taking an animal to show.
There’s the countless hours put into choosing the right animal, raising it up to the perfect fit and weight and finally taking it to market to showcase the final result of all of the hard work.
And for the Correia siblings, Kendel, Cooper and Caden, that same hard work and dedication has been a constant year after year as all three siblings have been showing pigs since they were in the third grade.
“Because I am involved in sports or school activities,” said Kendel, “it is nice to have both boys here to help.”
A typical day for the Correias begins by waking up around 6 a.m. to feed the pigs and making sure they have enough water for the day, Kendel explained. Kendel is in charge of checking on things in the morning while Cooper and Caden are in charge of completing the same tasks in the evening, feeding the pigs again and usually walk them for about 30 minutes, said Cooper.
Kendel also explained that it is important that they check the overall well being of the animals, regularly checking for any signs of sickness.
The Correias work with several breeders to get their pigs, Cooper explained. They usually start out by getting six to eight pigs from Wehmer Show Pigs in Indiana. They then also get about four to five more pigs from Pine Creek Show Pigs, a local breeder out of Rosalia, Washington Kendel explained. This year they decided to try something new by getting two gilts from Korb’s Show Pigs.
In total, the Correias get about 15 pigs each year to ensure they have enough to take to the three main county fairs, said Kendel.
They have shown their animals at various fairs and shows such as the Spokane Junior Livestock Show, the Grant County Fair, the North Central Washington Fair held in Waterville and the Othello Fair, just to name a few. Last year, the siblings even went to the Arizona National Livestock Show held in Phoenix.
With years of experience in FFA and 4H, the Correia siblings are seasoned showmen and have won numerous titles.
Kendel, 17, is now a junior in high school and is a part of the Almira/Coulee-Hartline FFA Club. She also plays softball in the spring.
Kendel has won many Grand and Reserves for fitting and showing, as well as Grand and Reserve market championships too. Her biggest win to date was when she took the 2018 Spokane Junior Livestock Show FFA Grand Champion Market Hog and Reserve FFA Championship Fitting and Showing.
“I really love and enjoy being involved in the livestock industry,” said Kendel. “It has taught me so many life lessons and good habits.”
Cooper, 15, is a high school sophomore and has also won many shows. As a member of the Almira/Coulee-Hartline FFA, his biggest win thus far was the FFA Grand Champion Market Hog at the Grant County Fair in 2018.
Along with FFA, Cooper is also involved in football, basketball and baseball. Participating in so many activities can make it difficult to find time to check on the pigs sometimes, Cooper explained.
Caden, 11, is now in the fifth grade and a member of the St. Andrews 4H. Caden won the Adams County 4H Market Hog championship in his first year of showing. He is also involved in many sports.
All three siblings are also very active in their youth group and involved in many church activities.
As for why they continue to enjoy showing pigs, it is “the love of the animals, competition, and friends they show with,” said their father, Mike Correia. Both Kendel and Cooper have expressed an interest in an agricultural occupation Mike explained. For Kendel, she has expressed going into business and animal nutrition, and Cooper into genetics or breeding, said Mike.