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NJSA Spotlight

Learn more about the members in the National Junior Swine Association. Just click on the links below to find out about these NJSA current and former members. If you are a youth interested in being featured on this page, send an e-mail to ellen@nationalswine.com.

2017 Spotlights

Macy Jacobson Macy Jacobson
Macy Jacobson

Macy Jacobson

Osceola, Iowa

Macy Jacobson is the 7 year-old daughter of Andy and Nicole Jacobson of Osceola, Iowa. Macy started showing pigs three years ago on the Iowa Swine Jackpot Series. She started showing pigs because her brother Drew had already been showing pigs and it was her time to shine. Macy’s parents both grew up showing livestock so Macy and her bother are continuing that tradition.

Macy shows pigs because her and her family do it together. She likes to not only spend time with friends she already has, but likes to make new ones. Some of her best friends she only sees a few times a year at NJSA events. Not only has showing pigs helped Macy gain new friends, but it has taught her things she will always remember. Macy and her brother Drew started showing pigs in the NJSA, and now they make sure to complete all of the contests available at the events. Showmanship is her favorite NJSA contest because she gets to learn from her mistakes. Macy has been a part of the NJSA for three years now, and has participated in numerous events through the years. WPX is Macy’s favorite livestock show because the best pigs in the country come there, and you get to show as many pigs as you want. WPX holds Macy’s most memorable moment in the NJSA when she placed 3rd in the 2016 WPX novice showmanship. Now Macy is already setting new goals for 2017 in the show ring at WPX.

Macy has accomplished a lot in the pig world so far including 5th overall 2016 WPX novice sweepstakes, Champion novice judging team summer spectacular 2016, 2016 Team Purebred Reserve novice showman and Reserve novice sweepstakes. Outside of showing pigs Macy enjoys cheerleading camps.  Macy hopes to continue showing pigs at NJSA events and continuing to raise show pigs on her family’s farm Jacobson Genetics. Livestock is Macy’s passion and she loves working with her family on animals. The NJSA congratulates Macy on her accomplishments and wishers her luck in the future.

Jacob DeRouchey Jacob DeRouchey
Jacob DeRouchey

Jacob DeRouchey

St. Marys, Kansas

The NJSA would like to recognize Jacob DeRouchey of St. Marys, Kansas, as this month’s Junior Youth Spotlight! Nine-year-old son of parents Joel and Julene DeRouchey, Jacob is currently a third grader at Wamego West Elementary. He has an older brother, James and an older sister, Jenna. While in school, he enjoys learning about math, but Jacob also likes P.E. class. Outside of school, Jacob has numerous hobbies including showing pigs and heifers as well as fishing, hunting and participating in sports.

Jacob has been showing hogs for a majority of his life, hitting the show ring for the first time seven years ago for PeeWee showmanship at Dr. Bob Hines Swine Classic. With two older siblings to watch and look up to, Jacob was eager to get his turn in the ring and start showing. Since then, Jacob has grown to love showing pigs because it’s not only a “fun sport,” but because he also gets to see so many of his friends and family from across Kansas. With roots in his home state, Jacob still enjoys attending and showing at two of his favorite shows- Dr. Bob Hines Kansas Swine Classic and the Kansas Junior Livestock Show.

With the encouragement of his older siblings and parents, it’s no surprise that Jacob started showing purebred gilts and barrows and consequently joined the NJSA. Jacob has served as an NJSA member for four years and has attended the World Pork Expo and the Southwest Regional for numerous years. Out of these events, World Pork Expo is his favorite because of how big the show is; it has several contests and, of course, the endless corn hole toss! Jacob also prioritizes showmanship and never forgets to have fun while showing his pigs the best he can in front of the judge. When it comes to favorite NJSA moments, Jacob is torn on two- achieving 7th Overall Novice Showman at the 2016 World Pork Expo and when his family exhibited the 2016 Grand Champion Landrace Gilt at the Southwest Regional that went on to seal the title of Supreme Champion Gilt Overall. Jacob’s advice to younger NJSA members is that “it’s more than just showing pigs, you get to make many new friends and can participate in many different contests.”

Along with numerous top ten showmanship finishes at NJSA shows, Jacob has also been a member of two 2nd place judging teams at the Southwest Regional. He’s also added to his list of accomplishments Top 5 Premier Swine and Cattle Junior Exhibitor at the North Central Kansas Livestock Circuit, Outstanding Junior 4-Her Pottawatomie County and Champion Wamego League baseball and flag football teams.

In the future, Jacob has aspirations to attend college at Kansas State University and become a professional fishing guide.

On behalf of the NJSA, I would like to congratulate Jacob on all his success and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Morgan Rogers Morgan Rogers
Morgan Rogers

Morgan Rogers

Mesa, Arizona

We are proud to head to the Southwest and recognize Morgan Rogers of Mesa, Arizona, as an NJSA Youth Spotlight member. She is the eighteen-year-old daughter of Janel and Kevin Rogers and has two older siblings, Kevin and Taylor. Morgan is currently wrapping up her senior year at Gilbert High School where she is an active FFA member. Outside of school, Morgan also enjoys hanging out with friends, working, shopping and showing pigs.

Dedicated to the swine industry, Morgan is going on her ninth year showing and began her show ring career at just ten years old. Morgan credits her showing start to her older siblings where they got to learn and be successful together as they worked pigs and traveled to shows. Now, Morgan’s hooked on the show ring memories she makes at every show and loves the thrill of being handed that champion banner. With her competitive spirit, one of Morgan’s favorite aspects of showing is getting the chance to drive her hogs in the ring and under the eyes of the judge, but she also values the process of raising show pigs. “I enjoy seeing the change and growth of my projects from start to finish,” Morgan said.

After attending her first World Pork Expo, Morgan decided to get involved within the NJSA. Today, Morgan has been an NJSA member for four years. She’s split on her two favorite shows. Back home, Morgan loves attending and showing at the Arizona National Livestock Show because it’s “neat to see how it has evolved into such a competitive show.” Because it got her started in the NJSA, Morgan also enjoys the World Pork Expo the most and appreciates the chance to travel and see how people across the country show differently. While in the NJSA, Morgan has added numerous achievements to the list including driving the 2016 Reserve Champion Berkshire Gilt at the Arizona National Livestock Show and taking three Grand Champion titles home at her last state fair. Her favorite moment, however, is when she earned 4th Overall Intermediate Showman at the 2016 World Pork Expo because she placed one spot better than her brother did two years before her at the very same show.

Morgan is quick to advocate for the NJSA and encourage younger members to get involved because “it’s a great youth organization that will take you great places in life.”  Her favorite quote is “Trust yourself, then you will know how to live,” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

With her ambitions set high, Morgan wants to travel the world while she gets her degree and pursues her dream career of becoming a pharmacist.

The NJSA wants to congratulate Morgan on all of her successes and we can’t wait to see what she achieves next!

Silas Batt Silas Batt
Silas Batt

Silas Batt

Salem, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize 10 year old Silas Batt of Salem, Indiana. Silas is the son of Ryan and Laura Batt. Silas has two siblings Jayla, 8, and Amity, 5. Silas is a 4th grader at West Washington Elementary school. He enjoys basketball, football, baseball, showing pigs, cattle, sheep and being part of 4-H. Silas has been showing pigs since 2011 in Jackson County, Indiana. Family got Silas into showing pigs since his pappy and his parents do.

Silas enjoys traveling to shows and seeing show friends. He has been a part of the NJSA for 3 years. He learned more about the NJSA by showing at the Summer Type Conference. Silas has competed at the NAILE and Summer Type Conference every year since 2011. Livestock judging is Silas’s favorite NJSA contest because his friends get to do it with him. Silas enjoys the Summer Type Conference because he likes to do all the contest. The Washington County Fair and the State Fair are his favorites outside the NJSA because he can show all species there and there is so much to do.

Getting into the top 10 in showmanship is his most memorable NJSA moments. Other accomplishments in the NJSA include 2016 Summer Type Conference 1st place Livestock judging team, and placing in the top 10 in showmanship various times. Accomplishments outside of the NJSA include 2014 and 2015 Champion Novice showman on IJSC, 2015 High Point Landrace Gilt IJSC, 2016 Grand Champion Market Gilt and Grand Champion Breeding Gilt at the Washington County Fair, and 2016 Indiana State Fair Reserve Cross Gilt Showman.

Silas’s favorite quote is “try your best”. Future goals for Silas include playing sports and showing livestock and he hopes to become a NFL football player. Silas wants to add “thanks for having shows my family can go to and where I can make new friend”. The NJSA would like to congratulate Silas on all of his accomplishments, and wish him the best in the future.

Whitney Whitaker Whitney Whitaker
Whitney Whitaker

Whitney Whitaker

Atascadero, California

The NJSA would like to recognize Whitney Whitaker, 20, of Atascadero, California, as a May youth spotlight. Whitney is the daughter of Dena Whitaker and has one eighteen-year-old brother, Russell.  Currently, Whitney is wrapping up her last semester as a sophomore at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. At Butler, she has served as a competitive member of the livestock judging team, helping her team achieve National Champion wins at the National Barrow Show, American Royal, NAILE and NWSS. Whitney was also recognized as an All American this spring. Additionally, she is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Ag Ambassadors and Collegiate Farm Bureau.

When she’s not traveling across the country in a judging van, Whitney’s hobbies revolve around the swine industry. Whitney’s passion for showing swine started when she was just nine years old when she exhibited at her local county fair, the Mid State Fair, in Paso Robles, California. She showed rabbits in 4H until she was eligible to show pigs then moved from jackpots to her state fair then to national shows. Although Whitney loves the show ring competition, her favorite part of showing is all the hard work, sweat and tears poured into her stock to make them the best they can be. When asked why she shows, Whitney was quick to talk about the relationships she’s formed. “Most of my friends were introduced to me because of showing pigs or being involved in agriculture. Being a part of the livestock industry has brought me so many new relationships and it has also helped shaped me into a more successful person who has more life skills,” she said.

Whitney is no stranger to the NJSA. She has been a member for six years and has attended multiple shows including the Arizona National Livestock Show, National Western Stock Show, Western Regional and World Pork Expo. While Whitney always looks forward to her state fair back home, the World Pork Expo is undoubtedly her favorite show because the “best of the best” attend and the grand drive for both the gilt and barrow show is truly an incredible site to see. Although Whitney is proud of her accomplishments in the NJSA like having the 2014 Reserve Cross Gilt at the Western Regional, her favorite aspect of the NJSA is the Mentoring Values People program. Here Whitney has had the opportunity to meet and help younger NJSA members and she has learned a lot from them too.  

As she gets older, Whitney still remains a huge advocate for the NJSA and encourages all younger members and youth to get involved.  She believes that NJSA is hands down the most incredible program youth can be in and speaks highly of not only the leadership skills it teaches, but also the professional connections you can make along the way. Whitney’s favorite quote is “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out,” by John Wooden because life is all about focusing on the bright side, even when things don’t work in your favor both in and out of the ring. Whitney also advises youngers members to really soak it all in and enjoy every second of showing pigs and spending time with friends and family. In fact, Whitney credits her success to her mom and the Backman family who constantly push her to do better.

This fall Whitney plans to transfer to Kansas State University where she will major in Animal Science and Ag Communications as she pursues a bachelor and master’s degree. Ultimately, she hopes to find a career within the swine or livestock industry.

The NJSA is certainly proud of all of Whitney’s accomplishments thus far and wishes her the best of luck in all her future endeavors!

Taylor Norris Taylor Norris
Taylor Norris

Taylor Norris

Tigertown, Texas

The NJSA is excited to feature Taylor Norris this month. Hailing from Tigertown, Texas, Taylor is the thirteen year-old daughter of Janna and Kevin Norris and the older sister to her eight year-old sister, Payton.  Taylor is currently a seventh grader at Honey Grove ISD where she is a very well rounded student. Outside of her passion for showing pigs and steers, Taylor also participates in cheer, track, basketball and gymnastics.

Starting at just eight years old, Taylor debuted in the show ring at a small jackpot in Greenville, Texas. She was always eager to start showing and had been involved with livestock all her life, but Taylor’s dad wanted her to start off with something small so she ended up driving hogs.  Dedicated to the industry, Taylor was quick to share why she enjoys showing. “I love everything about it. I love the level of competition, watching the hogs grow, breaking them and being in the ring- just everything.”  Although she’s enthusiastic about the whole process, Taylor says there’s nothing more special than that “last drive,” where you get to reflect on how far you’ve come with that animal and finally seeing all those long hours of hard work pay off.

Taylor loves showing at the Texas Majors including San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Fort Worth. Since joining the NJSA three years ago to join her friends and “step up her game,” Taylor has also participated at the World Pork Expo and American Royal. With her competitive nature, it’s not surprising that Taylor’s favorite NJSA event is WPX because so many other talented hog enthusiasts that share the same passion surround her. Her favorite NJSA contest is showmanship because “it shows the diversity.” No one shows the same way and showmanship gives you the opportunity to showcase what you’re made of and all the effort you’ve poured into your projects.

Taylor’s hard work has certainly paid off in the show ring. Outside of the NJSA, Taylor is proud of achieving the 2016 Grand Overall Barrow at San Antonio and the 2015 Reserve Champion Berkshire Gilt at Team Purebred’s Junior National show. Within the NJSA Taylor has driven numerous hogs to win their prospective classes along with having the Third Overall, and high selling, Duroc Gilt along with her most memorable accomplishment- earning Reserve Lightweight Cross at the American Royal.

Advising other younger NJSA members, Taylor’s adamant to join the NJSA because not only is it fun, but the benefits of the organization are endless. Her favorite quote is “Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” Although she’s not exactly sure where she’ll end up in terms of a career, Taylor plans to attend Oklahoma State University and ultimately do something within the agricultural industry.

Again, the NJSA would like to congratulate Taylor on all of her hard work, dedication and passion for the swine industry. We look forward to seeing Taylor’s success in the future.

Kale Boysen Kale Boysen
Kale Boysen

Kale Boysen

Morning Sun, Iowa

The NJSA would like to highlight Kale Boysen from Morning Sun, Iowa.  Kale is no stranger to the show ring as he has been showing for the last 11 years.  Kale has grown up showing pigs with his brother Koby and Kabe Boysen and parents Duane and Jodi Boysen.  Kale is currently a junior at Iowa State University after transferring from Black Hawk Community College. Kale enjoys hunting, fishing, and of course, raising and showing livestock. 

A few of Kale’s best accomplishments are being a 5-time Iowa State Fair Champion Showman, winning 5 National Showmanship titles, exhibiting the Reserve Grand Champion Crossbred Barrow at the 2016 World Pork Expo, and being 2nd High Individual at the National Barrow Show Livestock judging contest.  Kale’s favorite shows to exhibit at are the World Pork Expo and NAILE.  Kale enjoys being around good livestock and good people.  He enjoys helping younger kids grow in the show ring.  Kale would tell younger NJSA members to always work hard, listen to your elders, and always look someone in the eye and greet them with a firm handshake. 

Kale plans to graduate from Iowa State University and continue growing K Boysen Showpigs along side with his brothers.  He plans to pursue a career in an Agriculture Sales position, raise show pigs, and farm with his family.  Kale will be working for Sunglo Feeds this summer as a Sales Intern.

Mason Forkner Mason Forkner
Mason Forkner

Mason Forkner

Richards, Missouri

Mason Forkner, 12 years old, resides in Richards, Missouri with his parents Nathan and Ashley Forkner and his 9 year old brother Rhett.  Mason is the Secretary of his 4-H Club and enjoys spending his free time with his pigs, of course.  At the age of 3, Mason started showing pigs at the Missouri State Fair.  Since then, Mason has received many breed champion and showmanship titles at the Missouri State Fair and World Pork Expo.  

Mason is proud to have been raised in the agriculture industry where his passion was sparked through showing pigs.  Mason says, “Showing pigs is something we do together as a family.  We work hard to compete against the best of the best and succeed at it.  I practice a lot.  This is definitely my sport”.   While cheering on friends and family in the show ring, Mason is having fun while making memories that will last a lifetime.  

Mason’s most memorable moment of in the NJSA was competing in the “Super Bowl” of pig showmanship’s at the World Pork Expo and placing in the top 5.  Even though it’s great to win, Mason thinks the most important part of the NJSA is making lifelong friendships, networking opportunities, and lifelong skills he has gained through the organization. 

Mason plans to continue showing pigs and one day attend college and judge livestock at a competitive level.  He looks forward to making a career in the agriculture field and doing something he is passionate about.

Jenna Girman Jenna Girman
Jenna Girman

Jenna Girman

Ormond Beach, Florida

Jenna Girman, 18, of Ormond Beach, Florida, is one of our NJSA Youth Spotlights this month.  Jenna is the daughter of Chris and Carole Girman and has two brothers, Jake and James.  As a senior at DeLand High School, Jenna has been an active member of the FFA being involved in many different CDE’s such as Horse Evaluation, Dairy Judging, and Livestock Judging. Outside of showing pigs, Jenna has a love for horses.  She has worked to train and rehabilitate rescue horses at Beauty’s Haven Farm and Equine Rescue.

Jenna started show pigs her freshman year of high school.  Her first national show, Southeast Regional in Perry, GA, truly fueled her drive and passion for the industry.  She has always had a passion for the agriculture community and show pigs gives her the opportunity to advocate for the swine industry while being able to set goals for herself.  Jenna enjoys making lifelong friendships through showing, as well as professional connections that are useful in her future endeavors.  A few of Jenna’s accomplishments in her years in FFA and NJSA are Fourth High Individual at the Florida State Livestock Judging Contest, Grand Champion Market Hog at the 2013 Volusia County Fair, Reserve Heavy Weight Barrow at the 2015 Florida State Fair, Champion Yorkshire Gilt at the 2016 Southwest Type Conference in Belton, Texas, Reserve Champion Showman at the 2016 Southeast Regional in Perry, GA, and Champion Intermediate Showman at the National Junior Summer Spectacular in 2016.  Jenna’s advice for younger members in the NJSA is, “Continue to set goals for yourself and pursue them.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t reach them as quickly as you want.  Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.

Jenna plans to attend Lake Land College where she will further her education and pursue her passion in livestock judging.  She hopes to continue to raise and show pigs for as long as she can while always staying involved in the industry.  In the future, Jenna hopes to pursue a career working for a show feed company as a livestock feed nutritionist.  Since she began show pigs, Jenna has always wanted to help better the formulations of livestock feed to assist showman in raising show stock on a quality feeding ration.  

Sage Voegele Sage Voegele
Sage Voegele

Sage Voegele

Lennox, South Dakota

The NJSA would like to spotlight Sage Voegele, 9, of Lennox, South Dakota.  Sage has grown up showing pigs and cattle all over the country with her brother Cash and parents Shannon and Sarah Voegele.  Outside of showing livestock, Sage enjoys playing sports, making projects for the fair, music, and art.  Sage started showing pigs at the age of 5 in the Iowa Swine Jackpot Series.  Sage loves showing pigs because she gets to make friends from all over the United States and because pigs are adorable. 

Sage’s most memorable year in the NJSA was in 2016 where she was named Reserve Champion Novice Showman at World Pork Expo, Champion Lightweight Crossbred Gilt named “Flip Flop”, and Champion Novice Showman at the Southwest Regional.  Sage loves making friends from all over the United States and would tell anyone to show at the World Pork Expo because there are lots of things to see and you have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.

As of now, Sage wants to attend college in Nebraska so she can work at Sandall Show Pigs.  Sage plans to grow up to be a ‘Show Mom’ raising pigs and cattle and traveling the country with her family.

Brayden Bowers Brayden Bowers
Brayden Bowers

Brayden Bowers

Belmont, Wisconsin

The NJSA is pleased to recognize Brayden Bowers, of Belmont, Wisconsin and Mentone, Indiana.  Brayden is the seven year-old son of Steva and Jason Reppe and Kraig Bowers, and has one older sister, Mallory Bowers (12).  He is a second grader at Belmont Schools and enjoys playing basketball, football, and baseball when he isn’t showing pigs or sheep. He likes spending time in the barn at home and helping his Grandpa out on the farm.

Brayden has been showing pigs since he was three years old, exhibiting at his first show in Cedar Rapids, IA at a jackpot show at Kirkwood College. While he says his mom made him join the NJSA, he loves going to shows and playing with friends.  One of his favorite parts of the NJSA is participating in the Barnyard Olympics at the National Junior Summer Spectacular because he gets to play with all of his friends and the older kids.

Some of his favorite shows are the ISJS Grand Finale because they have a big water fight there every year. He also enjoys the World Pork Expo, as it’s the first big show of the summer once school lets out. Brayden’s favorite breed of pig is the Duroc because they are the ones that always show the best for him. Of all the pigs he has shown, his favorite was his pig, Batman.

During his short time in the NJSA, Brayden has had many accomplishments from placing 4th Overall in Novice Showmanship to exhibiting the 3rd Overall Division 1 Duroc Barrow at the 2016 World Pork Expo. When he grows up, Brayden says he would like to be a farmer.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Brayden on all of his hard work and know he will continue to succeed in the future.

Vade Dishman Vade Dishman
Vade Dishman

Vade Dishman

Straughn, Indiana

The NJSA is excited to highlight Vade Dishman as a March Youth Spotlight. Vade, 13, is the son of Trent and Katina Dishman of Straughn, Indiana; he has two siblings, Kylie, 18, and Vance, 11. He is in the 8th grade at Tri High Jr/Sr High School. Vade enjoys playing football and basketball and running track when he isn’t in the show ring.

Vade has been an NJSA member for 5 years. His first pig show was the NAILE market hog show in Louisville, Kentucky. He says he likes to show pigs because putting in hard work and showing off your results is the best feeling; he adds that winning your first banner makes the hobby addicting, making you want to achieve more and more success. However, Vade’s favorite part of showing isn’t winning at all, it is spending time in the barn with other showman hanging out and having fun.

Vade has attended NAILE, World Pork Expo, National Junior Summer Spectacular, and National Barrow Show. His favorite show is the World Pork Expo because so many of his friends are there to have fun and hang out with all week! Vade’s most memorable moment in the ring is winning Reserve Champion Showman at NAILE.
Vade’s advice to other members is to take advantage of all that NJSA has to offer because you will do nothing but benefit from the organization. His favorite quote is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” PHILLIPPIANS 4:13.

In the future, Vade would like to attend Purdue University and major in Engineering and play basketball, or to attend Black Hawk East to be a member of the college’s livestock judging team.  From there, he would like to return to work on the family farm while raising showpigs.

NJSA would like to congratulate Vade on an outstanding NJSA career, and wish him continued success in the years to come!

Madelyn Harrison Madelyn Harrison
Madelyn Harrison

Madelyn Harrison

Hamilton, Ohio

The NJSA is pleased to recognize Madelyn Harrison, 16, of Hamilton, Ohio.  She is the daughter of Tim and Jennifer Harrison and has two older brothers, Tate, 19, and Tanner, 17.  As a sophomore at Ross High School, she stays busy as a member of their FFA Chapter and the National Honor Society while also participating in 4-H. She also enjoys playing volleyball and trapshooting when she isn’t out in the barn or showing pigs.

While both her brothers showed pigs at the county level, Madelyn says she can remember stating that she would never ever show pigs.  Now in her sixth year of showing, she can’t imagine herself not showing pigs and wants to go everywhere to show them.  Of all the aspects of showing pigs, her favorite part is the hard work and spending long days and nights in the barn to get her pigs to reach their maximum potential.

As the first national show she ever attended, Madelyn’s favorite show is the World Pork Expo.  It’s also the show that challenges her the most and gives her the opportunity to show against some of the best showman in the country.  She also enjoys all the free food the Expo has to offer at the different booths on the fairgrounds. 

In her second year as an NJSA member, she says her most memorable moment in the organization was last year when she won Intermediate Showmanship at the 2016 World Pork Expo. Madelyn said it was a really unexpected win and one she won’t forget.  What made it even sweeter is she won it with her favorite pig, Dingo, the first Duroc she every owned and also one of the most spoiled show pigs.  They also had matching hair colors, which made it fun.

Madelyn has also had many other accomplishments including exhibiting the 3rd Overall Landrace Gilt at the 2015 WPX, the Reserve Champion Landrace Barrow at the 2015 NAILE and also taking home the Champion Intermediate Showman title at the 2016 NAILE.  This year at the National Western, she was named the Champion Intermediate Showman and also exhibited the Champion Lightweight Cross barrow.

Following graduating from high school, Madelyn would like to attend college and earn a bachelors degree in animal science.  Afterward, she plans to attend Iowa State to receive a masters in swine genetics then attend vet school at either Iowa State or The Ohio State University and specialize in large animal medicine.

Congratulations Madelyn on all your hard work in the NJSA!  We wish you well in all your future endeavors and know you will continue to succeed.

Ashtyn Harvey Ashtyn Harvey
Ashtyn Harvey

Ashtyn Harvey

Straughn, Indiana

The NJSA is pleased to recognized Ashtyn Harvey of Straughn, Indiana as a March NJSA Spotlight.  Ashtyn is the 13-year-old daughter of Steve and Jennie Harvey.  As a seventh grader at Tri Junior High School, she enjoys playing basketball and running track as well as showing and fitting cattle and pigs with her older sister, Auburn. 

Ashtyn has been showing pigs since she was two years old, starting out at the local county fair level.  After eleven years of showing, she says her favorite pig is still the Duroc barrow she showed when she was three that she named “Buck-in Bull” because she was really fascinated with the rodeo at the time.

She became an NJSA member in 2010 when she finally got to attend the National Junior Summer Spectacular and show with her sister. While she really enjoys the NJSS, her favorite livestock show is the World Pork Expo because her Dad usually isn’t there to give her and her sister orders. 

Her most memorable moments in the NJSA have been the times she has made it into the top ten in Showmanship, recently placing 9th in Intermediate Showmanship at the 2016 WPX and taking home 5th place overall Junior Showman at the 2015 NJSS.  Show far in her show career, her biggest accomplishments are bringing home the Champion Duroc Barrow title at the NAILE two years in a row.

While she enjoys attending all shows, what she likes best about showing is just the competition and spending good times with family and friends.  In the future, she looks forward to continuing to compete at shows. After high school, Ashtyn plans to continue her education with the goal of becoming a surgical nurse.

The NJSA would like to extend congratulations to Ashtyn on all her success and hard work.

Cole Smyth Cole Smyth
Cole Smyth

Cole Smyth

Perry, Georgia

The NJSA would like to recognize Cole Smyth, 13, from Perry, Georgia as a March youth spotlight.  Cole has one older sister, Brooke, and is the son of Todd and Stacey Smyth. He is currently in the eighth grade and enjoys playing shortstop and pitcher for his baseball team and golfing when he isn’t showing pigs.

While relatively new to the NJSA, Cole says participating in events has offered him some of the best opportunities.  He credits his parents for introducing him to agriculture early in life through their family feed store, however it was his mom who inspired him to start showing a few pigs.  After showing a couple of shows in Georgia, people recommended for him to attend a few bigger NJSA shows.  When asked what he enjoys most about showing, Cole responded, “All the people you can meet and the opportunities later in life for college and scholarships.”

Cole’s most memorable moment so far in the NJSA was winning Junior Showmanship last year at the 2016 World Pork Expo Junior National.  The World Pork Expo is also his favorite show and after a 15-hour drive from Georgia, he enjoys having fun and showing pigs with family and friends for an entire week.

He has had many accomplishments in his short time in the NJSA including placing third in the junior judging contest and winning sweepstakes last year at the World Pork Expo. He also attended the National Junior Summer Spectacular last year and placed eighth in showmanship and 10th in the skillathon contest.  The first NJSA show he attended was the Southeastern Regional and there he placed 2nd with his crossbred barrow, Chauncy.

If given the chance to talk to new or younger member, he would tell them it’s not all about winning. You have the chance to meet some really cool and influential people and that’s what its about. It’s the people.  In the future, Cole would definitely like to do something in the agriculture industry. He would like to attend Iowa State and also walk on to play baseball there.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Cole on all of his accomplishments and hope he continues to succeed at whatever he tries!

Brody Everhart Brody Everhart
Brody Everhart

Brody Everhart

Middletown, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize the accomplishments of Brody Everhart, 7, from Middletown, Indiana. Brody is the son of Blake and Ashley Everhart, and has two younger siblings, Hayden, 5, and Vivian, 3. While in school, Brody is involved in a variety of sports, from football to basketball to baseball. Outside of school, Brody enjoys showing pigs, building with Legos, watching movies (he gets his favorite quote from The Sandlot: “You’re killing me, Smalls!”), and playing games.

            Brody has been showing pigs for one and a half years, and he began his involvement last year in the Indiana Junior Swine Jackpot Circuit. His father helped him get started showing pigs because of his past connection, and thought is would be a fun experience for Brody. Today, Brody shows pigs because he believes pigs are cool, and he enjoys taking care of them. While at shows, his favorite part is spending time with his friends, as well as making new ones. Brody really, really, really loves showing pigs!

            Brody became an NJSA member one year ago because he wanted to show more pigs and make new friends. He has participated in shows such as the 2016 National Junior Summer Spectacular (Barnyard Olympics, Showmanship, and Duroc Gilt show) and the 2016 NAILE. His favorite NJSA event is the Duroc Gilt show at Louisville, because it is his favorite breed and he can show everyone his pigs that he works hard with all spring and summer. Brody’s most memorable NJSA moment is winning Reserve Overall Gilt at the 2016 NJSS with his pig named Rosie, along with winning Champion Novice Showman at an IJSA circuit show. If he were to advocate the NJSA to a younger member, he would tell them to find someone to teach you and practice a lot. Additionally, outside the NJSA, Brody has been named to the All “A’s” honor roll at school!

            In the future, Brody plans to continue showing pigs, and he already is working with Duroc, Hampshire, and Crossbred gilts for this upcoming summer. Furthermore, he would like to play college basketball for Purdue University. As a career, Brody aspires to be a cow or pig veterinarian. The NJSA would like to congratulate Brody on all of his accomplishments and wishes him the best in the future!

Cale Dyson Cale Dyson
Cale Dyson

Cale Dyson

Wabash, Indiana

The NJSA is pleased to recognize Cale Dyson, 19, from Wabash, Indiana. Cale is the son of Troy and Kelly Dyson, and has two siblings, Kassi Grossman, 28, and Jessica Semler, 26. Currently, Cale attends college as a freshman at Purdue University. In his free time at school, Cale enjoys working out and attending Purdue sporting events, mainly basketball and football. Additionally, Cale likes going to the lake, helping out at the family farm, and feeding out show pigs.

            Growing up, Cale eagerly watched as his sisters showed pigs, and he couldn’t wait to get the chance. His first year showing pigs was at age 6, and mainly at local jackpot shows. He has been an NJSA member for 7 years, and got involved with the help of some friends that had been members for a while. To this day, he has been hooked. His favorite part about showing pigs is the rush he experiences when his pig is let out of the gate. He shows pigs because he craves competition, and after all of the hard work is put in, it is satisfying to see the results, which he hopes is a banner.

            Each year, Cale’s favorite show to attend is the World Pork Expo because it is the largest show in the Midwest, and many important and well-known show pig breeders attend the event. However, over the years, he has participated in additional shows such as the National Junior Summer Spectacular and the NJSA Southeast Regional. Some of Cale’s accomplishments include 4th Overall Hampshire Gilt at the 2014 Summer Spectacular, 5th Overall Hampshire Gilt at the 2014 World Pork Expo, Reserve Champion Barrow at the 2016 Southeast Regional, and 5th Overall Hampshire Gilt at the 2016 Summer Spectacular. However, his most memorable experience with the NJSA is when his parents let him man the trailer by himself on the way to the World Pork Expo, which exemplifies he is extremely responsible!

            Cale’s favorite quote is “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts”, by Winston Churchill. As Cale works toward a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and a potential career in agricultural sales, he will value the meaning of this quote. The NJSA would like to congratulate Cale on all of his accomplishments and wishes him the best in the future!

Kipton Edie Kipton Edie
Kipton Edie

Kipton Edie

Lebanon, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Kipton Edie, 6, from Lebanon, Indiana. Kipton is the son of Callie Edie. He attends Thorntown Elementary School, and is in the 1st grade. While in school, he enjoys learning about math because he finds himself using it everyday. Furthermore, he likes P.E. class and recess because he gets to take a break from his schoolwork and hang out with his classmates. After he gets home from school and on weekends, Kipton has a passion for pigs. He spends time in the barn with the piglets, and enjoys watching them grow. Additionally, Kipton enjoys playing UNO with his grandparents, playing football, riding his dirt bike, and shooting guns.

            Kipton has been showing pigs for 4 years already, and he got involved whenever his mom bought him a Berkshire barrow, which he named Bert. He has always loved pigs, and eagerly waited until he was old enough to show and take care of one. Today, he shows pigs because it is fun and gives him the opportunity to meet new friends that share the same interests that he does. However, his favorite part about showing pigs is working with them in the summer, attending the shows, driving his pigs in the ring, and bringing home banners to hang in his room.

            Kipton has been a member of the NJSA for 2 years, and he has participated in shows such as the National Barrow Show, World Pork Expo, and the National Junior Summer Spectacular. Out of these, his favorite event is the NJSS, because he was very successful with his Reserve Champion and 4th Place Overall Duroc Gilt, which allowed him to have a lot of pictures taken. One of the contests he enjoys the most through NJSA is the Barnyard Olympics because he can meet new friends from other states, interact with older Junior Board members, and just do fun, crazy stuff! If he were to advocate for the NJSA to another member, he would explain how it is fun and gives a great opportunity to make lifelong friends, learn about agriculture, and get free t-shirts!

            In the future, Kipton wants to finish school, participate on a livestock judging team, and play football. As a career, he aspires to be a policeman or an NFL football player. As Kipton works towards these goals, he looks back on his favorite quote: “The most certain way to succeed is to just try one more time.” The NJSA would like to congratulate Kipton on all of his accomplishments and wishes him the best in the future!

Sam Logue Sam Logue
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Sam Logue

Richmond, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Sam Logue, 13, from Richmond, Indiana. Sam is the son of Jeff and Becky Logue, and has one sibling, Alex Logue, 11. Sam attends Union County Middle School as an 8th grader, and is actively involved in band, Student Council, and National Honor Society. Outside of school, Sam enjoys showing horses and participating in 4-H.

            Sam has been showing pigs for 8 years, and he first started showing in Kindergarten (2008) at local 4-H shows in Wayne County, Indiana. 4-H is what got him interested in showing pigs, and, today, he shows pigs because it is a great alternative to playing sports and he has a passion for working with animals. His favorite part of showing pigs is showmanship, as it challenges him to avidly work with the pigs.

