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As the saying goes, “If you have livestock, you will have dead stock.” That’s why protecting your four-legged investments is a wise thing to do. The Showpig.com team caught up with Mart Smith, the president of The Smith Sawyer Smith Agency, located in Rochester, Indiana. Mart has a long history of insuring livestock, and he helped us answer some of the questions we had about the process.

While these FAQs are a great space to start, when thinking about insuring your livestock, it is important to point out that some of these answers will be dependent on the company you chose to insure with. Always check with your chosen agent to make sure you understand the ins and outs of your policy and its coverage.

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Is your marketing falling a little flat? Perhaps it’s because you’ve opted for a one-sided strategy. Choosing only one medium to deliver your message to potential consumers is like trying to make your favorite cookies only using flour. To have truly successful marketing, you need to mix together several different mediums to deliver your message to consumers. The Showpig.com team is here to give you some quick facts to help you mix up your marketing and create your own recipe for success.

BEGIN WITH A BRAND
Before you can build brand awareness, you need to start with a brand, and we don’t mean the type you use to mark cattle. A brand in marketing terms is a company’s identity. It includes their logo, the colors they use, the style of their advertisements, the tone of their typography and the character of their copy. Believe it or not, consumers will often draw conclusions about a business based upon how that business presents its brand and builds its identity. If this seems overwhelming, simply think of three words you’d like your consumers to associate with your business. Perhaps, it’s cutting-edge, leading and innovative or maybe its traditional, honest and hardworking. As you can imagine, these sets of words would be represented in much different ways.

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 Did you drive a barrow or gilt to the backdrop that you purchased through a Showpig.com auction? If so, upload your photo to our winner’s submissions page. All winners will be eligible for prize drawings held throughout the summer, and they will be featured on our champion’s page.

CLICK HERE TO UPLOAD YOUR WINNER

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While it isn’t November, summer is a great time for the people of the showpig world to practice gratitude. Whether you’re selling a market hog at your county fair, topping a national sale or just exhibiting at a show brought to you by sponsors, being gracious is an important part of making lasting connections in this industry. The Showpig.com team put together some thoughts about saying, “Thanks.”

MAKE IT PERSONAL
The best kind of thank yous are sincere. Rather than a generic note, make it personal with specific details about what you’re grateful for. The showpig business has a little to do with pigs and a lot to do with the folks you meet along the way. Make sure your tribe feels appreciated.

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With the consumer market for pork and other protein sources changing rapidly, the Pork Checkoff is putting the finishing touches on a plan to capitalize on those changes by repositioning pork marketing, Terry O’Neel, president of the National Pork Board, told an audience at World Pork Expo Thursday. “The Pork Checkoff has embarked on a journey to determine how best to market pork today,” O’Neel, a pork producer from Friend, Neb., said. “The direction may be drastically different than we’ve seen in the last quarter century.”

The big changes that require a new marketing plan, the National Pork Board’s chief executive officer Bill Even said, are driven by what he called “the three M’s”:

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 Any swine enthusiast knows that Des Moines, Iowa, is the place to be the first week of June. Not only do the Iowa State Fairgrounds serve as a showpig Mecca, with one of the largest and most competitive shows in the country, but all of this is just part of the largest swine trade show in the world. The World Pork Expo is an experience you shouldn’t miss. But, if you’re looking for venues beyond the swine barn, Showpig.com’s team has you covered.

First is fine dining. Tursi’s Latin King is an ironically named but incredibly delicious Italian restaurant not too far from the fairgrounds. For nearly seven decades, Latin King has served as an East side institution, creating authentic Italian in the heart of the Midwest. You may even forget that you smell like a swine barn while you indulge on classic Italian fare and review their extensive wine list.

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The Showpig.com team asked legendary swine auctioneer Col. Dan Baker to recall some of the greatest lessons he has learned along the way. He wrote this account of some words of advice that have followed him through the decades.

 

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Chances are at some point over this long weekend, you will be firing up the grill for some charbroiled Memorial Day meals. If you’re looking for some scrumptious new pork dishes to try, look no further. We’ve scoured countless recipes to find fun, festive and tasty meals for you to try during your holiday weekend.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Red Pepper Glaze is a dish full of spice and Southern charm. Catherine Mayhew writer and blogger of South Your Mouth created this gem for Charbroil.com. Her glaze creates the perfect combination that will let your taste buds bounce between sweet and spice before you savor.

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With the summer show season fast approaching, it’s time to brush up on your showmanship skills before you hit the ring. Kaylee Keppy grew up in the showpig business. She spent countless hours driving pigs, judging livestock and helping with her family’s operation, Keppy Showpigs, in Durant, Iowa. Today, Kaylee still plays a huge role in their showpig operation, in addition to working as a ShowTec Feed Specialist for ADM and judging swine shows. The Showpig.com team caught up with Kaylee to get some quick tips for the show ring.

