Four journalism students walk into a barn…

So far this quarter, my group had our fair share of heavy topics. Up until this project, we were covering the kind of stories that required empathy (Deaf students at Cal Poly), data analyzation (computer science faculty retention) and difficult sources (Black Student Union).  These projects were tedious. No doubt we felt tuckered out. Discouraged. Unmotivated.

For our next story, it was time to let down our hair down. It was time to run into the wild, open and abundant planes of Cal Poly…

Just off the beaten path, Cal Poly is home to sprawling acres of hills, dirt and animals.
Just off the beaten path, Cal Poly is home to sprawling acres of hills, dirt and animals.

I mean really. What better way to end the quarter than with a story about pigs.

I had the idea. I remember when I first came to Cal Poly around age 6, it was to visit my family friend who “worked with the pigs.” My aunt and uncle drove me out to this deserted area on campus that smelled so bad. There was mud and I just remember I didn’t want to get out of the car.  Then I saw baby piglets. I didn’t believe in love at first sight until then.

Fast forward to now and I understand better. My family friend was an animal science major who was also a student resident manager for the Cal Poly Swine Unit.

Somehow I convinced Julia, Olivia and Veronica that this was a good idea and so we proceeded with the story topic.

“I didn’t know living in the swine unit was an option, so it was really interesting to see how Matt and Logan live,” group member Julia Morris said. 

After a quick Google search, I found this Mustang News article from 2012.  I decided we should still proceed with the story because the article published in 2012 lacked more than just multimedia. It didn’t portray the swine unit I had visited when I was 6 years old and continue to visit now during long runs at Cal Poly.

Finding the sources was easy. After a simple post to the Cal Poly Class of 2017 page, we found Logan and Matt. Their profile pictures reminded me of something I would see on

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The process was easy once they agreed to be our sources for the story. They were beyond helpful.

While filming for her broadcast piece, Olivia captured the pigs getting out and then breaking an irrigation pipe, which made for compelling footage.

“So I went to the swine unit and got great footage of Logan and lots of pigs and piglets. But I also got great footage of pigs breaking out of a pen (then being herded back in) and a pig breaking a pipe and water spraying everywhere,” Doty said.

Julia was interested in the story because the boys explained to her the skills they’ve gained from their experience in the swine unit goes beyond agriculture and has made them more responsible young men. 

As a team, we hope that we can leave JOUR 462 on a humorous note. I think covering a feature on the swine unit did just that.