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It’s time to go back to school, and some of us may be more excited than others to grab our backpacks and head off to learn new things. There is a common misconception that students interested in production agriculture don’t need to pursue further education after high school graduation, but the Showpig.com team wanted to share some stats with you about how important it is to get schooled in ag.

Did you know many agribusiness jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree? According to the AgCareers.com 2016 Agribusiness Job Report, half of the jobs posted on their site, last year, required a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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Warren Beeler has spent decades judging livestock shows around the country. To date, he has shaken the hands of hundreds, if not thousands, of young people showing swine. Through his time sorting stock and showing with his own family, Warren has learned a lot of lessons. Some of which he has even taken with him as he serves as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. The Showpig.com team was fortunate enough to have visited with Warren as he recalled three of his favorites.

1.    As a dad and as a judge, I don’t have much time for those who don’t know how to act when they win and learn when they lose. I remember judging Houston the first time with the sift at Brenham, Texas, there was about 4,000 head of hogs and only 660 got to continue to Houston. We were down to four barrows and two got to go to Houston. I picked this young gal, and she jumped about 3 feet off the ground and ran over to hug me. In the process, she karate chopped me right in the Adam’s apple. The second one I picked was a big, stout young man that came running, as I hunkered down, and bear hugged me. I remember their excitement. What I don’t remember is the other two that went on the truck. Those two were the ones that got the lesson. The chance to be so close and be put on the truck. I admire the discipline, character and integrity those two showed. I wish I could have hugged them, when they got that hard lesson. Life is not fair. It will give you some losses. Those that can learn from losing are headed for success.

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Did you know that, although we may look very different, pigs and humans have a lot in common? In fact, we’re so similar in size, physiology and even genetics that pigs are helping scientists learn more about how to treat human diseases. Here are some ways pigs are helping physicians have more tools to treat their patients in the future.

 

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The Pork Checkoff has selected 12 college students to represent the #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces team this year. Candidates were selected based on their involvement in the pork industry and their strong communication skills. The team will be active from July until December.

“Social media is ingrained in young people’s lives,” said Claire Masker, public relations director for the Pork Checkoff. “It’s easy for them to share their thoughts about an industry that they are proud to be a part of through the various social media channels available to them.”

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Keeping your pigs cool is a key part of having successful, showring-ready projects. Whether you have barrows or gilts in the barn, there is no doubt that they can feel the summer heat. Pigs can’t sweat like you or I, so when they get hot it is harder for them to cool down. In an effort to get their temperature back to normal, hot pigs resort to breathing heavily and panting. All this extra energy and stress spent on keeping cool leads to loss of appetite, loss of gains, less milk production in sows and in extreme cases even death. Needless to say, it’s important your pigs keep their cool.

H2O HYDRATION
One of the simplest ways to make sure your pig stays cool is to make sure they have plenty of fresh, cold water. If their water is too hot, too old or too dirty to look appealing to you, then it likely doesn’t seem very refreshing to the pig either. This means emptying waters more than normal on warm days, so your swine have access to the finest, freshest and coolest water around.  

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 Nearly everyone has had a case of the showday jitters. Maybe your palms were sweaty while you tried to grip the handle of your new whip, you didn’t feel like eating before the show or perhaps you even forgot your barrow’s pedigree when the judge asked for it in showmanship. Well, rest assured you aren’t the first or the last showman to stumble upon showring stress and nerves. The key to being a great showman is not avoiding nervousness, but rather not letting it control you. The Showpig.com team has some tips to help you give showday jitters the slip.

PRACTICE TO PERFECT
This may sound silly, but one of the best tricks to getting rid of your nerves is to be well prepared. If you practice like you plan to show at home, then your showday will likely seem less like a new experience and more like a familiar routine. This means, you should not only be walking your pigs, but also driving them around with a friend or family member standing in for the judge and even practice penning them like you would in a placing pen.

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Briefly introduce yourself: 
My name is Troy Lowdermilk owner of Lowdermilk Showpigs.   I am married to Stacy Lowdermilk, and we have two children, Sydney (6) and Chase (4).  Our farm consists of approximately 25 sows with 80 percent of our herd being comprised of Spots with a handful of crosses, Berks, Durocs and Yorks.  I grew up on a 125 sow farrow to finish operation where we raised both commercial swine as well as breeding stock. We have a major passion for the spot breed and raising purebred livestock.  

Location:  Center Point, IN

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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.

 

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The Showpig.com team caught up with David Korb of Korb Farms, Ohio, amid all the excitement following their record-busting Yorkshire boar sale at the Summer Type Conference, and this is “How They Work.”

Describe your operation. (size, scope, breeds)

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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.

 

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If you’re in Kentucky’s capital for the National Junior Summer Spectacular and the NSR Summer Type Conference, the Showpig.com team has rounded up some places for you to go “Beyond the Barn.”

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Springfield may be known for being the capital of Illinois, but the last week of June it’s also the home of Team Purebred, Certified Pedigreed Swine and Berkshire summer shows. Showpig people from all over will flock to central Illinois to take part in the festivities. If you’re heading to Springfield, we have some things to do beyond the barn.

Springfield is arguably the reason Illinois is dubbed the Land of Lincoln. If you’re a history buff, there are plenty of attractions dating back more than fourscore and seven years ago. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is one of the most popular local stops and is a great place to start a Lincoln learning tour. Follow it up with a stroll through the Lincoln Home before ending at the Lincoln Tomb & War Memorials to pay your respects to our 16th President.

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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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