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There are certain things an exhibitor should not leave home without. Ashtin and Nalaney Guyer are pros at packing for shows, and have taken the time to share a few of their packing tips.

With years of show ring experience, the Guyer girls employ a solid, easy process to be sure they pack what is needed before they hit the road. Several years ago the sisters sat down and typed a list of essential products, equipment, feed, clothing and extra items. They printed and laminated the list and posted it on the show barn wall. When the Guyers prepare to travel to a show they review this handy reference sheet and use a dry erase marker to check items as they pack them in the show box or trailer.

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Presentation is everything, says Adam Crouch. Whether a show pig is in or outside of the ring, Crouch says it should be kept clean and fresh to give it the appearance of a champion.

Crouch is an Indiana native who works in marketing for Sunglo Feeds. He was raised showing cattle but transitioned to show pigs when his younger brother made the decision to change the family’s cool room into a pig barn. Crouch currently helps his niece and nephew, Blake and Lacie Logan, with their show pig projects, and he has a specific set of skin and hair care instructions for his favorite swine showmen.

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When the Oldenberg family arrives at a livestock show, the first thing their travel crew decides is where to set up the kitchen. This decision is as essential as the tack and stalling location for them.

Dusty Oldenberg is the ultimate show mom chef. Her husband, Jeff, and their three children JaLeigh, 16, Callen, 11, and Lincoln, who is nine, all show different species and they travel with a group of friends to nearly every show from local jackpots to the North American International Livestock Exposition.

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Posted by on in All Star Team

 

Georgena Ratliff 
Longmont, Colorado

Something not many people know about you:
I practically live of Mountain Dew.

Favorite Quote:
“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” ­Henry David Thoreau

What is the biggest lesson you have taken away from showing and raising pigs?
The biggest lesson that I've taken away from showing and raising pigs is to always listen to those older than you. The older generation has been raising hogs for years, and they are the ones who built the industry we enjoy today. It is crucial that we listen to them and the lessons that they have learned because we are the next generation; the future of the industry lies in our hands.

What do you think is the biggest challenge the livestock industry faces today?
I believe that the biggest challenge that the livestock industry faces today is the public's misperceptions. It is so important that we begin to tell our side of the story and begin opening up to the public about what we do. Every person who raises livestock loves the animals and the industry, and that is why they do it. It is important that we share this love for our animals with the general public in order for them to see the reality of animal agriculture.

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Showpig.com and The Pig Planet are pleased to co-host our second annual jackpot show! With over $50,000 in prize money up for grabs we are going all in. Check out the details below and mark your calendars for Saturday, June 18th in Lafayette, Indiana.

LOCATION: Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds - Lafayette, IN

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When it comes to breeding sows, timing is everything. And when it comes to equipment a breeder should choose the type of rod that fits their comfort level. 

Sounds simple, right? Yet there are many factors that affect the type of rod a breeder can choose. Showpig.com visited with D.J. Sanders, sales manager for Reproductive Provisions, to get the scoop on what to use and when.

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For the 7,000 youth who exhibited at this year’s event, only the breed champions experience the stage-like atmosphere that being in the Grand Drive offers. This year’s Grand Champion Market Barrow exhibitor can testify to the amazing feeling of being a top winner at OYE.

Karli Schwerdtfeger is a 12-year-old Stratford, Okla. girl who shows hogs and lambs. She hits the National Junior Swine Association’s summer show circuit and in the spring, goes to her county, district and state shows. 

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Showing pigs is what Taylor Norris loves to do. When she was younger Norris tried gymnastics and still manages to play a little basketball in the winter. But this Honey Grove, Texas, girl has spent numerous hours in the show barn, and on the weekend of February 26, 2016, those hours paid off.

And she’s only 12-years-old.

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If you missed it, read PART I :: WPX, A Family Affair

WPX Keeps Growing
The World Pork Expo is the Super Bowl of the show pig season, bringing families and their show pig projects from all corners of the United States to Des Moines, Iowa, in early June.  The WPX has seen major growth in numbers and foot traffic during the past five years, but last year its growth exploded. Brian Arnold, who oversees events for the National Swine Registry, says NSR anticipated growth, but never would have guessed how big it would be. In 2015 there were 4,000 junior hogs entered and 2,200 exhibited. In the open show, another 778 gilts were shown, making the event just shy of 5,000 hogs and the largest swine show of the year.

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It’s the Super Bowl of the swine industry. The week-long event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds includes junior swine shows, open pig shows and sales, a huge trade show and international visitors. It’s a chance to build business relationships, rekindle friendships, conduct business and have fun. One week may not be long enough, for this granddaddy of an event that takes place each June. But, what is this event?

It’s the World Pork Expo. And it’s approaching for swine exhibitors, breeders, trade show reps and international visitors once again this summer.

