WINSLOW (KFSM) - Mason Ramey is one of West Fork’s better basketball players. But that’s not what sets the senior apart.
"One day after practice he was like you guys can stay and shoot, and I was like I gotta go home. I got a sow that’s in heat that I got to get bred," Ramey remembered.
First year head coach Kelby Drennan was a little confused.
"You’re missing basketball to go show a pig or sell a pig?," Drennan countered. "It was like 'c’mon I need you at practice'."
Mason works on the family farm in Winslow, keeping anwhere between 25 and over 150 pigs at any given time. The Ramey's raise, breed and sell pigs to show.
"And this is where we ferel sows out. So they come in here to have babies," Mason explained, walking into a low-ceilinged barn. "Most of the stuff I kind of taught myself, just looking up and learning."
"He's one of the most mature kids I've ever coached," Drennan said.
Four years ago, the family bought one pig. Mason decided to start showing his sophomore year of high school, before opting to raise and sell the sows.
"My father still lives down here and he’s 96 years old. So it’s a family thing," Ralph Ramey, Mason's father pointed out.
Experiencing both sides of the business has allowed Mason to come up with a better business plan.
"Basically what we wanted to do was give kids the opportunity to buy good quality pigs at a discounted price compared to other farms."
"Helping other kids means a lot to me and Mason and my wife," added Ralph.
"We may not be the ones winning [anymore] but we know that our hogs are the quality," Mason said.
Mason's won awards for his pigs, including Born & Bred Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion from the Washington County Fair over the last couple years. Now selling to kids, Ramey hopes to expand the business in the near future.
"If we can make it past the county and state levels to a national level where we can raise pigs that have the opportunity to go further."
So while his senior year winds down on the court for the 13-10, 5-6 West Fork basketball team, Mason continues to work on the farm, where his passion has become a livelihood and potential career.