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Youth shine with swine

More than 250 4-H and FFA members participate in annual statewide show
Story and photos by: Allison Parker 2/24/2020

 

Sumner County’s Callie Head, a 4-H member and 8th grader from Portland East Middle School, was named the Junior High Breeding Gilt Premier Exhibitor Champion during the 2020 Tennessee State Junior Swine Show held Jan. 7-9 at the Livestock Center in Murfreesboro.
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Over 250 4-H and FFA members from 37 Tennessee counties learned life skills and life lessons while exhibiting 543 hogs at the Tennessee 4-H and FFA State Swine Show held Jan. 7-9 at the Tennessee Livestock Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.

The exhibitors’ hard work and dedication to their projects truly shined during the intense competition at this year’s event, where 4-H and FFA members exhibited their prized breeding and market hogs in classes.

Students were required to have either raised or purchased their show animal by Nov. 1, 2019, so it could be tagged by their local Extension agent and raised until the show in January.

This year’s show judge was Breanna Lawyer of Shirley, Ind. Lawyer is an experienced judge, spending time on both Black Hawk East and Purdue University livestock judging teams.

“I always enjoy judging shows because you get to see younger kids get excited about the field you are passionate about,” says Lawyer. “That just brings joy to my heart and hope for the future of the industry.”

Lawyer grew up around production agriculture on a hog farm not far from Indianapolis. Today, Lawyer raises show pigs with her

brother while working for Corteva Agriscience.

The 2020 grand champion market hog – a 286-pound crossbred – was shown by Kyra White of Macon County. Reserve champion honors also went to Macon County’s Kyra White for her 305-pound purebred Chester White entry.

In the breeding division, the 2020 grand champion was a July-born crossbred breeding gilt exhibited by Ellie White of Clay County. Reserve champion was also a crossbred breeding gilt exhibited by Bethany Sims of Roane County.

In addition to the breeding and market classes, participants also competed in showmanship, carcass ultrasounding, skillathon, and premier exhibitor competitions.

During showmanship classes, the judge ranks students based on their personal performance showing the animal rather than the quality of the hog. During these classes, the students compete against other students in their age division.

In the carcass class, hogs are ultrasounded to collect measurements of important carcass traits, with 24 hogs qualifying for the Purple Award. To be eligible for the Purple Award, hogs must have a live weight between 250-280 pounds, a 10th rib fat thickness between 0.50-0.80 inch, and a loin muscle area between 7.0-9.99 square inches.

During skillathon, students display the knowledge they have learned about the species in multiple areas including breeds, feeds, and pork quality assurance.

“Not all of these students will not grow up to be swine producers,” says Dr. Dwight Loveday, interim assistant dean for 4-H Youth Development. “However, the University of Tennessee and the 4-H and FFA programs are proud to host an event that has so many areas for students to succeed where they gain responsibility, build friendships and teamworking skills, and much more.”

Tennessee Farmers Cooperative rewards the efforts of the grand and reserve champion winers of the market hog division with an additional monetary prize if those champions used Co-op feed as part of the animal’s nutrition plan. TFC also donates all the ear tags for the project as well as shavings for each pin at the state show.

“TFC’s Feed Department knows firsthand the value of showing livestock because many of us grew up participating in 4-H and FFA,” says John Houston, TFC feed and animal health sales manager. “We believe projects like these play a vital role in the development of young people. It’s meaningful for us to have a part in rewarding those who excel in these youth activities.”

Results for 2020 Tennessee State Swine Show:

Breeding Gilt Champion Drive

Overall — Ellie White, Clay, first; Bethany Sims, Roane, second; Ellie White, Clay, third; Mary Carter Shirley, Putnam, fourth; and Hannah Sanders, Bledsoe, fifth.

Berkshire — Champion and Reserve

Champion, Jake Ozburn, Bedford.

Chester White — Champion, Mary Carter Shirley, Putnam, and Reserve Champion,

Gracee Woods, Henderson.

Duroc — Champion, Ellie White, Clay, and Reserve Champion, Emma Rue, Roane.

Spot — Champion, Casper Cossitt, Warren, and Reserve Champion, Matt Roach, Henderson.

Yorkshire — Champion, Bethany Sims, Roane, and Reserve Champion, Ellie White, Clay.

AOB — Champion, Hannah Sanders, Bledsoe, and Reserve Champion, Audra Hart, Bledsoe.

Crossbred — Champion, Ellie White, Clay, and Reserve Champion, Bethany Sims, Roane.

Market Hog Champion Drive

Overall — Kyra White, Macon, first; Kyra White, Macon, second; Emma Rue, Roane, third; Luke Lay, Monroe, fourth; and Blane Collins, Anderson, fifth.

Berkshire — Champion, Turner Harville, Smith, and Reserve Champion, Jake Ozburn, Bedford.

Chester White — Champion, Kyra White, Macon, and Reserve Champion, Bryce Collins, Anderson.

