San Benito High School’s new barn is a hog heaven

Paul Cardinalli carries a squealing pig back to its pen Wednesday morning at the new Rajkovich Agricultural Builiding.

On Wednesday, Paul Cardinalli and others in the high school’s
agriculture program were weighing their pigs at the new barn. From
20 pens lined in four rows of five, they had to move the swine from
their more comfortable caged confines to the weighing station on
the other end of the barn. Their choices were limited: Either
coerce the pigs toward the scale using square-shaped hog boards, or
go the more direct route by picking them up and taking your chances
with hearing loss.
On Wednesday, Paul Cardinalli and others in the high school’s agriculture program were weighing their pigs at the new barn. From 20 pens lined in four rows of five, they had to move the swine from their more comfortable caged confines to the weighing station on the other end of the barn. Their choices were limited: Either coerce the pigs toward the scale using square-shaped hog boards, or go the more direct route by picking them up and taking your chances with hearing loss.

Fortunately, the much-larger barn provided plenty of room for hog-board users to maneuver their livestock, one by one, toward the enclosed scale. Unfortunately for Cardinalli when he picked up a pig for the long haul, his little pink friend wasn’t too happy about the trip and squealed about as loud as the 10 most stubborn choir-singing toddlers on Earth – combined.

For Cardinalli and about 20 other students, it was merely part of doing their daily chores at the Martin Peter Rajkovich Agricultural Building. Even on a sweltering summer day, Cardinalli grinned his way to the scale and ignored the yelping pig, and all the others could do was laugh at the situation, because it obviously wasn’t a first and it won’t be a last.

“They’re louder than a jet,” agriculture instructor Kelly Bianchi noted to one of the few parents watching on, in explaining the decibels reached by pigs when they choose to let it all out.

Bianchi is San Benito High School’s agriculture teacher. During these summer sessions, as students prepare for the county fair in October, Bianchi does what she calls “spot check” while supervising the students at morning and night when they do their chores.

Students such as Cardinalli, who just graduated but can show at the fair in that fall year after finishing school, might just have more incentive to get those chores done, too, with the recent completion of the 14,500-square-foot, modernized barn, intended for students who don’t have access to their own farm equipment at home.

“This is way bigger. There’s way more space to use,” said Cardinalli, after lugging his pig.

See the full story in the Pinnacle on Friday.

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