BRISTOL – Farmer Paul Minor and Daisy the Pot-Bellied Pig spent the evening at Manross Memorial Library Wednesday to speak on the importance of education and reading and shared a little bit about Daisy’s story in one of their last programs in the northeast.
Minor’s pug, Dixie Cup, also joined the presentation where facts were told about pot-bellied pigs, the tale of how Minor and his pig had crossed the country and been shared in the news across the U.S. and beyond. Farmer Minor played recordings of the many sounds of Daisy when she was hungry or when she didn’t want to get out of bed.
Minor also read a book to children and spoke about the book titles he liked to read to Daisy as well while also letting families interact with the famous pig as a means of getting children interested in reading.
“My basic mission is to get these kids to develop a love of reading,” he said. “I’ve done huge numbers of early childhood centers because if you get them at a young age, it continues on.”
Minor emphasized the importance of getting children interested in reading before third grade because he felt it was a key age band in encouraging steady reading habits for the rest of one’s life.
The farmer continued saying he had mixed emotions about his last trip north to engage in youth outreach and programming at local libraries, schools and helping with the annual Kiss-A-Pig contest fundraiser with the Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center. He noted prior to the beginning of the pandemic, he did hundreds of shows a year. He said it was important to continue spreading the love of reading and remaining active as one got older in life, but at the same time, he said it was important to not overwhelm oneself.
Minor’s family owned the Minor’s Farm, where Rich Farm Ice Cream and where a Verogy Solar field now is, between the late 1800s and on before he and his wife decided to move to Florida in 2018. He continued his program “Pig Out On Reading” however across the country, encouraging reading in a variety of educational institutions.
Pig Out on Reading was started in the late 1990s. Minor said the drive back north to visit his old ties has become harder over time, and while he may return to visit his community relationships, he likely wouldn’t be continuing his learning outreach in the northeast.