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 email@example.com.
Whitley O’Neal, of Spencer, Indiana, is a 15-year-old sophomore at Owen Valley High-School. At Owen Valley, she is actively involved in FFA, serving as the vice president for her chapter. Whitley is the daughter of Ryan and Amanda O’Neal and has one older sibling, Garrett, and one younger, Blakely. Outside of school, Whitley focuses the majority of her time on showing pigs and cattle.
Whitley has been showing for quite some time now- eight years to be exact! She first started showing pigs when she was eight years old at her local county fair. She got her start showing because her father asked if she would like to show livestock. He proceeded to list off the different species of livestock she could exhibit, and when he got to pigs Whitley knew that was what she wanted to do.
When asked why she chose pigs as her animal of choice, Whitley expressed that, “It’s my little escape from the real world and I get to spend time around people who enjoy the same things as me. It’s also a chance for me to influence younger showmen to always do their best and work hard toward their goals.” She also shared that what she most enjoys about showing pigs is, “When your hard work finally pays off and you can look back on how far you have come in your show career and have that feeling of accomplishment fill you.”
Whitley has been a NJSA member for six years and is a seasoned one at that. She has attended events such as the North American International Livestock Exposition, World Pork Expo, American Royal, National Barrow Show, NJSA Boot Camp and LEAD camp. Her favorite event is World Pork Expo, as she said she feels there are so many fun different activities to do with friends and she can meet new people. Whitley also explained that she believes there are several learning opportunities at Expo that help expand her knowledge of the swine industry.
Whitley shared that her most memorable NJSA moment was when she won her class at the 2015 NAILE. She went on to say, “I know this was only a small victory, but it felt like a large accomplishment to me at the time, because I knew I was getting one step closer to reaching my goals.” Whitley has also had a reserve breed champion at the National Barrow Show, has won her county fair several times and has experienced much success in showmanship.
When asked what she would tell a younger NJSA member, Whitley answered, “Be involved in as much as they possibly can in the NJSA. By being involved in more they will be able to learn so many important things that will help them later on in life and meet new people who will be lifelong friends. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things in the NJSA because, it may end up benefiting you in the long run and open up an opportunity that you never knew was possible!”
After high school, Whitley plans to attend Purdue University for animal feed nutrition and marketing/sales. She would like to stay involved in her family’s farm and help her younger sister throughout her show career. Eventually, Whitley wants to raise pigs of her own, while pursuing a career in either animal feed nutrition or as a livestock feed sales representative.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Whitley for all of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!
The NJSA is proud to introduce one of our Youth Spotlights, Mr. Cody Maxwell, from Valparasio, Ind. Cody is the son of Mark and Kim Maxwell, with siblings Courtney (21), Kylee (20) and Kaden (10). Cody currently attends Morgan Township High School where he is a very busy senior involved in basketball, baseball, National Honor Society and the Student Athletic Leadership Council. While being incredibly involved in his school, Cody is also a part of the Distinguished Honor Roll & Student Council.
It is outside of school that Cody’s passion for the livestock industry shines through as he spends most of his time raising and pigs, as well as showing cattle. Plus, he still make time to help his dad run the farm. Ten years ago Cody got his start showing pigs at the Porter County Fair as a first grader, because he wanted to show pigs alongside his older siblings. Now he truly enjoys being a part of the industry because he says there is something special about stepping in the ring that really spikes his adrenaline. Aside from adrenaline rush, showing pigs gave Cody a way to make a name for himself since his sisters chose showing cattle and gymnastics.
Being a member of the NJSA means a lot to Cody because he has so many memories thanks to the program. His favorite memory was during the 2017 World Pork Expo, which also happens to be his favorite show to attend, Cody and his gilt were selected as the Reserve Champion Overall NJSA Purebred Gilt. Another huge accomplishment that Cody received in 2017 was earning the title of having the Grand Champion Barrow at the Indiana State Fair. Even with all of Cody’s successes, his favorite quote still remains, “People see what you have, but they don’t know where you have come from, stay true.”
