by | Jul 17, 2023

Through tragedy, Jaxon Lollar carries on family legacy

It’s a quiet summer morning on the Chillicothe farm. Chores like mixing feed, cleaning out pens and walking pigs trump all the crowds and action at the county fair for the 10-year-old. All this work isn’t for the medals, belt buckles or accolades — it’s to sustain a young boy and carry on a family legacy.

Jaxon Lollar was running around the pigpen as a toddler. He’s spent his entire life working with and showing pigs alongside his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. His family — specifically his father, Cameron — loved being around livestock and have passed that passion on to Jaxon.

The Lollars’ lives were perpetually upended in April 2017. At the age of 25, Cameron died in a car accident in rural Sullivan County, leaving behind 4-year-old Jaxon. “It was the day after Easter, it was so sudden,” says Cyrsten Sarbaugh, Cameron’s sister. “It rocked our world. We didn’t have pigs that year. We were sad and lost.”

They persevered and today, Jaxon raises and shows pigs with the help of family, friends and a community dedicated to ensuring he carries on his father’s traditions.

Though they’ve never lived on a farm, showing livestock has been a family tradition for the Lollars for decades. Richard, Jaxon’s grandpa, grew up showing cattle and when his oldest son, Calvin, needed an FFA project as a freshman he decided to start showing pigs.

“I’m not sure if we knew what end of the pig to feed when we started,” Richard says with a laugh. “Then that tradition just carried down from Calvin to Cyrsten to Cameron and now to Jaxon.”

Family friends helped the Lollars find their way on the farm and the kids earned plenty of success winning grand champion honors at county fairs, jackpot shows and the Missouri State Fair. “I was a student at Mizzou my final year showing,” Cyrsten says. “Jaxon helped me that year and it was basically an easy transition from me to him.”

After the one-year hiatus of showing the year Cameron passed, the Lollars pressed on. “We collectively knew that Cam would’ve wanted Jax to keep showing,” says Cyrsten, an agriculture teacher in Chillicothe. “So, as a family, we’ve ensured that Jaxon has pigs. It doesn’t matter what it takes. Sometimes it’s crazy and schedules get turned around. But everyone has Jaxon’s best interest at heart. He’s been through a lot in his 10 years.”

In his time showing, Jaxon has cared for around 10 pigs. He originally housed them on the farms of family friends, but has since moved to the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center in Chillicothe. This year, he’s caring for a crossbred and Duroc at the center. Jaxon comes up with a theme for naming his pigs each year. His crossbred’s boar is named Run it Back, so Jaxon came up with Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl themed names: Kelce and Big Red.

Cyrsten stops by most mornings during the week to feed before work and Richard travels down from Trenton to help too. Jaxon is on the farm about four days per week readying his pigs for the show ring.

“We have this big support system,” Cyrsten says. “We’ve got friends who help us pick out pigs and figure out the right feed ratios. And others who might help care for, feed or walk them when one of us can’t make it or is out of town.”

Calvin says he can see Cameron in Jaxon whenever he is with his pigs. “I stand back and look at his gestures or the way he walks and carries himself and he’s just the spitting image of Cam,” Calvin says before smirking. “And he doesn’t have his dad’s temper yet.”

Jaxon’s mom and stepdad, Ashley and Brandon Sensenich, are with Jaxon along the way. “We love watching him do anything, especially what he’s passionate about,” Ashley says. “It’s just about supporting him with what he wants to do.”

The Missouri State Fair has been a staple for the Lollars since they began showing. “It’s our favorite place,” Cyrsten says. “We take our camper down to the campground before the fair starts and stay until the last day.”

A highlight of the fair for Jaxon is the daily walks from the Swine Barn to the Dairy Barn for ice cream. This year Jaxon will be showing during the final weekend of the fair. “I just hope they’re in a good mood to be shown,” he says.

Beyond showing at the fair, the Lollars support the ag showcase through Cam’s Memorial Grand Drive. They host the jackpot show every Mother’s Day weekend in Chillicothe with funds directed to the Missouri State Fair Foundation to be used specifically in the Swine Barn. They also host the LaRenda’s Legacy silent auction in honor of Jaxon’s grandma. LaRenda was Jaxon’s biggest supporter who could always be seen in her rocking lawn chair outside the ring. She passed away due to COVID-19 in 2021. In total, they’ve raised nearly $50,000 for the Swine Barn.

Moving forward after loss has been an uphill battle for the family. “It’s bittersweet; I want to say it gets easier over time,” Cyrsten says. “A few weeks after Mom passed away Jaxon won his first ever showmanship award and we all just burst out in tears. She might not be here physically, but she lives on in Jax’s smile.”

The passing of Cameron and LaRenda has tested the Lollars’ resolve, but also pulled them closer together.

“Six years ago was probably the lowest point for our family, it was such a tragedy,” Calvin says. “But the blessings we’ve been shown through all of this from friends helping out to random acts of kindness is just crazy. It still amazes us. It’s not so much even about showing the pigs. It’s a way of life not just for us, but for Jax and the next generation as they carry out Cam’s legacy.”

For more on Cam’s Memorial Grand Drive and LaRenda’s Legacy, visit

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