Duroc — Champion, Blane Collins, Anderson, and Reserve Champion, Macy Gamble, Anderson.

Yorkshire — Champion, Emma Rue, Roane, and Reserve Champion, Ellie White, Clay.

AOB — Champion, Hannah Sanders, Warren, and Reserve Champion, Hannah Sanders, Warren.

Crossbred — Champion, Kyra White, Macon, and Reserve Champion, Luke Lay, Monroe.

Carcass Class

Abby Starnes, Monroe, first; Jasper Donalds, Clay, second; Brie McLerran, Clay, third; Cary Eslick, Lincoln, fourth; Emma Woodcock, Macon, fifth; Keegam Hansel, Jefferson, sixth; Cordell Eslick, Lincoln, seventh; Caden McKnight, Monroe, eighth; Payton Croft, Bradley, ninth; and Nate Larrance, Jefferson, tenth.

Showmanship Winners

Explorer — Champion, Cohen Bryant, Rutherford, and Reserve Champion, Lakin Raines, Clay.

Junior— Champion, Jake Ozburn, Bedford, and Reserve Champion, Clay Pitcock,

McMinn.

Junior High — Champion, Audra Hart, Bledsoe, and Reserve Champion, Mary Carter Shirley, Putnam.

Senior Level 1 — Champion, Bethany Sims, Roane, and Reserve Champion, Luke Lay, Monroe.

Senior Level 2 — Champion, Madisyn Harris, Loudon, and Reserve Champion, McKinley Waters, Fentress.

Skillathon Winners

Explorer Division — Ben Likens, Clay, first; Jasper Donaldson, Clay, second; Wyatt Tanner, Lincoln, third; McKenzy Page, Williamson, fourth; and Turner Harville, Smith, fifth.

Junior Division — Clay Pitcock, McMinn, first; Caden McKnight, Monroe, second; Cordell McLerran, Clay, third; Jayden Hesson, Macon, fourth; and Drew Larrance, Jefferson, fifth.

Junior High Division — Abigail Berny, Williamson, first; Callie Head, Sumner, second; Mason Allen, Williamson, third; Kenley Roark, Macon, fourth; and Gavin Page, Williamson, fifth.

Senior Level 1 Division — John Neely, Rutherford, first; Hannah Sanders, Warren, second; Brie McLerran, Clay, third; Emma Cross, Bradley, fourth; and Cole Ledford, Bradley, fifth.

Senior Level 2 Division — Kennedy Hill, Union, first; Harrison Falcofsky, Rutherford, second; Micayla Hickman, Rutherford, third; Ella McLerran, Clay, fourth; and Sydney Lamb, Williamson, fifth.

Premier Exhibitor Winners

Explorer Division

Breeding Gilt — Turner Harville, Smith, first; Lakin Raines, Clay, second; Logan Leamon, McMinn, third; Wyatt Tanner, Lincoln, fourth; and McKenzy Page, Williamson, fifth.

Market Hog — Ben Likens, Clay, first; Jasper Donaldson, Clay, second; Millie Latham, McMinn, third; Turner Harville, Smith, fourth; and Lakin Raines, Clay, fifth.

Junior Division

Breeding Gilt — Clay Pitcock, McMinn, first; Caden McKnight, Monroe, second; Drew Larrance, Jefferson, third; Emma Rue, Roane, fourth; and Ellie White, Clay, fifth.

Market Hog — Caden McKnight, Monroe, first; Clay Pitcock, McMinn, second; Emma Rue, Roane, third; Ellie White, Clay, fourth; and Jake Ozburn, Bedford, fifth.

Junior High Division

Breeding Gilt — Mary Carter Shirley, Putnam, first; Callie Head, Sumner, second; Kenley Roark, Macon, third; Audra Hart, Bledsoe, fourth; and Mason Allen, Williamson, fifth.

Market Hog — Callie Head, Sumner, first; Mary Carter Shirley, Putnam, second; Kyra White, Macon, third; Audra Hart, Bledsoe, fourth; Logan West, Macon, fifth.

Senior Level 1 Division

Breeding Gilt — John Neely, Rutherford, first; Hannah Sanders, Warren, second; Madison Cline, Jefferson, third; Bethany Sims, Roane, fourth; and Taylor Cantrell, Dyer, fifth.

Market Hog — Hannah Sanders, Warren, first; John Neely, Rutherford, second; Brock Trew, Polk, third; Maddie Rippy, Sumner, fourth; Taylor Cantrell, Dyer, fifth.

Senior Level 2 Division

Breeding Gilt — Kennedy Hill, Union, first; Madisyn Harris, Loudon, second; Micayla Hickman, Rutherford, third; Beau Larrance, Jefferson, fourth; and Ella McLerran, Clay, fifth.

Market Hog — Madisyn Harris, Loudon, first; Kennedy Hill, Union, second; Harrison Falcofsky, Rutherford, third; Wesley Trew, Polk, fourth; and Dustin Pitcock, McMinn, fifth.

 
 
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