            Sam has been a member of the NJSA for 5 years, and he became involved by attending more and more shows until he couldn’t get enough. While he attends shows such as the World Pork Expo and the Summer Spectacular, his favorite show is the Southeast Regional because of the fun atmosphere and the trip to Georgia. Additionally, he looks forward to the Skillathon because he likes to study and learn about pigs.

            Some of Sam’s NJSA accomplishments are winning the Crossbred Barrow show at the 2014 Southeast Regional, placing 3rd in Showmanship at the 2016 Southeast Regional, placing 4th in Sweepstakes at the 2016 Southeast Regional, and placing 2nd in the Judging Contest at the 2012 World Pork Expo. If he were to advise a younger member about the NJSA, he would tell them that it is a great opportunity to meet people, make friends, and learn!

            In the future, Sam would like to continue showing horses and pigs, attend Purdue University, and study within the field of medicine, either human or veterinary. The NJSA would like to congratulate Sam on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best in the future!

Delana Pitts Delana Pitts
Delana Pitts

Delana Pitts

Botkins, Ohio

The NJSA is proud to feature Delana Pitts as one of this month’s Youth Spotlights. Delana, 10, is the daughter of Dean and Lisa Pitts. She has two siblings, Eli, 8, and Audrey, 4. The Pitts family resides in Botkins, Ohio where Delana attends Botkins Local School.

Delana has been an NJSA member for just one year, but says she loves to show pigs. She recently experienced much success at her first NJSA event, Southeast Regional, where she placed fourth in class with her Yorkshire Gilt, sixth in the skillathon and eighth in the junior division of sweepstakes! In the future, Delana hopes to attend more NJSA shows and events. Her favorite contest at the show is showmanship. When asked what advice she would give younger NJSA members, Delana said, “Try the showmanship contest out, because it is challenging and will help you become a better showman.”

When she isn’t showing pigs, Delana likes to play soccer and basketball. In the future, she wants to continue to show pigs, and enjoy other activities like soccer and basketball. She wants to be a professional soccer player someday, but if that doesn’t work out, Delana would like to be a comedian.

Delana’s favorites quote is, “Always try your best and have a good attitude.” She would also like to thank her support system that has helped her start showing pigs, including her aunt and uncle, Phil and MaryLee Smock, as well as her cousins, Micah, Conner and John.

Delana, you are off to a great start in our organization and we cannot wait to see what your future holds!

 

Past Spotlights:

2016

Devyn Gaff

Devyn Gaff

Churubusco, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Devyn Gaff, 12, of Churubusco, Indiana as a youth spotlight. Devyn has one sister, Delaney, and is the daughter of Shelley and Jason Gaff.  As a student of Smith-Green Community School, Devyn is an active member in FFA, livestock judging, and enjoys art. In her free time from school activities, she is involved in 4H and shows Boer goats along with various breeds of pigs.

Devyn started showing pigs in the second grade and has since really enjoyed the Yorkshire breed. When asked why she shows pigs, she responded “It’s a great learning experience and you learn how to work hard.” Her favorite show is the North American because it’s really fun and she likes shopping.

Devyn’s quote of choice comes from her mom, “You get out what you put in.” This quote must bring her a lot of luck and good fortune, for she has a large amount of accomplishments to be proud of! She is very proud to say that in 2015 she was the overall junior swine showman at the Indiana State Fair.

If given the chance, Devyn would like to tell younger NJSA members that it is a great organization, and that there are so many fun things to do. A favorite memory of hers is when her younger sister Delaney won showmanship at the National Junior Summer Spectacular.

In the future, Devyn sees herself in a career within the agriculture industry and possibly as a livestock judge. She certainly has her sights set, and is currently practicing with her judging team for Hoosier Beef Congress and diligently working on her studies in school.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Devyn for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Tyler Hannon

Tyler Hannon

Rensselaer, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Tyler Hannon, 17, of Rensselaer, Indiana as a youth spotlight. He has a sister, Anna, and is the son of Curt and Leslie Hannon. As a student of Rensselaer Central High School, Tyler is very active in FFA, football, wrestling, and baseball. In his time outside of school, he also enjoys 4H, showing and livestock judging, fishing, and spending time with his friends.

Tyler started showing pigs with his uncle Doug almost as soon as he could walk around the show ring. He showed by himself for the first time at the Lake County fair when he was just three years old. His first national show was the NJSS at the age of five when he showed a York Gilt, from Chuck Olsen, named “Precious.” 

Tyler’s favorite quote is “There’s no place like home, except the show ring.” Tyler must live in the show ring with all of his accomplishments from showing cattle, sheep, and hogs at the jackpot, county, state, and national levels! He is proud to say that he has been named three time overall champion swine showman at the Jasper County Fair, Overall supreme showman at the 2015 Jasper Co Fair, and Reserve Grand Champion Gilt at the 2011 Indiana State fair. Some of his livestock judging team honors include top 10 at the state contest for the last three years, qualifying for national contests in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Kansas City. They placed in the top 10 for each of those national contests, and hope to hit that mark again this year.  Outside of the livestock world, Tyler has varsity lettered in football, wrestling and baseball. He was also a member on the 2014 Class 2A State Champion Football Team. 

When asked why he likes shows pigs, Tyler responded, “I could say that I love it because of the competition and the challenge which I do, but what I love most is the handshake.” He went on to say that he also just loves it in general and that he is lucky to have a family that raises show pigs. His most memorable NJSA moment was when he made the top 10 with his bred and owned Duroc gilt.

If given the chance, Tyler would tell a younger member that “...the NJSA is not just about showing pigs, but also about meeting friends and making memories that will last a lifetime. I would encourage them to sign up and participate in all of the events offered at the NJSA shows because they are always fun and you get to meet people from lots of states.” He suggests that members try to make it to his two favorite shows; the NJSS and the North American.

In the future, Tyler would love to become an Ag teacher and be actively involved on the family livestock and farming operation. To get to that dream job, he plans to attend a junior college where he can join a livestock judging team, and then finish out a bachelor’s degree at a four year college where he can also judge livestock. 
The NJSA would like to congratulate Tyler for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Sadie Popejoy

Sadie Popejoy

Star City, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Sadie Popejoy, 7, of Star City, Indiana as a youth spotlight. Sadie has 3 siblings, Shalihn (14), Colton (5), Sophia (3), and is the daughter of Steven and Sara Popejoy. As a student of Eastern Pulaski Elementary School, she enjoys math and art class. Her favorite day at school is when it’s chicken leg day, and she loves to play on the monkey bars and chase her “boyfriend” at recess time. Her hobbies outside of school include playing basketball in the shed, chanting cheers in the barnyard, sitting in the barn with her pigs, and also swimming in the summertime with her siblings.

Sadie started showing pigs at the young age of 3 years old, and started her NJSA experience at the Eastern Regional that same year. She is proud to say that she had a class winning gilt at that show, and they still have Oakie to this day.

Along with her accomplishments with her gilt Oakie, Sadie also had the 2016 Eastern Regional Champion Hampshire Barrow, 2016 World Pork Expo 4th Overall Landrace Gilt, 2016 Southeast Regional Reserve Champion Novice Showman and 3rd place Novice Sweepstakes. Her favorite NJSA moment was exhibiting the Champion Hampshire Barrow at the Eastern Regional and 4th overall Landrace gilt at Expo! All of these incredible accomplishments must be a result of her living by her favorite quote, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

When asked why she shows pigs Sadie stated, “Because I like to and I like working with my pigs. And it’s fun when gilts I have shown, have babies.” She enjoys being with her family, meeting new friends, and of course like anybody, she likes winning too!  If given the chance, she would tell a younger member that the NJSA helps you to understand pigs a lot better. Sadie hopes to one day hold a place on the NJSA Junior Board, and hand out banners in the ring. She also aspires to farm, be a vet or doctor, or possibly a teacher.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Sadie for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Katherine Ramage

Katherine Ramage

Bloomington, Indiana

The NJSA is proud to highlight Miss. Katherine Ramage.  Katherine is the 19 year old daughter of Paul and Dana Ramage. Katherine is from Bloomington, IN and is current attending Purdue University. In high school Katherine played volleyball for three years and currently she is the Swine Chair for the Purdue University Block and Bridle. Outside of school Katherine enjoys attending NYLC and is excited to be a part of the MVP program with in the NJSA. She also loves to hang out with friends in her spare time.

Katherine has been extremely successful in her show career with many accomplishments including 5th overall intermediate showman in 2014 and 3rd overall senior showman in 2016 on the Indiana Junior Swine Circuit. At her county fair level she has had many accomplishments in her 4 years at county fair, two Grand Champions, Reserve Grand, along with three other top five finishes. She has earned countless breed champions and many class winners. Katherine comments on an achievement that stands out in her mind, “One of my favorite accomplishments is from last year when I was able to drive my favorite Duroc gilt to Reserve Junior Champion at the Indiana State Fair Duroc Open Show. She also brought me home a couple other banners.” She also said, “Another one of my favorite accomplishment’s wasn’t something that I personally won, this summer I helped a local family from my county on showmanship and I got the chance to watch them both improve over the summer and for one to take Reserve Intermediate Showman at county fair and for the other brother to take 5th overall Intermediate Spot showman.”

One of Katherine’s favorite quotes is “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”  Katherine started showing pigs in 2012 just at her county fair but in 2013 that all changed when she met Morgan Cox. Morgan convinced her to take her passion for showing pigs to another level, where she then began to show on the Indiana Junior Swine Circuit. Katherine states that Morgan also encouraged her by providing showmanship pointers and helped her develop as a showman. When asked why she shows pigs Katherine stated “I show pigs for the work that has to be put in for the project to work, the friends made throughout the years and the countless memories from countless nights in the barn whether it be at a show or just at home. I’ve made some of my best friends in this industry. Most of my memories are from a pig show with my friends.” Katherine’s favorite shows to attend are World Pork Expo and the NJSS. Katherine state, “The thing I enjoy most about showing pigs is getting to watch them grow and change in the short period of time we work with them and then knowing they are going to feed a family somewhere. I love the challenge they give you and all the hard work that’s put in. Also, being able to travel to places I probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.”

Katherine’s advice to younger NJSA members is “Enjoy it while you can, because these are the best years of your life with some of the best people you could be around. You’re the next generation for this industry so keep working hard. Participate as much as possible and remember you have even younger members looking up to you as well.” Currently Katherine is a sophomore at Purdue University studying Animal Agribusiness. Her future plan is to be able to work at her dream job every day in the industry that has made a big impact on her life. Katherine has goals of becoming a swine nutritionist! Congratulations Katherine Ramage on all of your accomplishments thus far and we at the NJSA wish you continued success and luck in your future!

Kyle Real

Kyle Real

Sanger, Texas

The NJSA is proud to highlight Mr. Kyle Real. Kyle is the 13 year old son of Daryl and Sue Real. Kyle lives in Sanger, TX were he currently attends Krum Middle School. Kyle has three siblings Grace, Campbell and Prestynne Real. Kyle is extremely active in school activities through participation in football and FFA. He enjoys his Agricultural, Math, and Social Studies classes and is active in meats judging as well as livestock judging. Outside of school Kyle enjoys hunting, 4-H, livestock judging and of course raising and showing pigs.

Kyle has had several accomplishments including breeding and raising the Reserve Champion Berkshire Barrow at The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this past spring, winning Jr. Sweepstakes at the National Junior Summer Spectacular, and winning Reserve Champion Jr. Showmanship at the National Junior Summer Spectacular. His favorite pig shows to attend are National Junior Summer Spectacular, Houston Stock show and Rodeo, and San Antonio Livestock Exposition.

Kyle has been showing pigs for over a decade and when asked why, he stated “I show pigs because it is enjoyable, and I believe I learn many life skills and meet new friends while showing.” Kyle’s first show was at World Pork Expo at age 2 and he has been showing ever since. Kyle highlights “I most enjoy that my pig project involves my whole family. It allows us to grow closer, and to serve God by helping each other in the barn.” When asked what advice he would give to younger NJSA members he responded “Even if you don’t get a ribbon, banner or buckle, as long as you tried your best and did everything to glorify God, you are a winner.” Kyle’s most memorable moment so far as an NJSA member was winning Jr. Sweepstakes at NJSS, he was truly honored.

Kyle Real wants to continue to breed and raise pure bred hogs in the future. He also wants to pursue a career in the show stock industry, possibly managing a show. Currently Kyle is going to school, playing football and raising hogs! He also has two entrepreneurship projects both selling show pigs and selling locally raised Berkshire pork. He plans to keep these projects going to help pay for college. Congratulations Kyle Real on all of your accomplishments thus far and we at the NJSA wish you continued success and luck in your future!

Makayla Spray

Makayla Spray

Lafayette, Indiana

The NJSA is proud to highlight Miss Makayla Spray.  Makayla is the 9 year old daughter of Craig and Emily Spray. Makayla lives with her two younger siblings Keegan (7) and Landrey (4) in Lafayette, IN where she attends Faith Christian School. Makayla’s favorite hobby in school is to play with her friends. Outside of school Makayla enjoys reading and showing pigs. Her favorite TV show is “Fixer Upper.” Makayla’s favorite quote is “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”  Dr. Suess.

Makayla has been extremely successful in her show career so far receiving 8th overall in showmanship at WPX in 2016, 3rd in Skillathon at WPX in 2016, 2nd overall in Sweepstakes at WPX in 2016, 2nd in Skillathon at NJSS in 2016, Champion Duroc barrow and 5th overall at Tippecanoe County.  She was also Champion Beginner showman, received the Braxton Lee Peters award for outstanding first year swine member, and was 4th overall Premier Exhibitor at 2016 Tippecanoe county swine show. Makayla first started to show at the age of three. Makayla shows because she enjoys the fun family time and the competition. Her favorite part about showing pigs is showmanship and meeting new friends. When asked what advice she had for younger members she stated “That showing pigs is about the fun and memories made, not where you place.” Makayla’s most memorable NJSA moment was when she stepped up to receive her first award at the WPX award ceremony.

Makayla’s future plans include completing all 10 years of 4-H and attending Purdue University. Makayla also wants to become a dog breeder but for now she is taking piano lessons. Congratulations Makayla Spray on all of your accomplishments thus far and we at the NJSA wish you continued success and luck in your future!

Owen Vickrey

Owen Vickrey

Poneto, Indiana

The NJSA is proud to highlight Mr. Owen Vickrey.  Owen is the 12 year old son of Bret and Carin Vickrey. Owen attends Southern Wells Jr. /Sr. High school in Poneto, IN. Owen has one sister miss Delaney Vickrey. In school Owen enjoys playing basketball. While outside of school Owen is active playing golf, basketball, baseball and showing pigs.

Owen has had several accomplishments so far in his show career including showing the 2007 Reserve Champion Spot barrow NBS named “Mr. Pickles”, the 2009 Reserve Champion Landrace gilt at NJSS named “Princess”, the 2015 Reserve Champion Landrace barrow at the IN State Fair named “Sam”, the 2015 Reserve heavy weight cross bred barrow at NAILE named “Groucho”, and receiving the 2015 and 2016 Tractor Supply/Greenleaf Bright Futures 4H award. Owens favorite quote is “The only showman you should try and be better than is the showman you were yesterday.” Owens favorite shows to attend are the North American International Livestock Exposition and the National Junior Summer Spectacular. Owen has been showing pigs since the age of three! His very first show was the National Barrow Show in 2007. Owen says he shows pigs to meet new friends and to travel to new places and his favorite part about showing is the excitement of being in the ring.

When asked what advice he would give to younger NJSA members he replied “Make the most out of every show”.  Owens most memorable NJSA moment was having the Reserve Landrace gilt at the 2009 NJSS. In the future Owen has plans of helping on his family’s crop and livestock farm and someday wants to become a major league 3rd baseman. Congratulations Owen Vickery on all of your accomplishments thus far and we at the NJSA wish you continued success and luck in your future!

Kolby Bowers

Kolby Bowers

Behlehem, Georgia

The NJSA would like to recognize Kolby Bowers of 21, from Bethlehem, GA as a Youth Spotlight. Kolby is the son of Kerry and Amy Bowers and goes to Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Georgia. Kolby participates in some activities in and out of his school. He is on the fishing team at ABAC and travels across the country competing at a variety of fishing tournaments. He is also a part of the Georgia Junior Swine Boosters Junior Board. They host shows around the state of Georgia promoting showing hogs in their state.

Being three hours away from home he enjoys getting back to the homestead whenever he can to spend time with his family and he truly cherishes the time he spends with them. Other hobbies include going to the barn and he enjoys the outdoors! He loves to fish, play cornhole, and punch in 9 holes on the course when he can.
Kolby bought his first pig when he was a sophomore in high school and he has been showing hogs for 6 years. He credits his start to showing hogs to his ag teacher, Mr. Raymond Fitzpatrick. He gave Kolby an opportunity to show and he jumped on it!

Kolby shows hogs because he has not found a better strand of people that has as much heart as what he has found within the livestock industry. Showing hogs has taught him a lot of responsibility, appreciation, and life lessons. “It has helped mold me into the person I am today.” His favorite thing about showing is knowing when he steps in the ring all of his hard work and passion for the industry is going to get recognized that day.

Kolby has been a part of the NJSA for four years and says that NJSS is his favorite show. The atmosphere and seeing everyone that he has not seen in a while are his favorite parts. He has shown at the Southeast Regional, NJSS and is going to the WPX the first time this year, but so far his favorite moment in the NJSA was placing 9th in Senior Showmanship at the Southeast Regional. He was the only person from his high school and from Georgia in the top ten and that was a cool moment for him to represent his state and high school!

Kolby has had numerous class winning hogs at NJSA Shows but to top his list of accomplishments is having Reserve Division 1 Crossbred Gilts at the Southeast Regional. If he could tell younger members something it would be, “You are going to not only meet people, but you are going to make lifelong friends near and far that will impact you in ways you never thought were possible.” It is always great to have positive role models like Kolby in the NJSA.

In the future Kolby plans on graduating from ABAC with a 4 year degree in Diversified Agriculture with a focus in livestock production. He wants to go to grad school and receive his masters in animal nutrition or agriculture marketing. He wants to hopefully work within the industry as a feed representative, or see what happens within a future career.

Scott Gardner

Scott Gardner

Washington, Pennsylvania

The NJSA would like to recognize Scott Gardner of Washington, PA as a youth spotlight. Scott is a 20 year old son of Bill Gardner and Jamie Trifiro. Scott is a sophomore at with Nittany Lions of Penn State University where he is majoring in accounting with plans to graduate in a couple of years. Scott also has a younger brother named Nick that he is very close with.

While Scott is at Penn State he enjoys playing Co-Ed sports such as football and dodgeball. He also enjoys hanging out with his friends that he has met while he has been at school and going on sanctioned trips to New York City, Washington DC, and also going to different shows on campus such as the Blue Man Group. Some of the other hobbies that Scott enjoys are watching sports with his friends and going to hog shows all across the country!

Scott started showing pigs at the county fair when he was 8 years old and he has almost been everywhere showing pigs since. Ever since that day he was absolutely hooked. He originally grew up on a beef cattle operation, but always wanted to diversify into other species. When asked, “Why do you show pigs?” He talked about the friendly and competitive nature of exhibiting livestock. The people that he has met along the way make showing livestock great. Scott loves that everyone wants to win so bad in the ring, but as soon as you step out of the ring everyone is still friends. His favorite part about showing pigs is all of the friendships that he has made and having those friends that he knows will be around a lifetime.

Scott’s favorite shows are the World Pork Expo, along with the NJSA Eastern Regional, and the PCLA sanctioned shows in PA. Scott has been in the NJSA for nine years and got involved with the NJSA because he originally wanted to go to more shows, and now they are some of his favorite shows. The most memorable moment that he has had with the NJSA was when he had the Reserve Overall Gilt and Champion Yorkshire Gilt at the 2011 NJSS. When asked about that moment after the show, he said, “That was a surreal moment in my showing career and still to this day it is crazy to think that he actually won.”

Scott has had a ton of success in the ring; some success includes the 5th Overall Crossbred Gilt at the 2012 WPX, and at the 2013 WPX he was the 5th Overall Intermediate showman. He has also had Champion Yorkshire Gilt at the 2015 Winter Type Conference and also Champion Division 3 Crossbred Gilt at the 2015 WPX. Scott has had a long list of accomplishments outside the NJSA ring as well with having success at the PA State Farm show and also the KILE.

Looking back if Scott could tell younger kids something, he said this, “I would tell them to enjoy every moment of their showing career because it goes much faster than you think.” In the future Scott plans to be a Certified Public Accountant, after going to grad school at Penn State.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Scott for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Lacie Logan

Lacie Logan

Tipton, Indiana

If you have been around the show ring much, you have probably heard of Lacie Logan. Lacie is 11 years old, from Tipton, IN. Her parents, RJ and Josie, make sure older brother Blake doesn’t pick on her too much. She plays basketball, soccer, tennis, and golf outside of going to school at Tipton Elementary.

Lacie starting showing hogs when she was 8 years old and she has had great success in the ring! She had the Champion Crossbred Gilt at the 2015 Southeast Regional, and also the 4th Overall Barrow at the Indiana State Fair in 2014. Her favorite shows are the Southeast Regional, and the National Western Stock Show. The reason why she shows pigs is because, “It is fun, and I just loves pigs!” Lacie enjoys competing at the shows and contests while being able to be around friends most about showing pigs.

If anyone has ever spent time with Lacie they know that her quote fits her personality. “Silence can get you further than talking.” She uses this quote in her daily life every day. If she could talk to younger members she said this is some friendly advice, “It is worth the work at home to come to the shows and have fun with the members of the NJSA. You can meet a lot of people.” She said that she has met a lot of people and one of her most memorable moments with the NJSA is not a banner she has won. It is always playing football in Perry with the NJSA group. Personally being there and being able to watch her play, she is an athlete and I always want her on my team! 

Currently Lacie, is getting her hogs ready for some open shows this spring and the World Pork Expo coming up in June. In the future she wants to become an orthodontist after she attends college.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Lacie for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

Brenna Mortensen

Brenna Mortensen

Kent City, Michigan

The NJSA would like to recognize Brenna Mortensen, 9, of Kent City Michigan as a youth spotlight! Brenna is the daughter of Brad and Terria Mortenson and has a sister that she can always cause trouble with, Macy. While attending school she really loves art, and math class, while still participating in Girls on the Run. In her spare time she loves working at the farm and showing pigs. Aside from the livestock aspect Brenna loves to draw, and also play with the family’s dogs.

Brenna starting showing hogs right at three years old at the NJSS, and when she started she was hooked! She loves to show pigs because it is fun, but also she likes to do it to try to win banners for her room. They turn out to be nice decoration pieces! Her favorite thing about showing pigs is traveling to cool places and also showing with friends. Seeing Brenna at her favorite shows, NJSS and the Eastern Regional, I have personally seen her have lots of fun while being successful!

At the 2015 Eastern Regional Brenna had a really great show! She had the Grand Overall Barrow and also went on to be the Novice Sweepstakes winner there! She also had Reserve Champion Hampshire Barrow at the Eastern Regional in 2013. Aside from the ring she has done something that most 9 year old girls do not do, she completed her first 3 mile run with Girls on the Run!

When asked, “What would you tell a younger member about the NJSA?” She responded super maturely and with, “Always worry about the judge and getting your pigs shown well, and don’t look for your mom and dad!” Her favorite quote is, “Ya get what ya get and don’t throw a fit.” With that said she also remembers her most memorable moment with the NJSA. That was when she was 5 years old and got really embarrassed when her pig went pee on her leg in the ring! Another memorable moment was winning her first banner with her Hampshire barrow, Brutus, at the Eastern Regional.

Right now she is working with all of her pigs getting them ready for all of the summer shows, but in the future she wants to have a great show career, and serve on the NJSA Junior Board of Directors. After going to college and earning a degree she wants to stay in the agriculture industry and be a farmer!

The NJSA would like to congratulate Brenna for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

Kannon Jones

Kannon Jones

Greens Fork, Indiana

Kannon Jones is the 9 year-old son of Eric and Lindsey Jones. He attends third grade at Hagerstown Elementary. Kannon has been showing pigs since the age of 4.  He has one sister, Hadley, who also recently started showing this past year. He enjoys listening to country music and having fun while always laughing. His favorite foods are steak and fries.

He was awarded Champion Overall barrow at an open show he attended and since then, he has been hooked. Kannon says, “My biggest interest in joining the NJSA is that I wanted to be a part of something big. And I really believe it is. Every show I have attended seems to be growing by more kids and pigs each year.”

His favorite part about showing pigs is getting to the show and seeing all of his friends. He also enjoys working together, to take care of are animals, with his family. What Kannon enjoys most about showing in NJSA are the several shows throughout the year that are open to anyone across the country.  He also says that he loves the fun games that the older members put together to make the whole event great for everyone. His most memorable moment occurred last summer at the 2015 Summer Spectacular, which happens to be his favorite show.  Kannon showed his gilt to Reserve Champion Landrace Gilt honors.  Of course, he will never forget being a part of the Final drive that night with all the other breed champions. 

His advice for new NJSA members is to try and take something away from the trip by making new friends. Take a seat around the show ring and watch the older kids. He finds that you can learn more that way. He also told us that working hard at home with your project would help with success in the ring.  His favorite quote reflects hard work, “Pain heals, chicks dig scars, but glory lasts forever!”  He has many people that influenced his passion for showing pigs including his mom, dad, and grandparents. He also said there are many more, too many to thank. They all support him in every avenue he chooses and he thanks them. We wish him luck in his future!

Weston Lackey

Weston Lackey

Haskell, Texas

Weston Lackey is the 7 year-old son of Jackie and Jason Lackey. Weston loves to show pigs in NJSA. Weston attends Haskell Elementary School in Haskell, Texas. His mom and dad have heavily influenced his NJSA show career thus far. He says, “Dad helps me pick out my pigs and sometimes sells them without asking me. When he decides they can stay, mom helps me wash and walk them and get them looking good for the show”

His favorite part about showing pigs is winning belt buckles and hanging out with friends. He enjoys seeing with his friends Ella, Claire, Landon and Carter, his friends that do not live in Texas with him. His most memorable NJSA moment comes from World Pork Expo.  Weston’s Nana and Pops watched him show and win his class with his pigs Izzy and Sharp Claws.

Weston’s interest in NJSA came from his trip to the World Pork Expo a few years ago and he certainly enjoyed it. He really wanted to show there so he became a member and went to his first WPX last year. Besides showing pigs you can find him wake boarding or skiing. He also enjoys to read and draw. His favorite food is pizza.  As for future plans, Weston hopes to become a baseball player and help other people with their animals.

Claire Lensman

Claire Emila Lensman

Rosewood, Ohio

Claire Emila Lensman is an 8-year-old from Ohio. She is a swine showman who also enjoys doing rodeo with her pony, Indy. In her free time she likes to play softball and soccer. Her favorite food happens to be bacon especially the bacon that comes from her farm.  She additionally enjoys music by her favorite artist, Jason Aldean. Claire shows pigs on a local, state, and national level with NJSA.  She got her start in NJSA after she watched her uncle Cody and friend Tonya Fender show in NJSA. They encouraged her to start with NJSA as soon as she could.

Claire’s favorite thing about showing pigs is the traveling she does with her family. She enjoys the fact that her grandparents are able to travel with her and support her. She also likes to compete in showmanship, which she recently won at her county fair. Showmanship happens to be Claire’s favorite NJSA event.  She knows that her completion is very tough and she likes the challenge. The one thing she enjoys most about showing with NJSA is that she gets to exhibit pigs with kids of all ages, challenging her to work harder. She also likes meeting new people. 

A favorite NJSA memory of Claire’s would be when she and several friends were the youngest team to compete in the judging contest. Their team was awarded second place and were a crowd favorite for their name “Three girls and a guy”. Winning second place was a total surprise for them. Claire’s future plans include attending Ohio State University to study an agriculture related field. She would also like to own her own farm and a hot pink Ford Dually.  We wish her luck in her future endeavors.

Nolan Hoge

Nolan Hoge

Good Hope, Illinois

The NJSA would like to recognize Nolan Hoge, 7, of Good Hope, Illinois as a youth spotlight.  Nolan is officially a big brother to Nora and a little brother to Carter. Nolan is the son of Mark and Katie Hoge. Nolan is a second grader at West Prairie Elementary where he loves to read.  “I read a variety of books and am currently leading my class in Accelerated Reader points”, Nolan says.

When Nolan is not busy reading, he really enjoys all types of sports.  “I have been involved with basketball, football, wrestling and baseball.”  Nolan is also a member of the Blandinsville Blue Ribbon
4-H club, where he is a Clover Bud.  And of course, Nolan says he enjoys working outside with the pigs, sheep, and cattle.  Nolan’s favorite quote is, “The more you practice, the better you get.”

Nolan’s favorite show is the World Pork Expo because he has a lot of special memories there.  “It was the first show I ever went to when I was just a couple weeks old. The following year I learned to walk at the show with the help of good friends I made showing pigs, like the Marek girls from Iowa, and the next year I was showing there! In 2014 I had Champion Duroc Gilt and Reserve Champion Overall. Currently she and her littermates are raising good pigs in the barn.”

Nolan really enjoys the entire process when it comes to showing pigs.  “I show pigs because I enjoy bringing them home and putting them in my barn.  I like the whole process from helping heat check to breeding to farrowing.  My favorite is when I get to pull pigs.  It is fun to see the pigs grow up and become show pigs.  I have even won some bred and owned honors and that makes me feel really good!”

For the Hoge’s, it’s really a family activity says Nolan.  “I enjoy the work that it takes to get the pigs ready for a show.   We all have jobs; cleaning the pens, washing them, getting their feed ready and walking them.  During showing season you can find my entire family in the front yard walking pigs.  We live on a busy road and it is fun to see drivers do a double take as they drive by.”

Nolan wants to encourage younger NJSA members to participate in other events at the shows rather than just the show itself.  He really enjoys the judging contest, skill-a-thon, and showmanship, saying it makes the time at the show more fun.

Some of Nolan’s accomplishments in the show ring include: 2013 Team Purebred 5th Overall Chester White Barrow, 2014 WPX Champion Duroc Gilt and Reserve Champion Overall, 2014 WPX 3rd Overall Duroc Gilt, 2014 Team Purebred 3rd Overall Berkshire Gilt and Champion Bred and Owned, 2015 WPX 3rd Overall Yorkshire Gilt, 2015 Team Purebred Champion Spot Gilt and Grand Champion Overall, and 2015 Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Berkshire Gilt.

In the future, Nolan wants to continue raising show pigs with his dad and brother.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Nolan Hoge for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Ty Jester

Ty Jester

Farmland, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Ty Jester, 16, of Farmland, Indiana as a youth spotlight.  Ty has two sisters, Brandy and Bailey, and is the son of Mo Jester and Jeff Jester.  A student at Delta High School, Ty is involved in FFA and Basketball.  When he’s not at school, Ty enjoys raising and showing livestock, welding, and working on the farm.

Ty started showing pigs at the age of seven, and has enjoyed it ever since.  Ty says he really likes pigs, and showing has always allowed him to meet new friends, travel to new and exciting places, and the lessons he has learned through showing will benefit him in the future.  Ty says the things he enjoys the most about showing is getting to meet new people, and seeing his hard work pay off.

Ty has seen quite a bit of success in the show ring since he began.  He was named the runner-up High Points Exhibitor in both 2014 and 2015 on the Indiana Junior Swine Circuit (IJSC), he was the 2015 Reserve Points Intermediate Showman on the IJSC, he drove his Berkshire barrow to top five overall honors at the 2015 Team Purebred National Junior Show, and he also exhibited the Supreme Champion Gilt with a Chester at the 2014 Team Purebred National Junior Show, which he claims is his favorite memory from the ring. Ty’s favorite show is the Indiana State Fair, and his favorite quote is “Champions rarely talk; they just perform and let others around them do the talking”. 

In the future, Ty wants to continue to raise and exhibit show pigs, meet even more new people, and begin designing and manufacturing his own brand of elite livestock equipment.  Ty would like to tell younger NJSA members that “The NJSA is a great organization that provides opportunities for members to expand their knowledge, meet people with the same interests, and allows you to travel to many places.”

Currently, Ty is getting geared up for the 2016 show season and preparing to bring in a new set of pigs.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Ty Jester for all of his accomplishments, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Macy Scott

Macy Scott

Perry, Kansas

The NJSA would like to recognize Macy Scott, 19, of Perry, Kansas as a youth spotlight.  Macy has two siblings, Ainsley who is eight and Boede who is five.  Macy is the daughter of Cory and Tami Scott.  A freshman at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kansas, Macy is a member of the livestock judging team.  When she was in elementary and middle school, Macy enjoyed playing volleyball and softball.  When she moved up to high school, it was FFA and FCCLA events that took center stage.  During her senior year of high school, Macy was a Kindergarten Peer Tutor for two hours every day, and she says that was a major highlight in her life.

When asked about her favorite activities outside of school, her answer was resounding, “Showing hogs! My days mainly consisted of feeding, walking, and grooming hogs, and of course keeping the barn clean also.” Macy also enjoys watching her sister play volleyball, softball, and basketball, and watching her brother play T-Ball and basketball.  When she wasn’t out showing, Macy says there was always a little time to do some shopping or get her nails done.  She also liked to “check-in” with friends and family on the very few weekends she was actually home.

Macy’s favorite quote is “Live every day to the fullest because tomorrow is a gift, not a guarantee.” She says her favorite show is definitely the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE), but World Pork Expo is a close second.  Macy started showing pigs in 4-H at age seven.  Throughout the years, showing has taught Macy many life lessons such as responsibility, public speaking, getting out of her comfort zone, and the list goes on. She says she can’t forget that it allows her to travel the United States meeting new people and seeing new scenery.

When asked what she enjoys the most about showing pigs, Macy responded, “I show pigs because I love meeting new people, talking to everyone who enjoys what I enjoy, and it’s a family setting for most families like mine. Instead of family vacations we go to shows. I get to meet people like Brian Anderson who has taught me lessons far beyond showing hogs, and Bobby Listen who I truly enjoy watching judge shows, listen to on the microphone, and talking to outside the arena.  Most of all, I get the chance to work with children and teach them the work ethic, responsibilities, and rewards that come from showing hogs. I get to lend them a helping hand on how to work hard at home, ways to drive a hog, and show them products to keep skin fresh and soft. Showing hogs is about more than showing hogs. To me it’s not about how many buckles I've won or the banners and plaques hanging on the wall. It’s about life lessons, opportunities for my future, and the absolutely unforgettable memories made with family and friends on the ride there or at the show and even the dinners during the weekend and time at the hotel. Banners fade, buckles tarnish, but the memories last forever."