As Cody prepares for college and earning a degree in biological engineering, the NJSA wishes him the best of luck. It is obvious that his hard work, passion and dedication to the livestock industry will take him very far.
Kelby O’Brien, of Lamesa, Texas, is the 18-year-old son of Branden and Karrie O’Brien and older brother to two younger siblings, Brendel and Amberlee. Kelby recently graduated from Klondike ISD where he was actively involved with football and FFA. In the fall, Kelby will attend West Texas A&M. Outside of school, Kelby dedicates the majority of his time to raising and showing pigs.
It’s no surprise that Kelby spends so much time focusing on his swine project, as he has been showing pigs for the past eight years. He got his start through the Klondike FFA chapter and began showing in the fifth grade. Kelby said, “I had never considered showing until our ag advisor, Todd Gregory, came and talked to our entire class about it. I took the packet that he gave me about show animals, showed it to my parents and asked if we could start showing pigs.” Kelby has been extremely involved ever since.
When asked why he started showing pigs, Kelby responded, “It’s something that I have been around for most of my life and something that I have a lot of passion for. It has been a very rewarding experience.” Part of that reward for Kelby is the opportunity he has to feed and work with his show stock. He enjoys this part of the process as he gets to witness the progression his hogs make throughout the year.
Kelby has been a NJSA member for four years and has truly enjoyed his experience. While Kelby stays pretty partial to his Texas majors, he said he had a desire to get involved at the national level and that is how he found himself in the NJSA. After attending the World Pork Expo twice, Kelby emphasized that this is his favorite NJSA event. To expand on that, Kelby highlighted that he liked this show, “Because it brings the ‘best of the best’ hogs from across the country and lets them compete against one another. This show is a great learning experience for everyone who attends and is always full of tough competition.”
As for his most memorable NJSA moment, Kelby shared he was Tenth Overall in the Senior Sweepstakes Division at the 2017 World Pork Expo. Just like several of our other members, Kelby enjoys the competition of the sweepstakes contest and taking part in all the activities that count toward the total sweepstakes score. Kelby shared that his favorite of these competitions would be the judging contest. He added to this by saying, “I believe this will help me in my future because I will need to know what makes quality show animals in my field.”
Kelby would tell a younger NJSA member, “This is a great organization to join. This organization teaches you the value of hard work and what it takes to win at the next level. It lays a good foundation for the youth of America and helps educate people about the pork industry.” Moving into the future, Kelby plans to finish at West Texas A&M with a Ph.D. in swine nutrition and then start his own showpig operation.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Kelby on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck as he goes forward!
This month’s Youth Spotlight is Bryson Stickler. Bryson is the 10 year-old son of Mike and Amy Stickler and hails from Springfield, Ill. Bryson started showing pigs when he was just four years-old, and with the help of his dad and older brother, Brandon, he has evolved into one of the most talented young showmen in his age division. Bryson has several hobbies like baseball and spending time with friends, but his favorite thing to do is show pigs. When asked what he enjoys most about showing, Bryson said, “I like meeting new people, but also the opportunity to be competitive.”
Some of his favorite shows to attend are the Southwest Regional and the World Pork Expo. He believes they are the most competitive and he has been able to make new friends, as well as hang out with his mentor at events like the MVP Water Balloon Fight. Bryson has shown at almost every NJSA show including the Southwest Regional, World Pork Expo, National Junior Summer Spectacular, Eastern Regional and Southeast Regional. He has also shown pigs at NJSA affiliate shows, like the National Western Stock Show and the American Royal. At these shows, Bryson has gone the extra mile by competing in multiple events past showmanship and the junior show. He believes that skillathon has helped him learn the most about pigs which makes it his favorite educational contest to compete in. Bryson’s most memorable moments in the NJSA would be exhibiting the Champion Duroc Gilt at the 2018 NJSA Southeast Regional and the Champion Yorkshire Barrow at the 2017 NJSA Southwest Regional.
When asked what advice he would give younger members, he said, “Work hard and get involved as much as possible.” This advice emulates the meaning of his favorite quote, “Go big or go home!” He dreams of one day becoming a professional baseball player, but has a backup plan of going to Purdue and majoring in agribusiness.
