BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It's rare to see a senior compete at the Kern County Fair for the first time but one senior FFA student from Garces not only took on the challenge of preparing his pigs for the competition, but he took on the financial responsibility all on his own.
"I'd say probably close to $2,500 if not $3,000."
That is how much Dane Costamagna has had to raise on his own to compete with his pigs at the Kern County Fair and their names speak for his experience.
"My pigs are named 'Paycheck' and 'Bacon.' My light-cross is paycheck and he will be running through the auction and my AOB is bacon because we're gonna take him home and we're gonna make bacon out of him."
Although Costamagna is a senior at Garces, it is his first time competing at the fair.
"I'm nervous," he said. "I'm not gonna lie, I'm nervous"
But he is passionate, even taking up a summer job, working 6 to 12 hour days with cattle, in order to raise the funds to afford just an entry into the competition.
"It's been really neat to see a kid really have to work for what they have and from start to finish watching him work for it and find a job and to be able to buy his pigs and care for them and bring them here to the fair," explained Ashley Rossi, the Farces FFA advisor.
And although the days of preparing have been long the experience of doing it on his own has been rewarding in itself.
"It just goes to show how much really goes into it and how much the parents sacrifice for their kids and to be able to take a step back and say I did this on my own and you can't take that away from me now, It's a really good feeling," said Costamagna.
Monday will be the last day of preparations for Costamagna because he will present his pigs Tuesday for the Kern Bred and Fed class. He says he doesn't have to win it all but it wouldn't hurt to place.