Macy would like to let younger NJSA members know that it is an organization that teaches lessons far beyond showing hogs. “It’s a place you can be yourself and express your passion for hogs. It’s a place where you learn how to get better by watching and being taught, but most importantly a place that gives you millions of opportunities to have fun, make memories, make friends, travel, and step out of your comfort zone. Never be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone and jump in to the activities and opportunities the NJSA has to offer.”

The most memorable NJSA moment for Macy was when she had the opportunity to travel to Hamburg, New York for the NJSA Eastern Regional, and also being awarded the 5th overall senior showman at the 2015 World Pork Expo. 

Macy’s future plans include finishing up at Fort Scott Community College, then transferring to Oklahoma State University to further her education.  When asked what she wants to do someday, Macy admits her plans have changed quite a bit recently but as for now she is set on studying Animal Health and Nutrition with a focus on swine.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Macy Scott for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Submitted by Kane Austin, NJSA Junior Board President

Hunter Mckinnon

Hunter BriAnn Mckinnon

Lone Grove, Oklahoma

The NJSA is proud to recognize Hunter BriAnn Mckinnon of Lone Grove, Oklahoma as a February youth spotlight. Hunter is the 17-year-old daughter of Willie and Jackie Kirkpatrick. She has two older sisters, Emily who is 25 years old and Ashlee who is 23 years old. Hunter attends Lone Grove High School in Oklahoma. While at school, Hunter enjoys all things FFA including livestock judging, speech contests, and holding officer positions. Outside of school, she likes showing all over the country at NJSA events as well as state and local shows. She enjoys going to football and basketball games, hanging out with her family and friends, and going to church.   

Hunter began showing pigs when she was 10 years of age. The things she enjoys most about showing pigs is getting to travel and see the country, making lifelong friendships, making memories and moments with family and friends that she will never forget, and gaining the many opportunities showing pigs has given her. Hunter’s favorite shows are the Oklahoma Youth Expo, the World Pork Expo, the National Western Stock Show, the American Royal, the NJSA Southwest Regional in Chickasha, Oklahoma and the Summer Spectacular in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hunter shows pigs because after sitting in the stands at the Oklahoma Youth Expo and watching the kids get out of the limo in the grand drive, she realized that she wanted to show pigs and step out of that limo someday. Hunter’s most memorable moment in the NJSA is this summer at the 2015 World Pork Expo when she won the Reserve Purebred Barrow Overall and The Grand Champion Crossbred Overall.

Some of Hunter’s accomplishments include showing the Reserve Grand Champion Barrow at the 2012 Tulsa State Fair, the Champion Yorkshire Barrow in 2013 & 2014 at the Oklahoma Youth Expo, the Reserve Grand Barrow at the Oklahoma Youth Expo in 2015, the Champion Crossbred Barrow and the Reserve Purebred Barrow at the 2015 World Pork Expo, and the Champion Purebred at 2015 NJSA Southwest Regional. One of her favorite quotes to remember is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Hunter would tell a younger member of the NJSA that the NJSA has taught her a lot. Not only about showing pigs and agriculture but has taught her many life skills, a strong work ethic and to never give up, to win humbly and lose graciously. The NJSA is a great organization that has many activities and opportunities for the youth today and she has made so many friendships with people from all over the United States that will be lifelong friends through the NJSA events that she has attended and these friendships and networking opportunities would not have been possible without the NJSA.   

Hunter plans to attend a junior college to judge livestock and then continue on to Oklahoma State University. Some day, she would like to have a career in the Livestock Industry. Once again, the NJSA would like to congratulate Hunter for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Lane Rinderer

Lane Rinderer

city

Lane Rinderer is the 17-year-old son of Brian and Nicki Rinderer of Highland, Illinois.  Lane started showing pigs when he was 8 years old and he likes to show pigs because he gets to meet the life-long friends, he loves the competition and being involved in the swine industry and helping to make industry the best it can be for the years to come.

Mr. Rinderer attends Highland High School where he is active in his FFA chapter along with Livestock Judging. His greatest accomplishments are Grand Champion Land of Lincoln barrow at the Illinois State Fair, 5th overall barrow at the 2014 World Pork Expo, 3rd overall barrow at the 2015 NJSS, winning the summer jackpot barrow points and being in the top 5 several times, along with  many breed champions at NJSA events.

Lane’s favorite quote is, “Work hard or hardly work, it is what will determine your success.” Lane would like to tell the younger NJSA member’s to meet and become friends with as many people as you can and to go to as many shows as you can because it may seem like you have a long time but towards the end of your show career you will wish you could keep showing in the ring.

In the future Lane would like to attend LakeLand Community College and be on the livestock judging team. After Lakeland he plans on attending Western Illinois University to finish out his Ag business and Animal Science degrees while also participating on the judging team. After college lane wants to take over the family farm and follow in his Fathers and Grandfathers footsteps.

Payton Rodgers

Payton Rodgers

Sanger, California

The NJSA would like to recognize Payton Rodgers, 9, of Sanger, California as a youth spotlight. The daughter of Blaine and Melissa Rodgers, Payton has one sister Reagan. Payton is a student at Quail Lake Environmental Charter School where she enjoys playing soccer and softball. Outside of school Payton enjoys showing livestock including pigs and cattle, and helping with the family farm.

Payton started showing pigs when she was 4 years old. When asked why she shows pigs, Payton replied, "I have been around livestock and going to shows since I was a baby and I always enjoyed the shows and watching other people showing. It looked like a lot of fun so I asked my parents if I could get a pig and take it to a show. That’s all it took was one show and I was hooked". Payton enjoys it all when it comes to showing pig. She spends time evaluating pigs with her day and likes learning what feed changes need to be made and mixing the feed. Payton enjoys the competitiveness of the shows and always works on improving. Most of all Payton enjoys showing because they do it as a family and she gets to see her friends.

Some of Payton's accomplishments include student of the month, honor roll student, winning the Western Regional Purebred Barrow show and getting the trailer, and winning the NJSA Novice Sweepstakes 3 years in a row.

Western Regional Purebred Barrow Show and of course participating in barnyard Olympics" were among Payton's most memorable moments about the NJSA. When Payton was asked what she would tell younger members about the NJSA, she responded "It’s a great program that has allowed me to learn so much about the swine industry and meet and interact with people from all over. It’s how I have met some of my best friends".

Payton would like to follow in her parents footsteps and take over their cattle operation, and be an interior designer. For now Payton will continue to be a student in 4th grade, and get ready for the jackpot season, both for pigs and cattle.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Payton on all of her accomplishments and wsh her the best of luck with her future endeavors.

Jenna Scarborough

Jenna Scarborough

Clovis, California

The NJSA is proud to recognize Jenna Scarborough of Clovis, California as a February youth spotlight. Jenna is the 15-year-old daughter of Jayson and Joanna Scarborough. She has four siblings named Julia, Jayda, Jackson, and Jillian. Jenna attends Clovis High School in Clovis, California. At school, Jenna enjoys playing softball. Outside of school, she likes playing travel softball and showing pigs.

Jenna started her show career at 7 years of age. The thing she enjoys most about showing pigs is when all the work finally pays off and getting that feeling of success. Jenna’s favorite show is the Western Regional held in California. 

Jenna shows pigs because her parents influenced her when she was young and her most memorable moment in the NJSA is winning champion barrow at the Western Regional. She would tell a younger member that NJSA is about having fun and making so many friends while showing pigs. She would say, “enjoy the experience you get to have.” Her future plans include going to college and majoring in something related to agriculture and work in the ag industry some day.

Once again, the NJSA would like to congratulate Jenna for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Charlee Teague

Charlee Teague

Fort Morgan, Colorado

The NJSA is proud to recognize Charlee Teague of Fort Morgan, Colorado as a February youth spotlight. Charlee is the 17-year-old daughter of Gary and Laura Teague. She has one sister, Shelby, and one brother, Tucker. Charlee attends Wiggins High School in Colorado. While at school, Charlee enjoys playing varsity basketball. She is also involved in Student Council, National Honors Society, FBLA, FFA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, History Club, and WHS Leadership Club. Outside of school, she likes showing all species of livestock including goats, sheep, cattle, and hogs. She really enjoys jackpotting pigs in the spring and travelling to cattle shows all year around to work. When she is not at shows, she likes to work on her family’s diversified livestock operation where they run about 800 cows and can feed 25,000 head of cattle. They also have 600 commercial sows, as well as about 8000 acres of irrigated farmland. They also raise show goats and sheep, and have herds of both registered Shorthorn and Angus cattle. Her family raises the majority of the hogs they show within their 150 head show sow herd.

Charlee began showing pigs when she was 10 years of age. The things she enjoys most about showing pigs is getting the chance to travel all across the county with her brother and sister and having a good time wherever they go. Her favorite shows are Denver, Kansas City, and World Pork Expo.

Charlee shows pigs because she likes the competitiveness of the pig show industry. Her favorite part is meeting people from all over the country and opening up opportunities for herself by making connections. Charlee’s most memorable moment in the NJSA is winning 5th Overall Intermediate Showman at the 2015 World Pork Expo.

Some of Charlee’s accomplishments include numerous county, state, and jackpot champions. Also, in 2014, she and her brother and sister won all four livestock species Grand Champions at their County Fair. One of her favorite quotes to remember is “Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.” Micah 6:8

Charlee would tell a younger member of the NJSA that the NJSA is a great association which allows kids to meet many new people, compete with other outstanding individuals, improve themselves, and have a good time. Charlee plans to go to school at Oklahoma State University and some day, she would like to become and neurosurgeon. Also at the same time, she would like to raise show cattle and pigs while continuing her family’s farming and ranching operation with her brother and sister.

Once again, the NJSA would like to congratulate Charlee for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Shelby Weinrich

Shelby Weinrich

Willows, California

The NJSA would like to recognize Shelby Weinrich, 16, of Willows, California, as a youth spotlight. The daughter of Neisha Furtado, Shelby has two sisters, Meghan and Chelsea. Shelby is currently attending Willows High School where Shelby is very involved in may school activities such as CSF, Sophomore Class president, FFA, Art, Sports and Fitness. Outside of school Shelby enjoys showing and raising pigs, 4-H All Star, California Pork Producers Junior Director, and Dutch Bros runs with her friends.

Shelby started showing pigs when she was 9 years old. She shows pigs for the opportunities, life lessons, and valuable time with my family. Shelby says she was going through a rough patch and her pig journey was her escape.

Some of Shelby’s accomplishments are Champion Intermediate Showman American Royal 2014, Reserve O/A showman American Royal 2014, Supreme Champion Barrow Arizona National 2014, Reserve Champion Intermediate Showman Arizona National 2014, Supreme Champion Crossbred Breeding Gilt World Pork Expo 2015, 2 year member of the showpig.com All-Star Team, being asked to assist at the Next Level Show camps, and 2 time winner of the sweepstakes award at the Western Regional.

Shelby’s most memorable moment about the NJSA is the “barnyard Olympics years ago when my team consisted of 5 members 4 of which were under the age of 7 and 1 senior member who was wearing my “I like pig butts” bright pink shirt which was a belly shirt on him”. When asked what she would like to tell younger members about the NJSA, Shelby responded “The NJSA provides members with a fun and educational way to get involved in the swine industry. It connects you with many individuals who have the common interest of showing pigs and teaches you not only about show pigs, but yourself as well”.

Shelby wants to be a feed sales representative, by attending a junior college then proceed to a 4 year college. While at a 4 year college she either wants to major in Ag Business or animal science. For now she is a full time student and pig showmen. The NJSA would like to congratulate Shelby on all of her accomplishments and wish her best of luck on her future endeavors.

Kalvin Hrutkay

Kalvin Hrutkay

Bentleyville, Pennsylvania

The NJSA would like to recognize Kalvin Hrutkay, 12, or Bentleyville, Pennsylvania as a youth spotlight. The son of Peggy Snedeker and Brian Hrutkay. Kalvin is a student at Bentworth Middle School and is a High Honor Student where he is in the 6th grade. Some of his hobbies include drawing, showing livestock, and farming on the family farm. Outside of school Kalvin enjoys traveling around the country showing his livestock, being a member in the Pike Run 4-H club, PCLA, NJSA and a member of the Washington County Cattlemen’s Association, along with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Kalvin stated showing pigs at the age of 4 with his family. When asked why he shows pigs he responded “to keep up with the family tradition and to be rewarded for all the hard work that he does”. He enjoys showing to hear how he can do better and how to become a better showman.

Some of Kalvin’s accomplishments include showing at Eastern Regional in Hamburg, NY, Southeast Regional in Perry, GA, WPX in Des Moines, Iowa, Summer Specular Louisville KY, Platt Invitational Jackpot Show, Washington County Fair, West Alexander Fair, PA State Fa

m Show, and PCIA Circuit Show. Also Show Steers and Heifers at Local and Regional Shows.

Kalvin’s favorite quote is “No Farms- No Food”. When Kalvin was asked what advice he had for younger members of the NJSA he replied “is to listen and learn. There is always a leader to help guide you to move forward and most of all Have Fun while showing”.

Kalvin’s plans for the future is to go to college to become a vet.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Kalvin on all of her accomplishments and wish him the best of luck with her future endeavors.


2015

Alida Jackson

Alida Jackson

Danville, Indiana

The NJSA is proud to recognize Alida Jackson as a youth spotlight. Alida, 15, resides in Danville, IN with her parents, Mike and Heather and sisters Hallie, Lilly, and Lucy. Alida is a freshman at Danville Community High School. Her favorite class in school is her animal science class. She is involved in FFA and a part of the livestock judging, horticulture and forestry CDEs.

When she isn’t competing in FFA or studying for school, Alida likes to work behind the scenes of the family operation, Jackson Showpigs. She loves to spend time in the farrowing house even if it means staying up all night with farrowing sows. This work, along with her parents’ passion for the swine industry sparked Alida’s interests in showing her own pigs. Alida’s first pig show came when she was just 2 and a half years old at the NJSS in Louisville, Kentucky. She has been showing pigs with the NJSA ever since. She has also been a member of 4-H for six years. When asked why she shows pigs, Alida responded, “Everyone has something. Something that they were taught, or maybe they just have it naturally. Something they can build on, learn more, become better. My thing is pigs; it’s my passion” She says her favorite thing about showing pigs is the learning opportunities that come along with showing. She often makes time to learn from older showman and thinks that it’s cool that younger kids can look up to her in that same way! Alida loves all pig shows, but her favorite show is the Hendricks County 4-H fair.

Although Alida has participate in a variety of NJSA shows, her favorite is the World Pork Expo because she gets to spend the time at the show with her entire family; cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents and sister all included. Her favorite NJSA contest is showmanship because she finds it fun to be able to compete with her pigs as a team.

Alida’s advice to younger NJSA members is to never give up and every day you will be better than you were yesterday. Her favorite quote, “Big thinking precedes great achievement,” just shows how passionate Alida is about all that she does.

s future plans include attending Purdue University to major in agribusiness. From there, she plans on returning to her family’s operation, Jackson Showpigs and continuing to build her duroc herd.

Congratulations on all of your accomplishments, Alida. The NJSA is lucky to have such a passionate young lady in our membership!

Cade  Sponcil

Cade Sponcil

Greenfield, Ohio

The NJSA would like to recognize Cade Sponcil, 9, of Greenfield, Ohio as a youth spotlight. Cade has one brother, 6 year old Noah, and is the son of Ray and Melissa Sponcil. As a student at Fairfield Local, Cade is involved in sports and enjoys science. In his spare time, Cade enjoys showing pigs, baseball, and hunting.

Cade got an early start to his show career at the age of 3. When asked why he shows pigs, Cade responded, “I like it a lot!!!” The challenge of showing his hog to the judge in the ring is what he enjoys the most about showing pigs. Cade’s favorite shows include the Southeast Regional, NAILE, and the Ohio State Fair.

Cade clearly lives by his favorite quote, “Hard work pays off!”  He has shown that his hard work in the barn pays off with his numerous accomplishments. At this year’s Ohio State Fair he was rewarded with Champion Hampshire Gilt, and Champion Landrace Gilt at both the junior and open show.  He also had the honors of 6th overall Novice Judging, and 9th overall Novice Sweepstakes at the 2015 World Pork Expo. Southeast Regional 2015 also treated him well with 9th overall Novice Showmanship and 9th overall Novice Sweepstakes. Along with those, he received honors for the Buckeye Winter Show Circuit 2015, Division 2 Reserve Overall Exhibitor, Champion Market, and Champion Showmanship winner, NAILE 2014 5th overall Division 1 Showmanship, Buckeye Summer Show Circuit 2014 Reserve Overall Exhibitor, Southeast Regional 2014 3rd place Overall Novice Showmanship, and 4th place Overall Novice Sweepstakes.

If given the chance to tell younger members about NJSA, Cade would mention that, “It’s full of great people that like to show pigs!”

At the moment, Cade is working with pigs for Southeast Regional and the Buckeye Winter Show Circuit. His future plans are to go to college, raise pigs, and do some judging. He hopes to be a farmer and a pig judge someday.

What great aspirations Cade!

Once again, the NJSA would like to congratulate Cade for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Heather Cash

Heather Cash

Graham, Texas

Heather Cash from Graham, Texas is the 12-year-old daughter of Alisha and Jody Reeves and sister of Tyler and Jared.  She is a 7th grader at Graham Jr. High School. 

Heather has been showing pigs since she was 8 years old and also stays busy taking dance lessons in hip hop, jazz, and ballet.  When she’s not in school, you can find her swimming, fishing, or thinking about showing pigs. 

Her mom grew up showing steers and pigs and Heather wanted to experience the fun as well.  She enjoys showing at local shows and also attends Texas majors.  When asked why she shows pigs, she said,

“I love watching them grow up and each pig is different, like us.”

Her favorite show is San Antonio because they always tell you how to improve with your projects and her favorite part is getting in the show ring and having all of your hard work pay off. 

The National Junior Swine Association congratulates Heather for being a member since 2013 and is proud to highlight her hard work. 

Justin Moon

Justin Moon

Urbana, Ohio

The NJSA would like to recognize Justin Moon, 17, of Urbana, Ohio, as a youth spotlight. Justin has one older brother, Dereck, and is the son of Lane and Lisa Moon. As a student at Graham High School, Justin is actively involved in Marching Band, National Honor Society, as well have the Health Career Vocational program. In his spare time between his activities at school, he is also extremely involved with 4-H and taking care of his pigs for various NJSA shows.

Justin started showing pigs in the 3rd grade. When asked why he shows pigs, he responded, “My older brother Dereck got into it, so I decided to follow behind.” Traveling across the Midwest, specifically Iowa and Kentucky, is what Justin enjoys the most about showing. He also mentioned “It’s really interesting to watch pigs interact, especially the baby pigs that we raise.”

Justin lives by the famous Dr. Seuss quote, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” He has found people in his life that matter, and they have helped him to reach several accomplishments in his show career thus far. Justin has placed in the top 2 of several classes at the World Pork Expo, and also the Summer Type Conference.

Justin’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was at last year’s World Pork Expo when his pen was in the opposite barn of the show ring, and they had to take his pig up to the ring. It was an interesting experience to say the least! He laughed and said, “The next year we were closer to the ring.” When asked what he would like to tell younger members about NJSA, Justin answered, “It helps you go beyond just your county fair.”

Currently, Justin is balancing his schoolwork with trying to get pigs bred at home. His future plans are to go to college, possibly Miami University, to study something within the medical field. He hopes to one day work as a biomedical engineer, or in pharmaceutical science.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Justin for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors! 

Ellie Borba

Ellie Borba

Atascadero, California

The NJSA would like to recognize Ellie Borba, 16, of Atascadero, California as a youth spotlight. Ellie has two siblings, a bother Alex and sister Tiffany, and is the daughter of Bill and Claudette Borba. As a student at Atascadero High School, Ellie is involved in FFA, and livestock judging. In her free time from school activities, she also enjoys hunting and of course showing livestock.

Borba started showing at the young age of 8 years old. When asked why she shows pigs, Ellie responded, “I like the family bonding aspect, being able to make lasting friendships, and also the unforgettable memories that come along with it.” Being with family is what Ellie enjoys most about showing pigs. Her favorite show is the NJSA Western Regional, with the National Western, World Pork Expo, and Arizona National closely following behind.

Ellie’s quote of choice is “go have fun, it’s just a game.” This quote must bring her a lot of luck and good fortune, for she has a large amount of accomplishments to be proud of! This past year at Cow Palace, she received Grand Gilt honors, Grand & Reserve Champion Landrace Gilt at this year’s World Pork Expo Open Show, Reserve Intermediate Showman also at the 2015 World Pork Expo, as well as Grand Campion Intermediate Showman at the 2015 National Western.

When asked what she would like tell younger members about NJSA, Ellie answered, “It is such a good program for the youth, a great way to get involved, and also to better understand for what is to come!” Borba’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was having the opportunity to go to the 2015 National Youth Leadership Conference in Colorado. She loved getting involved, working with the members on the Junior Board, and also the tour to JBS.

Currently, Ellie is spending a lot of her time in between school and the barn! Her future plans include attending a 4 year college to obtain a Pre-Med license, and returning to California if out of state, to complete the Post-Med requirements to become either a surgeon in the ER or to open her own practice. 

The NJSA would like to congratulate Ellie for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Keaton Woods

Keaton Woods

Tipton, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Keaton Woods, 14, of Tipton, Indiana as a youth spotlight. Keaton has one brother Kellen, and is the son of Scott and Joelle Woods. As a student at Tipton Middle School, Keaton is actively involved in soccer, student council, and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). Outside of his school responsibilities, he also enjoys livestock judging and showing pigs and sheep.

Keaton started showing pigs at a young age because of the background that his father had in showing livestock and with the help of a family friend. He mentioned, “Well, it was either cattle or pigs!” When asked why he shows pigs, Keaton replied, “I like being in the ring, the atmosphere of it all, and the people.” His favorite NJSA show is the Southeast Regional, and the warmth of the Georgia heat in January is just a perk!

Keaton’s favorite quote is, “The path to a banner may seem like a long road, but it is always worth it when you get there.” From Keaton’s recent years of showing, you can see that he has definitely had his eye on the prize! This past year he had Reserve Grand Champion Barrow honors at the Southeast Regional, Reserve Champion Intermediate Showman at the Indiana State Fair, and the previous year with Champion Junior Showman also at the Indiana State Fair.

Keaton’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was winning Champion Duroc Gilt, and Reserve Champion Duroc Barrow in the open show at the Southeast Regional. And to top it off, also winning Reserve Overall Barrow at that same show! When asked what he would like to tell the younger members about NJSA, there was no hesitation. He said, “I would tell them to never give up on what you love, keep your passion, and to keep going on!”

Currently, Keaton is balancing school with caring for a gilt that his family plans to start for breeding. He wants to get his “feet wet” for how breeding works, and to see if it is something that he would like to continue for many years to come. His future plans include becoming a livestock judge for pigs and sheep, and also looking to go to Vet school at either Oklahoma State, or Purdue.

Keaton would also like to thank his parents for their continued support, and for everything that they do. He would also like to thank close friend and mentor Clint Newcom for being such a great role model and helping hand!

The NJSA would like to once again congratulate Keaton for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Claire Bobell

Claire Bobell

Lincoln, Illinois

The NJSA would like to recognize Claire Bobell, 6, from Lincoln, IL. Claire is the daughter of Ben and Haylee Bobell. Claire attends Mt. Pulaski Grade School and has two siblings Ella and Alex. In school, Claire enjoys playing with friends and participating in sports. Claire also loves showing pigs, playing volleyball, socializing with friends and family, playing legos and playing with Sally and Cooper (her bitty baby twins!).

Some of Claire’s accomplishments include Champion Novice Judging Contest at the 2014 NJSS, 5th Overall Berkshire Gilt at the 2014 WPX, and 3rd overall Division 1 York gilt at the 2015 NJSS. A famous Claire quote is “That pig is horrible!” Claire’s favorite show is the World Pork Expo and started showing at age 4. When asked why she shows pigs, Claire says she loves it and her favorite part about showing is seeing friends and making new friends. Claire’s most memorable moment in the NJSA so far was winning the novice judging contest at the 2014 NJSS.

Claire’s future plan includes continuing to show pigs with her family and friends. Claire wants become a doctor or a dentist some day and is currently in 1st grade at Mt. Pulaski Grade School. The NJSA would like to congratulate Claire on all of her accomplishments and wish her the best in the future!

Lucas Craycraft

Lucas Craycraft

Leesburg, Ohio

The NJSA would like to recognize Lucas Craycraft, 9, of Leesburg, Ohio. Lucas is the son of James and Mary Beth Craycraft. Lucas attends Fairfeild Local Elementary and has one younger brother Toby Craycraft age 5. Lucas enjoys math and baseball at school. Outside of school Lucas enjoys hunting, showing pigs, and farming. A few of Lucas’ accomplishments include 2013 Grand Champion Bred and Owned Yorkshire at the Southeast Regional, 9th Overall in Sweepstakes at the 2014 World Pork Expo, 6th overall in showmanship and 3rd overall in sweepstakes at the 2015 Southeast Regional, and 9th Overall in showmanship at the 2015 Summer Spectacular. Lucas’ favorite quote is, “If you ain’t first, you’re last!” – Ricky Bobbie.

Craycraft’s favorite shows include the Southeast Regional, the Summer Spectacular, and the Buckeye Winter Show. Craycraft began showing at age 2 and he enjoys winning and playing with piglets the most about showing pigs. The most memorable moment in Lucas’ NJSA career was winning Grand Champion Bred and Owned his first year at the Southeast Regional. Lucas plans to raise pigs of his own in the future and become an auctioneer and farmer. Lucas is currently getting ready for school and working with his pigs for Georgia.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Lucas on all of his achievements so far and wish him luck in the future!

Ashton Keeter

Ashton Keeter

Walters, Oklahoma

The NJSA would like to highlight and recognize Ashton Paige Keeter, 16 year old daughter of Jim and Nancy Keeter. Ashton is from Walters, Oklahoma and attends Chattanooga High School. She has two sisters Kristen Trogdon of Paris, Illinois and Whitney Peck of Duncan, Oklahoma. Ashton participates in public speaking, livestock judging, land judging, basketball, softball, track, and golf at Chattanooga High School. During the summer, Ashton participates in national livestock shows in both animal exhibiting and in the livestock judging competitions. She also works for Trogdon Show Pigs in Paris, Illinois. At the Trogdon farm Ashton helps farrow sows and feed livestock. The remainder of the year Ashton takes pride in working at home on Keeter Farms where they farm and raise cattle.

Ashton is well accomplished having Supreme Champion Commercial Breeding Gilt at the 2015 Oklahoma Youth Expo, 5th overall Duroc Gilt at the 2013 World Pork Expo, 5th overall Chester White Gilt at the 2015 World Pork Expo, 4th overall Intermediate Showman at Louisville, Kentucky; Reserve Champion Landrace Barrow at the 2015 NJSA Southwest Regional; Class winning Commercial Gilt at the 2015 World Pork Expo; Reserve Grand overall Gilt at the 2015 Comanche County Fair. Keeter’s favorite shows to attend are the World Pork Expo, CPS, Oklahoma Youth Expo, Oklahoma State Fair and NJSS in Louisville, Kentucky. Ashton began showing at age nine in the fall of 2011 and when asked why she showed said “I show pigs because I enjoy the results of hard work. I have achieved lifelong friends in this industry as well. Having the opportunity to be a part of the NJSA Organization is also a blessing. This is where I experienced some of the best memories that I will cherish forever. Showing livestock allows you to have responsibilities at a young age resulting in you being a more responsible individual and adult.”

Keeter’s most memorable moment in her time as an NJSA member was winning Supreme Champion Commercial Breeding Gilt at the 100th Anniversary of the Oklahoma Youth Expo in 2015. When asked what she enjoys most about showing pigs she replied “I enjoy the opportunity to make lifelong friends, having the opportunity to talk to producers and board directors about their experience through the NJSA and raising livestock, learning more about the organization, and experiencing the great moments of being a part of the show family.” 

Ashton would like younger members in the NJSA to know, “The NJSA is a great organization to make lifelong friends, be a part of a huge show family, gain more knowledge about the swine industry, and the knowledge that you have to work hard in order to succeed in life, and it also teaches you many life lessons someone outside of the organization would not experience. In this organization, you will make so many memories you will cherish for a lifetime.” Looking ahead Ashton plans to attend college at Oklahoma State University majoring in Animal Science/Pre-Vet. She would like to one day be on the OSU Livestock Judging Team, and be on the NJSA Board of Directors. For her future career, Keeter would love to become a large animal veterinarian specializing in swine.

Currently, Ashton is a sophomore at Chattanooga High School where she is active in the local FFA program, involved in livestock judging, public speaking as well as a part of the Chattanooga Show Team. 

The NJSA would like to congratulate Ashton on all of her accomplishments and wish her best of luck in her future endeavors!

Delaney Gaff

Delaney Gaff

Laotto, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Delaney Gaff, 8, of Laotto, Indiana as a September youth spotlight. Delaney has one sister named Devyn and is the daughter of Jason and Shelley Gaff. Delaney is 3rd grade student at Churubusco Elementary school. While at school she enjoys learning cursive and completing work sheets. Very impressive! In her free time she enjoys working with her hogs, showing at fairs and hanging out with friends and family.

Delaney started showing pigs when she was just 5 years old. When asked why she shows pigs, Delaney said, “I love showing my pigs and being able to meet new friends.” She also enjoys seeing all the friends that she has made along her show career. Some of the shows that she enjoys attending include National Junior Summer Spectacular, World pork Expo, and North American International Livestock Exposition.

One of Delaney’s favorite quotes is one that her dad shared with her, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish it.” And accomplished she is! Some of Delaney’s accomplishments include being named champion novice showmen at 2015 National Junior Summer Spectacular, 9th in the judging contest at 2015 World Pork Expo, and 4th overall in the novice sweepstakes at 2015WPX.

Delaney’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was when she was named the champion showman of the novice division at the 2015 NJSS. When asked what she would tell a younger member about NJSA, she said that she would tell them that it is a great opportunity to make new and lifelong friends, and it is such a FUN group of people!

Currently she is staying busy with school and getting her N.A.I.L.E pigs all bought! Some future plans of hers include working with the elderly because she loves working with people. She would also like to go to vet school and hopefully become a vet!

The NJSA would like to congratulate Delaney for all of her accomplishments and hope she continues with her bright future!

Emma Davis

Emma Davis

Selma, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Emma Davis, 16, of Selma, Indiana as a September youth spotlight. Emma has two siblings, Jake and Max and is the daughter of Aaron and Rae Anne Orbaugh. She is a student at Wapahani High school where she participates in FBLA, SADD, and is also a member of the science club/ academic team. When she has free time she enjoys showing her animals on the NJSA circuit as well as the Indiana Junior Sine Circuit and hanging out with friends.

Emma started showing hogs at local county shows in third grade and by the time she hit seventh grade she was touring the IJSC jackpot circuit as well as many national shows! When asked why she showed pigs she said, “I show pigs because it makes me happy. I love nothing more than being in the show ring driving a good hog! It’s the place where hard work and dedication culminate. It’s my sport and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do!” A couple of her favorite shows include the Indiana State Fair and National Junior Summer Spectacular.

“Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from indomitable will” – Mahatma Gandhi. This is a favorite quote of Emma’s and what a powerful quote it is. Some of her high achievements include being involved in National Honor Society, winning her division in showmanship at 2015 National Junior Summer Spectacular. She also ranked 6th at Team Purebred Junior Nationals.

The most memorable moment of the NJSA for Emma was when Warren Beeler pointed straight at her and said she was going to be the champion in her division at the 2015 NJSS showmanship contest. If given the opportunity Emma would like to tell a younger member to get as involved as possible and enjoy everything you can! “You get out of it what you put into it,” she says.

Currently Emma is in her second week of school. She is gearing up for the Crossbred Classic and also the Southwest Type Conference. In her future she would like to graduate and go to IUPUI to study to become a dentist or an oral surgeon.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Emma for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Khyleigh North

Khyleigh North

Wolcottville, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Khyleigh North, 19, of Wolcottville, Indiana as a September youth spotlight. Khyleigh has two brothers, Tanner and Brennen, and is the daughter of Mike and Cheryl North. A student at Purdue University she stays busy with classes. In high school she was a member of SADD and also managed the boys’ basketball team. When she isn’t busy with school work she enjoys showing her pigs at a local and national level. She also enjoys shopping, fishing and hanging with friends.

Khyleigh started showing pigs when she was about 4 years old. Her brothers both had a major role in getting her involved with pigs. When asked why she shows pigs, Khyleigh responded that she enjoys meeting new people and making new friends. She also enjoys reconnecting with those who she hasn’t seen for awhile and exhibiting her animals. A few of her favorite shows include The American Royal, World Pork Expo, and North American International Livestock Exposition.

Khyleigh has conquered many outstanding achievements including being named champion senior showmen at the 2015 National Junior Summer Spectacular, Champion of division 4 at N.A.I.L.E, Champion Overall Barrow in the Open Show at the 2014 NBS, Dekalb County Showmen of Showmen in 2012, and also had Champion Light Weight rossbred barrow at N.A.I.L.E.  She remains very competitive at all levels.

Her most memorable moment of the NJSA was when she was named Champion Senior Showmen at the 2015 National Junior Summer Spectacular. If she was given the chance to tell a younger member something about NJSA she would tell them, “It is a great experience, and enjoy it while you can.  There are so many different opportunities that are being presented to you on a daily basis.”

Currently Khyleigh is studying at Purdue and working for a degree in Ag Communication. “Finding a job, that’s the biggest goal,” she says. She wants to work for a company that is or at least is similar to Zoetis.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Khyleigh on all of her achievements and hope that she continues on her path to excellence!

Madelyn Fearon

Madelyn Fearon

Greenville, Ohio

The NJSA would like to recognize Madelyn Fearon, 12, of Greenville, Ohio as a September youth spotlight. Madelyn has one younger brother, Seth, and is the daughter of Mike and Rachel Fearon. She is a 6th grader at Arcanum Butler Middle School. Madelyn is involved in student council and plays on the basketball team. Some of her hobbies outside of class included: a traveling softball team, AAU traveling basketball team, tailgating at Ohio State football games, and showing pigs.

Madelyn started showing pigs when she was four years old. When asked why she shows pigs Madelyn responded, “Meeting new people and making new friends”. One of her favorite events at the show is showmanship. She is very competitive! Some of her favorite shows include National Junior Summer Spectacular, Great Varke County Fair, Ohio State Fair, and North American International Livestock Expo.

