Kids with disabilities learn about livestock

BEAVER DAM, Wis. (WMTV) -- Two Dodge County teens have started a program to give kids with disabilities a chance to participate in livestock shows.

Kaitlin Neu and Andy Boschert created "Pig Pals Spectacular," and the program debuted Sunday at the Dodge County Fair.

The program is targeted for kids in 7th to 12th grade with intellectual disabilities. Kids who signed up were paired with mentors who teach them how to take care of pigs and show them.

At the end, each kid got the chance to walk their pig around the ring, with their friends and families watching.

"It's been great, there's been smiles everywhere and it warms my heart. It's been amazing to see this all come together and have everyone bonding," said Neu.

Neu and Boschert said they created a special show for these kids because they wanted kids who are not part of local agriculture groups like 4-H or Future Farmers of America (FFA) to be able to learn about the industry.

Neu also said they wanted to create a less competitive environment and give the kids individual attention.

Mya Macdonald was one of the kids who signed up this year. She said her favorite part was walking the pig around the ring.

"He really participated with me. He kept walking with me. He had a couple bumps in the walking part, but he did pretty good," she said.

Mya's mom Faith Macdonald said it was exciting to watch her daughter try something new.

Neu and Boschert hope to continue the program for years to come and eventually expand to adults.