Question: How do you tell if a pig is nervous?
Answer: You can't, because pigs don't sweat! According to Kent Goyen, long-time hog show attendee, that's one of the reasons the 4-H Swine Show is held first thing in the morning, so that the animals won't become as uncomfortable as they would if they had to strut their stuff in the mid-day heat.
There weren't many Nervous Nellies among the swine shown by Pratt County 4-H'ers Thursday morning. The Hognobbers only had to get seriously involved a few times, as the exhibitors, overall, had exceptionally good control of their animals.
Emerging as Grand Champion was Jessica DeWeese of the Southwest 4-H Club with her 230 lb. Hampshire hog.
"It feels great, amazing!" DeWeese expressed upon winning.
DeWeese said a good pig has good musculature and walks soundly.
"We walk our pigs morning and evening," she responded, when asked how one prepares a pig to show. "We brush them, spend time with them, try to get them used to being around people."
"What I like most about the project is seeing that pigs all have their own personality, just like people do," DeWeese concluded.
Reserve grand champion was Adison Smith of the Glendale Reapers with her 254 lb. Duroc hog.
Judging the Market Hog Show was Shane Dicks of Great Bend. Dicks grew up in Indiana on a cattle/ hog/ crop farming operation and attended Kansas State University where he was a member of the 1993 Livestock Judging team. He is now an agriculture and commercial loan banker.
"The things I look for the most are leanness and muscle in a sound package," Dicks explained.
Dicks had good things to say about the overall quality of the Pratt County Fair 4-H Hog Show. "There was a high quality set of exhibitors and hogs here today that could compete favorably in a lot of places nationwide," he enthused.
Adison Smith won the Spotted Poland class with Jessica DeWeese taking 2nd. Jessica DeWeese won the Hampshire class with Jarod DeWeese of Southwest 4-H Club getting 2nd.
In the Duroc class, Adison Smith was named winner. Gillian Swindler of Southwest 4-H Club was champion of the Yorkshire class with Cambry Schrag of Pratt Pioneers taking 2nd. Gillian Swindler was also named winner of the large Crossbred class. There were 45 hogs in the various weightclasses of Crossbred, more than in all the other breeds combined.
Although the pigs did not appear especially nervous at this year's 4-H Market Hog Show, they may find themselves becoming more-so as market time approaches.