One of Madelyn’s favorite quotes is, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”- Michael Jordan. She has many accomplishments in her time as a junior member. She was 1st in the junior division in showmanship at the 2015 National Junior Summer Spectacular, champion Showmen of Showmen at her county fair this year, Overall Market exhibitor for the 10 – 11 age range at Ohio State Fair, and Overall market exhibitor at her county fair.

Madelyn’s most memorable moment in NJSA was being named Champion Junior showman at the 2015 National Junior Summer Spectacular. If given the opportunity to tell a younger member about NJSA, she said she would tell them that they need to get into it because it’s fun and to try all the different shows that are offered!

Madelyn is currently getting county fair pigs ready and keeping her eyes open for pigs that she will exhibit at N.A.I.L.E. In her future she would like to attend  college and play basketball at a higher level. She then plans on becoming a teacher so that she can work with kids as a profession.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Madelyn for all of her accomplishment and hope that she will continue to succeed at whatever she tries!

Latimer Burnett

Latimer Burnett

Sweetwater, Texas

Latimer Burnett is the 15-year-old daughter of Melanie and Brent Burnett of Sweetwater, Texas.  Latimer started showing pigs when she was in 3rd grade because it gave her and her dad a chance to work together and have the same interest.  She used to play volleyball but has now decided to continue becoming more involved in agriculture. 

In school, Latimer is involved in FFA where she participates in livestock judging, chapter conducting, and showing livestock.    Her favorite livestock shows are the World Pork Expo, Houston, and the San Antonio Livestock Show.  Her greatest accomplishment is having the Champion Duroc at the San Antonio Livestock Show where she received a $10,000 scholarship, and she also won the Nolan County Fair with the same gilt. 

Latimer’s favorite quote is, “The path to the banner may seem like a long road but it is worth the hard work at the backdrop”.  Showing pigs has taught Latimer character, responsibility, and life skills.  She would tell young NJSA members that the NJSA is a great organization and would recommend getting involved. 

In the future Latimer plans on attending Texas Tech and major in agriculture and business.  The NJSA congratulates Latimer on her success and wishes her luck in the future!

Heather Cash

Graham, Texas

Heather Cash from Graham, Texas is the 12-year-old daughter of Alisha and Jody Reeves and sister of Tyler and Jared.  She is a 7th grader at Graham Jr. High School. 

Heather has been showing pigs since she was 8 years old and also stays busy taking dance lessons in hip hop, jazz, and ballet.  When she’s not in school, you can find her swimming, fishing, or thinking about showing pigs. 

Her mom grew up showing steers and pigs and Heather wanted to experience the fun as well.  She enjoys showing at local shows and also attends Texas majors.  When asked why she shows pigs, she said,

“I love watching them grow up and each pig is different, like us.”

Her favorite show is San Antonio because they always tell you how to improve with your projects and her favorite part is getting in the show ring and having all of your hard work pay off. 

The National Junior Swine Association congratulates Heather for being a member since 2013 and is proud to highlight her hard work. 

Matt Miller

Matt Miller

El Paso, Illinois

Matt Miller from El Paso, Illinois is the son of Tom and Lori Miller.  He is a graduate from El Paso/Gridley High School and will attend Illinois Central College this fall majoring in agriculture business.  He has been involved with hogs from a very early age, even before joining the local 4H club.  Matt has helped increasingly raise a small commercial herd and to develop a show pig herd. In high school, he was active in his youth group at church, in 4H and FFA activities, a member of the local bass fishing team, and more recently participated in livestock judging contests. His FFA team received second place in the state of Illinois, and will compete at nationals. 

The Miller family has developed a “family motto” which they relate to every show, activity, every daily task, which is, “Lessons learned, Memories made” Matt’s dad taught him from an early age, “you get out, what you put in” and sweat equity is worth a million dollars. After the first time Matt showed at the local fair, he knew he was hooked.  He loves the preparation, competition, the atmosphere and the people.  Listening to the judge’s comments, good or bad, has helped him improve his projects and also his outlook on life.

Matt attended the North American International Livestock Exposition and the World Pork Expo for the first time last year and they were some of the top moments in his show career.  There he was in the top ten in senior showmanship and won a crossbred gilt class.  Matt has passed his passion of showing and raising hogs to my nieces and nephew, and is excited to see their development through the years and the enjoyment it brings the whole family.

To the young people just starting his advise it to, “Name your project, care for that project, wash and walk that project as much as you would yourself, and whether you get first place or further down, and be satisfied that you did your best.”

Karli Schwerdtfeger

Karli Schwerdtfeger

Stratford, Oklahoma

Karli Schwerdtfeger is an 11-year-old showman from Stratford, Oklahoma.  Karli and her brother Tate enjoying showing pigs across the country.  She was three years old when she showed her first pig named Bitsy at a jackpot show in Oklahoma. 

Karli continues to show pigs because it is a great opportunity to meet others and learn responsibility.  Seeing her friends is her favorite part of livestock shows and her favorite shows are the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA and the Summer Spectacular in Louisville, KY.

This young lady cannot only show pigs, but she enjoys evaluating them as well.  Karli participates in many livestock judging competitions and enjoys continuing to learn about the livestock industry.

Her most memorable moment as an NJSA member was when she had Champion Hampshire Barrow and 4th Overall at the Summer Spectacular.  Karli has also done well at the Oklahoma Youth Expo with pigs and in the sheep show. 

Her favorite quote is “Winner’s never quit and quitter’s never win”.  Her career dreams include becoming a dancer.  This fall Karli will be a middle school cheerleader and will cheer her brother and his Stratford Bulldog Middle School Football Team on to a victory!  

The National Junior Swine Association would like to congratulate Karli on her accomplishments and wish her luck in the future. 

Sydney Cain

Sydney Cain

Chariton, Iowa

Sydney Cain of Chariton, Iowa is the 9 year old daughter of Dusty and Kim Cain and sister of Austin, 5. Sydney is a second grader at Columbus Elementary School where she enjoys playing softball and basketball, tumbling, and playing with her friends.

Sydney has been showing pigs for five years and got her start at the World Pork Expo in 2010. She wanted to show pigs because her dad, grandpa, uncle, and cousins all show and she wanted to join in on the fun! She enjoyed helping her dad walk the boars and gilts around the yard and thought the show ring sounded like even more fun.

Sydney shows pigs because it is FUN! She loves to travel with her family and play with her show friends at the shows. She also enjoys competing in the events and trying to do the best she can. Sydney said her favorite show is the Southeast Regional because her family travels a long way and so she doesn’t have to show against her older cousins. She also said, “I have lots of friends that go to the Georgia show.  I only show at NJSA events, but someday I will be in 4-H and will get to go to more shows.”

At just 3 years old, Sydney got her start with the NSJA because of her dad. He showed at all the NSR shows and she wanted to go with him and show her own pigs. At each of the shows, her favorite contest is the Skillathon because she can study for the test, but also knows most of the information from helping out on the farm!

Sydney says her most memorable NJSA moment was winning the overall sweepstakes in both 2014 and 2015 at the Southeast regional. Along with her accomplishments, Sydney would tell younger NJSA members, “NJSA is a lot of fun!  You get to meet kids from all over the U.S.  I love showing pigs with my family!”

In the future, Sydney said she wants to keep practicing her swine judging skills so she can pick her own pigs out and do better in the contests. Further on, she wants to follow in the footsteps of her family and become a pig farmer as well as a teacher.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Sydney for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors! 

Eric Schafer

Eric Schafer

Owaneco, Illinois

The NJSA would like to recognize Eric Schafer of Owaneco, Illinois as this month’s Junior Youth  Spotlight! Eric is the 13 year old son of Aaron and Sue Schafer and big brother to Lizzie Schafer, 11. Eric is a 7th grader at Pana Jr. High where he plays basketball and soccer. Aside from sports and showing pigs, Eric is also very heavily involved in the purebred Angus business where he exhibits his calves at a local, state, and national level.

Eric is no newcomer to the show ring as he has been showing pigs since he was just 3 years old. His first show was in his home state of Illinois at the Team Purebred Jr. National with a Berkshire barrow named Charlie Brown. Eric began showing pigs because he was raised in a farrowing house right alongside his litters! Both his parents and grandparents raised hogs so he’s following in the family footsteps. He currently has his own small operation that focuses on Durocs and Berkshires. Eric said that about 90% of what he shows, he raised himself!

When asked what he enjoys most about showing pigs, Eric couldn’t narrow it down to just one thing. He said he enjoys the challenge of making structurally correct hogs that are productive but still of show quality. He also enjoys the contests at the shows, they are a huge reason he has stayed so involved with the NJSA. This is a major reason that the Summer Spectacular is his favorite show. He said, “The competition is extreme and the hogs are great, but most of all I love the variety of contests that I can participate in.”

Speaking of the NJSA, Eric said that he got his start after the Fugate family encouraged them to attend a few shows. Because of that start, they have now been to the Summer Spectacular, Eastern Regional, Southwest Regional, National Barrow Show, and World Pork Expo. Among these NJSA shows, Eric said his favorite NJSA moment has been winning the All Around Sweepstakes not just once, but twice as well as raising a class winning Duroc gilt at NJSS (out of a sow he bought online for just $300!)

Though just 13 years old, Eric is wise beyond his years. He would tell a younger NJSA member, “If you love livestock and want to push yourself, this is the organization for you!  I have met some great people but the Skillathon, Speech Contest, Judging Contest, Showmanship, and other events have not only made me a better livestock person, it made me a better student in school!” Eric likes to say, “Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people do not recognize them!"

With all of Eric’s hard work and determination with school, swine, and cattle, I’d say that it is safe to say he will be overly successful in his future career goal of attending a major university in animal sciences/vet med and become a member of their livestock judging team. His career goal is to become a cattle embryologist.

Once again, the NJSA would like to congratulate Eric for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors! 

Keaton Stoller

Keaton Stoller

Gridley, Illinois

Keaton Stoller of Gridley, Illinois is a 16 year old sophomore at El Paso-Gridley High School where he is actively involved in basketball, football, and FFA. Keaton is the son of Brian and Haley Stoller and has two younger siblings, Nash and Trig. Outside of school, Keaton is involved with his church youth group, 4-H, working at Stoller Trucking LLC, and playing off season basketball, all while still making time to work with his showpigs.

Keaton is no new comer to the show pig world as he has been showing since he was 6 years old. He got his start when his grandfather bought him two pigs to show at his county fair open show. Keaton said his older cousins were showing and he wanted to join in on the fun! Keaton says, “Those were the days when I didn’t care the color of the ribbon; I just wanted one of my own.   As time went on, I became more competitive and set my goals much higher.”

When asked why he shows pigs, Keaton expressed that it comes from his families deep roots in the industry. His parents both grew up in the agriculture industry, received college degrees in agriculture, and were on livestock judging teams. They wanted to give their kids the same opportunities as agriculture is the best way to teach life lessons. “My dad has always stressed that a strong work ethic and dedication will get you far in life, no matter what you do.  So with that philosophy, I’ve set a high standard for myself and work hard to reach my goals in and out of the show ring,” Keaton said.

Keaton has been an NJSA member for 6 years now, and is a seasoned one at that. He has attended events such as World Pork Expo, National Junior Summer Spectacular, NJSA Boot Camp, and the NJSA National Youth Leadership Conference. His favorite is NJSS because although the show is very competitive, outside of the ring is a more relaxed atmosphere with a full week to hang out with friends. He decided to get involved with the NJSA because of the help and encouragement of local breeders and friends. Keaton said, “We really wanted to expand the shows we went to, but didn’t think we could compete with the ‘Big Dogs.’ So, we asked a lot of questions, made entries, made the first trip west to the EXPO….now there is no turning back.  I can’t imagine skipping a national show.”

Most memorable NJSA moment? Keaton said he’s not sure it’s happened yet! “I still have my eyes set on the GRAND moment in the show ring, but the friendships made through showing are the true rewards.   There is nothing like “stock show” friends!  They get you, they share the same passion, shoot for the same goals, work through the same struggles, talk the lingo, and feed off the same desires.….these are the kids that make showing worthwhile.”

Keaton would tell a younger NJSA member, “Don’t stress that you may not have the best pigs in the barn and that you can’t compete at a national level.  Just get involved and you will soon realize it’s not about how you do in the show ring; it’s about the people you meet along the way and the relationships you build.” After high school, Keaton hopes to judge on a collegiate livestock judging team and graduate with a degree in agriculture.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Keaton for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors! 

Thomas Trout

Thomas Trout

Huntington, Indiana

Thomas Trout of Huntington, IN is the son of Ted and Sarah Trout and the brother of Anna and Lucas Jones and Rebekah and Neal Chaple. He is a recent graduate of Black Hawk East College where he was a member of the 2015 Livestock Judging Team. He has been showing pigs for 7 years now, where he got his start at the Huntington County 4-H Fair.

Prior to his pig showing career, Thomas was an avid horse showman, competing on a national level alongside the Hendrickson family. He then wanted to expand his horizons so Telynda and Daniel helped them out with some show pigs and they fell in love with it! Thomas said, “I first started showing pigs because it was something different. Now I show pigs because it’s like a drug, I’m addicted to. I absolutely love being out in the ring because just for a moment, it feels like the world stops and nothing else really matters because all you have to focus on is one thing and that’s getting your hog stuck to the best of your ability.”

Thomas’s favorite thing about showing pigs? Building relationships. “I know it sounds cliché, but I absolutely love talking to/hanging out with friends at the shows and getting the opportunity to meet new people. Some of my best friends have come from this industry and those friend ships will last a lifetime.” He said that his favorite show is the World Pork Expo because it is one of the most laid back, yet there is always something going on. The atmosphere is competitive yet friendly and some of the country’s best hogs and people show up. Thomas added, “Plus, there is nothing like showing in the BIG ring.”

When asked what his favorite NJSA contest is, Thomas said showmanship. He mentioned how it is very tough and highly competitive so making even the top10 is a huge accomplishment, and that there is no better feeling in the worlds than getting top 5 at any NJSA show.

Thomas told us that he would tell a younger member of the NJSA that it is a family affair through and through. “With the recent loss of my sister Rebekah I can tell you that showing livestock will give you memories that will last a lifetime. Hold on to those memories and don’t be afraid to make new ones.” His future plans include going back to the family farm so that he can expand Thomas Trout Show Pigs and make a business that is sustainable. He also has high aspirations to judge a national show someday down the road.

Upon wrapping up the interview, Thomas had some very important words he wanted to share with fellow NJSA members and parents. “Recently I just lost my sister Rebekah (Trout) Chaple in a farming accident. Rebekah was a great sister and I really looked up to her. Honestly, I don’t know where I would be today if she wouldn’t have been by my side for the first 20 years of my life. Life is a fragile thing so please take time to slow down every once in a while and tell your kids, siblings, friends, and family that you love them. Life is a fragile gift and it should never be taken for granted.”

The NJSA congratulates Thomas on all of his accomplishments and wishes him the best of luck with all of his future endeavors.

Tristan Shirley

Tristan Shirley

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

The NJSA would like to introduce Tristan Shirley, 13, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  Tristan is the son of father Michael Shirley, stepmother, Amy Shirley, mother McKenzie Woods, and stepfather Bill Woods. He also has five siblings, sister Mahayla 4, brother M.J., 2,  step-sister Kaylee ,13,  stepbrother Lane, 11, and stepsister MaKayla, 10. Inside of school Tristan really enjoys to read. One of his favorite quotes was given in a speech by Harry S. Truman, "No man should be allowed to be the President who does not understand hogs, or hasn't been around a manure pile."

 Outside of school trust and enjoys reading video games working on a hog farm and playing with friends. Justin began showing when he was eight years old. When asked why he showed pigs Tristan replied it was mainly because "the bacon". He also shows pigs for the passion of doing it with his father. He highly enjoys traveling to new places and enjoying the wonders of the new states. He also likes meeting new people when showing pigs. 
Tristan's favorite show would be the National Junior Summer Spectacular because of amusement park, Kentucky Kingdom, which is nearby. He also loves how big the show is because he's able to meet new people and look at other pigs. His most memorable moment in NJSA is also his favorite accomplishment. At the 2014 National Junior Summer Spectacular he placed first in Novice/Junior individual Ag sales contest. This was something he held dear to him because his family all congratulated him on his win and it was so cool to be up on stage with the other winners.
His advice for a younger member in N.J.S.A. would to be to simply stick with it. He also said,  “You also need to study skillathon and spend lots of time with your pigs.  You should also watch people feed the pigs”. Tristan believes that is important to learn about how to feed and care for pigs from various people because it is beneficial to you.
Currently Tristan is attending middle school and taking piano classes. With the help of his family he is searching for an acting agent so he can pursue his future career of becoming an actor. He would like to attend college for acting. However if his acting career does not take off he would like to study animal Science to become a veterinarian. One of his family members is a veterinarian and he likes to go along rides and watch shots be given to pegs and learn why.

 The NJSA would like to congratulate Tristan on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors! 

Chase Taylor

Chase Taylor

Corunna, Indiana

The NJSA would like to introduce Chase Taylor, 18, from Corunna, Indiana. Chase is the son of Matt and Julie Taylor. Chase also has three siblings, Caitlin, Chloe, and Carlie. In school Chase is involved in FFA and livestock judging. He also enjoys watching basketball and football games throughout the year. You can also find Chase browsing the Internet for show pigs.

Outside of school Chase is involved in indoor soccer and basketball. In addition to sports, he is active 4-H and has been showing pigs since he was 3 years old. He began his show career at local jackpots and by exhibiting a crossbred gilt in the Crossbred Classic at the Indiana State Fair. The World Pork Expo would be Chase’s favorite show because of the massive amounts of attendees from all the various states. The free pork all week also adds to his favoritism toward the show.

His most cherished accomplishment was the 2014 National Junior Summer Spectacular. Chase placed 5th in showmanship, 2nd in the judging contest, and 4th in sweepstakes. During the contests and shows he was also able to watch his cousins show numerous division winners including Champion York Gilt and Grand Champion Gilt Overall. Chase shows pigs because it has become a lifestyle to him, something he couldn’t imagine living his life without.

Getting up in the morning and going out to do chores before it is even light outside is one reason Chase shows pigs. Another reason being all of the friends and family that you get to see at the jackpots, or even higher-level competitions. That is definitely something he looks forward to. If Chase had one thing to tell younger members in NJSA it would be that, “NJSA is a great program that focuses on the kids and wants the best for us exhibitors. Its not just about showing hogs, but the type of leadership and responsibility it instills is amazing.”
As for future plans He plans on attending Illinois Central College in the fall
of 2015 and majoring in a degree in Ag business or sales. Chase said, “I have been offered to be on the judging team there under an outstanding coach, a well known person to the NJSA, Grant Grebner.” He would like to become a crop seed salesman. This job interests him in various ways. One aspect of the job he finds interesting is that as a salesman, he will never do the same thing everyday. Chase is currently finishing up his senior year of high school at DeKalb. He is also taking as many Agriculture classes to prepare himself for the Ag classes he will take later on in college.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Chase on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors!

Abigayle Bartholomew

Abigayle Bartholomew

Lexington, Tennessee

The NJSA would like to introduce and recognize Abigayle Bartholomew, 15, of Lexington, Tennessee, as our youth spotlight. She is the only daughter of Derek Bartholomew. Abigayle is a student at Lexington High School where she is active in the FFA program. She is also involved in 4-H and the Renaissance Program.  Besides attending school she likes to attend church, reading, and spending time with friends.

Her first debut in the show ring came at the early age of 3 at the National Junior Summer Spectacular. Since then her love for showing pigs has remained. She has a passion in the preparation she puts into her projects for the shows. Her knowledge in showmanship and swine care has really grown since she first began to show. 

Since she has began showing some of Abigayle’s most treasured accomplishments are winning Champion Junior High Showman and Champion Overall Barrow at the Tennessee State Fair 2014. She is also very proud of her Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Gilt at the NJSA Southwest Regional. This is a reflection of her favorite part of showing, when all the hard work that you’ve put in a pig finally pays off on show day.

Abigayle’s most memorable NJSA moment would have to be going to the National Youth Leadership Conference. She enjoyed the trips she got to take and the experiences she had. She was also very grateful to have met new friends while participating.  Her advice to young members would be, “Work hard to accomplish what you want your hog to do, but don’t get discouraged if they don’t do as well as you hoped, and have fun!”

Currently Abigayle is taking honors classes and working on her family’s hog operation. Her future plans include running for FFA Chapter President. She would also like to attend college to study in the swine genetics field. As well as college, Abigayle hopes to own her own swine operation one day.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Abigayle on all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors!

Gracee Beth Stewart

Gracee Beth Stewart

Sabina, Ohio

The NJSA would like recognize Gracee Beth Stewart 11, of Sabina, Ohio as a youth spotlight. Gracee has two siblings, Jessee and Justin, and is the daughter of Jenny and Billy Stewart. A student of Miami Trace, Gracee is involved in science, art, and basketball. In her spare time Gracee enjoys showing pigs and playing basketball.
Gracee started showing pigs when she was three years old and when asked why she shows pigs, Gracee responded by saying, “I show pigs because I can spend time with my family and it’s something we all love.” She says she enjoys showing pigs because she can spend time with family and friends.

Gracee’s favorite quote is, “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.” Gracee has many accomplishments but some of her most notable are 1st & 2nd quarter all A’s on her grade card and driving the Grand Champion Market Hog at the 2014 Clinton County Fair.

When asked what her most memorable NJSA moment is, Gracee said, “When I had the 4th overall Hampshire gilt and champion bred and owned.” Gracee says she likes being an NJSA member because it is where you can spend time with you family and friends. Also, you can travel to different places which really makes it enjoyable.
Currently, Gracee is playing travel basketball for the Miami Trace 6th grade girls. Her future plans include going to college in Louisville and playing basketball. Gracee also likes the idea of becoming a vet when she is older.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Gracee for all her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in the future!

Drew Lewis

Drew Lewis

Clay City, Illinois

The NJSA would like to introduce Drew Lewis of Clay City, Illinois as our youth spotlight. Drew is the 10-year-old son of parents, Darren and Stacie Lewis. He is also the brother of two sisters, Katie and Maddie Lewis.  Drew currently attends Clay City Elementary. His hobbies in school include playing baseball and basketball when he isn’t learning about his favorite subject, History. When he is not in school Drew likes to ride his dirt bike, working with his new steer, and showing pigs.

Drew has been showing pigs since he was only four.  His favorite shows are World Pork Expo and National Junior Summer Spectacular. Some of his favorite accomplishments from his show career thus far are winning the Champion Barrow and Champion Gilt at my first 4-H County Fair.  He also received Reserve Junior Showman at the 2014 Quoin State Fair.  He greatest achievement was winning Champion Novice Showman at the 2013 National Barrow Show. As for his most memorable NJSA moment, Drew says it was, “When I won showmanship at Minnesota!”

When asked why he shows pigs Drew’s response was, “I think it's fun and I am following in both of my sister's footsteps.” He believes that the best part of showing pigs is getting to the shows and being able to hang out with all of his “barn buddies”. If he were to give any advice to the younger members in NJSA it would be to try it out. Its something you’ll have fun doing and you are able to learn a lot doing it.

As for Drew, he is currently  “…a 10 year old going to school”. He is also doing his chores and just having fun. As for Drew’s future, he plans continuing to show livestock and attending college. While in college he would like to learn more about livestock and how to properly judge. Additionally, he would like to own his own farm after college.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Drew Lewis on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Kinley Meadors

Kinley Meadors

Rockdale, Texas

The NJSA is proud to recognize Kinley Meadors, of Rockdale, Texas as a January youth spotlight. Kinley is the 9-year-old daughter of Brian and Shannon Meadors; she has a sister Hadley who is 8 years old and a brother Kale who is 6 years old. Kinley attends St. Paul Lutheran School in Thorndale, Texas. At school, Kinley likes to talk to friends, help teachers, and do math. Outside of school, she likes to read, ride her bike, and practice showing with sheep and hogs.

Kinley began her show career in 2010 at the Fredericksburg, Texas jackpot show when she was 5 years old. The thing she enjoys most about showing pigs is getting them ready to go into the ring by spraying and brushing them. She also enjoys when her hogs are successful in the ring reflecting all of her hard work and hours spent in the barn. Kinley’s favorite shows include the World Pork Expo, the Star of Texas in Austin, TX, and the San Antonio Livestock Exposition.

Kinley shows pigs because she likes to tame and train baby pigs and enjoys watching them grow quickly. She likes the challenge of trying to make her pigs look the best they can in the ring. Her most memorable moment in the NJSA was at the 2013 World Pork Expo during novice showmanship judged by Mr. Jason Hirschfeld. The judge drew a line in the middle of the ring with his foot and told her to stay on one side of the line and bring her hog to him and take it away.  Her Yorkshire gilt showed great and she could make her do anything she wanted her to do. 

Some of Kinley’s accomplishments include 2012 Texas Junior Livestock Association Champion Peewee Showman, Reserve Yorkshire Gilt in 2012 at the World Pork Expo, and 2013 Champion Novice Showman at the World Pork Expo. One of her favorite quotes to remember is “Hard Work, Pays Off.”

Kinley would tell a younger member that the NJSA is a great organization to be a part of where you meet new people from all over the United States. These people enjoy the same things you do and the friendships you make by being a member will last forever. Kinley plans to one-day show at the National Junior Summer Spectacular in Louisville, KY. After high school, she wants to go to college at Texas A&M or Baylor and one day become a teacher or a doctor. When she has a family and kids, she will get them involved in the show ring so they can experience what she is experiencing through the NJSA now.

Bailey Dawn Baker

Bailey Dawn Baker

Athens, Alabama

The NJSA would like to recognize Bailey Dawn Baker, 11, of Athens, Alabama as a youth spotlight. Bailey has two siblings, Cooper and Blake Baker and is the daughter of Cade and Brittani Baker. Bailey attends Creekside Elementary School in Alabama where she is involved in the art club and her school’s chorus. Bailey also enjoys playing volleyball, basketball, and participating in her church choir.

Bailey started showing pigs when she was four years old at the local and state fairs. When asked why she enjoys showing pigs, Bailey responded by saying, “I meet a lot of people that become close friends.” Bailey also says she shows pigs because, “I enjoy all activities and especially the dance at Louisville, KY.”

Bailey’s favorite quote is, “Play hard, Pray harder.” Among Bailey’s many accomplishments, she lists being the 4H President and a Chief Ambassador as her most notable. Bailey’s message to younger members is to, “Participate in all activities and have fun whether you finish first or last.” As a member of the NJSA and participating in all activities, Bailey’s most memorable NJSA moment is meeting her friend Abbi Rainwater from Perry, GA.

Bailey’s plan when she gets older is to become a first grade teacher. Currently she is playing club volleyball and travel basketball.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Bailey for her accomplishments and wish her best of luck in her bright future ahead!

Courtney Jinkens

Courtney Jinkens

Chelsea, Oklahoma

The NJSA would like to recognize Courtney Jinkens, 13, of Chelsea, Oklahoma as a youth spotlight. Courtney has two siblings, Chance and Avery, and is the daughter of Travis and Kari Jinkens. Courtney is a student at Chelsea Middle School where she is involved in basketball and track. Out of school, Courtney enjoys showing her pigs along with breeding, farrowing, selling show pig prospects. She also likes to attend leadership and agriculture related events.

Courtney started showing pigs when she was three years old. Courtney was asked why she shows pigs and she responded by saying, “Nothing is better at bringing family and friends together than at a stock show where hugs, coaching, and proud moments can be made.” Courtney’s favorite shows are the World Pork Expo with a close second being the National Junior Summer Spectacular. Also, Courtney loves attending the OKJSA and EKSSS shows.

Courtney’s favorite quote is one from Stock Show Girl, “Early mornings, late nights, to make our stock look just right. Scuffed up boots and just a little bling, we know the best friends are made around the show ring.” It seems those early mornings and late nights have paid off. Courtney has many accomplishments but some of her most notable are 2014 Reserve Champion Intermediate Showman at the Tulsa Fair, 2014 Champion Intermediate Showman at the OKJSA show, 2013 3rd place Junior Showman at the Tulsa State Fair, 2013 & 2014 top 6 Junior Showman at the OYE, 2013 3rd place Junior Showman at the American Royal, and 2012 & 2013 Overall Champion Junior Showman of the Eastern Swine Show Series.

Courtney’s most memorable moment in the NJSA is, “Going to the World Pork Expo, and running in the rain all the way to the Pork sandwich trailer to fetch food for my friends and family.” Courtney recommends taking notes, showing with a smile, encourage others and most of all have fun to younger members in the NJSA.

Presently, Courtney is playing basketball and working with her show pig set for the OYE. She is also getting prepared for her sows to farrow in February. Courtney says, “I love the baby pigs and picking out my own show pigs myself.” Courtney’s future plans include attending NEO A&M and then transferring to OSU to become an Agricultural Education Instructor like her parents. Courtney would also like to have a large, successful swine operation when she is older.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Courtney for all her accomplishments and to wish her all the best with her bright future!

Jake Sterle

Jake Sterle

Roland, Iowa

The NJSA is proud to recognize Jake Sterle, of Roland, Iowa as a February youth spotlight. Jake is the 15-year-old son of Steve and Jodi Sterle; he has a brother Jackson, who is 12 years old. Jake attends Roland-Story High School in Story City, Iowa. At school, Jake likes to play basketball, golf, and baseball. He also enjoys trap shooting and serving as the FFA Reporter. Outside of school, he likes to show pigs, steers, and lambs. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, livestock judging, and participating in livestock quiz bowl.

Jake began his show career in 2005 at the Summer Spectacular. The thing he enjoys most about showing pigs is the competition, opportunities, and the ability to make new friends. Jake’s favorite shows include the World Pork Expo, Summer Spectacular, Story Co. Fair, and Iowa State Fair. The show that means the most to him is the Story Co. Fair.

Jake shows pigs because he likes the responsibilities, making new friends, enjoying the experiences, and traveling. Besides running into a steel post at the South West Regional, Jake’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was the 2013 Iowa State Leadership Camp.

Some of Jake’s accomplishments include winning Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Showmanship before sophomore year in high school and winning his county livestock judging contest several times. One of his favorite quotes to remember is by Brenda Schoepp, “My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher but every day, three times a day, you need a farmer.”

Jake would tell a younger member that the NJSA is a great opportunity to meet new people from across the nation that you will know for the rest of your life. Jake plans to go to college and major in Animal Sciences with a minor in Meat Science. He is still trying to decide what he wants to do some day as a career but he knows it will have some involvement with the meat industry.

Kiana Peters

Kiana Peters

Madera, California

The NJSA would like to recognize Kiana Peters, 17, of Madera, California as a youth spotlight. Kiana is the daughter of Teddi Peters. Kiana is a senior at Chowchilla Union High School where she is involved in cheering, FFA, student government, ASB, and the California Scholarship Federation. Kiana is the varsity cheer captain, FFA Chapter president, student body president, ASB committee member, and a member of the California Scholarship Federation. In her spare time Kiana likes to work livestock, check fields with her grandpa, and help out with the local 4H members leading up to fairs.

Kiana started showing pigs when she was ten years old at the Chowchilla Fair in 2007. Kiana was asked why she shows pigs. Her response was, “The gratification you receive as the judge shakes your hand is the reason why I continue to show pigs.” Kiana says, “I enjoy the show families who are competing in the barns with us, along with the excitement mom has as soon as I walk out of the show ring.”

Kiana’s favorite quote is, “There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” By following the lead of her favorite quote, Kiana has been able to achieve many accomplishments such as the CJLA Overall Hog Winner, CJLA Showmanship division 4 years in a row, and selling the 2nd highest selling boar the Fall Classic in 2013.

Kiana’s most memorable NJSA moment is traveling to the World Pork Expo for the first time in 2012. It was the first time she traveled that far for a livestock show and she couldn’t believe how many exhibitors there were. Kiana also says her favorite shows are the Western Regional, Arizona National Livestock Show, and the World Pork Expo. When asked what she would tell a younger NJSA member, Kiana said, “The NJSA is an organization that can be more than an educational aspect, but a life changing one. When I became a part of the NJSA, I met members who had the same common interest of me, showing hogs.”

Currently, Kiana is enjoying her senior year of high school and making her mark on her community. Kiana is also looking forward to attending Cornell University in the fall of 2015 where she will major in agriculture and life sciences and later get a masters in communication with a minor in international business. Kiana plans to use her education to become a communications director for a large agricultural corporation.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Kiana for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Carter Arbuckle

Carter Arbuckle

Concord, Michigan

The NJSA would like to recognize Carter Arbuckle, 8, of Concord, Michigan as a youth spotlight. He has two sisters, Avery who is six years old and Raegan who is two.  Carter is the son of Mike and Amanda Arbuckle, and attends Concord Elementary School where he loves reading and playing sports, especially football, baseball, and soccer. When he gets some time outside the classroom, he loves to go hunting and then get to the barn to work with his pigs.

Carter started showing hogs when he was 4 years old at the NJSA Summer Spectacular. When asked why he shows pigs he said, “I love following in my dad’s footsteps and raising hogs and showing with my friends and family.” He especially loves spending time with the pigs and training them for show day. Carter enjoys spending time with his family at home and then also meeting new people at the shows. Carter still says that the Summer Spectacular is his favorite show, followed by the Eastern Regional coming in as a close second!

Some of Carters accomplishments took place at his two favorite shows. At the 2013 Summer Spectacular and Eastern Regional he was in the top ten in showmanship, placing 3rd at the Eastern Regional! He also finished in the top 5 in the sweepstakes competition at the 2013 Eastern Regional as well! Carter had an amazing run at the 2014 Eastern Regional as he was the Skillaton Champion, and he ended up being the Overall Sweepstakes Champion to cap off another successful year at the Eastern Regional. Carter’s favorite quote is one that a lot of people can relate to and find great value in, “Nobody said that it would be easy they just promised it would be worth it.”

The most memorable moment as an NJSA member was when he won the NJSA Eastern Regional Sweepstakes, and he is most proud of his belt buckle. Even though he has had some success he still would tell a younger member, “What you learn from the experiences at the shows is way more important than winning or losing.”

Even though Carter is a third grader on the travel baseball team and working on the family farm, he still has some aspirations for the future. He wants to become a Spartan at Michigan State and play football and go to veterinarian school. He wants to become a veterinarian, along with raising show pigs and judging shows on the side in the future.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Carter for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Hadley Lee Hendrickson

Hadley Lee Hendrickson

Farmland, Indiana

Again if you are around the ring and at the shows, the Hendrickson name is familiar to most. It is time to take a moment to shine the spotlight on Hadley Lee Hendrickson, the 7 year old daughter of Daniel and Telynda Hendrickson of Farmland, Indiana. She also has one younger sibling Hogan that she can pick on now and as they grow up. She goes to Monroe Central Elementary School where she hangs out with her friends, and she says that she talks to her girlfriends a lot! Two other things that she thoroughly enjoys at school is what most elementary school kids love: gym class and recess! When she is not in school she is quite the cheerleader and dancer. She loves playing soccer, and also playing with her brother and cousins, along with taking care of her animals. Hadley takes care of the pigs in the barn, and then has to go to the stable and take care of her horse Tiger.

