Meet "Prince William" and "Prince Edward Charming," 2 Hogs raised by the Collins sisters for their 4-H project with Cornell Cooperative Extension. Sure the girls learned some valuable life lessons from their endeavor, but we could all take away something from this story.

The goal of 4-H is for youth to "learn and develop life skills that may assist them in becoming responsible adults." Eleonore took care of William while Natalee tended to Mr. Charming and judging by the pics, both hogs seem to be doing well. So lesson 1, the responsibility of another living and breathing being. But 4-H goes well beyond that.

In addition to raising, caring, and showing the animals, Eleonore and Natalee were responsible for finding buyers to purchase the animals at the annual 4-H auction. Meaning the girls had to hit the pavement and interact with business owners to market themselves, 4-H, and their prize hogs. Lesson 2 should give them a leg up when it's time to find a college or hit the job market.

The girls hit marketing themselves out of the park just like they did rearing the two animals. They found enough buyers to sell William and Edward twice. It's common at the auction for the 1st buyer to donate the animals back to the youth, who then sell the animal a second time. The second buyer brings us to the 3rd lesson, helping the less fortunate.

Art White of White's Farm Supply was the 2nd buyer, he had the hogs processed and then donated the meat to the Hope House, a group that provides meals for the homeless and hungry 7 days a week. Like the group's slogan, this could lead to a 4th lesson, "neighbors helping neighbors." The organization was so ecstatic with the food donation, Art and Jennifer Collins, the girls' mother and 4-H Educator at Cornell, are looking for ways to tie the Hope House to future 4-H auctions. Now there's a win-win for everyone.


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