Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Is There a Pig Farmer in the House?

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How often are any of us called out in public to perform our special occupational skills? Do people stop at the mall and scream out, IS THERE ANYONE HERE WHO CAN COMBINE SYNERGIES OR OPTIMIZE INDUSTRY-LEADING SOLUTIONS?

No, unless you are a physician, your day-to-day work abilities are very unlikely to be tapped in a public crisis.

So imagine my surprise this past weekend at the Ohio State Fair when the ability to rouse a lactating sow would come into play in a crowd situation.

Inside the hog barn at the State Fair is a nice air-conditioned store called the Pork Schop. Staffed by a team of dedicated volunteers, the shop sells anything and everything with pigs on it. The area features a play place for kids, and, in a separate pen, a real live sow and a litter of pigs.

Morgan and I were enjoying some down time at the kids area next to the growing crowd of non-farmers and children checking out the cute little pigs. When one piglet started squealing I didn't pay attention. There are always pigs squealing somewhere in a hog barn.

The squealing stopped and people started turning away. I heard one woman say I can't watch this. Figuring the sow was doing something gross, like peeing on unsuspecting urbanites, I kept shopping and Morgan kept playing.

Finally, someone said to one of the volunteers that a little pig was getting squashed. In moments, these women, who fortunately were retired farm wives, sprang from behind their table of figurines, opened the gate and began fearlessly smacking the 400 lb sow to make her get up.

One retired farm wife pushed and one kept smacking until they were able to pull the piglet out from under its mother. His little ears were purple from lack of blood flow but he was breathing.

The heroics of the volunteers was the talk of the Pork Schop for days. Husband said I should have jumped in to get involved but I am holding out for a crisis that meets my unique skill set.

So if anyone ever has a crisis that involves breastfeeding a baby in the hog barn while prepping the COO by phone for a media interview--then I'm your woman.

Image from Flickr.

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