Some of the accomplishments Hadley has had was place 9th in showmanship at NAILE in the fall of 2013. In 2014 Hadley had an awesome run as she was as showmanship finalist at the World Pork Expo, and was also 9th in the Sweepstakes at WPX. She won the Novice Division of the Photo Contest at the NJSS and was also 10th in Showmanship and finished 9th in Sweepstakes! When she went back to NAILE last fall she was a showmanship finalist there too!

Hadley has been showing since she was 2 years old, beginning at the North American (NAILE) and says that her favorite show of the year is the NJSA Summer Spectacular because of the dance! Hadley offers a nice simple quote that says, “Have courage and be kind.” That quote ties into her daily life and she does her best to follow up with that quote as she keeps progressing in her life.

When asked more questions about showing pigs and the NJSA she said that the reason why she shows pigs is because it is fun and it is her talent. She also says that she loves the pigs. The most enjoyable part of showing pigs to Hadley is spending time with her family in the barn, and breeding her show gilts to make the next generation. Her most memorable moment in the NJSA so far would be having fun with all of her friends at the dance at the NJSS, and if she would talk to a younger member she would tell them that they have to practice a lot and work hard in order to succeed.

Currently, Hadley is in first grade and getting ready to show pigs and play soccer in the upcoming weeks. Her future plans include to keep showing pigs, hanging out with friends, and do well in school to attend Purdue University. Even though Hadley is plenty young to be thinking about a career path she says that she wants to be a veterinarian to help pigs and dolphins.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Hadley for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Macy Marek

Macy Marek

Riverside, Iowa

If you have been around the ring you have probably heard of the Marek family. Well it is the time that we put Macy Marek into this month’s Spotlight reel! Macy is the 18 year old daughter of Tim and Heather Marek. She has three sisters, Lexi, Makenzi, and Leah. While attending Washington High School she has done numerous things! This athlete is involved in volleyball, basketball, and track. Even though this three sport athlete is busy enough staying in tune with each season that arises, she is involved with a plethora of other organizations to keep her on her toes.  She is involved and a big part of Business Professionals of America, Student Congress, Class Officers, FFA, Peer Helpers, Mini Dance Marathon, Silver Cord, and National Honor Society. The excitement in her life does not end with her school activities. She pushes to stay active in things outside of school as well. She is involved with the Washington County Pork Producers as the 2013 Pork Princess, and 2014 Pork Queen. She is also a part of the 2014 Showpig.com All-Star Team, and 9 year member of the Jackson Jets 4-H club. The World Food Prize Youth Institute also loves having Macy as a part of their organization.

Macy’s accomplishments come with a tremendous mindset from a quote that she truly believes in: “Hard work is a two-way street, you get back exactly what you put in.” She is a 3 time state qualifier in 4 events each year and two time Drake relay qualifier. Her exceptional running and athleticism comes with no shortcoming of her livestock judging, as she was the Reserve High Individual in the Intermediate Judging Contest at the 2014 WPX. She was on the back to back Champion Livestock Judging Teams in 2012 and 2013, placing 3rd High individual and winning it in 2013! Also, in 2014 she had the Reserve Champion Breeding gilt at the Southeast Iowa Showdown and she also won showmanship!

As soon as Macy could walk alongside her older sister Lexi to show, she was in the ring! At the annual Washington Jackpot show Macy and her hog Rosie won Macy’s first ever trophy! When asked what her favorite show was she said the National Western Stock Show and the World Pork Expo. Macy is showing pigs because it is something that she has been around her whole life; something that her and her family truly enjoy doing together. Macy loves traveling to shows, meeting new people, and seeing old friends, and says, “Without showing pigs, a big part of my life would be missing.” As Macy has been in the NJSA organization for a while now, she can say that she cannot really label one moment as her favorite. She enjoys each show with her friends and family, but says that receiving a blue ribbon isn’t all bad either. If talking to a younger member she would tell them that “The NJSA has a lot of opportunities for new and old members. Everyone is so nice and willing to help you with anything you need.”

Macy is enjoying her senior year at Washington High School and currently in the heat of track season. She is also employed at Bazooka Farmstar in town, which is an agricultural manufacturing company. She has not narrowed down an exact career, but has figured out that she will go to Iowa State University in the fall planning on double majoring in agriculture business and agriculture education. With her degree, she still wants to stay involved in the swine and agriculture industry, and even with the youth!

The NJSA would like to congratulate Macy for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!  

Paxton Peacock

Paxton Peacock

Newton, Alabama

Paxton Peacock is the 16 year old son of Anthony and Sue Peacock from Newton, Alabama. Paxton has two siblings, Jessica and Layne, and he is a junior at Enterprise High School. Paxton does a lot in school, including being Vice President of SGA, a member of the National Honor Society, Math Team, and FFA. The Anchor Club, International Travel Club, and Junior Civitan clubs are the remaining clubs that Paxton is involved with to keep him busy in school. Some of his hobbies outside of school include traveling out of the country to Greece, Paris, London, and Scotland, as well as showing hogs. 

Paxton has had lots of accomplishments and some of his highest honors were receiving a full scholarship to attend the Global Student Leader Summit in Davos, Switzerland and also being honored with as an OSU Judging Scholarship winner. He also was the High Overall Individual at the Alabama livestock judging contest. Paxton also has attended the National Youth Leadership Forum: Careers in Advanced Medicine, and was the Hugh O’Brian Leadership Recipient. He was also an Ambassador for the National Society of High School Scholars.

Paxton says that he believes he took his first steps in life in the show ring. Paxton is a fan of all the shows that he has attended and cannot narrow it down to just one. However, one of his favorite quotes is, “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. But pigs treat us as equals.” 

The reason that Paxton shows hogs is for the thrill of the competition, meeting new people, and traveling the country. The family time that he and his family get together is truly his favorite part. His most memorable moment in the NJSA would be showing and winning with a bred and owned barrow. Paxton says, “NJSA provided quality animals a place to show, and knowing that I raised one of these animals was extremely rewarding.” If Paxton had the opportunity to talk to younger members he would take the time to tell them, “Taking part in an NJSA event provides the individual showman a unique opportunity to build a platform for public speaking, enhance confidence, and simply teach people skills.”

Currently, Paxton is finishing up his junior year in high school and just finished breeding his 12 sows, expecting some litters in June and July. He is also getting a jump start working with his World Pork Expo hogs. In June he will also be traveling to Davos, Switzerland to attend the Global Student Leadership Summit. In the future he has very specific plans. He wants to attend John Hopkins University for this undergraduate and then further his studies in medicine to become a Biomedical Engineer.

Ben Olsen

Ben Olsen

Irene, South Dakota

The NJSA would like to introduce Ben Olsen as an NJSA Alumni Spotlight. Olsen currently resides in Irene, South Dakota, along with his wife, Adrienne, and daughter, Alana. Olsen was a member of the original steering committee for the first Summer Spectacular in 1998.

Olsen is a graduate of South Dakota State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in business economics with accounting. While in college, he was on the livestock judging team and was involved in the Block & Bridle Club. Following graduation, Olsen was employed as an agriculture loan officer for a few years before deciding to return to the family farm. Olsen and his father, Chuck, raised the 2013 NSR Fall Classic Champion Yorkshire Boar, Take Notice, now housed at Crossroads Genetics in Indiana.

When asked about his favorite part of the NJSA, Olsen replied with certainty that he most enjoyed getting together with kids of common interest from all over the United States who also enjoy swine projects. Olsen’s favorite contest is the gilt show, and Yorkshires are his favorite breed. Olsen’s favorite NJSA and livestock show is the World Pork Expo (WPX) in Des Moines, Iowa. He enjoys everything about the WPX, including both purebred and crossbred divisions of the open and junior barrow and gilt shows.

Still to this day, Olsen is involved in the NJSA. He attends many of the events and enjoys breeding and selling show pigs for the junior association members. Olsen is amazed to see what the NJSA has grown into since sitting down and talking about the first Summer Spectacular.

“This industry allows me to do what I love to do for a job, and without the NJSA, I wouldn’t be able to,” he says.  

Olsen goes on to offer advice to young NJSA members.

“Meet as many people as you can and always work at expanding your knowledge,” he says.

From the entire NJSA staff, past and present, we would like to thank Olsen for his dedication and commitment to the NJSA and the livestock industry!

Eli Peterson

Eli Peterson

Cropsey, Illinois

The NJSA is happy to highlight Eli Peterson as a May youth spotlight. Eli, 20, from Cropsey, Illinois, is the son of Mike and Kimberly Peterson. He has one sister, Erin Ifft. Eli has just completed his sophomore year at Lake Land College where he was a member of the livestock judging team. Eli plans to continue his education this fall at Oklahoma State University where he will pursue a degree in agriculture business.

In his eight years of showing pigs, Eli has experienced much success, including being named the Champion Showman at the 2013 Illinois State Fair. His favorite shows are the World Pork Expo and the Illinois State Fair. Eli says that showing pigs has been a great learning experience for him. Aside from learning responsibility and work ethic, Eli says he has made many friends and connections with breeders from across the country.

He would tell younger members that they should never pass up the opportunities that come along with showing and always keep a positive attitude

Congratulations, Eli, and good luck in the future. We are proud to have you as a member of the NJSA.

Jordan Schippert

Jordan Schippert

Milford, Illinois

The NJSA is proud to recognize Jordan Schippert, 20, of Milford, Illinois as a May youth spotlight. Jordan is the son of Todd and Pam Schippert; he has one brother, Cody. Jordan just completed his sophomore year at Lake Land College. He plans to begin his junior year at Purdue University in August to pursue a degree in Animal Science and a master’s degree in nutrition.

When he isn’t in school, Jordan stays busy working on the family farm and raising show pigs. Jordan has had much success in the school ring, including showing the Champion Duroc Barrow at the National Barrow show and being named the NJSA Fifth Overall Premier Duroc Breeder in 2014. He has also been fortunate enough to raise several Duroc boars who are now in national known boar studs.

Jordan says that his favorite shows include World Pork Expo and the National Junior Summer Spectacular. He has been showing at both since he was eight years old. He says that showing pigs has taught him responsibility and work ethic while allowing him to make many new friends.

Jordan’s advice for other NJSA members, do not be afraid to get involved, and always ask questions since everyone is there to help.

Congratulations, Jordan. We are excited for your bright future.

Nash Stoller

Nash Stoller

Gridley, Illinois

The NJSA is proud to recognize Nash Stoller of Gridley, Illinois as a May youth spotlight. Nash, 13, attends El Paso- Gridley Junior High School where he play basketball and football and is a member of the Student Council. When he isn’t busy in school, Nash plays on a club basketball team, is active in his 4-H club and the president of his church youth group. Through his youth group, Nash had the opportunity to travel to Magdalena, Mexico on a mission trip to help kids in an orphanage.

Nash has had a lot of success in the show ring, including driving the Grand Champion Gilt at the 2012 Illinois State Fair. He has also won his showmanship division at the Team Purebred Junior National.

Nash enjoys showing pigs because he gets to spend time with his family and he has learned about work ethic and responsibility. While Nash is competitive and likes to win, he says that without the breeders and friends he get to work with and compete against, showing pigs would not be near as much fun.

Nash would like to extend his showman abilities into the show steer world in the near future, and in the long term he would like to be able to attend college and compete on a livestock judging team. Nash would like to pursue a career in the livestock industry.

When asked what advice he would give to younger members, Nash says not to be shy, but to participate in everything you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and work with mentors as they are there to help you.

Nash has a favorite quote from Tim Tebow, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.”
From all of us at the NJSA, congratulations on your hard work, Nash. We know you will go far!

2014

Jessee Stewart

Jessee Stewart

Sabina, Ohio

The NJSA is proud to recognize Jessee Stewart, 8, of Sabina, Ohio as an October youth spotlight. Jessee is the daughter of Billy and Jenny Stewart, and sister to Gracee, 11, and Justin, 24. Jessee is a third grade student who, when she isn’t showing pigs, enjoys to play basketball and softball.

Jessee has been showing pigs for four years after she attended her first show at the 2010 NJSA Summer Spectacular in Louisville, KY. Although this was Jessee’s first time exhibiting at a show, it was nothing new for her as she grew up in a barn with her family’s show pig projects. Her favorite part about showing is having fun, seeming her show pig friends from all over the country, and spending time with her family.

In her short time as a member of the NJSA, Jessee has attended the Southeast Regional, the World Pork Expo, and the National Junior Summer Spectacular. She also plans to attend the 2014 Eastern Regional show in Hamburg, New York. Of them all, Jessee says her favorite would have to be the National Junior Summer Spectacular because there are so many different things to do there. Her favorite NJSA contest is Showmanship because she is judged on how well she can show her pig, and working with her pigs is her favorite part of showing them. It is not surprising that Jessee likes showmanship after she was the Champion Novice Showman at the Southeast Regional where she also placed third in Novice Sweepstakes. Jessee was also the 10th place Novice Sweepstakes winner at the 2014 NJSS.

Jesses would like to tell younger kids thinking about showing pigs and joining the NJSA to go for it, but only if they want to have fun, they enjoy traveling to new places, and they want to make a lot of new friends from all over the place.

From all of us here at NJSA, congratulations Jessee. Good luck in your future and continue to have fun!

NAME

Logan Hebert

Baldwin, Louisiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Logan Hebert, 16, of Baldwin, Louisiana as a youth spotlight.   Logan has two siblings Krista and Zachary, and is the son of Jerome and Shree Hebert.  In high school, Logan enjoys playing football and being involved in 4-H.  His hobbies out of school include showing pigs.

Logan started showing pigs at the age of 9 at his Parish Show and won Reserve Champion.  He has a few favorite shows, including the World Pork Expo, Southwest Regional, and LSU.  His favorite quote is, “Everyone wants to hold a banner and be a champion until it’s time to do what champions do!”  Logan has many accomplishments in the show ring, including: Southwest Regional Grand Champion Crossbred Gilt 2014; Top Ten Judging Contest; 3rd Overall Showman; 1st in Sweepstakes in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013; Grand and Reserve Louisiana Bred Champion at Louisiana State Fair; and 2013 Champion York at LSU.

Logan says he shows pigs because it’s a passion that keeps him driven and goal orientated. His dad showed pigs while in school and he wanted to continue the family tradition. Showing pigs became a passion for Hebert’s grandpa, Jackie. “He really enjoyed the shows, the people, and helping kids show,” Hebert says. As a little boy Hebert would go to his grandpa’s house and drag the sheep around. His grandpa passed away before Hebert was old enough to show. When Hebert asked his dad if he could show pigs he was told, “Son, on one condition.  They are your animals, you take care of them and do the work. My dad never did it for me and am not going to do it for you, but we will do this as a family and I will not beg you to do the work you have to want it and if not we will shut this operation down.” Hebert says he knows his grandpa is really calling the shots from up above and he hopes that his family is making him very proud right now.

Hebert says he enjoys the relationships that are made and the work that is put into showing pigs the most. He has met some of his best friends through livestock.  Getting to share time with them at shows and even after when all the work is done is enjoyable. His family’s best friends are livestock families. He says, “We have competed against each other in the ring but the best part is celebrating because in the end we all become winners from the relationships made in and out of the ring that strengthen us.”

The best advice Hebert can give younger members is that the NJSA gives you countless opportunities so don’t be scared to take them! There is always a little kid watching and looking up to you wanting to be just like you so remember to always set the right example.

In the future Logan wants to be a member of the livestock judging team at the collegiate level and plans on getting a Masters Degree in Animal Science with a minor in Agriculture Business.  He hopes to get married, raise pigs and eventually take over his grandparent’s company, Mark Tool and Rubber Company. 

The NJSA would like to congratulate Logan Hebert for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Makenzi Marek

Makenzi Marek

Riverside, Iowa

 The NJSA would like to recognize Makenzi Marek, 15, of Riverside, Iowa as a youth spotlight.  Makenzi has two older sisters, Lexi and Macy, and one younger sister, Leah, and is the daughter of Tim and Heather Marek.  A sophomore at Washington High School, Kenzi is involved in dance team, cheerleading, track, FFA, and Business Professionals of America.  Outside of school she is on the County Council, her local 4-H club and dances.  She enjoys being with family and friends.

Makenzi started showing pigs at the age of 3 after following in her older sister’s path.  She shows because it’s a family event and she enjoys spending time with her parents and sisters.  Her proudest accomplishment is willing Intermediate Showmanship at the Iowa State Fair and her favorite show to attend is the American Royal in Kansas City, MO. 

Her favorite quote is, “Everything happens for a reason,” and Kenzi believes that showing pigs has made her a better person, and has given her the opportunity to meet many people.  Her most memorable moments include the dance at the National Junior Summer Spectacular and swimming with friends, who include the Hoge boys and many other friends from around the country. 

Her advice to a younger NJSA member is that winning isn’t everything and it’s important to be a gracious loser.  Kenzi will remember this advice as she graduates high school and works towards her future plans, which include being an Iowa State University cheerleader and eventually becoming a personal trainer.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Makenzi Marek for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Gracee Stewart

Gracee Beth Stewart

Sabina, Ohio

The NJSA is proud to recognize Gracee Beth Stewart of Sabina, Ohio as an October youth spotlight. Gracee is the ten-year-old daughter of Billy and Jenny Stewart, and sister to Jessee , 8, and Justin, 24. Gracee is a sixth grader at East Clinton School; she most enjoys reading and math class while in school.

Outside of school Gracee enjoys playing basketball and showing pigs, which she says she has been doing for about 8 years. She started her showing career in 2006 in Louisville, KY. Gracee says she started showing pigs because her family and friends were raising show pigs and it is something she enjoys doing. She enjoys the competition that she faces that continuously pushes her to make herself better, but more than that she enjoys spending time with her family and friends while at the pig shows.

Gracee has been an NJSA member for eight years after her parents were already involved and participating at NSR shows. In the eight years she has been an NJSA member, Gracee has participated in the National Junior Summer Spectacular, the World Pork Expo, and the Southeast Regional. Still, her favorite show is the National Junior Summer Spectacular in Louisville, KY, because there are so many different activities to participate in and the competition is top notch at that particular show.

Gracee’s favorite NJSA memory is showing her Hampshire gilt to Champion Bred and Owned and 4th Overall Hampshire gilt honors at the 2013 National Junior Summer Spectacular.  She says she is most proud of this accomplishment because she raised the gilt out of a sow she had shown the year before and that was a lot of fun for her. Some of Gracee’s other NJSA accomplishments include showing the Reserve Champion Duroc gilt at the 2010 NJSS, winning the Novice Skill-a-thon contest in 2012 and placing 3rd in the Novice All Around Sweepstakes contest in 2012. Gracee wants to thank all of the people that have helped her achieve her successes, especially Joey Johnson.

Gracee’s favorite quote, “She turned her cant’s into cans and her dreams into plans.” Congratulations on your success so far, Gracee, and good luck as you continue to rock the show ring!

Brayden Jipping

Brayden Jipping

Hamilton, Michigan

The NJSA would like to recognize Brayden Jipping, age 8, of Hamilton, Michigan as a 2014-2015 Youth Spotlight.  Brayden is the son of Craig and Missy Jipping, and he has three brothers and sisters; Bryce, Alyssa, and Bryant.  Brayden attends Sandyview Elementary which is part of Hamilton Community Schools. 

Outside of school, Brayden enjoys helping out on the farm, playing Legos, Wii, and sports.  Brayden really enjoys showing pigs, because he says, quite simply, “It’s really fun!”  Brayden began showing at National shows at the age of 6.  He says he was able to show in the pee-wee division at other shows before he started showing at National events.  While he states that he is still in the pee-wee division at some fairs, he will get to show in his home fair next year, and he is excited about that!

Some of Brayden’s favorite shows include the Spartan Classic in Lansing, Michigan, as well as the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa.  The part that Brayden enjoys the most about showing pigs is the fact that he gets to travel to new places and meet many new people that have became his friends from across the country!  Way to go Brayden!  That’s what it is all about!  His favorite memory from an NJSA show came at the NJSS in Louisville, Kentucky two years ago, when he had the honor of placing in the top ten in the Novice showmanship division.

For Brayden, his future seems very clear cut, and may I add very bright!  Brayden says he wants to be a farmer when he grows up!  It seems like Brayden is well on his way in life, and excited to be involved in agriculture!  The NJSA would like to commend Brayden Jipping for all of his hard work and accomplishments, and wish him the very best of luck down the road!  Congratulations Brayden!

Doug Albright

Doug Albright

Coldwater, Mich.

The NJSA would like to introduce Mr. Doug Albright as a NJSA Alumni Spotlight. Doug is from and currently resides in Coldwater, Michigan where he is engaged to Ms. Dana May. They plan to get married next fall. He is also close to his parents, Pat and Coleen, and his sister and brother-in-law, Bailey and Nick Elthinger.

Doug attended Black Hawk East where he earned his Associates Degree in Science. He then transferred to Kansas State University where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science. While in college, he was on the livestock judging teams at both institutions. Doug was on the High Team at the National Barrow Show, and was High Individual at the Stockman Contest as a sophomore at BHE. While at KSU he was a member of the Reserve National Team. Doug was not just on the livestock judging teams in college, he was also the Vice President of the Ag Business Club at BHE and the Committee Chair of the Block and Bridle club at KSU.

Albright has been in the agriculture industry since he was a young man, growing up raising hogs with his family at Albright Swine Farms. Doug had two internships before he landed his current job with Zoetis. His first internship was with Cargil working in the show feed sector with Showmaster. A year later he was with interned with ADM selling Showtec feeds.

When asked what his favorite part about the NJSA was Doug quickly fired back, “Unquestionably, the People. Making lifelong relationships are worth more than any banner you will hang.”

Doug’s favorite NJSA Contest is hands down Showmanship. Doug loved getting to show off the time and effort he put into his stock at home and he believes it is a true test of a showman’s dedication to showing livestock. Doug won the NJSS showmanship award three times and has had the privilege to judge it once. He firmly believes that winning showmanship at the NJSS and other NJSA shows puts you in an elite category of showmen around the country.

Albright’s favorite “non NJSA” show is the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado because of the combination of species and stockman that gather together for fellowship and good times. His favorite NJSA show is the NJSS. “The Summer Spectacular always has been the Kud-de-Graw of the shows and a culmination of what everyone has been working for, and the gather of good hog people is incredible”

While he may be too old to be a member, Doug is still very active in the NJSA. He is a member of the Youth Advisory Board, and he judged showmanship at the 2013 NJSS.

Doug’s advice to young NJSA members is to get out and meet people at NJSA events, meet new people, because those are the friendships that will last you a lifetime.
Doug leaves us with a quote that speaks volumes, “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten.”

From the entire NJSA staff, past and present, we would like to thank Doug for his dedication and commitment to the NJSA and the livestock industry!

Addison Hill

Addison Hill

Greenfield, Ind.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Addison Hill as an NJSA Youth Spotlight member! Addison is the 11 year old daughter of Marc and Heather Hill, and currently resides in Greenfield, Indiana. The rest of her immediate family includes: her brother Reese who is 8 and her sister Hadley, who is 5.

Addison attends St. Michael Catholic School and is the 6th grade. In school, she enjoys playing basketball, volleyball, and running track. She is also a part of the Girls Challenge and Catholic Leadership Academy. Outside of school, Addison enjoys showing pigs, 4-H, playing sports, reading, and spending time with family and her friends.

Addison started showing pigs when she was a Mini 4-H member in Kindergarten and has been showing ever since for the last six years. She is a proud 4th generation family member to be in the 4-H program. Additionally, her family owns and operates a commercial pig operation. Consequently, her love for pigs started at a very young age and has grown from that time. She’s been an NJSA member for the past 3 years.

Addison’s favorite show is the National Junior Summer Spectacular in Louisville, Kentucky. She says, “It is essentially our family’s summer vacation and I like all of the different events you can participate in at this show.” Past this show, she also enjoys the county fair and the Indiana State Fair, as there’s just something about showing at home that she enjoys.

She has shown at the North American in 2012 and 2013, as well as the Summer Spectacular in 2013 and 2014. Addison has been an active member; participating in showmanship, Skillathon and the judging contest. Additionally, she has exhibited some of her photographs at the NJSS.

Addison’s most memorable moment in the NJSA is having the 5th overall Hampshire barrow with her pig named Verbin, who was shown at her first NJSS. Moreover, she has taken home honors as the 3rd overall division 1 Yorkshire barrow at the 2013 NJSS.

Addison plans on attending Purdue University and play basketball for the Lady Boilers. After graduation, she would like to attend medical school. Her favorite quote comes from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who said it can’t be done.”

Congratulations Addison!  Good luck with the rest of your showing career and future plans!

Beth Hodges

Beth Hodges

Lebo, Kan.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Beth Hodges as an NJSA Youth Spotlight member. Beth is the 17 year old daughter of Jess and Christie Hodges and currently resides in Lebo, Kansas. She has several brothers and sisters including: Katelyn who is 21, Jenny who is 19, Andrew who is 16, Jacob who is 13, and last but not least, Gabe who is 11.  She has graduated high school and will be attending Kansas State University to major in Agribusiness.

In high school, Beth participated in volleyball, FFA, and the FCCLA. She is also heavily involved with the 4-H program. She has been showing hogs for the past four years, after watching her other siblings do so as well. She became interested in showing pigs and the rest they say, is history.

Beth enjoys traveling to shows and meeting new people, and she can almost always be found with a smile on her face. When she is in the ring however, it is game time and she enjoys the competition that showing livestock brings.

Beth’s favorite show is the NJSA Summer Spectacular in Louisville, Kentucky. She has been going there for the past four years; the same amount of time she has been an NJSA member. She has also traveled to the World Pork Expo and the NJSA Eastern Regional. Beth credits her family and friends for her involvement and dedication to the show pig industry.

Her accomplishments in 2014 are staggering, including:

  • Grand Barrow, Champion Duroc, NJSS
  • Reserve Cross Barrow, WPX
  • 3rd Overall Purebred, WPX
  • 4th Overall Cross Gilt, WPX
  • 5th Overall Cross Barrow, WPX

Beth also exhibited the Reserve Grand Barrow at the North American in 2011.

Her best advice is “To have fun and enjoy the time while you can.” She plans on graduating from Kansas State and pursue an Agricultural career path. Congratulations Beth!

Written by: Tyler Johnson

Drew Jacobson

Drew Jacobson

Osceola, Iowa

The NJSA is proud to recognize Drew Jacobson of Osceola, Iowa as a September Youth Spotlight. Drew, 8, is the son of Andy and Nicole Jacobson; he is in third grade at Clarke Community Elementary. Drew has one sister, Macy, 5.

Drew has been showing pigs since he was 4 years old. His first show was the Benton County FFA Spring Preview held in Vinton, IA. Showing animals is a family tradition in the Jacobson house, as Drew’s parents both grew up showing livestock and decided it would be a good industry to raise their children in. Drew’s favorite thing about showing pigs is getting to spend time with his friends and family. He says he has met so many people through showing pigs that he maybe would not have had the opportunity to meet if he wasn’t involved in the industry.

Drew has been an NJSA member for three years. He says he got involved in the organization because he wanted to start showing outside of the Iowa Swine Jackpot Series. His favorite NJSA contest is showmanship because he says, “It is the Best of the Best.” Drew’s favorite NJSA event is the World Pork Expo because he gets to exhibit against kids from all across the United States, but since it is held in Iowa he gets to be with his “pig family” and share in all of the excitement with them.

Drew has experienced much success in 2014! He was named the 2014 Champion Novice Showman at the WPX and was fortunate to be selected as the 4th Overall Crossbred Barrow. Drew was also the 2014 Reserve Overall High Point Market Individual in the Iowa Swine Jackpot Series as well as being named the 7th Overall Novice Showman at the 2013 NAILE.

Drew’s favorite quote, “Never look past the little things, because someday you will realize they were big things.” With all of his recent success, it seems that Drew pays close attention to this quote when working with his animals.

His future plans include becoming more involved with the NJSA as he gets older. Drew would also like to attend Iowa State University and be a member of the livestock judging team. After college, the future Cyclone, dreams of raising show pigs, judging livestock shows, and being an ambassador for the swine industry.

Drew would like to send a special thanks to all of those that have helped him in his showing career so far and he cannot wait to see what the future holds. We here at the NJSA are excited to see what Drew’s future holds as well! On behalf of all of us here at the NJSA, congratulations Drew, and good luck in all that you do!

Madison Williams

Madison Williams

Winder, Ga.

The NJSA would like to recognize Madison Williams of Winder, Georgia as an NJSA Youth Spotlight member. She is the 18 year old daughter of Robby Williams and Melissa Elrod. She has one brother, Briggs, who is 14.

Madison has graduated high school this year and will be attending Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) in Tifton, Georgia in the fall. In high school, Madison was involved in cheerleading and the FFA, where she served as the president.

She became involved with showing pigs when she joined the FFA and has been a member of the NJSA for the last three years. Outside of her love of showing hogs, Madison enjoys hunting, fishing, and shooting her bow and arrow.

Madison loves raising and showing pigs because it keeps her active. She says, “I am responsible for everything that takes place: I must feed, water, walk, wash, and care for my pigs. I enjoy every aspect of showing them [pigs].”

Her favorite competition is showmanship because it showcases all of her hard work that she has put into the project. She adds, “My favorite show would have to be the Georgia National in Perry, the recognition for agriculture within the state is remarkable.” She also enjoys competing in the Ag Sales contest, because it is fun to create your own product.

In the NJSA, Madison has had the opportunity to show at the Summer Spectacular, World Pork Expo, and the Southeast Regional. These shows have generated several great friends for Madison and she is truly grateful to know them.

Madison’s future plans include majoring in Ag education and transferring to the University of Georgia. She would love to become an Ag teacher or feed representative.

Good luck with all of your goals Madison and congratulations on all of your accomplishments!

Shandy Bertolino

Shandy Bertolino

Morrisonville, Ill.

The NJSA would like introduce Shandy Bertolino as an NJSA Alumni Spotlight member. Originally from Crawfordsville, Indiana, Shandy currently resides in Morrisonville, Illinois. She has been married to her husband, Aaron, for the past 11 years. They have been blessed with three beautiful children, Cooper 10, Cydney 8, and Carsyn who is 4.

On their farm in Central Illinois, they raise corn, soybeans, and whet. They also run a commercial cow herd and a small stocker operation.  Off the farm, Shandy works as an Area Sales Manager for Biozyme, Inc., covering the state of Illinois.

She has been involved in the livestock feed industry since the time of her graduation from Purdue University, where she majored in Agricultural Communication. In college, Shandy was a member of the livestock judging team at Lake Land College; she joined the horse judging team at Purdue, participated in the Block and Bridle club, and volunteered as a teacher for the CHAPS program at the University.

When asked what her favorite part of the NJSA was she said " I made some of my best friends through NJSA, learning how to win and lose and get better at whatever it is that you have passion for.  Now, I look back at the time I was on the steering committee to get this organization going and I am so proud. I think we all envisioned that it would be a success, but I know it has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. "

Additionally, Shandy’s favorite NJSA event was the gilt show. She loves looking at great livestock and enjoys the art of getting one ready from start to finish. “I love the intensity of the show. It’s so cool to see kids and parents put their heart and soul in to something, you see so much passion for our industry in these grand drives. For me, I grew up with the goal of showing a ‘great one’,” says Shandy.

Shandy’s favorite show is the Indiana State Fair and her favorite NJSA show is the NJSS. She continues to be involved within the association through her children and nieces and nephews. Her advice to younger members is, “Get involved in whatever gives you joy. Meet all the people you can meet, talk to everyone can and never pass on an opportunity. You may not know what's in store.”

Finally, Shandy’s favorite quote comes from Brian Hines in Denver: “Small minds talk about other people. Average minds talk about events. Great minds talk about ideas.”
From the entire NJSA staff, past and present, we would like to thank Shandy for her dedication and commitment to the NJSA and the livestock industry!

Braden Olson

Braden Olson

Lincoln, Ill.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Braden Olson as a Youth Spotlight. Braden , 5, is a Kindergartener from Lincoln, IL. His parents are Blane and Kristi Olson, and he has two brothers; Kelten, 3, and Luke, 2. When he isn’t showing pigs, he enjoys playing basketball and soccer and playing with his brothers and friends. His favorite quote is, “There is time for everything,” Thomas Edison.

Braden exhibited at his first NJSA event last summer at the 2013 NJSS in Louisville, KY where he competed in the Novice showmanship contest. Since then, Braden has exhibited gilts at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA. His love for show pigs and the Duroc breed runs deep as he is a third generation swine showman. He has been a member of the NJSA for three years.

Braden says his favorite part about raising pigs is when his family moves baby piglets from the nursery into the show barn and he gets to play with them. At the shows, Braden enjoys playing with his friends. His favorite NJSA show is the World Pork Expo because there are so many fun things going on. Braden’s favorite contest to participate in is the judging contest, because he says, “I think I am good at it.”

Braden’s favorite memory of the NJSA comes from the 2013 World Pork Expo and National Junior Summer Spectacular where he was able to celebrate with friends after their success at the shows with pigs he and his family raised.

He is excited about starting Kindergarten in the fall and has future aspirations of becoming a farmer. Congratulations Braden!

By Tyler Johnson

Karson Osborn

Karson Osborn

Fort Gibson, Okla.

The NJSA would like to recognize its outstanding novice member Karson Osborn, as an NJSA Youth Spotlight member. Karson, 9, is the proud son of Joe and Stephanie Osborn of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. He is currently a fourth grader at Fort Gibson Intermediate Elementary School.

Karson is an avid reader and enjoys his physical education course in school. He is a straight “A” student and has been recognized by the superintendant for his accomplishments academically. Some day he hopes to graduate from Oklahoma State University.

Karson’s show career began at the age of 3 where he showed in several jackpots in Oklahoma and Arkansas and he has been showing ever since. Due to support from his mom and dad, Karson enjoys showing at NJSA shows and meeting kids his age from across the country.

Karson is also very active in many of the contests that the NJSA provides. Already, his accomplishments are remarkable: a sweepstakes winner three times, two Skillathon contest titles, and multiple individual and team judging wins. Naturally, his best advice is to be active and get involved to take advantage of every opportunity presented.

Karson likes to say, “It’s game time,” before every show to get him pumped up and ready for action. He’s one of the brightest young members in the NJSA and we are fortunate to have him.

