Sunday, June 12, 2011

Endless-Chain Pig Clubs Started in Guilford County

From The Country Gentleman, Vol. 81, October 7, 1916
The Endless-Chain Pig Club
The originator of the “endless chain” pig club is E.H. Anderson, farm demonstrator of Guilford County, North Carolina. With the assistance of the business men in the county, he is putting into operation a plan that will make its good effects evident as long as hogs are raised in Guilford.
Mr. Anderson went to see most of the business men in the county and asked them to furnish purebred sow pigs to the boys in the county who wished to join the pig club but were unable to buy purebred animals. They responded to this request and forty pigs have been placed in the hands of boys in Guilford, while others will be distributed later.
Now comes the “endless chain” part of the program. These pigs are furnished to the boys under contract that they are to breed their pigs to pure-bred boars at the proper age, and are to return within eighteen months two pigs to the man who furnished the one as a starter. These pigs are in turn given to other boys, and thus the “endless chain” if formed. If the pig dies, the boy is out his time and feed and some man is out a pig.
This system is going to have a wholesome effect on the hog industry in Guilford County and, as Mr. Anderson says, “Guilford County is going to be noted for its hoggishness.”
--P.T. Himes
Clubs Still Going Strong in 1940
W.L. McGahey has started in Beaufort County another of these endless chain pig clubs now becoming common over North Carolina. Mr. McGahey has secured 25 bred gilts and six males, which are being placed with 4-H Club members, vocational students and young men who have just started farming. The gilt becomes the property of the young farmer when he gives back to the mutual livestock association two gilts for the one received. These will be placed with two other selected boys, and on it goes.
Reported by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, North Carolina State College, in The Southern Planter, April 1940
Doesn’t the concept of the endless-chain pig club remind you of Heifer Project International? I wonder if the Indiana farmer who began Heifer Project had seen or heard of the pig clubs.

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