The following blog is a guest post by Taylor Glover, a Senior in Agricultural Production Systems and Jason Davis,
assistant dean of the University of Mount Olive School of Agriculture & Biological Sciences. The article is part of a series of blogs provided by UMO students.
When you think of livestock shows or showing animals, a vision of county fairs often comes to mind. Perhaps you have walked by rows of pens holding calves, cows, pigs, or goats, where exhibitors are brushing and preparing these animals for a show. Maybe you have glanced at the show ring during the competition at a fair. Alternatively, perhaps, you have no experience at all.
For young adults, the experience in the show ring provides many life lessons ranging from the development of personal values, a desire for competition and sportsmanship, and an understanding of finances, leadership, and relationships. Through the experience, youth learn responsibility by providing the daily care necessary for livestock, and knowing there is an animal that relies on them to survive. For some students at the University of Mount Olive, showing livestock is more than just an annual fair event; it is a passion. For Taylor Glover of Pikeville, it is way of life.
Taylor Glover is an Agricultural Production Systems major in the School of Agriculture & Biological Sciences at the University of Mount Olive. Glover recently participated in the annual National Junior Swine Association Southeast Regional- National Swine Registry show held in January in Perry, Ga. At this event, purebred and crossbred barrows or gilts are showcased by show participants aged 5-21.
Participants can show up to six pigs each. Taylor has participated in this national show for seven years.
Contending in the show allows her to meet others with similar interests in animals, a similar desire to compete and the show provides Taylor the opportunity to showcase her knowledge of livestock.
The National Junior Swine Association Southeast Regional organized with the National Swine Registry Winter Type Conference is an open conference where everyone may show hogs regardless of age. It is, however, limited to only showing gilts and boars. To be eligible to participate in either the NJSA or NSR, exhibitors must possess a Premise ID or federally approved permanently numbered ear tag. In addition to a permanent ear tag, exhibitors must also have completed and passed Pork Quality Assurance-PQA training for youth and training for Youth Quality Care of Animals training annually to participate.
For more information on the NSJA or NSR, please visit https://nationalswine.com/events/shows/wtc-southeast/se/southeast-main.php.
Taylor has participated in the NSR for seven years. This year, Taylor exhibited six pigs:
The junior show consisted of several classes. Each class contained about 15 pigs. Of the 15, the judge narrowed his selection to ten pigs and then five pigs for the top placings. The competition among the competitors was fierce. Large classes of pigs were of exceptional quality.
Taylor exhibited her two Duroc gilts, crossbred gilt and crossbred boar, in the open show. The Durocs placed 4th and 5th in their class. The crossbred boar and gilt placed 1st in their respective classes. The show determines which pigs will make the sale. Show pig breeders purchased the pigs that were selected.
All of Taylor’s pigs made it to the sale making the show a great personal success!
For more information on the benefits youth gain from showing livestock visit https://extensionhttps://extension.umn.edu/news/benefits-youth-gain-showing-livestock.