She's been to the state fair 5 times now: Each year, she sells at least one of her animals, and she said she has to "cry about it every year" but then moves on and uses the money she earned to buy more livestock for next year, as is the custom among 4-H members.
"I bond really well with my pigs," she said. "So it's sad to get rid of them but it's what you have to do."
Murray said she spends two to three hours with her pigs every day - an eternity in teenage years, when most of her friends spend their free time on different kinds of activities. But she values her time at the state fair, and the county fair at home, enough to continue raising animals every year.
Dan Akers, who owns Mountain Home Farms in Pocahontas County, has been encouraging his 15-year-old daughter to do 4-H her entire childhood.
He doesn't expect her to raise animals or even live on a farm when she grows up, but said he hopes the lessons from 4-H will be valuable no matter what she goes on to do - a common refrain among parents with farms who see their children choosing different paths for their own lives.
"You've got to get them involved in something," Akers said. "It teaches her how to be responsible. She takes care of her animals all year, even when she doesn't want to, and that's important."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.