Our next Youth Spotlight is Katie Head of Paragould, Ark. Katie is a senior at Greene County Tech High School with plans of attending Arkansas State University and ultimately become a pediatrician. She is the daughter of Rodney and Kristie Head and has three sisters (Holly, Abbie and Karie) and two brothers (Andy and Kale). Katie is a member of her FFA Chapter at school along with the Drug Free Teen program and Student Christian group. She’s also very involved in her community. She’s an active member in 4-H, and enjoys getting involved in her church and bible study group.
Katie has been showing livestock for over nine years. She first started showing at her county fair in 2010, where her family has been exhibiting multiple species for quite some time. It wasn’t until her younger brother expressed an interest in pigs that her family got involved in showing hogs as well. Since she started showing pigs, she has found a love for the people involved in the showpig industry, as well as the travel of going to national shows. Her favorite shows are the Arkansas State Fair, North American International Livestock Exposition, which would have been her family’s first national show and the National Western Stock Show because she gets the chance to see the mountains in Denver. Katie also enjoys competing in the livestock judging contests at NJSA shows because it helps her learn more about the livestock industry. Some of her biggest accomplishments and favorite memories within the NJSA include exhibiting the Champion Yorkshire Barrow and Reserve Champion Overall Barrow at the 2017 NJSA National Junior Summer Spectacular, as well as being named Third Overall Showman at NAILE, in 2017. Another fond memory was exhibiting the Champion Market Hog at the 2017 Arkansas State Fair.
Katie’s favorite quote is, “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” This correlates to her advice to younger members to work hard, and get involved whenever possible.
Madisyn Douglass is the 10 year-old daughter of Josh and Tiffany Douglass from Brazil, Ind., and big sister of Drew and Lucas Douglass. Aside from her very competitive showpig career, Madi entertains a busy schedule! Not only is she on the honor roll at school, but she also plays softball, basketball, volleyball and is a member of her swim team.
She started showing pigs when she was just three years-old on the Indiana Show Circuit. She now travels around the country exhibiting barrows and gilts at multiple national shows. Her favorite NJSA show is the Southwest Regional which she competed at for the first time this past year. She enjoyed this show because she made many new friends while competing in her favorite NJSA event, the Corn Hole Tournament. When asked what she enjoys most about showing pigs, Madi says, “Being in the ring, because I get the chance to prove all of my hard work.” Madi also competes in educational contests hosted by the NJSA, her favorite being skillathon, because she like learning more about pigs. Madi and her family have exhibited hogs at multiple NJSA shows including the World Pork Expo, National Junior Summer Spectacular and Southwest Regional. One of her favorite memories to date was being named Champion Novice Showman at the 2017 NJSA Southwest Regional.
She is very thankful for her parents, who got her started showing pigs and to the friends that encouraged her to become an NJSA member. She hopes to go to Purdue when she is older and become a teacher.
Hailing from Napa, Calif., the NJSA would like to introduce this month’s NJSA Youth Spotlight, Miss Alia Rodgers. Alia is the fifteen-year-old daughter of Tim and Shanna Rodgers, as well as Miss Mardi’s younger sister. As a sophomore at Sonoma Academy, Alia spent time playing basketball and volleyball, but now she is solely focused on working with and showing her pigs. Alia’s additional hobbies include swimming, photography and participating in 4-H activities.
Alia owes a lot to the 4-H leader who helped Alia get her start showing pigs because she offered the Rodger family to use her barn. Now five years later, Alia is well into her successful show career. Some of her favorite shows include Arizona National Livestock Show, World Pork Expo and the California State Fair. Even as a California native, Alia enjoys ANLS because of its warm weather during the winter months. Her favorite part about the WPX is seeing so many cultures and countries come together in Des Moines.
