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Union City ag students earn trust from their show animals

By Jayson Knight

Dylan McGill is one of the new teachers to Union City Schools this school year, and he spent a good part of his summer working to improve the facilities the school uses for its ag program.
Mr. McGill said Monday that he couldn’t have gotten it as far as he has without the help of his students.
“We started off with getting rid of all the years of collection of panels and junk,” the ag instructor said. “It appears before, if a panel would go bad, instead of taking the old one to the scrap yard and replacing it with a new one, it got stacked up in an area and then there was trash, like an old freezer out back, and there were weeds growing up everywhere. There was about nine or ten people that just got together on a Saturday morning at seven o’clock and we all worked until I want to say three or four o’clock that night, picking up trash and moving stuff around, and that fixing up the exterior of it, gave the kids something to be proud of. It changed the way they presented the interior. Dani (Killman) and Chyenn (Stuckey), they get all the credit for the inside of that barn. I haven’t pushed a broom once in there. They saw that we were cleaning up the outside of it and those two took it over and it looks much better. They took it upon themselves to take care of that barn and make the interior of it look as presentable as possible, and they’ve done a great job.”

Mr. McGill explained the sacrifice and effort required for ag students to effectively raise their animals, saying, “It takes so many hours of dedication. They might be domesticated animals, but they’re still wild, not like try-to-kill-you wild, but they’re scared of you. They see a big human, they just got taken away from their mom, they’ve been put in the back of a truck and who knows how far back to this barn. Chyenn and Dani showed pigs last year, and so they’ve gotten to see this first hand also. You’ve got to spend the time setting down in the wood chips with that animal and let that animal come up to you and gain a trust. You see Chyenn scratching that thing’s belly, it just rolls over like a dog. It was loving every minute of that, and then she took it outside and there’s no leash or halter or anything on that pig and he stayed right there next to her. He didn’t venture off, he didn’t run away or anything like that. That’s a lot of trust that they have in those humans.

“Dani Kilman, you’ll never hear her talk about this, but she’s got a handicap. She had surgery on one of her legs and so that heifer could just totally dominate her if she wanted to, but Dani has built a relationship with that heifer to where she just follows her around anywhere. Dani gets in that pin and loves all over, brushes her, and that heifer knows that that’s my human. That’s who feeds me, and who waters me, and who bathes me, and all that stuff.”

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