Congratulations Karson on all of your accomplishments and good luck in the future!

By Tyler Johnson

Jaxon Parmley

Jaxon Parmley

Greencastle, Ind.

The NJSA would like to introduce Jaxon Parmley as a youth spotlight member. He is the 14 year old son of John and Jody Parmley of Greencastle, Indiana and Putnam County. Jaxon is an eighth grader at Greencastle Middle School and has two brothers, Benton, who is 11, and Keaton, who is 8.

Jaxon loves the hardwood playing basketball and he can also been found with a club on the golf course. His talents don’t stop there however; his love for showing pigs has given him a very successful start in the show ring.

Jaxon has been showing pigs for the last five years. He got his start back in Putnam County at the 4-H fair when he was 9 years old. Jaxon credits his cousins and mother for getting him interested in the program, due to the fact that they showed for several years. So it’s no surprise to the motives behind why he does it all; he says, “I show pigs because my family does it and it is a great way to spend my summer.”

When Jaxon is at a hog show, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and family. While Jaxon has had success on the national stage, he still loves his county fair show. He’s been a member in the NJSA for the last four years and has attended the Summer Spectacular and the NAILE affiliate show. In addition, he enjoys the World Pork Expo.

Jaxon takes advantage of the other opportunities that the NJSA provides besides showing pigs. He can be seen marking cards and answering questions during the judging contest. His most memorable moment however was during showmanship at the World Pork Expo. At the time, this was Jaxon’s first national show he’d ever shown at. He placed 2 overall in the junior division.

Other accomplishments include: class winning Duroc gilt at 2011 NJSS, 5th overall Duroc barrow 2012 WPX, Intermediate showmanship champion 2013 WPX, reserve Duroc and 4th overall gilt at the 2013 NJSS, 5th overall junior judging contest 2013 NJSS, and reserve Duroc and 3rd overall gilt at the 2014 NJSS. Outside of the NJSA, Jaxon was named the champion Duroc at the 2013 Indiana State Fair and in 2014 was named the champion Junior Duroc showman.

Jaxon is a driven individual who draws motivation from Steve Alford’s quote, “Preserve through the hard times, look forward to the good times.” Despite his love for Alford’s wisdom, Jaxon wants to attend Purdue University and get a degree in animal science, eventually becoming an animal nutritionist.

Kaila Taylor

Kaila Taylor

Uniondale, Ind.

We are proud to recognize Kaila Taylor as an NJSA Youth Spotlight member. Kaila, 20, is the daughter of Mike and Taneca Taylor of Uniondale, IN. She is a graduate of Norwell High School and currently attends Purdue University where she is a junior in Agribusiness Management. Her family is full of girls with her three sisters: 17 year old Abby, 13 year old Meghan, and Bailey who is 12.

A member of the Purdue University Block and Bridle, Kaila has a passion for showing pigs and she has been doing so for the last 15 years. Her first event was at the age of 5 in Richmond, Indiana. She credits her parents, who both were members of 4-H, for helping her start showing pigs and carrying on the family tradition. Kaila loves showing because she can spend time with her family at open shows, the Summer Spectacular, and World Pork Expo. Traveling and seeing friends that she normally doesn’t see is a big highlight for Kaila.

Kaila’s favorite NJSA show is the Summer Spectacular. Ever since she was little, she has enjoyed this show because of all of the activities in which she can participate. She has been an NJSA member for the past 8 years and got involved thanks to her parents and Brian Arnold. Every year, she and her family can be seen at the WPX and NJSS.

In addition to showing her pigs, Kaila also enjoys showmanship. She credits her luck to the countless hours spent at home in her barn late at night driving her pigs. Kaila says it’s her competitive drive that continues to push her to new heights.

Because of her dedication, Kaila was fortunate enough to be named the Supreme Champion Gilt at the 2014 NJSS with her champion Yorkshire gilt. This is her proudest moment as an NJSA member. Her best advice to younger members is to get involved and meet new people. Through all of her accomplishments, Kaila is humble and respected throughout the barn. “It is what it is,” just happens to be her favorite quote. Upon graduation from Purdue, she hopes to get a great job that combines working with people and livestock. Congratulations Kaila!

By Tyler Johnson

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Alyssa Jipping

Alyssa Jipping

Hamilton, Mich.

Alyssa Jipping is this months selected NJSA Spotlight. She is a bubbly ten year old from Hamilton, Michigan. She is the daughter of Craig and Missy Jipping and the along with her mom she is the ONLY other girl in her immediate family, due to the fact that all three siblings of her siblings are all boys. Bryce is her 12 years old older brother and then she has two younger brothers, Brayden, 7, and Bryant, 4.

Alyssa is an extremely busy 10 year old. Not only does she excel in her studies at Sandyview Elementary, where she thoroughly enjoys writing and gym class; but, she also is active in the local 4-H program and plays sports throughout the year. This past year she pitched for her softball team. “I want to play basketball, volleyball, and softball when I get into high school,” Alyssa explains. She loves athletics and believes much of the work ethic that she learns from her swine project carries over onto the field and court. This all-star not only shines in the sports world, but she is quite successful in the show ring as well. She exhibits horses, swine, and cattle all across the state and nation. Her first year exhibiting at the county fair, Alyssa took home a blue ribbon in both swine showmanship and the market hog show, a red ribbon for cattle showmanship, and a white ribbon for the market cattle show. Quiet an accomplishment for a young lady who can’t even see over her show steer.  Alyssa also made sure to emphasize just how much she enjoyed riding her bay horse CeeCee.

Alyssa has exhibited hogs at World Pork Expo and National Junior Summer Spectacular in Louisville. She explained that Louisville was by far her favorite because she loves doing the skillathon! Don’t underestimate this young lady, she has both beauty and brains. She started showing pigs when a the young age of eight years old. As soon as her family buys their pigs, they quickly get to work training and fitting the animals. Alyssa’s hard work is evident by her success. She is extremely proud of the fact that she has overcome her nerves and has placed 8th in the Novice showmanship at the NJSS two years in a row. Along with the showmanship, Alyssa showed off her artistic skills at the poster contest last year, where her work received a red ribbon. When asked what was her favorite thing about the NJSA, Alyssa did not hesitate and quickly answered that the friends she makes are by far the best thing about the NJSA.

When asked what she wanted to do when she grows up, she confidently answered she wanted to be a teacher and a waitress. “A teacher,” Alyssa explained, “gets to write on a dry erase board, and a waitress gets to deliver food to people.” Hard to argue with that logic! Whether it is on the sports field, classroom or in the show ring, there is no doubt that the future is bright for this impressive NJSA Spotlight!

Auburn Harvey

Auburn Harvey

Straughn, Ind.

The NJSA would like to recognize Auburn Harvey, 12, of Straughn, Indiana as one of this month’s youth spotlights.  Auburn has one younger sibling, Ashtyn.  Auburn is the 7th grade daughter of Steve and Jennie Harvey.  In her free time, Auburn, enjoys playing basketball and volleyball through her school and showing hogs and cattle as her extracurricular hobbies. 

Auburn got her first start showing pigs as many of us, she started showing some of the pigs that her family had raised at little local jackpots at the age of 4.  When you ask Auburn why she shows pigs, she says, “It is a really neat opportunity to meet new people and spend time with others from all over the country.” She is a 6 year NJSA member and says that her favorite shows to go to are NJSS and World Pork Expo. “These national shows are where I have met a bunch of new friends and have had some great times.” Her most memorable moment in the NJSA is when she won Novice showmanship at the NJSS and her sister joined alongside of her in the top 10 that very year. 

When asked of her future plans she will tell you she wants to continue her passion for raising and showing livestock.  Then once she gets her high school degree she wants to obtain a college degree in an agricultural related field.  Then she says, “At this point in my life I would like to become a large animal veterinarian.” 

Closing thoughts: “I would like to thank all of those involved in making these NJSA activities possible for all young people to experience.”

Interviewed by: Tyler Copeland- SE Regional Director

Austin Joostberns

Austin Joostberns

Hamilton, Mich.

The National Junior Swine Association seems to attract some of the most amazing young people. One of these young men is Austin Joostberns. Austin,a 19-year-old graduate of Hamilton High School, calls Hamilton, Michigan his home. He is the son of David and Tracy Joostberns and has one older sibling, Nathan, who is 23. During his time in school, he was a successful football player along with being an active student and member of the NJSA. As if Austin’s life was not busy enough, he seemed to always find a way to make time for one of his other favorite past times, ice fishing.

Upon graduation, Austin followed his passion for the swine industry and is currently employed by HogQuest Farms, an operation with nearly 6,000 sows in Michigan. Austin’s love for the swine industry began when he was five years old, when he exhibited his first pig at the Michigan State Fair. Little did his family know that his passion would continue to grow and would lead to Austin exhibiting hogs all over the country. Austin has exhibited at numerous NJSA shows, but World Pork Expo is bar non his favorite. Not only is the World Pork Expo one of the most premier livestock events in the world; but, according to Austin, “ Who can forget about all the pork to eat?”

Austin is no stranger to success in the show ring. He has shown numerous class winners and champions along with being one of the top showmen in his age division. When asked about his proudest NJSA accomplishment, Austin reported that exhibiting the Champion Hampshire Gilt at both 2011 NJSS and the 2012 World Pork Expo were both extremely memorable moments. But what is even more impressive is that both of these gilts were Bred and Owned by Austin. So not only is Austin a tremendous showman, but he has a tremendous eye for livestock, which was proven when he won the World Pork Expo’s judging contest. As if these winnings are not impressive enough, Austin has also been named the Champion Novice Showman and more recently, the Reserve Champion Senior Showman at the NJSS.

As seen with many NJSA members, Austin has a passion for the livestock industry and the people involved in it. Austin, like so many other youth, enjoys meeting new people and spending time with family and friends. He says that he tries to emphasize to younger NJSA members that there are so many people in the swine industry that can not only be positive role models, but also future employers.  Austin one day hopes to open a boar stud with three friends that he has met in the swine industry.

Jada Johnson

Jada Johnson

Poneto, Ind.

If you have been anywhere near the show ring, you probably have seen Jada Johnson accepting a blue ribbon or purple banner. This tenacious thirteen year old is the daughter of Mike and Karen Johnson and the younger sister of Jackson Johnson, an eighteen-year-old freshman at Lincoln Land Community College. Jada comes from the small town of Poneto, Indiana.

Jada has shown pigs since she was three years old, and its obvious that she is no stranger to the show ring. She has exhibited numerous champion at events such as the National Junior Summer Spectacular as well as the World Pork Expo. Jada explained that she often find her self reminiscing over this past summer where she and her family raised and sold Wise Guy for $30,000 to Premium Blend Genetics and the 4th Overall Duroc Gilt at the NJSS which sold for $18,000 to Crossroads Genetics. Jada and her family run a successful hog operation, where they take biosecurity extremely seriously. “We always try to sell every animal I show, and if we cannot sell them, they are put in a confinement facility so that we don’t introduce diseases into the herd.” But not only is Jada an extremely successful swine showman, she also is successful in the goat ring as well. Jada has had back-to-back Reserve Grand Champion Goat at her local county fair, and two years ago was the Reserve Middleweight Goat at the Indiana State Fair. She said that showing in the Coliseum will be one of the most memorable experiences of her life.

Along with exhibiting livestock, Jada is an active member Southern Wells Jr./Sr. High School. Not only is Jada the point guard for her school’s basketball team, but also she currently serves as the President of the Student Council. As if all of this does not keep Jada busy enough, she also participates in the livestock judging program at her school.  Last year, Jada’s team was comprised solely of junior high school students, but they overcame all odds and finished 10th out of the entire state. Jada beat many high school students and was named the 8th high individual overall.  

Jada has shown at a number of NJSA shows and events, but World Pork definitely topped her list. “It is such a laid back atmosphere,” Jada explains, “and what other show do you get an unlimited supply of free food?” As many other NJSA members, Jada strongly feels that the best aspect of the NJSA is the friendship and the connections that are made. “If I had not done the NJSA, I would have only had my 10 school friends. Now, I realize that there are so many people my age out there besides people that live close to home.” Jada said that Guy Jackson, her grandpa, is the boss, and that he reminds Jada that hard work will always pay off. And talking to this young lady, there is absolutely no doubt that her hard work has and will continue to pay off.

When asked what she wants to do in life, Jada answered, “I hope to judge livestock at a junior college, and then transfer to a four-year university where I can get a degree that will allow me to work in the agricultural field.” There is no doubt that the future will be bright for this extremely driven young lady.

Shelby Holmes

Shelby Holmes

Lebo, Kan.

The NJSA would like to recognize Shelby Holmes of Lebo, Kansas as a youth spotlight. She is the daughter of Jeff and Ronda Holmes. Shelby has one younger brother, Blake-16 years old. She is a senior at Lebo High School. Her hobbies in school include playing varsity Volleyball and Basketball, FFA, FBLA, and a member of the National Honor Society, but out of school it’s spending time with friends and family, and being a member of and showing through NJSA and 4-H.

Shelby has been showing pigs for 12 years and started showing just at her local county fair.  She got started showing pigs through her family, which has been in the 4-H organization for many generations.  Shelby shows because of the interesting people that she gets the chance to meet throughout the swine industry and also, the great opportunities that she has been able to and will continue to experience in the future. This also gives her a chance to spend quality time with my family and friends, from working in the barn every day to the long hours spent traveling to shows.

Her favorite livestock shows are the National Junior Summer Spectacular, World Pork Expo, and North American International Livestock Exposition. She got involved with the NJSA through a very close family friend, Dylan Evans, 5 years ago. He has played a large role in opening her eyes to many possibilities in the livestock industry.

She has exhibited swine at various NJSA sponsored or sanctioned shows but her favorite is World Pork Expo. Her favorite contest is definitely showmanship because of the high level of competition and individual reward that she gets when she does well.

What would you tell a younger NJSA member?  “Enjoy the time you get to spend with your family and friends, and cherish the experiences and knowledge you will gain through this organization.”  Her most memorable moment in her tenure in the NJSA is her winning Intermediate showmanship at the 2013 World Pork Expo, while also accumulating 2nd in Intermediate Sweepstakes, Grand Champion Hampshire Barrow and 4th Overall Barrow.

On behalf of the NJSA and myself we would like to Congratulate Shelby on her many awards and recognitions, and give her luck in her future endeavors.

Interviewed by: Tyler Copeland- SE Regional Director

Tana Simmons

Tana Simmons

Tipton, Ind.

She may not be very big, but she is definitely recognized for her hard work at the many NJSA shows. But I want to give you a little more insight of the life of one of our Junior Board Members, who is also one of my very best friends.   Tana Simmons is a twenty year old sophomore undergraduate at Purdue University where she is currently a double major in Agricultural Communications and Sales and Marketing.  Tana calls Tipton, Indiana her home, where she grew with her two older brothers, Trae (26) and Tegan (24). Tana and her older brothers grew up showing hogs and cattle.

Tana is very involved in different clubs and organizations on campus, but the ones that she is most proud of would have to be Agricultural Council, Block and Bridle, and of course her sorority of Zeta Tau Alpha.  When she is not in school she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, volunteering around campus, as well as showing cattle and of course hogs.  Needless to say with all of this and being on the Junior board she is always busy.

Tana has been showing hogs for sixteen years and has been a member of the NJSA since 2002.  She recalled her first time in the ring with a pig was when she was four years old at an Indiana jackpot show. She knows that she has come a long way in the NJSA since she began, but by far her proudest moment is when she won the senior sweepstakes contest at National Junior Summer Spectacular.

What is your favorite NJSA event/contest and why? “My favorite event would have to be NYLC because it gives you the to connect with NJSA members from all over the country on a different level.  By working on team building exercises in a more relaxed atmosphere, you really get to know the people better.” Then when asked of her favorite event, Tana said, “Showmanship is by far my favorite contest.  Not only do you get to showcase the animal you’ve been working so hard on, but also the skills that you have mastered through practice.  I hold myself to a very high standard in showmanship and work extremely hard to be prepared as I can be.”

When asked, “What do you plan to do when you grow up?” Tana laughs. As of now she doesn’t have a clear idea of what she wants to do, but knowing Tana it will be within the agricultural industry in some way. In closing Tana said if she had any words of advice for younger NJSA members that are growing up within the organization she would say, “meet as many people as you can and MAKE FRIENDS!  My friends and I always tell each other that there is no family like your stock show family.  Go out there and meet that family, have fun, be yourself, work hard, set goals, and do everything you can to accomplish them.  I can assure you there is no better feeling in the world.”

At the end of our interview Tana told me a quote that may not be huge but has a ton of meaning, and that quote is: “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build the youth for our future.”

Interviewed by: Tyler Copeland

Adam Gradert

Adam Gradert

Geneseo, Ill.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Adam Gradert as a youth spotlight.   Adam is a 16 year old High School student from Geneseo, Illinois.   He is the son of Rick Gradert and has a 19 year old brother, Tyler.   Adam has been showing pigs for nine years and an NJSA member for six years.   His hobbies include FFA, where he is on the Livestock Judging and Parliamentary Procedure teams, showing pigs on the ICPA show circuit as well as at NJSA and Team Purebred shows, and showing cattle at county and state fairs.   He is a member of the Henry/Stark 4-H Livestock Judging Team and also keeps busy in his spare time helping his Dad run a 100 cow commercial operation.   His favorite quote is from Og Mandino, “Always do your best.   What you plant now, you will harvest later.”

Adam started showing pigs, when his Dad thought he was too small to show cattle while he was recovering with a broken arm from a go-kart accident.   His first show was as a second grader at the Henry County Fair.   Adam shows pigs because it gives him a sense of appreciation, and also loves the competition of the show ring.   He enjoys seeing and hanging out with friends as well as meeting new people.  State Fair is his favorite livestock show because it is the last show of the summer and gives him the opportunity to have fun with his friends both in and out of the swine project.  

Adam’s favorite NJSA event is the National Barrow Show, because it is the most laid-back show he attends and he also loves helping to drive pigs for the college judging contest.  He also participates in the National Western Stock Show, World Pork Expo, NJSA Summer Spectacular, Southwest Regional, Eastern Regional and NAILE shows.   Adams’ favorite NJSA contest would be showmanship because it shows off how well you work with your pigs at home.  He has had many accomplishments within the NJSA, such as, winning the National Barrow Show in 2010, 5th overall Yorkshire Barrow at the 2012 World Pork Expo, Reserve Overall at the 2013 Eastern Regional, placing second in showmanship and winning the judging contest at the World Pork Expo.  His most memorable moment in NJSA would be winning the National Barrow Show in 2010!

He also has numerous accomplishments outside of the NJSA, including winning the open, junior and 4-H show at his County Fair, 2011 Champion Land of Lincoln Illinois State Fair and winning the Black Hawk East Livestock Judging Initiation Reasons Division as a freshman.  

His future plans are to attend Black Hawk East College, where he would like to be a member of the Livestock Judging Team, then on to a senior college to continue his judging career while pursuing a masters or PHD in Ag Education.   He contributes his reason for this choice of career to follow in the footsteps of his role model Dan Hoge.   His hopes are to be a teacher and livestock coach someday at Black Hawk East.       

Adam would like to tell the younger members that NJSA is where you can show off your love of the Swine Industry while making new friends with the same hobbies as you, all while learning responsibility, integrity, respect, and new things about the swine and livestock industry.  

On behalf of the NJSA, I would like to congratulate Adam on all his success and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Grace Real

Krum, Texas

The NJSA is proud to recognize Grace Real as a youth spotlight.   Grace is a nine year old third grader at Dyer Elementary School from Krum, Texas.   She is the daughter of Daryl and Sue Real and has two brothers; ten year old Kyle and 5 year old Campbell.   Grace’s hobbies include reading and photography and she has been an NJSA member for about three years.   Her favorite quote is “Don’t let the boot kick you on the way out”. 

Grace has been showing pigs for about four years, having started at age 5!  Showing pigs is a family thing for the Real family, and Grace’s first show was in San Antonio, Texas.   She thinks showing pigs is fun and enjoys being in the show ring, especially when she places!

Grace’s favorite livestock show is the Summer Spectacular, because she gets to meet new friends and especially enjoys participating in the photography contest, because it lets her be creative!   When asked what her most memorable moment in the NJSA has been, her response was “The fun times with new friends”!

Her family, especially her Dad, helped her become involved in the NJSA a few years ago.   Last summer she participated in the 2013 Summer Spectacular. She was very busy having entered in the photography contest, swine quiz bowl, showmanship and the hog show. Grace not only placed with her Duroc gilt, but won second place on her quiz bowl team, and was very excited when her entry won first place in the novice division of the photography contest!

Grace is active outside of the NJSA, with accomplishments such as first place at her county 4-H food show and second place novice division photography at North Texas State Fair!

She plans on being a successful showman in the show ring, and someday in the future to be a mom and doctor. 

Grace would like to tell the younger NJSA members that being in the NJSA is a great way to meet new friends and try new things.

On behalf of the NJSA, I would like to congratulate Grace on all her success and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!  Keep showing pigs, having fun and meeting new friends!

Mallory Liles

Mallory Liles

Wapakoneta, Ohio

The NJSA is proud to recognize Mallory Liles as a youth spotlight.   Mallory is an eleven year old sixth grader from Wapakoneta, Ohio.   She is the daughter of Jay and Brandy Liles and has two brothers; fifteen year old Maddux and twenty one year old Maverick.   Mallory has been showing pigs for as long as she can remember and an NSJA member for three years now.   Her hobbies include softball, being a Student Council member, gymnastics, dance and showing pigs!   Her favorite quote is, Change the Game, Don’t Let the Game Change you from Macklemore.

Mallory started showing when her Grandma and Grandpa Bates provided her brother and herself with pigs to show.  Her brothers grew up showing pigs and after her first time out, Mallory loved it as well.   She has found a lot of guidance and influence from her brother Maverick, and hopes to do as well as he did when he was her age.   She started showing because it was a family tradition, but now does it for the love of pigs!

Mallory’s favorite livestock show is the Ohio State Fair, which has brought her much success, and the Louisville Summer Spectacular is her favorite NJSA event because it is a huge show with a variety of contests to compete in.   She not only loves pigs, but enjoys going into the show ring and showing off what she has been working so hard on.  

Her involvement in the NJSA started three years ago after she heard about the many showing opportunities through NJSA.  She decided that she just had to join so she could participate!   She has participated in the NJSA Boot Camp in 2012 and the Summer Spectacular since 2012.   She thinks her favorite contest would be showmanship because she feels that it is what she is best at.   A huge accomplishment that she is proud of is being able to prepare and give a speech in front of judges at an NJSA show, and her most memorable moment would be when she won Grand Champion Overall Poster at an NJSA show!

Mallory is active showing pigs outside of the NJSA and has won Outstanding Market Exhibitor at the Ohio State Fair twice, won the skillathon and showmanship at her state fair, and showmanship twice in 4-H at her county fair.  

She plans on being a good role model for all the future showman and to someday attend college to become a lawyer.  

Mallory would like to tell the younger NJSA members to take advantage of the many opportunities, shows, and activities the NJSA offers and to stay in it!

On behalf of the NJSA, I would like to congratulate Mallory on all her success and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!  Keep loving pigs and having fun! 

Tyler Copeland

Tyler Copeland

Paragould, Ark.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Tyler Copeland of Paragould, Arkansas as a youth spotlight.   The 21 year old son of Steve and Marsha Copeland is a junior at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville where he is pursuing a degree in Animal Science.   He has one sister, Katelynn who is 15.   While attending college, Copeland keeps very busy in Student Mobilization (STUMO-on campus ministry), Block and Bridle Club, Pre-Vet Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau, GAMMA and Farmhouse Fraternity.   Outside of college, Tyler enjoys showing cattle, hanging out with friends and family and going hiking and camping with my fraternity brothers.   His favorite quote is from Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Copeland’s passion for the swine industry started sixteen years ago, when at the age of 5 he showed Pork Chop (his first pig) at the Greene County Fair.   When asked how he started out, Tyler gives credit to his Dad, “It all started out just as many of you probably did, me and Steve-O (aka my father) had a couple of sows and we thought we could just raise them and do well at the county level, maybe the district level and just roll with it.  Well that worked out all fine and dandy until I got a little older.”   He enjoys showing pigs because it is a great way him to get connections as well as make life-long friends along the way.  “It’s great to get that purple banner but at the end of the day, the friendships are worth so much more than that little flimsy banner.”

Tyler got involved in the NJSA 12 years ago, through the encouragement of a mentor and also a pretty good breeder, Aaron Cobb.   After his first hog purchase from him, he has always been there for support and pushed him to compete at the highest level.   Cobb, having been a previous Board of Director, knew the ins and outs of the association and through his encouragement convinced him to give it a try.   His first show was the World Pork Expo in Des Moines at the young age of 9.  Since then, he never looked back!   He now looks forward to being able to go the NJSA shows and see friends and fellow competitors.   He attributes Cobb as the reason he decided to run for the board and go and achieve as much as he has.   “All my gratitude is to him, he put me in the position of being and involved with this great organization and it has truly shaped my life where I am now”.  

Copeland’s participates in numerous NJSA shows and events; NJSS, World Pork Expo, National Leadership Conference and the SE Regional in Georgia.   His favorite NJSA livestock shows are NAILE, World Pork Expo and NJSS, with the National Junior Summer Spectacular being his favorite NJSA event, because of its laid back and easy going atmosphere and that there are so many good hogs to be able to evaluate and admire.   His favorite contest would be showmanship, because “you are able to show off your hard work that you done at home in front of a barn full of people and also the competition is unlike anything else”.   

Being a NJSA Board of Director has been a highlight and biggest accomplishment for him in the NJSA.  His most memorable moment would be when he became the SE Regional Director.   “It was so exciting that I got to become someone that the juniors could look up to, just as I used to look up to the board of directors.” 

Copeland has many other accomplishments outside of the NJSA, such as Block Head for the Block and Bridle Club, Executive Board member and Event Coordinator for GAMMA and Director of Risk Management, Alumni Relations, Social and Brotherhood Chair for Farmhouse Fraternity.  

Tyler hopes to finish his undergraduate and then attend Oklahoma State University for grad school specializing in Reproductive Physiology.  He would eventually like to be an embryologist and to open up his own office doing embryology.

As he looks back on his career showing pigs and being involved in the NJSA, Tyler would like to give younger members the following words of advice, “If you want to do or to accomplish anything in the NJSA, or anything else in life, just go for it and give it 110% and nothing is unobtainable.   This is a great organization full of great industry leaders that will help you out every step of the way.”

On behalf of the NJSA, I would like to congratulate my fellow Board member and friend Tyler on all his success, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!  Keep giving it 110% and you will accomplish great things!

Brooke Cox

Brooke Cox

Marlow, Okla.

Brooke Cox of Marlow, Oklahoma is the 14 year old daughter of Todd and Tracy Cox and the younger sister to Cody Mauldin. Brooke is a freshman at Central High School where she enjoys both fast and slow pitch softball, FFA, shooting, and keeping her grades up to remain on the All A and B Honor Roll.

Outside of school, Brooke is a country girl through and through! She loves riding dirt bikes, ATV trail riding, hunting, swimming, and any other outdoor activities, which would explain where her love of showing pigs comes from.

Brooke first began showing five years ago within the Oklahoma Club Pig Association show circuit. She got her start through some friends that also showed and wanted to give it a shot herself. Her first year showing in OCPA she won high point Berkshire and has continued with it ever since!

“I love having responsibility with my pigs and being able to send time with my friends,” Brooke says when asked why she shows pigs. Right along with that, she most enjoys spending time with her friends and family and the animals themselves.

Having been an NJSA member for one year, Brooke’s favorite show is World Pork Expo. This past year she placed in the top 10 in showmanship, making it the most memorable for her! Expo also happens to be the reason she is an NJSA member. Kyle Hicks of TKO Genetics asked her to attend with him and she loved the organization.

When asked what she would tell a younger member about NJSA, Brooke said, “They should get involved and show their heart out.” This advice goes right along with her favorite quote by Lane Frost, “Don’t be afraid to go after what you want to do, and what you want to be. But, don’t be afraid to be willing to pay the price.”

Brooke’s future plans include graduating high school and attending Oklahoma State University where she aspires to become a veterinarian or maybe end up in the sports medicine field. In closing, Brooke wanted to say, “Thank you to NJSA for putting me in the youth spotlight!”

By Tana Simmons

Joseph Parker

Joseph Parker

Paso, Calif.

Joseph Parker of Paso, California is the 21 year old son of Bridget Parker and Joe Carrasco. He stays very busy with his many hobbies of not only raising hogs, but also dancing, farming, ranching, and trucking. Joseph first began showing when he was 8 years old at me jackpot shows in Arizona.

Although he has been showing hogs for 13 years, that’s not where his livestock background began. He actually started by jack potting sheep and goats, then he met someone who showed pigs. “So, I bought a pig and fell in love with it and have done it ever since,” Joseph said. “I show pigs because it's a way to fulfill my competitiveness, meet new people, and make friendships that last a lifetime…and I have a blast doing it.” Joseph really enjoys the time at home feeding hogs and getting them ready for the show. He also enjoys the time spent with family and friends in the barn preparing.

Joseph has been an NJSA member for 9 years now and first got his start at the Western Regional. Aside from Western Regional Joe has also attended the National Youth Leadership Conference, South Western Regional, World Pork Expo, and the National Junior Summer Spectacular. Of all these events, National Youth Leadership Conference is his favorite because he learns a lot, has a blast, meets new people, and gets to see all different parts of the country.

Most memorable moments in the NJSA? “I would say it’s a tie between being placed on the Junior Board and hanging out with my protégé Lacie.” Joseph says that he would tell any younger member, including Lacie, to get involved as much as you can. These are experiences you can never take back so make the most of them.

Being a part of the Junior Board, placing top 5 in skillathon and showmanship, and having a few class winners are among the many accomplishments that Joseph has achieved within the NJSA. Aside from that, Joseph takes pride in his belt buckle collection which currently consists of 71 buckles! He is also an Arizona State Star Greenhand.

In the future, Joseph plans to farm, ranch, run his trucking company, judge livestock shows, and eventually have a family one day. He ended the interview with his favorite quote, “If you don't build your dream someone will hire you to help build there’s."

By Tana Simmons

Kristin Goff

Kristin Goff

Marion, Ind.

Kristin Goff, the 10 year old daughter of Bret and Kris Goff, first began her showing career at the National Junior Summer Spectacular six years ago and has been hooked ever since! Growing up in Marion, Indiana, Kristin attends Eastbrook North Elementary School where she enjoys reading, seeing her friends, and of course recess. Kristin along with her younger sister Kortney (8) has been helping Mom and Dad raise show pigs since she was two months old.

When asked why she shows pigs, Kristin put it quite simply: she loves pigs! “They are so much fun and have their own personalities’ that makes working with them awesome!” They are her favorite animal and she really enjoys the challenge of making the pigs do what she wants them to in the show ring as they really can have a mind of their own.

Kristin first got involved with the NJSA from the encouragement of her father. He wanted her to have the chance to learn more about pigs and meet new friends so her mother signed her up when she was just four years old. She says that when she first started with the NJSA she was too young to understand its full potential but as she gets older the realizes more and more what she can accomplish with the help of her parents and new friends.

What is your favorite NJSA event and why? -“I enjoy the Work Pork Expo because I get to spend time with just my dad.  My mom doesn’t get to come to this show due to her job as a 4-H Extension Educator and her 4-H Fair is the week after we get back from the expo.” Kristin has also participated in the NJSA Boot Camp and really enjoyed that as well. As far as contests go, photography takes the cake! “I love to take pictures of animals and this contest gives me a chance to show off my pictures.”

Most memorable moment in the NJSA?  Kristin said, “Being so young I have not experienced everything with the NSJA yet. The shows are the most memorable moments that I have so far. I remember my first show at the Summer Spectacular, my gilt Lucy took off and ran clear across the ring.  Being so young I didn’t know that I was not to run after her, so I did.  I guess you can do that when you are little and no one thinks a thing about it.”

“The early bird gets the worm” is a quote that Kristin says applies to her very well. “The earlier you begin working with your pigs, the better the outcome will be.” I would say she is correct in that as some of her accomplishments in the show ring will prove! Kristin has placed in the top 10 Novice Showmanship at the World Pork Expo as well as Novice Dairy, Sheep, and Swine Showmanship Champion at her county fair! 

In the future, Kristin plans on completing her 10 years of 4-H, playing basketball and volleyball, graduating high school, and then going on to attend Purdue University where she aspires to study to be a Veterinarian. In closing, Kristin said that she loves living on a farm and having the opportunity to work with animals every day. She can’t wait for the next show or activity involving pigs!

By Tana Simmons

London Hilton

London Hilton

Howard, Kan.

London Hilton, 9, of Howard, Kansas, is the daughter of Matt and Carla Hilton and has been showing pigs for 3 years. She is a 4th grader at West Elk Grade School where she loves to play basketball. Outside of her schoolwork, London enjoys playing softball, club volleyball, 4-H, and of course showing pigs!

London first began her showing career in 2011 in the Eastern Kansas Swine Show Series. She got her start from falling in love with her older sister, Brooklyn’s, pigs and wanted to show just like her big sis. She continues to do it because she loves pigs and being in that show ring.

From selection, to feeding, to training, to driving all the way to the show, London loves everything about it! Her 2 favorite shows are World Pork Expo for the number of hogs and all the hard competition as well as the Southwest Regional which is the closest NJSA show to her home and is very laid back and relaxed.

Wanting to be able to show on a national level, London has been involved with the NJSA for 2 years now and has competed at the World Pork Expo, Southwest Regional, and the National Western Stock Show. Of these shows, London says she can’t pick just one favorite because she loves them all!

When asked what London would tell a younger NJSA member, she said, “The people that work with you in the NJSA are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. By being involved with NJSA you will meet lifelong friends.”

In the future, London plans to continue showing animals and would love to compete on a livestock judging team someday. She also aspires to become a veterinarian because she loves working with animals.

London wrapped up our interview by sharing this with me, “Showing pigs is a family event. It takes my mom, dad, and my sister working together on a daily basis to be successful. I feel like showing pigs with NJSA helps our family spend time together and we have made and continue to make memories to last forever.”

By Tana Simmons

Zane White

Zane White

Gosport, Indiana

The NJSA would like to recognize Zane White, age 10, of Gosport, Indiana as a 2014-2015 Youth Spotlight.  Zane is the son of Chad and Afton Cooper and Dusty White, and he has one sibling, a brother named Tatum, who is 3.  A 4th grade student at Gosport Elementary school, Zane enjoys playing basketball and “kick-catch”.  Outside of school, Zane enjoys working with his animals, which include pigs, cattle, and goats, and he also likes to play basketball and baseball. 