Within the NJSA, Alia’s hard work and talent stands out, making her a perfect spotlight. Even with her major accomplishments of being Fifth Overall NJSA Gilt at the 2017 World Pork Expo, Reserve Supreme Barrow at the 2017 California State Fair and Champion Cross Gilt at the 2015 Arizona National Livestock Show, Alia is still humble and caring to those around her. Speaking to younger NJSA members, her advice is to, “Remember that being a part of the NJSA is the opportunity of a lifetime and to appreciate the purebred industry because its differences are amazing.
After high school Alia plans on attending a college that will allow her to continue showing but following her show career she wants to study along the east coast. The NJSA is proud of Alia and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.
This month’s NJSA Youth Spotlight, from Ripley, Okla., is Jacie Cantrell. The nine-year-old daughter of Jeremy and Kelcie Cantrell, has three siblings, Evie Rue (6), Ryker (2) and Creed (5 months). As a third grader at Ripley School, Jacie enjoys playing basketball, creating artwork and reading. Outside of school you can find Jacie showing pigs, shopping or collecting baby dolls.
All it took for Jacie to show her first pig was to sweetly ask her dad, “Can I show?” and with no surprise dad said yes. Jump forward and Jacie has been showing for four years because she has so much fun doing it. When it comes to pig shows, Jacie says she loves driving to the show, playing at the show and being able to show to the judge. Now at home, her favorite part is walking pigs in the yard with her family. Her sister, Evie Rue, even dances when she brushes the pigs.
World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa is a special place for Miss Cantrell. Not only is it her favorite show to attend because she gets to see so many of her friends from other states, while also getting to see all of the booths that have candy and other free stuff. In 2017, Jacie and her Yorkshire gilt, Sasha, were named Champion Overall NJSA Purebred Gilt. Jacie was so excited when the judge selected her pig, and she was even happier when her dad gave her a big hug back at the holding pens. Other accomplishments include; 2015 WPX Champion Yorkshire and Reserve Champion Overall NJSA Purebred Gilt and Champion Bred-and-Owned Yorkshire Gilt, 2016 WPX Reserve Division 1 and Third Overall Bred-and-Owned Yorkshire Gilt, and being named the Fifth Overall Junior Yorkshire Breeder in 2016.
Jacie shared with us her the importance of her faith in addition to her love for shopping and fashion. This is made even clearer through her two favorite quotes:
“Be full of Joy in the Lord always, I will say again, be full of Joy.” Philippians 4:4
“I will wear my pink shirt with ruffles, my purple skirt with ruffles, my pink-and-purple socks with ruffles. Ruffles make anything fancy!” -Fancy Nancy
It is clear Jacie has a bright future in and out of the show ring and the NJSA is proud to highlight her success thus far. Looking forward, we wish her the best of luck as she participates at the Oklahoma Youth Expo, as well as her future career goals of being a delivery nurse.
The NJSA is proud to recognize Brady Carney as one of this month’s youth spotlights. Brady, 18, resides in Calhoun, Ga. with his parents, Shane and Charity. Brady is actively involved in FFA. When he isn’t in school, Brady enjoys showing pigs, helping with his family’s poultry farm, fishing and hunting.
Brady started showing pigs when he was in sixth grade through FFA. When he started out, Brady was only showing at local shows, but has since expanded to show throughout the state of Georgia, as well as a few national shows. When asked why he shows pigs, Brady says, “Because I love it. I enjoy spending time in the barn with my animals, and I enjoy talking to my friends and meeting new people.”
Brady’s favorite livestock show is the World of Pork in Des Moines, Iowa, because of to all the events that take place at it. He also enjoys getting to pick out his pigs at Cain’s Super Sires each year. Dusty Cain is a big reason why Brady became involved with NJSA after he recommended Brady attend the Southeast Regional in Perry, Ga.
Brady’s most memorable moment is winning Reserve Champion Hampshire Sired Crossbred Barrow at the 2017 World Pork Expo. It was a very emotional experience for he and his family and something he will remember the rest of his life.
Brady’s favorite quote is, “Never give up! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”
In the future, Brady plans to attend Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College majoring in animal science. After graduation, he plans to return home and run his family’s poultry operation, as well as a small showpig operation.
