By Jon Johnson
PIMA – It is against town code to house swine in Pima, however, an exception may be made next year for those who raise a pig exclusively for the county fair.
The town of Pima is considering an exemption to its no swine code so that members of 4H or Future Farmers of America (FFA) can raise one swine per household. The city of Safford and the town of Thatcher also do not allow pigs, but 4H members can apply for a variance, at least in Safford.
In the current proposal, one pig would be allowed per property with a 4H or FFA member as long as it was being raised for the fair and was registered as such. Additional stipulations include the pig be housed more than 100 feet from any dwelling, have adequate cooling and shade and monthly inspections from a town employee.
“It’s not going to be raised for your own market,” Pima Interim Town Manager Sean Lewis said. “It will only be for a fair animal.”
The Planning and Zoning Board heard the proposal and voted to send it to the Pima Town Council.
“Well, you know, we’re still a small town,” said Pima Councilor Jesus “Chuy” Cabrera at a June Pima Town Council meeting. “We still have small-town ideals and values. I think a lot of good can come from kids learning to take care of animals.”
Lewis suggested the town table the item until town council members can speak with their constituents because of the possible polarizing effect the issue may have.
“No one has time to start it for this year’s 4H,” Lewis said. “The person who brought it up has no plans on doing it for this year’s 4H, so let’s do the right thing, I think, and talk to the people of the town and see how they feel.”
Pima Mayor C.B. Fletcher said he felt it was important to let people know the variance would only be for those involved with 4H or FFA and raising an animal for the fair. The time period the pig would be allowed would be from May to October.
The item was tabled with a unanimous vote to gather more information.