DO:  YOUR HOMEWORK
If you’ve ever wondered why it’s called homework, it’s because it’s work that literally should be done at home. According to Kaylee, training and working with your hog should start at home and well before you ever step foot into the show ring. Check out these tips for training your showpigs.

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Briefly introduce yourself: 
My name is Luke Lindner. My father (Jason Linder), girlfriend (Fallon Ferguson), and I currently run 110 sows in the south-central town of Comfort, Texas. I was introduced to the showpig world at a young age. My father was the owner/operator of Linder Feed and Milling, and he ran 100 spotted sows (L&J Stock Farms) before retiring to build a pellet mill in Comfort. In 2010, my father and I started raising crossbred hogs just for our own use in the competitive Texas major shows. In 2015, after I graduated high school, I made the decision to stay home and work at the feed store, and I built my own sow operation. I have always taken pride being a part of the showpig industry, whether it’s raising show stock or making feed for the youth!

Location:  Comfort, Texas

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It’s graduation time. For some folks, this means gearing up to find their first “real” job. This can be an intimidating time for new graduates. But, if you grew up exhibiting, raising or judging swine, you likely are a step ahead of many of the other applicants. Here’s Showpig.com’s tips for the job hunt.

DRESS FOR THE PART
You’ve likely been told to “Dress for the job you want.” Luckily, for showpig enthusiasts many business essentials, such as a nice button-down shirt, are already hanging in your closet from your time in the show ring. If you would like to beef up your interview-worthy wardrobe, check out AgCareer's guide to being a sharp dressed man and a chic business chick.

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For more than a decade, Austin Pueschel has been showing pigs. This Sturgis, Michigan native has seen success on the national stage, served as a Team Purebred Junior Board member, and has placed in the top 10 showmen at every major swine show. Currently, Pueschel is attending Iowa State University, in Ames, to pursue his degree in agricultural business. He was kind enough to share with us some of the tips and tricks he learned through the years to help train your showpigs.

GAIN THEIR TRUST
Start out by getting your showpig home to a comfortable environment. Then, get them used to being around you. The biggest factor in training a showpig is trust. If your pig doesn’t trust you, it will be an uphill battle for the rest of the show season.

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The Show Pig Planet Jackpot Show was held in April 30 in Huntington, Indiana. Exhibitors presented 498 head, and they were awarded $40,000 in prizes. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks to our sponsors for providing this great opportunity. 

All photos are courtesy of Mapes Livestock Photos, the official show photographer. Please contact Steve Mapes at mapesphotos@embarqmail.com to order copies.

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Did you know that the Pork Checkoff has one of the most comprehensive swine quiz bowl and skillathon study tools available?

With most prospects purchased and summer show season right around the corner, some young people will also be studying for the many other competitions and events available at shows throughout the nation. One such event, the skillathon, gives young people the opportunity to test their chops in all things swine related, such as breeding, animal well-being, swine health and other key topics.

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Briefly introduce yourself:
Hofschulte Genetics originally started from our father Phillip’s passion for breeding and showing hogs during his FFA years in high school. He was raised on a dairy farm and instilled the work ethic he became accustomed with into all three of us. Through his years of teaching Ag in Oklahoma it was natural for us to engage in showing and raising hogs at a very young age. We have steadily built our herd and farm over the years as a family. We have made some great accomplishments through time, and have made memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. We are located in Miami, Oklahoma, farrow 50 sows and have 10 boars we collect. Our father retired from teaching three years ago. Chris and Natalie assist him full time with our show pig and feeder cattle operation. We all love being involved in a business that allows us to help others experience what we were able to experience in our past, and to be able to contribute to an industry that is very dear to us.

  Location:  Miami, OK

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Sunday, April 30, 2017 | Huntington, Indiana
Open to the world | More than $40,000 in prize money | IJSC sanctioned
Barrows and breeding gilt divisions

Show starts at 11 a.m. | Check-in available on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. and Sunday from 6-9 a.m.
Pre-entry fee $35/head | Show-day entry fee $50/head

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Richmond, Indiana, is the home of the National Swine Registry’s Weanling Pig Extravaganza, and it’s a popular pick-up point for spring pig purchases. If you’re Richmond bound this week be sure to check out some of these great stops, and se out – beyond the barn.

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Purchasing pedigreed showpigs has some perks of special classes and sometimes sponsored breed prizes, but this comes with a little paperwork. National Swine Registry’s Eastern Field Representative Blaine Evans offers his tips and tricks to make sure your pedigreed paperwork will be perfect for show day.

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If you’re tired of fast food as you finish out spring sale season and ready yourself for jackpot shows, we have the perfect solution. These pork meals can be prepared ahead of time and served cold. So, pack your cooler with some pork and go show.

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