Lack of clean-up crew leaves Swine Barn nearly empty Thursday

One of the great Minnesota State Fair staples includes making a stop to check out the animals, but much of the Swine Barn was visibly empty Thursday.

Fair officials told Fox 9 a group of youth volunteers bailed on the early morning cleaning duties at the Swine Barn. It's unclear why they were a no-show.

It's the first time in 10 years Fair organizers have had to scramble other clean-up crews from the cattle and horse barns to help sanitize the swines’ home. Normally, the clean-up process starts early in the morning to get ready for the next group of pigs and sheep coming through this weekend. Agriculture supervisors say it was just easier to clear the barn for the day in order to protect the animals' health.

“For the health of the pigs coming in—they’re coming in—they want to come into a fresh barn—they don’t want to come into other pigs’ feces who have been there and other stuff like that,” said Cody Kobnen, the Coliseum and livestock supervisor.

The plan is to have everything back up and running by 3 a.m., which is when the next group of swine will move in. The barn should be full of pigs and sheep Friday.