Greeneview 4-H member has a lot on his plate


XENIA — Like most teenagers his age, Caden Church keeps pretty busy. The 15-year-old showed three hogs in the fair this week — Fancy, Gia, and Snoop Hog.

Church also has his own fan club — so to speak — that travel with him to fair events. His father Jake, and step-mom, Christina Church, accompany him as well as his mother, Jody, and step-dad, Ryan Vest.

“We all enjoy watching him compete and support his activities,” Jody said. Church, a straight-A student and sophomore at Greeneview High School, also enjoys wrestling, hanging out with his friends, and riding his ATV “side-by-side” with his dad on his family’s farm in Jamestown.

Other “Green Acres” 4-H members and Caden’s family — who sometimes join him inside a crowded hog pen to give guidance in steering the hog — admire how well he gets around despite being blind since birth. His family makes sure he is never alone at an event.

“He was born with Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) and has been blind all his, life but it hasn’t kept him from doing anything he sets his mind to,” said Jake, who also mentioned Caden has been holding down a summer job at the Clifton Mill when he’s not busy feeding, watering, and walking the hogs on his father’s 10-acre farm.

When asked how he handles his hogs if they act up, he didn’t hesitate to reply.

“I know what to do — it all depends on how wild they are. Some are more well-behaved than others,” said Church.

Church, who competed in an open market hog show last Sunday and showed in a 4-H FFA market hog show last Tuesday, is done for the summer. He received two reserve division wins and placed second in his class. Now he can go to the fair and relax and of course get one or two of his favorite ribeye sandwiches at Cattlemen’s as a snack.

According to his “fan club,” Caden is very happy with his competition results and on getting to bring his hogs home. Now his other animals — two golden retrievers named Oscar and Murphy — will get more of his attention until next summer at the Greene County Fair.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

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