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When it comes to raising show pigs, and getting them ready to sell, there is no substitute for time. Jennifer Slagle believes that time is the best resource they have in preparing their pigs for sale.

Slagle is co-owner, photographer, feed mixer and marketer for WinMor Farms, a family-owned show pig operation in Grinnell, Iowa. WinMor Farms is comprised of Jennifer, her husband Don Slagle, and her father Ron Smith, who has been raising pigs for more than 40 years. Even though Don and Jennifer have off-farm jobs, on nights and weekends they are full-time show pig producers. And they are all involved in laying the groundwork for baby pigs to make a smooth transition to their new homes. 

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Blake Logan entered the show ring hoping to win his class. Two hours later, he was showing for Grand Champion Market Hog at the 2016 National Western Stock Show.

And, he won.

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Stohlquist Show Pigs originated from a 10-sow, father son 4-H project that, at one time, was second priority to a herd of Registered Holsteins. Ryan and his wife, Vicky, both grew up on a Dairy farm and shared the passion of showing dairy cattle. To this day, Ryan credits his success to the strong work ethics he built being raised on a dairy farm. Today, Stohlquist Show Pigs, located in Poplar Grove, Illinois, farrows 150 sows and has 15 boars in stud. Ryan says there is no doubt in his mind that they are working with the very best families in the industry and have set their dreams and goals high to help those families accomplish theirs!!!

One word that best describes how you work:  Often

Current Mobile Device: iPhone 6

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Jordan and Justin Tibbits of Mineral Point, WI, although commonly referred to as brothers, are actually cousins. Their fathers are brothers who have farmed together for 40+ years. In addition to their own 50 sow operation, the four of them together run 250 beef cows and milk 75 dairy cows. Justin, Ashley (wife) and baby Landry live on the dairy farm where they farrow and Jordan lives a mile away where the sows and beef feed lots are located.  

One word that best describes how you work:  Spontaneously. We might plan to process some pigs or collect the boars but on a regular basis we get caught up in other stuff on the farm with the dairy and beef and have to delay what we plan to do until later on in the day. You never know what your day is going to be like around here!

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When asked about his best moment showing livestock, Blake Holmes doesn’t have to think twice before he responds.

He was driving his barrow in the grand drive at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) this past November. The judge selected Holmes’ pig as Grand Champion Market Hog, and, he immediately heard his friend scream with excitement from ringside. Holmes said he will remember that moment forever.

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Protecting livestock and providing the best form of care is a goal every young exhibitor should strive to accomplish. After all, showing is about more than placing in the ring. Feeding properly and maintaining overall animal health is a big part of raising show projects, and part of the big picture is being able to give vaccines appropriately.

For swine breeders there are very common and specific vaccines they should administer to ensure herd health and productive litters.

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Baby it’s cold outside. But hopefully your showpigs aren’t cold.

Showpig.com visited with two regional experts on how they manage the cold and what it means to the success of their showpig operations.

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Nathan Weisinger, Fort Madison, Iowa, has a tried-and-true system of processing baby pigs at Weisinger Farms. From the time one of his 150 sows farrow until each litter is weaned, he follows a vaccination protocol that helps maintain healthy pigs. Giving vaccines ensures a strong beginning of life for any animal. Weisinger follows a standard protocol to ensure pigs have a healthy life, and he says starting them off right gives them a healthy end as well.

On day one, Weisinger and his crew will pick up every hog and ear notch it. He gives a 1.5 CC shot of iron and also docks each tail. Another must-do is giving them a 0.2 of a CC shot of Excede, a penicillin-type medication that will stay in their system longer than a simple penicillin shot.

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It's the final drive of showmanship. You’ve made it through the first heat, got penned and are now driving past the judge in an effort to win the coveted award.

Halfway through the final drive the judge approaches each exhibitor, asking a question or two that will help determine the final placing. Even if an exhibitor has had a perfect drive and a banner day, the response to questions can keep the showmanship title out of reach or solidify your spot as the best.

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Crane Show Pigs is a 120-head sow operation in Protechett, Colorado, with 80 replacement females and up to 12 boars in stud. It was founded by Steve Crane in 1991 after he realized that college wasn't for him. He packed it up, after six weeks, and came back home to farm and raise show pigs. Steve and Christi married in 2010, combining households and livestock experience. She is the mother to Katherine (17), Elizabeth (13) and Ryder (10). Christi grew up showing livestock in Texas, and working on her family's cattle ranch. Showing has always been in her blood, but she never dreamed that pigs would someday become a part of that equation. Marketing and public relations are Christi's specialty, and her involvement with Crane Show Pigs has helped transform and expand the operation. 

One word that best describes how you work: Organized

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