Zane has been showing pigs for 6 years.  The first time Zane stepped in the show ring was at the Greene County fair in the pee-wee class, but notes that his first competitive time in the ring was in 2009 at the NAILE for showmanship.  Zane says that it was his stepdad who got him involved in showing pigs.  He likes to show pigs because, “We raise them and it’s fun. I like to do it!”  Zane enjoys walking and working with his pigs at home more than anything. 

Zane has been an NJSA member since 2013, and is relatively new to the NJSS, but he’s no stranger to the NAILE show in November, and in fact, he says this is his favorite show.  “We get to travel out of state and meet new friends”, Zane says.  Zane has participated in the NAILE market hog show every year since 2009, and he attended the NJSS for the first time in 2013.  When it comes to competing, Zane enjoys the judging contest at the NJSS most of all.  Zane explains that at home, he only gets to judge his own pigs, but at the contest he can judge other hogs and he gets to compete against other kids to see who does the best.  He also proudly states that his team won at the 2013 NJSS, and this is his favorite memory during his time in the NJSA!

In his first year of 4-H, Zane has already had major accomplishments!  This past summer, he had the Grand Champion gilt and steer at the Owen County Fair.  Zane still isn’t for sure what he wants to do for a career someday, but he is pretty sure he would like to attend Indiana University and he would like to work with animals when he grows up.  When asked what his advice would be to a younger member of the NJSA, Zane says work hard, have fun, and be happy no matter what place you get!  Great advice Zane! Keep up the great work! 

The NJSA would like to congratulate Zane for all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

2013

Savannah Page

Savannah Page

Jefferson, Ga.

The NJSA would like to recognize Savannah Leigh Page, 8, from Jefferson, GA as a youth spotlight. Savannah has a baby brother, Carson, and is the daughter of Phil and Christy Page. A third grader at Jefferson Academy, Savannah loves drawing and enjoying art!

Savannah may only be eight years old but is always busy and active whether it is with livestock or outside activities. Savannah’s favorite hobby is showing pigs but her family has a farm that consists of raising registered Angus cattle and has now started their own small sow operation. When Savannah isn’t busy helping with chores around the farm she loves arts and crafts, hanging with friends, but most of all dance, including: tap, ballet, jazz and clogging, all of which she has been doing for six years. A big accomplishment of Savannah’s outside the show ring is six years of dance at Charlotte’s School of Dance and four of those years with perfect attendance!

Savannah started showing pigs two years ago when she was six years old and has been extremely successful since then. She has shown the Reserve Champion Barrow at the 2010 Georgia National, was the Showmanship Champion at the 2011 Georgia National, won the honor of being the Novice Sweepstakes Champion at the 2012 Southeast Regional, was the 2nd place Novice Sweepstakes winner at the 2012 NSR Summer Spectacular, and had the honor to be named the 4-H All-Star Clover Bud Winner for Jackson County, GA in 2012. Savannah’s favorite shows include the NJSA Southeast Regional and the NSR Summer Spectacular. Even though, Savannah has been very successful showing pigs when asked why she shows pigs her response had nothing to do with winning. Instead, she stated she loved to show pigs because her family and herself work very hard at it and she loves meeting new people at every show and seeing old friends! She also mentioned that she loves to compete, which explains why her favorite part about showing pigs is showmanship. Savannah works very hard at home with her projects to ensure that when she arrives at the show she is ready to compete to the best of her ability with her pigs.

Although, Savannah is a young member in the NJSA, she still would love to give advice to younger members and tell them that the NJSA is a great way to meet new people and show pigs all over the country. Savannah’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was from Louisville in the summer of 2012 when she won second place in the Novice Sweepstakes Competition. She was first in the judging contest, 2nd in skill-a-thon and 3rd in showmanship. This was only her second time attending Louisville which made her extremely excited that she did so well!

In the future, Savannah plans to be very involved in the livestock industry since next year she will be able to show both pigs and cattle. Also, once Savannah finishes high school she wants to go to the University of Georgia and be a Georgia Bulldog! When she grows up Savannah wants to be a teacher.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Savannah on all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors!

Miley Edelman

Miley Edelman

New Lyme, Ohio

The NJSA would like to recognize Miley Edelman, 5, of New Lyme, Ohio as a youth spotlight. Miley is the daughter of Brian and Shannon Edelman and has a sister, Taylor. Miley attends Pymatuning Valley schools and her hobbies at school include art class, gym class, and she loves helping out her teacher. When Miley isn’t at school she is very active in T-Ball, cheerleading, playing school with her friends, and last, but not least-showing pigs!

Miley has been showing pigs since June of 2011 and has had much success in her first few shows as she has had Grand Champion Purebred Barrow at the 2012 NJSA Eastern Regional and won the 2012 Buckeye Summer Show Circuits Pee-Wee Showmanship Competition. Miley loves showing pigs and the atmosphere that comes with it, but her favorite part is the fact that she has a passion for pigs and loves to compete in the ring. She also enjoys meeting new friends, spending time with her family, and learning new things with her sister in the show ring! Miley thinks everyone should attend NJSA shows because they are so fun for not only the exhibitors but their families as well. Her most memorable moment showing so far is winning Grand Champion Barrow at the 2012 Eastern Regional. Miley doesn’t have a favorite or famous quote she goes by but one message she would like to send is very meaningful and thoughtful, as she would like to thank her mom, dad, sister, Ahrens Club Pigs, and Reynold’s Farms for helping her become the showman that she has become!

Right now, Miley is attending Kindergarten and wants to grow up one day and be a veterinarian at the Cleveland Zoo. She is also preparing for the Buckeye Winter Show Circuit and in the future wants to continue to learn about and show pigs while showing at as many NJSA events as possible.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Miley on her accomplishments thus far and wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors!

Submitted by David Ammann

Grant Colvin

Grant Colvin

Russellville, Ind.

The NJSA would like to recognize Grant Colvin, 16, from Russellville, IN as a youth spotlight. Grant has an older brother, Walter, and is the son of Chad and Kelly Colvin. A junior at North Putnam High School, Grant is very involved in FFA, livestock judging and FCA.

Grant loves to show livestock throughout the country and is very involved in not only the NJSA but also the American Junior Hereford Association and the American Junior Simmental Association. Grant enjoys getting his youth projects ready and hanging out with friends. Grants favorite quote is one from Paul Bear Bryant and reads “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” This quote makes a lot of sense because Grant has been very successful showing livestock and two of his major accomplishments include Reserve Champion Division III York Gilt at the 2012 NSRSS and Champion Maine Anjou Steer at the 2010 Indiana State Fair.

Grants favorite shows include the Indiana State Fair, National Western Stock Show and he says the granddaddy of them all… NSR Summer Spectacular! Grant started showing pigs when he was the age of 4 at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY. Grant loves to show pigs because it has helped learn work ethic and that is how he has been so successful. Grant loves to be with all of his friends at shows and at the age of 4 at the North American he met one of his best friends to this day, Spencer Malcolm.

If Grant could give any NJSA member advice he would tell them to work hard, never give up, and if you get beat, don’t get mad just learn from it to do better next time. He also would tell them to meet as many friends as possible because they will last forever and always be behind you! Grant’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was winning the Corn Toss tournament this year in Louisville at the NSRSS with Daniel Newnum.

Grants future plans include going to a junior college to compete in a livestock judging program then continue onto a four year university to get a bachelor’s degree in his field of choice. When he grows up, he would like to have a career in the agriculture industry and raise show pigs and show cattle.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Grant on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors!

Submitted by David Ammann.

Daniel Ammann

Daniel Ammann

Highland, Ill.

The NJSA would like to recognize Daniel Ammann, 19, of Highland, IL as a youth spotlight. Dan has an older brother, David, younger brother, Devin, and is the son of Mike and Shari Ammann. Dan is a freshman at Lake Land College and is involved in livestock judging, student ambassadors, and P.A.S.

Dan has been showing pigs for a long time all over the country and is a member of both the NJSA and Team Purebred. When Dan isn’t showing pigs he is still involved in the livestock industry because he enjoys livestock judging and hanging out with friends in his free time. One of Dan’s favorite quotes is, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” This quote means a lot since Dan has had an extremely successful career showing pigs, including having fourth overall barrow at Team Purebred’s Summer National and having Reserve Grand Barrow at the Illinois State Fair in the summer of 2012. Dan was also very involved with FFA and 4-H, as he served as the 4-H club treasurer and president, FFA treasurer, and is a recipient of the State FFA Degree Award.

Dan has been showing pigs since he started 4-H at the age of 8. His show career has grown significantly since then and his favorite shows include the World Pork Expo, National Western Stock Show, and Team Purebred’s Summer National. Dan loves to travel across the United States and show pigs with his friends and family. When asked why he shows pigs, his response was, “I show pigs because it has made me into the person that I am today and because of all of the people that I have met and the opportunities that showing has given me.” This quote also reflects what Dan would say to a younger member. Dan encourages younger members to stick with it and work hard because it isn’t about winning or losing, it is about the lifelong friends and relationships that are built along the way. Dan and his family have been very successful showing at NJSA events and says his most memorable moment was watching his older brother, David, win senior showmanship two years in a row.

In the future, Dan plans to graduate from Lake Land and go on to a four year university to eventually attend vet school. When graduated from vet school he plans to open his own clinic and start his own showpig herd.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Dan on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors!

Submitted by David Ammann

Taylor Conley

Taylor Conley

Newark, Del.

The NJSA would like to recognize Taylor Conley, 14, of New Enterprise, Pennsylvania as a youth spotlight. The daughter of Mike and Nicki Conley, Taylor has one brother Aaron. Taylor attends Northern Bedford High School and is active in her local FFA, chorus and yearbook club. Taylor also enjoys showing lambs and goats.

Taylor started showing hogs when she was 8 years old. When asked why she started showing she replied, “I started because my family showed pigs when they were younger, so it’s kind of in the family and ever since I started I've had a passion and a love for it.” Taylor’s favorite NJSA event is the Summer Spectacular and her favorite part of showing hogs is the lifelong friends that are made.

Taylor’s favorite quote is “Perfection is unattainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence” - Vince Lombardi. Taylor has done just that and has numerous awards and accomplishments to show for her efforts including, winning the NJSA Eastern Regional Sweepstakes in her division four times, winning Showmanship at the NJSA Eastern regional 3 times, exhibiting the Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Yorkshire Gilt at the NJSA Southeast Regional, and receiving the Presidential Academic Award each year in school. Taylor’s most memorable NJSA moment was when she won both the Judging and Skillathon contest at the Summer Spectacular.

Taylor plans on continuing her education after high school by pursuing a degree in Animal science or Ag. Business. Someday she would like to work with swine nutrition or animal pharmaceuticals.

When asked for advice for younger NJSA members Taylor said, “You will learn so much through your time in the NJSA. Pay attention to everyone around you and take the great opportunity to learn from the best in the business. The NJSA will not only teach you a lot about the swine industry, but life as well. You'll also meet some great people along the way.”

Taylor would like to say a special thank you to her grandparents for their continued support as they take her to shows.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Taylor on all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors!

Mindy Cook

Mindy Cook

Newark, Del.

The NJSA would like to recognize Mindy Cook, 16, of Newark, Delaware as a youth spotlight. The Daughter of Stephen and Kristin Cook, Mindy has one sister Madison. Mindy attends Caesar Rodney High School and is active in her local Business Professionals of America club. She will be the Vice President of her local FFA Chapter and also shows sheep, goats, hogs, and dairy cattle.

Mindy started showing pigs when she was three years old. When asked about the start of her showing career she said, “When I was two I started to show dairy calves with the family and when my dad bought my first bred gilt I couldn’t have been more excited! I soon fell in love with the pigs and now would say that is my favorite animal to show. I love traveling with the pigs and going to the NJSA shows, the people and events are amazing and I have to say that I wouldn’t know my best friends if I didn’t show pigs. It is the best thing I have gotten involved in.” Her favorite show is the NJSS.

Mindy has had success both inside and outside of the show ring including the Delaware State Fair where she was the Champion Swine Showman in 2009, 2011, and 2012, and was also named the Champion Overall Livestock Showman 2011-2012. At the NJSA Eastern Regional and the NJSA Southeast Regional, she was the Junior Sweepstakes Champion. Her favorite NJSA memory was a result of one of these accomplishments as she won her first NJSA belt buckle.

Mindy plans on continuing her education after high school by attending a JUCO and participating on a livestock judging team. She plans on majoring in Animal Science and Ag. Communications. Eventually Mindy would like to work with swine nutrition.

When asked for advice for younger NJSA members Mindy said, “Get involved now! The sooner the better! There are so many opportunities knocking on the door and it’s best to jump in and get started now. I would add that they shouldn’t pass any chances they are given, even if you don’t want to do it it’s best to just say yes and give it a try, you never know when you will fall in love with something.”

The NJSA would like to congratulate Mindy on all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors.

John Smock

John Smock

Botkins, Ohio

The NJSA would like to recognize John Smock, 8, of Botkins, Ohio as a youth spotlight. The son of Phil & Mary Lee Smock, John has two siblings, Micah and Conner. He is currently in the second grade at Botkins Elementary were he enjoys recess and Art class. Outside of school John plays soccer, basketball, and runs.

John started showing pigs when he was three years old on the Buckeye winter circuit. When asked about why he shows pigs, John replied, “My brothers were doing it and having fun so I wanted to try.” He likes showing pigs because it is fun. He is extremely excited about the NJSA and his favorite contest is Livestock Judging because enjoys picking out the pigs and has now placed tenth in his division two years in a row at the NJSS. His judging success is his favorite NJSA moment.

John’s favorite NJSA show is the Summer Spectacular because he likes to participate in all of the extra activities provided by the Junior Board. It also allows him to spend time with his family and make new friends that have the same interest as he does.

John has exhibited at the Summer Spectacular for several years and is looking forward to showing at both the NJSA Southeast and NJSA Eastern Regional shows next year. When John grows up he would like to be a farmer. When asked for advice for other NJSA members John replied “It's fun because you get to meet lots of new people.”

The NJSA would like to congratulate John on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors!

Clayton Stephens

Clayton Stephens

Clinton Corners, N.Y.

The NJSA would like to recognize Clayton Stephens, 17 of Clinton Corners, New York as a youth spotlight. The son of Jerry and Mary Stephens, Clayton has one sister, Meagan, who attends Oklahoma State University. Clayton attends Stissing Mountain High School and is active in his local FFA and is on the school’s basketball team. In his spare time Clayton enjoys showing hogs, cattle and sheep, along with hunting and fishing.

Clayton started showing pigs in 2003 and credits his Dad as a major influence in his showing career stating, “Showing pigs is something that I can do with my dad that we both enjoy. It’s quality time together just like I share showing sheep with my mom.” When asked about his favorite part of showing hogs he quickly replied “The thing I enjoy most about showing pigs is the feeling I get when someone I have helped succeeds either in or out of the showring.”

Clayton’s favorite quote is “the only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.” This young man is no stranger to hard work and has numerous awards and accomplishments to show for his efforts including, earning the silver award for livestock judging at the National FFA convention and participating on the champion skillathon team at the New York State fair. This past summer, Clayton exhibited a class winning Duroc gilt at the Summer Spectacular. This became his most memorable NJSA moment. After showing for seven years, his hard work had paid off. Clayton said, “The minute we stepped into the ring, it felt good. You could tell the judge had found something he liked in my gilt.”

Clayton plans on continuing his education after high school but has not made any decisions on where he will go to school. He is considering Del-Val in Pennsylvania or Redlands Community College. Clayton knows that he wants a career that involves Agriculture and would like to run for the junior board in the future so he can give back to organization that has given him so much.

When asked for advice for younger NJSA members Clayton said “NJSA takes you places. There is no better place to grow as an individual than through the NJSA program.” Clayton is extremely excited to have the NJSA Eastern Regional in his home state and would encourage everyone to attend. Clayton would like to thank his family and friends for continuing to support him as he follows his passion for the swine industry.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Clayton on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors!

Madelyn Fearon

Madelyn Fearon

Arcanum, Ohio

The NJSA would like to recognize Madelyn Fearon, 9, of Arcanum, Ohio as a youth spotlight. The daughter of Mike and Rachel Fearon, Madelyn has one brother, Seth, 6. Madelyn attends Arcanum Elementary School where she enjoys gym class, recess and spending time with her friends. Outside of school, Madelyn likes to show pigs, play basketball, softball and she also dances. She likes to spend a lot of time with her family and playing with friends.

Madelyn first started showing pigs when she was just four years old. She says, “It is fun to compete and I get to spend time with family and friends I have met from all over.” Madelyn enjoys showmanship the most at shows. Her favorite shows to attend are NJSA Summer Spectacular, Ohio State Fair, and Darke County Fair.

Madelyn’s favorite quote is “Never Give Up.” She certainly has not given up with all of her accomplishments inside and outside of the swine industry. Madelyn was the Reserve Champion Novice Showman at the 2012 NJSA Summer Spectacular and fifth overall in the sweepstakes competition. She was also the Novice Champion Showman at the 2012 Ohio State Fair Crossbred Gilt Show, Grand Champion Barrow at 2012 Darke County Fair Open Show and first place Novice Showmanship. Madelyn also won the title of fourth overall crossbred gilt at the 2010 Ohio State Fair with her pig. Outside of showing pigs, Madelyn is the Arcanum Jr Softball Allstar and Acranum Elementary Student of the Month.

Out of all her accomplishments, Madelyn’s most memorable was winning Reserve Champion Novice Showman at the 2012 Summer Spectacular. She wants to share to other NJSA members, “it is a lot of fun to travel around the country and meet new friends.”

Madelyn is looking forward to showing pigs in her future especially her first year of 4-H next year. She one day wants to become a teacher but for now, Madelyn is just having fun being a kid.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Madelyn on all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck on her future endeavors!

Submitted by Amy Newnum, NJSA Jr Board of Directors.

Jayde Sills

Jayde Sills

Poneto, Ind.

The NJSA would like to recognize Jayde Sills, 18, of Poneto, Indiana as a youth spotlight. Jayde has two siblings, Jordyn and Jackson, and is the daughter of Travis and Leah Sills. A freshman at Purdue University, Jayde is majoring in Agribusiness Management and involved in Block and Bridle. In her spare time, Jayde enjoys showing cattle and swine, golfing, and livestock judging.

Jayde started showing pigs when she was eight years old. When asked why she shows pigs, Jayde responded, “My dad encouraged me to start showing pigs, and I loved it as soon as I started and have continued to show throughout my 10 years of 4-H.” The people and friends Jayde has made over the years is what she enjoys most about showing pigs. She says, “I treasure all the memories that have come with those friendships and pigs shows.” Her favorite shows to attend are the National Junior Summer Spectacular, Indiana State Fair, and the North American International Livestock Exposition.

One of Jayde’s accomplishments includes being named the Reserve Overall Showman at the Indiana State Fair in 2012. She also has been Champion Overall Showman 2 years in a row at the Wells County Fair. Jayde was also on the Indiana State Champion Livestock Judging Team in 2008, 2011, and 2012.

Jayde wants to share with younger NJSA members that “it is a great organization to become involved in. You meet new people over the years and it is a great way for networking. You also get to spend time with people that share the same passion for the swine industry that you do. I would encourage younger members to get involved with the NJSA sooner rather than later because you will only regret that you didn’t later down the road.”

In the upcoming year, Jayde will be studying at Purdue University. With her degree, she hopes to work in the agriculture industry. Jayde wants to pursue her love and dedication while showing youth the advantages of being involved in agriculture.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Jayde on all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

Submitted by Amy Newnum, NJSA Jr Board of Directors

Abby Taylor

Abby Taylor

Uniondale, Ind.

The NJSA would like to recognize Abby Taylor, 15, of Uniondale, Indiana as a youth spotlight. The daughter of Mike and Taneca Taylor, Abby has three siblings: Kaila (18), Meghan (11), and Bailey (10). Abby is a student at Norwell High School where she is active in cheer, FFA, and Campus Life. Outside of school, Abby shows livestock in 4-H and open shows, NJSA member, IJBCA member, IJSC member, church youth group and junior leaders.

Abby started showing pigs when she was five years old on the Indiana Junior Swine Circuit. When asked why she shows pigs, Abby stated, “It is something I have always done with my family since I was little and I have always enjoyed it.” Being able to travel and spend time with family and friends as well as making new friends from all over the state and country is why Abby enjoys showing pigs so much. “For me, the friends I have made over the years have made a big impact on my life. If it wasn’t for showing in 4-H and having such great friends and family, I would not be where I am today.” Abby’s favorite shows are the NSR Summer Spectacular, Indiana State Fair and of course her county fair.

Some of Abby’s accomplishments include being the 2012 Champion Senior Swine Showman at the Indiana State Fair and having the opportunity to show in the Royal Showmanship. She was also named the 2011 Champion Intermediate Crossbred Gilt Showman at the Indiana State Fair as well as being named the 2010 Reserve Champion Intermediate Overall Showman.

Abby’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was when she made the top 5 Intermediate Showmanship at the NSR Summer Spectacular and had to talk on the microphone in front of everyone. Abby wants to share with younger members to go to the shows and have fun. “Make sure to take advantage of all the opportunities that are given to you and to get involved with activities and meet new people. They could be friendships that last a lifetime.” Abby’s favorite quote is “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing that you think you cannot do” -Eleanor Roosevelt.

After high school, Abby wants to attend Purdue University and study Agricultural Economics and later pursue a career in the agriculture industry. But for now, Abby is a sophomore in high school and very involved in the activities she does.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Abby on all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors.

Submitted by Amy Newnum, NJSA Jr. Board of Directors.

Abby Garner

Abby Garner

Covington, Ind.

The NJSA would like to recognize Abby Garner, 18, of Covington, Indiana as a youth spotlight. Abby is the daughter of John and Marilyn Garner and the sister of Joyce and Riley. She is a freshman at Purdue University, studying Agricultural Economics and volunteering at the therapeutic riding arena, as well as a member of Block & Bridle. In her spare time, Abby likes to participate in the National Barrel Racing Association and the National Junior Swine Association.

Abby started showing pigs when she was in 3rd grade and started 4-H. When asked why she shows pigs, Abby responded, “I started showing pigs because my parents both showed in 4-H. I lived on a confinement hog operation for the first three years of my life and my mom’s family was also very involved in 4-H so naturally I became involved and fell in love with the industry.” Meeting new people across the United States is what Abby loves most about showing pigs. She also likes working with the swine and learning more about them. Abby’s favorite shows to attend are the World Pork Expo and the NSR Summer Spectacular.

Some of Abby’s accomplishments include making top 10 at the World Pork Expo Junior National in Senior Showmanship. She also has received many Grand Champion titles at her county fair, where she had Grand Champion Gilt in 2007, 2010, & 2011. She also exhibited the 2012 Reserve Grand Champion Gilt at her county fair, and was named Grand Champion Swine Showman. At the Indiana State Fair she was Reserve Champion Senior Showman in 2010 and Reserve Champion Junior Showman in 2008.

Abby’s favorite quote to share with NJSA is “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” Henry Ford. When asked what Abby would share with a younger NJSA member, “Don’t be shy, get out and meet new people!”

Abby plans on graduating from Purdue University in 2016 and wants to work with farm sales, such as selling crop inputs.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Abby for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

Submitted by Amy Newnum, NJSA Jr Board of Directors.

Spencer Malcolm

Spencer Malcolm

Huntertown, Ind.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Spencer Malcolm as a youth spotlight. Spencer is an 18 year old High School Senior from Huntertown, Indiana. His parents are Steve and Susie Malcolm and he has two siblings; Jordan and Taylor. Spencer has been showing pigs for fourteen years and has been a NJSA member for ten years. His other hobbies include being a member of his High School’s Carroll Wrestling and Dodge ball Clubs as well as having bon fires and hanging out with friends.

Spencer started showing pigs because his family raises pigs and his parents helped to influence his choice of show pigs. He enjoys showing because it gives him the chance to meet new people as well as travel all over the country to new places. When asked as to why he showed pigs, Spencer told us that he loves showing pigs because every new pig he shows has a different personality.

Spencer became involved in the NJSA because his sister was a member, so his parents signed him up too. He feels that the NJSA has made his showing career a blast! He participates at the National Junior Summer Spectacular, NAILE, and the World Pork Expo Junior National. But, Spencer’s favorite NJSA event is the National Junior Summer Spectacular because it is a very competitive show and there are people from all across the U.S. that he gets the chance to show against. He has had many accomplishments with his swine project in and out of the NJSA, such as having the Grand Champion Spot Gilt and 4th overall gilt at the 2012 Indiana State Fair, Champion Duroc Gilt and third overall gilt at the 2009 National Junior Summer Spectacular as well as showing many grand and reserves over the years. Spencer feels that the NJSA offers many opportunities and is a great way to meet other people.

His future plans are to attend college and major in Agri Business. Following graduation he would like to work for a feed company in the swine industry as well as start his own farm. His favorite quote is from Gandhi, “Where there is love, there is peace”.

On behalf of the NJSA, we would like to congratulate Spencer on all his success and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Micah Smock

Micah Smock

Botkins, Ohio

The NJSA is proud to recognize Micah Smock as a youth spotlight. Micah is a 13 year old 8th grader from Botkins, Ohio. His parents are Phil and Mary Lee Smock and he has two brothers; Connor age 10 and John age 8. Micah has been showing pigs since he was 7 years old and a NJSA member for 2 years. When he is not showing pigs, he enjoys playing basketball, soccer, track, cross country, showing cattle and camping. His favorite quote is, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.

Micah enjoys showing pigs because he loves being around animals, enjoys meeting new people as well as going to new places and spending time with his family. Micah’s dad got him started showing pigs when he was 7 at the Shelby County Fair in Ohio and a good friend of the family encouraged him to go to the National Junior Summer Spectacular where he became interested in the NJSA.

Micah’s favorite livestock show is the NJSA Southeast Regional because it was the first regional show he had ever been to and it made a lasting impression on him! He enjoys the National Junior Summer Spectacular because of its fun atmosphere and really likes showmanship because being competitive, you appreciate going up against some of the best showman around!

Micah has been fortunate to achieve some great accomplishments showing in NJSA shows, such as; winning Reserve Champion barrow and Reserve Champion York barrow at the NJSA Southeast Regional in 2011, 5th place showmanship in Georgia 2011 along with a few class winners and a division winner at the National Junior Summer Spectacular.

Micah’s future plans include attending college at either Ohio State or Wilmington College to study Animal Science and eventually achieve the goal of becoming a veterinarian. He would like to tell a younger member that NJSA is one of the most fun things you can ever do!

On behalf of the NJSA, we would like to congratulate Micah on all of his success and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Emily Reeves

Emily Reeves

Washington Court House, Ohio

The NJSA is proud to recognize Emily Reeves as a youth spotlight. Emily is a five year old Kindergartener from Washington Court House, Ohio. She is the daughter of Brian and Jennifer Reeves and has a three year old sister names Alison. Emily has been showing pigs for three years and a NJSA member for two years. Her hobbies include painting, playing and snack time in school, barn days with daddy and her sister, playing with her blue heeler, and playing with Barbie’s in her spare time. Her favorite quote is, “smile and have fun!”

Emily started showing pigs because she liked picking up and playing with the baby pigs in the farrowing house. She also enjoys helping her dad take care of the sows. But, what Emily enjoys the most is preparing for a pig show- washing them, spraying them with water (not in the ears), and brushing them.

Emily’s favorite NJSA event is the National Junior Summer Spectacular because she gets to participate in many events, such as the skillathon, scrapbook, judging contest and showing! She placed 9th in the novice division skillathon contest at the 2012 NSR Summer Spectacular and enjoys the skillathon and judging contests because she loves to learn about her pigs. This will also help her achieve her goal of becoming a veterinarian someday where she plans to help all of the sick animals.

Emily plans on helping her dad raise 4 litters of Yorkshire show pigs this year and playing with her new litters when they are born.

She would like to tell the younger members how much fun she has being on vacation and showing pigs at the same time, along with meeting all the new friends!

On behalf of the NJSA, I would like to congratulate Emily on all her success and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors! Keep smiling and having fun!!

Christine Todd

Christine Todd

Danvers, Ill.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Christine Todd of Danvers, Illinois as a youth spotlight. Christine is the 18 year old daughter of Bryson and Cindy Todd and has an older sister, MegAnn, who is 23. She is a recent December 2012 graduate of Olympia High School, and is currently a freshman at Black Hawk East College. Christine has been showing pigs since she was eight years old and has been a NJSA member for over six years.

Christine started showing pigs thanks to her friends who talked her into showing, along with her mentor, Scott Hardman. “It is through him that got me and my family more involved and participating in the national shows. He has really taught me everything and I can’t thank him enough.” When asked as to why she showed pigs, Christine responded, “I show pigs to be competitive, my love for the livestock industry, and it provides a constant learning opportunity for me.” Christine says the learning opportunities are endless, and a lot comes from feeding her pigs-what works and what doesn’t and participating in educational contests such as skillathon, judging contests, showmanship, etc. offered at NJSA shows. Like already mentioned, Christine loves competition, and her favorite educational contest is showmanship. “Showing livestock is just like playing a sport, you want to be competitive at it.” says Christine.

Not only does Christine have a passion for pigs, but she loves the livestock industry. She will be competing as a member of the Livestock Judging team at Black Hawk East this fall, is an active 4-H member, shows cattle at county, state, and national levels, and was a past FFA officer for two years. Christine also participated in cross country, volleyball, and dance team while she attended Olympia High School.

We asked Christine how she got involved with the NJSA, and she stated, “My mentors and friends I’ve made through ICPA recommended that we attend the National Junior Summer Spectacular (NJSS) and ever since that point, we haven’t stopped attending NJSA shows!” NJSS, NJSA Southwest Regional, NJSA Southeast Regional, National Barrow Show, and NAILE are some of Christine’s favorite NJSA shows, but her absolute favorite is the World Pork Expo Junior National which she has participated at for the last four years. Christine’s favorite memory from a show is when she had the honors of exhibiting the Champion Duroc Barrow at the 2011 Southwest Regional, but the same barrow also went on to be Reserve Grand Barrow overall! “I will never forget that show. We drove all night and had maybe 2 or 3 hours of sleep and the weather was hot. Never in a million years would I have dreamed that night I’d have champion Duroc barrow and be selected Reserve Grand Overall! It was such a wonderful surprise but it didn’t really hit me until the following day because we were delirious from the all night road trip and the heat!”

She would like to tell the younger members that if you want to be involved in the swine industry, I would recommend joining the NJSA. It’s amazing how many people you will meet and all the networking opportunities you will have. The NJSA provides excellent learning opportunities for the youth, plus-it is FUN!

The NJSA would like to congratulate Christine on all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck on her future endeavors!

Sydney Stephenson

Sydney Stephenson

Fortville, Ind.

Sydney Stephenson is the eleven year old daughter of Brad & Stacey Stephenson of Fortville, Indiana. Sydney currently attends Maxwell Intermediate School where she enjoys competing for the school swimming team. Sydney has a fifteen year old sister that she looks up to for a lot of advice. Showing hogs and cattle are two of her favorite hobbies outside of school because she says it allows her to spend time with her family and she learns a great deal of responsibility from doing so. Some of Sydney’s most recent accomplishments include: Champion 1st year showman at the Hancock County Fair, Reserve Grand Champion Cow/Calf Pair at Shorthorn Junior Nationals, and the Grand Shorthorn Plus Heifer at the Indiana State Fair.

Sydney’s advice to anyone in the livestock industry would be “Don’t ever give up”! At age six, Sydney quickly realized how much she enjoyed showing hogs and knew she would continue to do so for quite some time! Sydney’s favorite thing about being able to show hogs is proving to people she can work hard and letting it pay off in the ring. Sydney says there is nothing like being able to walk into the ring with her hog and know that she has worked diligently to have control of her animal. “This has proven that I have done my work at home to prepare for show day” Sydney says! Much of her success she owes to her older sister Shelby that has helped her in a variety of ways.

Sydney wants people to know that the NJSA is a great organization to be involved with and she challenges everyone to meet at least one new person at every show! Sydney recalls her most memorable moment in the NJSA to be when she had to be paged over the loud speaker to enter her class which embarrassed her greatly, no thanks to her older sister! As Sydney progresses in life, she wishes to one day become a teacher and help young people. Congratulations to Sydney on her accomplishments and the NJSA wishes her nothing but success in whatever she strives for in life!

Matteo Abreu

Matteo Abreu

St. Helena, Calif.

Congratulations to Matteo Abreu, 17, of St. Helena, CA for being chosen as this month’s NJSA Spotlight! Matteo is the son of David & Christy Abreu and has two siblings, Rico & Lucia. Attending St. Helena High School, Matteo finds time to enjoy playing football, basketball and track. Matteo is also very involved in the art program at St. Helena High. Hanging out with his friends, riding dirt bikes, and paint pall are some of his favorite past times when not obligated to school related activities. Among many accomplishments, Matteo says he takes great pride in his football team going 11-1 with a perfect 10-0 regular season. Matteo plays wide receiver and defensive back for St. Helena High.

Matteo also claims bragging right to have had the Grand hogs at both his very competitive county fair and Cow Palace Jr. National. Matteo’s favorite quote to share with people is “Hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard.” Matteo’s first trip to the show ring happened his freshman year of high school and has been doing it ever since. Matteo likes to show pigs because he enjoys the thrill it brings him and he wants to carry on the family tradition of showing hogs. Matteo says with no contest, his favorite aspect of driving hogs is getting to spend time away from home with his family. Also, showing hogs allows Matteo to meet new people and share his experiences with them. Matteo says, “The NJSA is an organization that is really fun to be involved in. It’s a great way to meet new people, especially when you go to the shows around the country.”

Matteo explains, “My most memorable moment in NJSA was going to my first national now in Louisville, KY at the Summer Spectacular. There were so many good hogs and great showmen. I got to meet a lot of awesome people.” Matteo has future aspirations to graduate from college with the intent to be involved with his family’s viticulture business. Matteo’s ultimate ambition is to become a viticulturist and manage a vineyard. For now, Matteo enjoys being a kid, playing sports, hanging out with friends and family, and showing his hogs! The NJSA is proud of Matteo and his accomplishments this far. The NJSA looks forward to his leadership in the agriculture industry!

Kennedy Worley

Kennedy Worley

New Holland, Ohio

The NJSA is thrilled to recognize Kennedy Worley of New Holland, Ohio as this months’ NJSA Spotlight! The eight year old daughter of Clinton and Lindsey Worley is currently a third grade student at Miami Trace Elementary school. Kennedy has one younger four year old brother whom she says she loves to help her mother take care of! While at school, Kennedy has quickly discovered her interest in both science and mathematics. When Kennedy cannot be found in the classroom, you’re likely to find her practicing her gymnastics or tap dancing skills. At the age of four, Kennedy sparked an interest in both of these, and plans to continue to excel in them both. At the age of five, Kennedy had her first opportunity to drive a hog at the Xenia County Jackpot where her love for showing hogs was sparked, needless to say, she has been doing it ever since.

Kennedy says one of her biggest accomplishments was driving her favorite hog, Glitter, into the Reserve Grand slot at the Miami County Jackpot! Kennedy says she loves showing pigs because it is an interest both her and her father share, and it allows her to spend more time with her animals perfecting her showmanship skills. Kennedy says, “Hard work always pays off in the ring”. Although Kennedy loves showing hogs, she also enjoys the opportunity to meet new friends and getting to compete against them at the various shows she attends.

Kennedy would tell any youngster that wants to get involved with NJSA that, “It is always a lot of fun and you never know who you’re going to meet from around the country”. Kennedy owes much of her interest in the NJSA to her role model Tonya Fender. Kennedy’s most memorable experience in the NJSA is getting to help Tonya out at the 2011 NJSS and spending the week with her.

As Kennedy furthers her education, she would ultimately like to become a teacher. She one day wants to have her own small herd of purebred Yorkshires that her and her father Clinton, can raise together. Kennedy’s first year of 4-H is just around the corner and can’t wait for it to start! The NJSA wishes Kennedy the bust of luck in her future plans and can’t wait to see how she progresses as a young swine enthusiast. Congratulations to Kennedy for all she has accomplished so far!

Justin Terry

Justin Terry

Azalea, Ore.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Justin Terry of Azalea, Oregon. The 16 year old son of Harold and Carol Terry, Justin, who is a sophomore, currently attends Brighton Academy where he plays basketball. Justin’s other hobbies include showing Livestock, livestock Judging, attending auto races, and is an avid sports fan.

Justin has been showing pigs for six years now and first got started at the 2007 Josephine County Fair. Justin holds his dad, Harold responsible for getting him started showing pigs. Justin says, “My father was a former high school agriculture instructor and college professor where he was a Livestock judging coach. He showed cattle and swine during high school. We have a ranch, where he has taught me a lot about livestock. I enjoy caring for animals and showing them.”

The spirit of competition, meeting new friends and experts in the livestock field is the reason Justin loves showing pigs. Justin got involved with the NJSA five years ago by a friend and past student of his father’s, Marty Tasos of California. Mr. Marty Tasos’s daughter, Lindsay, who was very active in NJSA, had a strong influence on Justin to start showing with the NJSA.

Justin has participated at the NJSA Western Regional for the past 5 years. His most memorable moment in the NJSA was at the 2009 NJSA Western Regional when he won Champion Bred and Owned Duroc Gilt. Other accomplishments Justin has achieved outside the NJSA include, Reserve Supreme Champion Gilt at the 2010 Cow Palace, Grand Champion Purebred Gilt at the 2012 Cow Palace, Oregon State Points Champion, Market-prospect points division in 2010, and Grand Champion Market Steer 2010 and 2012 Douglas County Fair

We asked Justin what his favorite NJSA event was, and he said, “My favorite NJSA event was the 2012 National Leadership conference in Modesto Ca. I was able to meet several NJSA members from several states. We were able to visit a California hog operation and visit with many swine experts. It was very educational as well as fun.” When it comes to the educational contests at NJSA events, Justin’s favorite is showmanship. He enjoys showmanship because it takes hours of training, feeding, walking, and washing to be successful!

Justin plans on running for the NJSA board of Directors, as well as judging competitively at a Junior and Senior college level. Justin is also continuing to build his purebred Duroc herd, where he would like to exhibit and participate at the World Pork Expo in 2014. Upon graduating college, Justin would like to be a Sales Representative for a feed company

Justin’s favorite quote, “I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future. “(-Tim Tebow) says a lot about what kind of person he is! Driven and motivated! The NJSA wishes Justin the best of luck with everything, and his future looks bright!

Kyser Nemecek

Kyser Nemecek

Iola, Kan.

The NJSA would like to recognize Kyser Nemeck, 5, of Iola, Kansas as a youth spotlight. Kyser has one older brother, Brody, and is the son of Jeff and Carla. Just entering Kindergarten Kyser enjoys recess while in school and likes riding bikes with his older brother outside of school.

Kyser started showing pigs when he was three years old at NJSA shows. When asked why he shows pigs, Kyser responded, “it is a lot of fun and I get to hang out with my friends and travel with my family.” Kyser’s favorite show is the National Junior Summer Spectacular. Kyser says he has made lots of friends at this show and looks forward to it every year.

Kyser’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was playing in the Barnyard Olympics with his brother and friends. His biggest accomplishment so far is exhibiting the Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Hampshire Barrow at the Oklahoma Youth Expo. He was quoted saying, “I was really proud because the barrow came from my sow.”

Kyser’s looking forward to going to Kindergarten at Jefferson Elementary. He has bred his Hampshire sow again and is looking forward to her January litter. He hopes to show a few from this litter at the World Pork Expo and the National Junior Summer Spectacular. When Kyser grows up he plans on being a fire fighter.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Kyser for all of his accomplishments and looks forward to his continued success.

Gracee Beth Stewart

Gracee Beth Stewart

Sabina, Ohio

The NJSA would like to recognize Gracee Beth Stewart, 9, of Sabina, Ohio as a youth spotlight. Gracee has one brother, Justin, and one sister, Jesse, and is the daughter of Billy and Jenny. Outside of school Gracee likes to walk her pigs, but she is excited to be going back to school because she enjoys math and reading.

Gracee started showing pigs when she was three years old at NJSA shows. When asked why she shows pigs, Gracee responded, “It is a great opportunity to travel the country and be competitive.” Gracee’s favorite show is the National Junior Summer Spectacular.

Gracee’s most memorable moment in the NJSA is placing second in the all-around sweepstakes. Her biggest accomplishment so far is exhibiting the Reserve Champion Market Hog at the Quintin County Fair. All though Gracee is very competitive, she also enjoys participating in the Barnyard Olympics and hanging out with friends.

Gracee is looking forward to breeding her Hampshire sow and hopes to show a few from this litter at the World Pork Expo and the NSR Summer Spectacular. Gracee hopes her experience showing livestock will one day help her pursue a career as a veterinarian.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Gracee for all of her accomplishments and looks forward to his continued success.

Bridget Halat

Bridget Halat

Genoa, Ill.

The NJSA would like to recognize Bridget Halat, 15, of Genoa, Illinois as a youth spotlight. Bridget has one older sister, Jill, and one younger brother, Mitchell. She is the daughter of Jeff and Cheryl. Bridget enjoys playing varsity volleyball, is a honor roll student, and she is also very involved in FFA and 4-H.

When Bridget was asked why she shows pigs, she responded, “I show pigs to spend time with family and friends and meet new people.” Bridget’s favorite show is the World Pork Expo.

Bridget’s biggest accomplishment so far is exhibiting the Champion Light Crossbred, Spot, and Hampshire Barrow at the Illinois State Fair. She was extremely excited when her Hampshire barrow was named the Reserve Land of Lincoln Barrow. Even though Bridget has been very successful, she demonstrates humility. Her favorite quote is, “the ribbons fade, the buckles tarnish, but the friendships last forever.”

Bridget is looking forward to land and agronomy judging this year for her FFA chapter. This past year she placed in the top 20 at State Finals for land judging and hopes this will one day help her as she pursues a career in agronomy. Bridget would like to thank her dad and sister for all of their support and would like to encourage younger members to get involved in the NJSA.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Bridget for all of her accomplishments and looks forward to her continued success.

Blake Danner

Blake Danner

Chalmers, Ind.

The NJSA would like to recognize Blake Danner, 13, of Chalmers, Indiana as a youth spotlight. Blake has one older sister, Amara, and is the son of Chris and Susan. Blake’s favorite subject in school is math.  Outside of school, he loves to show livestock including pigs, goats, sheep, and a steer for this year’s county fair. 

When Blake was asked why he shows pigs, he responded, “I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and being competitive.”  Blake’s favorite show is the World Pork Expo. 

Blake’s most memorable moment in the NJSA is exhibiting the Champion Hampshire Barrow at the World Pork Expo.  His biggest accomplishment so far is exhibiting the Reserve Champion Barrow at the Indiana State Fair and exhibiting the Reserve Champion Market Hog at the American Royal.  Blake’s determination and drive come from his favorite quote, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”

When asked about his mentors, he said he has been very blessed to have a great sister who has given him advice and has been a wonderful teacher.  He would like to tell younger NJSA members, “You may hit a rough patch, but hang on and work through it.”  Blake looks forward to another great year playing football and being involved with the NJSA and the Fellowship Christian Athletes.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Blake for all of his accomplishments and looks forward to his continued success.

Morgan Cox

Morgan Cox

Walton, Ind.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Morgan Cox, of Hope Indiana as a youth spotlight. Morgan is the 19 year old daughter of Mike and Debbie Cox; she has a brother Glendon, who is 22 years old. Morgan attends Purdue University and is pursuing a degree in Animal Science and Animal Bio Science. At Purdue Morgan likes to attend sporting events, is a member of the Block and Bridle Club and works at the research farm.

Morgan began her show career in 4-H at the Decatur County Fair in Greensburg, Indiana. From there she began showing on the Indiana Junior Swine Circuit and eventually NJSA shows.

Morgan’s favorite part about showing pigs is getting to spend quality time with her family at shows and in the barn at home. Her favorite show is the North American International Livestock Expo; because it is only an hour from her home, has lots of room, great shopping, and green shaving!

Morgan has participated in the World Pork Expo, National Junior Summer Spectacular, and the North American International Livestock Exposition. Her proudest moment showing pigs was winning double overall Grand Champion Gilt at the World Pork Expo and the NJSS this year with a Yorkshire gilt from the Steve Cobb Family. She was totally taken by surprise when her gilt won expo, because they didn’t expect her to be ready until Louisville, but ended up winning the entire show at both events.

Morgan’s favorite NJSA contest is showmanship, because no matter what kind of holes your animal has, the contest is all about the showman. Morgan’s favorite quote to remember at livestock shows is “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened”---Dr. Seuss

In the future Morgan plans to graduate from Purdue, attend graduate school, and get a job with an animal pharmaceutical company, and raise a wonderful family.

Hannah Tice

Hannah Tice

Tipton, Ind.

“There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament. “ This quote by Henry Van Dyke perfectly epitomizes Ms. Hannah Brooke Tice. The six year old daughter of Ed and Emily Tice is a “silly” –as described by her father- member of the NJSA. Hannah shares her home in Tipton, Indiana with her parents and her younger brother Mason Tice. She told the NJSA that she loved her three year old younger brother, but sometimes he is a handful to take care of. Her family raises a few hogs; but her love and passion lies with the show industry.

Hannah attends St. John Catholic School where she enjoys art class and as any child her age, recess. Furthermore, she enjoys playing soccer while at school with his friends. Outside of school, Hannah enjoys raising and showing show pigs, primarily Hampshires and Yorkshires. She has had a remarkably successful career at an incredibly young age. Hannah’s greatest accomplishment was exhibiting the Grand Champion Hampshire on the Indiana Junior Show Circuit or IJSC as it is more commonly known. Hannah’s success with her Hampshire barrow, Flynn Ride, just illustrates her work ethic and dedication to her swine projects. Hannah told the NJSA that enjoys working her animals as much as she does the time she spends in the show ring.

Hannah’s passion for showing pigs began when she was two. She said her dad “strongly encouraged” her to show, but as soon as she stepped foot on the shavings, she was instantly hooked. She loves being in the ring and takes pride in her showmanship abilities. Hannah competed at World Pork Expo for the first time in 2012, but she has exhibited purebred swine in Louisville for the last five years. Even though she has only attended Expo one year, it instantly became her favorite NJSA event; Hannah enjoys the friendships she has been able to procure thru her involvement of the NJSA, especially the World Pork Expo.

Hannah hopes to one day become a veterinarian and focus primarily on large animals. Her passion for the swine industry has been well cultivated by a family that has been actively involved in this industry. Hannah says she will continue to show pigs through both the IJSC and the NJSA as it is her favorite activity. The NJSA congratulates Hannah on being selected as the NJSA Spotlight, and we are sure that we will see amazing accomplishments from this young lady for years to come.

Carter Hoge

Carter Hoge

Good Hope, Ill.

Carter Hoge of Good Hope, Illinois is a swine enthusiast through and through. Accompanied by his parents, Mark and Katie Hoge and his four year old younger brother, Nolan, Carter travels across the United States showing and judging swine. Seven year old Carter attends West Prairie Elementary where he enjoys art class and wrestling. Outside of school, Carter showcases his athletic ability by playing baseball. “I enjoy playing all positions,” explained Carter, “but being catcher is my favorite.” While Carter is involved in his teams at school, his love for the swine industry permeates his everyday life. “I enjoy the family time that is spent at the hog pens,” Hoge says.

Carter’s passion for the show industry began at the delicate age of two at a small show in Illinois. After watching youth exhibitors show their animals, Carter decided that he wanted to show, and as soon as his boots hit the show ring he was hooked. His love for the show ring quickly grew, with Cater having attended both the premier NJSA events, World Pork Expo and the NSR Spectacular. During the 2012 World Pork Expo, Carter exhibited the Reserve Champion Spot Gilt and this year at the 2013 World Pork Expo, he exhibited the 5th Overall Barrow which both events have quickly rose to the top of young Carter’s greatest achievements. Carter’s favorite event, showmanship, is quite important to him as it allows him to showcase the work that he has put into his project long before the shows. Carter explained that the all the extra time he spends at the barn walking and cleaning his animals has allowed him to be a highly successful showman.

Carter is unique in the sense that he has a unique opportunity to travel around with his father Mark, to various livestock judging events. His passion for livestock judging led to his most memorable moment during his time in the NJSA. At the 2012 NSR Spectacular, Carter had the opportunity to drive hogs during the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Livestock Judging Contest. “Carter loves being around hogs, and loves being able to judge hogs with his dad, the opportunity to show during the judging contest at Louisville was the ultimate combination for him,” his mom Katie described. Besides his shining moment during the livestock judging contest, Carter has also participated at the NSR skillathon contest and the is the mentee of Greg Krahn through the MVP program. This energetic and lively young member enjoys making friends and creating connections within the swine industry with both members and breeders alike.

Carter told the NJSA that his future career will hopefully involve architectural or engineering design. When asked about Carter’s love for building and design, Katie replied “Carter just absolutely loves building and designing things, he is currently working on designing a four wheeler with ten wheels.” Carter quickly chimed in that his new ten wheeler is designed “to go really fast!” There is no doubt that Carter is an shining young member of the NJSA, and we are all sure that we will see many great things to come from Carter in the future.

Brody Nemecek

Brody Nemecek

Iola, Kan.

Vince Lombardi stated, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will." Brody Kendall Nemecek, the ten year old son of Jeff and Carla Nemecek, lacks none of these. He is joined by a younger brother Kyser, 5, on his family’s farm in Iola, Kansas. This energetic and busy member of the NJSA attends 5th grade at Jefferson Elementary where he enjoys science class where he particularly enjoys the conducting various experiments during lab. Brody also participates in a wide variety of extracurricular activities including football, basketball and baseball. “I enjoy all my sports, but baseball is my favorite. It is what I am the best at,” explained Brody.

In addition to his many activities during school, Brody helps his family on his fifteen head sow farm. “We specialize primarily in Duroc, Hampshire, and crossbred sows,” stated Jeff Nemecek. Brody explained that Hampshires were his favorite breed, and as to be expected. Brody has been very successful within the Hampshire breed, winning Reserve Bred and Owned Hampshire Gilt at the 2012 World Pork Expo. “I enjoy competing and showing, but the best part knows that I raised a good hog on my farm.” Beyond his success in the Bred and Owned division at World Pork Expo, Brody has had a successful career including 5th high individual at the 2012 World Pork Expo along with 1st place in the 2011 Chickasa Sweepstakes and 2nd overall in the 2011-2012 Overall Sweepstakes which is awarded at the NSR Summer Spectacular. Since the age of five, Brody has shown all over the United States participating in numerous NJSA events. He started showing at the Southwest Regional while it was still held in Wichita Falls, Texas, but has progressed to showing at every Regional and National event offered by NJSA except the Western Regional.

Brody loves people, and explained that his favorite aspect of the NJSA was the ability to meet and network with individuals from all over the United States. He has participated in the MVP program and thanks Tonya Fender for all the knowledge that he gained while she was his mentor. Furthermore, Brody continually is learning about the value of networking with not only members of the NJSA, but future customers at various shows and sales. He explained that he like marketing his animals, and hoped that he could continually help his family raise and sell winners all over Kansas. These connections that Brody is making at such a young age will be vital to in his future as he hopes to attend Kansas State University and major in Animal Science in an effort to return back to the family farm and continue to raise successful show hogs. The NJSA congratulates Brody on all his success and wishes him he best of luck in the future.

Conner Smock

Botkins, Ohio

The NJSA is proud to recognize Conner Smock of Botkins, Ohio as a NJSA Spotlight! Conner is the 10 year old son of Phil and Mary Lee Smock. He is attending Botkins School and is in the 4th grade. He has two brothers; John who is 8 and Michah who is 13. In school his hobbies include Art and Gym. Outside of school he enjoys soccer, showing pigs, and going camping with his family.

Conner began his show career when he was 4 years old on the Buckeye Winter Show Circuit. He shows pigs because he enjoys it and he loves working with animals.

His favorite part about showing pigs is getting to make new friends and seeing old friends. He has been an NJSA member for the past 2 years. His favorite NJSA show is the National Junior Summer Spectacular because there is lots of competition. Conner’s favorite event is showmanship because it is really competitive and you have to work really hard at it. His proudest accomplishments in the NJSA are being in the top 10 of showmanship at NJSS and Southeast Regional and having several class wins with his breeding gilts.

Conner has attended the National Junior Summer Spectacular, Southeast Regional, Eastern Regional, and North American International Livestock Expo. When showing pigs the quote that he likes to keep in mind is “The only place that success comes before work, is in the dictionary”. The advice that he would give to young members considering showing pigs is “There are lots of fun things to do at shows, and hard work pays off.”

In the future Conner would like to attend The Ohio State University and become a large animal veterinarian.

Bridget McConn

Alexander, Pa.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Bridget McConn of West Alexander, Pennsylvania as a youth spotlight. Bridget is the 18 year old daughter of Jeff and Peggy McConn; she has two siblings; Jeff 14 and Caitlyn 16. Bridget will be attending Delaware Valley College this fall as a freshman. Her hobbies in school included Varsity Soccer, Varsity Track and Field, FFA, and Envirathon.

Bridget began her showing career 10 years ago at the age of 8 at her local county fair and the PA State Farm Show. She began showing at NJSA shows 5 years ago.

Bridgett’s favorite part about showing pigs is all the different people she gets to meet at the shows, having a common interest with these people can lead to great friendships. Her favorite NJSA show is the National Junior Summer Spectacular, because you get to meet people from all over the country, and see a great hog show.

Bridget has participated in the National Junior Summer Spectacular for the past 3 years and the Eastern Regional for the past 5 years. Her proudest accomplishment in the NJSA was winning 3rd overall Duroc Premier Breeder at the NJSS in 2013.

Bridgett’s favorite NJSA contest is Extemporaneous Speaking, because it is a challenge and keeps you thinking on your toes. Bridgett’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was meeting two Louisiana families at NJSS and eating BBQ with them in the hotel parking lot, and to this day they still keep in touch.

In the future Bridgett plans to become a large animal Veterinarian and open up her own clinic as well as have a hog operation. Bridgett’s favorite quote to remember when showing livestock is “The banners fade, the trophies collect dust, and the animals come and go, But in showing livestock, the friendships last forever”.

Cole Caldwell

Cole Caldwell

Elmwood, Ill.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Cole Caldwell of Elmwood, Illinois as a youth spotlight. Cole is the 6 year old son of Todd and Kim Caldwell and has two sisters; Maddison who is 14 and Olivia who is 9 years old. Cole attends Elmwood Grade School and is in the 1st grade. In school Cole enjoys basketball and playing with his friends. Outside of school Cole enjoys doing anything on the farm. He and his grandfather spend a lot of time building or fixing things around the farm. He also enjoys working with livestock.

Cole began his show career last year, although this was his first year to have a gilt all of his own, a Landrace gilt named Lulu. Even though Cole is young, his parents have seen a lot of dedication a passion with him this year working on his landrace gilt. So next year he will move up to having two pigs to show.

Cole’s favorite part of showing pigs is going to the shows and seeing his friends from all over. He also really enjoys getting dressed up in his show clothes to show his gilts. His favorite shows to attend are the World Pork Expo and the National Western Stock Show, although he enjoys all the shows his family attends. Cole’s proudest accomplishment in his show career was winning Champion Landrace Gilt at the 2012 World Pork Expo!

Cole has attended the World Pork Expo, National Junior Summer Spectacular, North American International Livestock Expo, and National Western stock shows. Cole’s favorite NJSA event is barnyard Olympics, he always is on a team with older kids and they help him out, which he really enjoys. He was on the winning barnyard Olympic team at NAILE last year! Cole would tell other young people considering the NJSA to “Have fun and make lots of friends”.

Next year Cole plans to show two pigs and start participating in showmanship and the judging contest. Right now he is working with his sisters on their NAILE pigs and is trying to decide which one he wants to show!

Aaron Willison

Aaron Willison

Walton, Ind.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Aaron Willison of Walton, Indiana as a youth Spotlight. Aaron is the son of Tony Willison and Jenny Eggerling; he has two sisters; Lauryn who is 15 and Leah who is 9. Aaron attends Lewis Cass Jr. High School and is in the 8th grade. His hobbies in school include Football, Track, Livestock Judging Team, National Honor Society, and FFA. Outside of school, he enjoys Hunting, Fishing, and showing livestock.

Aaron began his show career after his uncle introduced him to it; he has been showing livestock for the past 9 years. Aaron first got involved with the NJSA 5 years ago, and his first NJSA show was the National Junior Summer Spectacular.

Aaron’s favorite part about showing pigs is getting to travel and meet new people. He also really enjoys seeing how the hogs progress from babies until they are ready to show. His favorite hog show is the NJSA Eastern Regional, because he is able to visit extended family and go to New York during the show, plus he gets to see friends that he doesn’t get to see very often.

Aaron has participated in the Eastern Regional, National Junior Summer Spectacular and the National Barrow Show. Aaron’s proudest accomplishment showing in the NJSA was when he won the Res. Champion Purebred Barrow at the Eastern Regional in 2012. He also placed 9th in overall sweepstakes at the 2009 Summer Spectacular.

Aaron’s favorite NJSA contest is showmanship, because it is a test to see how much you have worked with your animals, and is a challenge to compete against all the great showman around the country. He would tell a younger NJSA member “Get involved, because it is a fun and memorable experience that teaches you hard work and have fun at the same time”.

In the future Aaron plans to attend Purdue University and major in Agricultural Engineering and someday work in the agriculture industry.

Cody Clyburn

Bloomingburg, Ohio

The NJSA is proud to recognize Cody Clyburn of Bloomingburg, Ohio as a youth spotlight. Cody is the son of Bryan and Sandy Clyburn; he has a sister Kayla who is 17 years old. Cody attends Miami Trace High School and is a sophomore. His Hobbies in school include FFA, cross country, track, musicals, and basketball.

Cody began his show career when he was 5 years old on the Ohio winter jackpot circuit. Cody’s father worked for Real McCoy Genetics and they were the ones that suggested that Cody and his sister start showing.

Cody’s favorite part about showing pigs is seeing what he has worked so hard for, come together and get a sense of accomplishment. Plus, doing that with friends and family makes it even better. His favorite NJSA show is the Eastern Regional, because it is a smaller group of people which allows you to get to know everyone better and become a close knit group.

Cody has participated in the National Junior Summer Spectacular, Southeast Regional, Eastern Regional, and the North American International Livestock expo. His proudest accomplishments in the NJSA include winning 3 belt buckles, and being very competitive in the Gilt and Barrow shows.

Cody’s favorite NJSA event is showmanship; because no matter how good your pig is, you can still win. Showmanship is all about you! Cody’s favorite quote to remember is “Success consists of going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm”—Winston Churchill

In the future, Cody plans to attend Ohio State University and study animal science in the hopes of becoming either a geneticist or animal nutritionist. He also plans to grow and advance he and his sisters purebred sow operation.

Cassie Parks

Cassie Parks

Wilmington, Ohio

The NJSA is proud to recognize Cassie Parks of Wilmington, Ohio as a youth spotlight. Cassie is the 14 year old daughter of Chuck and Kym Parks and has an older brother, T.J. who is 15 years old. Cassie attends the East Clinton High School and is entering the 9th grade. Her hobbies include showing hogs, goats and cattle, and Cassie is also on a tennis team and takes private tennis lessons. Plus Cassie is also in the choir and hopes to join the high school drama department

Cassie comes by her love of showing pigs honestly; her parents were raising pigs before she was born, so showing hogs just came naturally to her. Her first show was the age of 2 at the North American International Livestock Exposition. Cassie says “I don’t think we ever made the decision to start showing, we just went out there and did it”.

Cassie’s favorite part of showing pigs in getting to work with her show pigs everyday and making new friends. Also, she really enjoys getting to show alongside her brother T.J. and can’t imagine doing it without him. Cassie got involved with the NJSA by taking gilts to the Summer Spectacular show when she was only 3 years old!

She has participated in the Southeast Regional ,World Pork Expo, Summer Spectacular, Southwest Regional, National Barrow Show, Eastern Regional and NAILE shows. Cassie’s proudest moment showing at an NJSA show was winning reserve champion Duroc bred and owned gilt at the Eastern Regional, which led to her winning the 4th overall premier Duroc breeder at NJSS.

We asked Cassie what her favorite NJSA event was and she said “The Summer Spectacular because it is close to home which means less time in the truck and a lot more kids from Ohio to hang out with at the show!”

In the future Cassie wants to keep raising purebred hogs with her family and become a nurse or vet tech. When asked what advice she would give to a new NJSA showman, Cassie said “NJSA shows are a great place to have fun and learn that hard work can lead to great rewards”

Emily Fry

Emily Fry

Danville, Ind.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Emily Fry of Danville, Indiana as a youth spotlight! Emily is the 12 year old daughter of Tim and Cory Fry and has a younger sister Lauren, who is 9 years old. Emily attends Danville Community Middle School and is in the 7th grade. In school, Emily’s hobbies include playing basketball and FFA livestock judging. In the livestock world, she shows Shorthorn cattle and pigs.

Emily’s first pig show was at the Indiana State Fair, when she was 8 years old. The next year she joined 4-H and start showing a different county and local shows. When asked what she enjoys most about showing pigs she said, “I enjoy getting to show the hard work I’ve put in at home. I set personal goals for myself each year and work hard to improve each time I walk in the ring weather I win a class or not. I also enjoy getting to know some really amazing people and it’s exciting to know that there are always new things to learn from them.”

Emily shows her Shorthorn cattle on the national level, and has just recently started attending NJSA events. After getting to participate in the NJSA Boot camp she hopes to begin attending more NJSA events in the future. Her proudest moment showing livestock was when she won the res champion bred and owned steer awards at Shorthorn Junior Nationals.

When asked what her favorite NJSA event is, Emily said “I really enjoyed the NJSA Boot Camp at Ohio State. The different sessions and speakers made the day really fun. It was great meeting new people and getting to learn from some of the best mentors in the business.”

In the near future Emily plans to continue showing hogs and cattle with her family and making many more great friends in the junior livestock world. She plans to eventually attend Purdue University and become a veterinarian. Emily would like to thank all the junior livestock organizations for all hard work they do behind the scenes to make these livestock shows possible.

Paige Stahl

Paige Stahl

Somerset, Pa.

The NJSA is proud to recognize Paige Stahl of Somerset, Pennsylvania as a youth spotlight. Paige is the 16 year old daughter of Kermit and Greta Stahl and has a younger sister Tessa, who is 13. Paige attends Somerset Area High School and is entering the 11th grade. Her hobbies include Spanish Club, newspaper, and Yearbook Staff, in addition to showing livestock. Paige is also very active in her 4-H and FFA chapters.

Initially Paige was afraid of pigs, until a family friend gave Paige her first fair pigs, and then she fell in love with them. Ever since then she has been hooked on showing pigs. Her first show was at her local county fair in 2007.

Paige’s favorite part of showing pigs is the competitive atmosphere and getting to make new friends who share her love for the swine industry. Paige’s first introduction to the NJSA was from friends in her local jackpot circuit who recommended it to her; she has been a member for 4 years now.

Paige has participated in the Eastern Regional for the past 3 years and the Southeast regional for the past 2 years. Her favorite show to attend is the Southeast Regional because she gets to leave the cold Pennsylvania winter and go to a much warmer Georgia. Paige’s proudest accomplishment in the NJSA, was winning Champion gilt at the Eastern Regional! Her favorite NJSA contest is showmanship, because she feels that NJSA members are the best of the best and she learns something every time she shows with them.

In the future Paige wants to attend college and major in Agriculture Business. She hopes to one day become an important leader in the agriculture world and to lead a 4-H chapter.

Madison Ater

Madison Ater

Sturgis, Mich.

The NJSA would like to recognize Madison Ater, 9, of Sturgis, Michigan as a youth spotlight. Madison has many older siblings including older brothers, Austin and Tyler, and older sister Morgan and is the daughter of Chris and Sarah. Just entering the fourth grade Madison enjoys writing and reading while in school and enjoys dance and gymnastics outside of school.

Madison started showing pigs just this last year at NJSA shows. When asked why she shows pigs, Madison responded, “it is a lot of fun and I get to hang out with my friends and travel with my family.” Madison’s favorite show is the NSR Summer Spectacular. Madison says he has made lots of friends at this show and looks forward to it every year.

Madison’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was winning the novice showmanship division at the National Junior Summer Spectacular. Her biggest accomplishment so far is winning the novice showmanship division at the NJSS and the Team Purebred show in the same year.

Madison’s looking forward to going to the fourth grade at Eastford Elementary. She is extremely thankful for all her family support and would especially like to thank her older brother Austin. When asked why she looks up to her older brother she said, “He has always pushed me to do my best and achieve what I didn’t believe was possible.

The NJSA would like to congratulate Madison for all of his accomplishments and looks forward to his continued success.

>Bobby Batson

Bobby Batson

Wilmington, Ill.

Bobby is 12 years old and a student in the 7th grade at Wilmington Middle school in Wilmington Il. He is the son of Bob and Julie Batson. Bobby has three brothers James 15, Sam11 and Jake 9.  Besides showing pigs Bobby enjoys Baseball, Basketball, livestock judging and Fishing.  He has had one of his most successful years showing pigs.  His favorite pig this year was a Landrace gilt that he was Champion Landrace at the Wisconsin State Fair open show, Res champion Landrace at the Illinois state fair junior show and was selected as the Hog College Landrace Gilt at the 2013 NBS. He is currently working with his pigs that he will be taking to NAILE this November. His favorite part of showing is traveling to new shows and meeting new kids that share the same interest as he has.

Bobby’s future goals include running for the NJSA Junior Board and eventually raising hogs as a career. Bobby’s passion for showing pigs was something he gained growing up around the hogs his family raised. Bobby has learned many lessons growing up on a farm and has offered this advice to younger members: “Try your hardest and know you can always improve.”

The NJSA would like to congratulate Bobby for all of his accomplishments and looks forward to his continued success.

Andrew Hodges

Andrew Hodges

Lebo, Kan.

The NJSA would like to recognize Andrew Hodges, 15, of Lebo, Kansas as a youth spotlight. Andrew has two brothers, Jake and Gabe, and three sisters Jenny, Beth, and Kate. Andrew is the son of Jeff and Kristin. Just entering his sophomore year of high school Andrew enjoys his agriculture classes and spending time with his friends while in school and likes showing cattle and judging livestock outside of school.

Andrew got his start showing pigs with help from Dylan Evans. When asked why he shows pigs, Andrew responded, “it is a lot of fun and I get to hang out with my friends and travel with my family.” Andrew’s favorite show is the World Pork Expo. Andrew says he has made lots of friends at this show and looks forward to it every year.

Andrew’s most memorable moment in the NJSA was exhibiting the Supreme Champion Purebred Barrow at the 2010 World Pork Expo. Andrew attributes his success to hard work and always trying to improve. Andrew would like to thank Adam Crouch for all his help in the show ring and everything he has taught him.

Andrew’s looking forward to running for a Chapter FFA office and participating in FFA public speaking. Andrew is currently preparing for the American Royal in Kansas City and the North American Livestock International Exposition. The NJSA would like to congratulate Andrew for all of his accomplishments and looks forward to his continued success.

Konnie Kelso

Konnie Kelso

Seguin, Texas

Many people have been at NJSA Shows, and seen the NJSA Junior Board working behind the scenes, but I wanted to give you a more inside look at one of our Junior Board Members. Konni Kelso is a twenty-one year old undergraduate at Texas A&M University where she is currently a Agribusiness Major with an Minor in Economics. Konni originally called Seguin, Texas her home, where she grew up on a eight hundred acre working show hog and cattle ranch. Konni grew up as a member of the Texas 4-H program, and much of her earlier life was spent involved in various projects, but to no surprise, her hogs held a special place in her heart.

Now Konni has moved on from the 4-H program, and is involved in various aspects at Texas A&M. Beyond holding the First Vice President Chair for the NJSA, she is a lead advocate for Texas A&M’s agriculture advocacy group, a member of her departments Aggie REPS, a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Science Student Council, and a member of the Texas A&M Livestock Judging Team. In addition, Konni works as a personal secretary for a lawyer/retired professor in Bryan as well as a Economic Tutor for a company based out of Texas A&M. Needless to say, Konni has a lot on her plate, but one of her favorite activities by far is her involvement in the NJSA.

Konni has been a member of the NJSA for as long as she can remember. She laughed when recalling her first NJSS. Konni explained that her family had put 4 small gilts in the in a crate with an Escargo Carrier on top holding their luggage. Apparently they were expecting the NJSS to be more like a Belt Buckle Bonanza, a large prospect show held in Texas, but she said they quickly realized they were EXTREMELY wrong. She knows that she has come a long way in the NJSA since that year, but by far her proudest moment is when she had the opportunity to win Intermediate Showmanship, Judging, and Skillathon at the NJSS. Konni stated, “there was no feeling like it, and it was a tremendous honor to be able to say that the only other person that had come close to doing that was Kelton Mason, so obviously I was in good company.”