Congratulations on a bright future, Brady. We look forward to watching you succeed!
The National Junior Swine Association would like to recognize Cash Martin, from Abernathy, Texas, for the NJSA Youth Spotlight. Cash is 13 years old, and currently attending eighth grade at Abernathy Middle School. Cash is the daughter of Brent and Erin Martin and has three siblings, two sisters, Cooper, 9, Colter, 4, and one brother Call, 5.
In school Cash enjoys and stays busy with basketball, track, UIL speaking events, cheerleading and livestock judging, along with showing pigs and steers. Outside of school, Cash serves as the first vice president on the Texas Junior Livestock Association, she is a member of the TJLA Junior Board of Directors, she likes spending time with her family whether that be vacationing or shopping. Cash started showing pigs six years ago at the Abernathy local show. Cash shows pigs because of how competitive she is, the new friends you meet and for her love of animals. Cash loves showing pigs at a competitive stand point because she enjoys watching all of her hard work pay off. Cash’s favorite show is the Houston Livestock Show and the World Pork Expo for the competitiveness each show brings.
Cash started her NJSA career in 2014 and has attended the World Pork Expo. She wanted to get involved in the NJSA to show outside of Texas. Her friend and mentor, Todd Beyers, suggested she join NJSA and compete in NJSA shows and contests. Cash’s favorite NJSA events are the livestock judging contest and showmanship because she enjoys judging livestock whenever she can and she loves to be competitive in showmanship because the outcome is based on her own performance and there is always something to learn to become better. Cash’s most memorable moments is receiving the 2014 Reserve Champion Chester Barrow and winning first place in the junior livestock judging contest with her team, in 2017. She has received several awards within the NJSA including the fifth place in the 2017 Overall Sweepstakes, sixth place in 2017 Showmanship, and Champion Junior Livestock Judging Team, in 2017. Cash has many accomplishments outside of the NJSA with the TJLA being Top 10 in the state pig and steer showmanship and Top 10 Region 1 steers and pigs, Champion Dark OPB Barrow and Champion York Barrow at the State Fair of Texas, and also receiving Champion and Reserve Champion pig at the Hale County show.
Cash’s future plans are to attend Texas Tech University and major in animal science and judge livestock. She hopes to intern with the NJSA at some point in the future. Her dream job is to do something within the livestock market. When ask what her favorite quote was Cash said, “Practice like you’ve never won, perform like you’ve never lost.”
The NJSA would like to congratulate Cash on all her accomplishments and wish her the best in the future!
Landry Miller is from Abernathy, Texas where he goes to Abernathy Middle School and is in the seventh grade. Landry is the 13 year old son of Jason and Janell Miller and has one sister, Sydney who is 10 years old. Landry is heavily involved in school sports as he plays football, basketball and also runs track. Outside of school, Landry is just as busy! He loves to show pigs, judge livestock, fish and many more activities.
Landry showed his first pig when he was just three years old at the Texas Tech Jackpot in Lubbock, Texas. Landry’s dad was an Ag teacher and Landry said he wanted to start showing so that he could be like the older kids that his dad taught. Landry absolutely has a passion for showing pigs as it has become a very large part of his life. He said that his favorite part is winning after putting so much time and hard work with his animals because that’s the greatest feeling on earth to him. Landry’s favorite show is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo because of the great environment for the people and the pigs and he always has fun there!
Landry has been involved in the NJSA since 2010 when he showed at his first National Junior Summer Spectacular, in Louisville, Ky.. The NJSS is also one of his favorite shows because he loves the facilities, tough competition and it’s always a fun environment for his family. Landry has also shown at World Pork Expo where he is always competitive in his favorite competition, the judging contest. Besides judging, Landry also participates in the photography, poster board, skillathon, and showmanship contests. All of his hard work in the competitions payed off when he was the Reserve Overall Premier Exhibitor and Fourth High Individual in the judging contest at the 2017 World Pork Expo.
Outside of the NJSA, Landry has had a multitude of accomplishments, including Grand Champion at his county show and a Reserve Breed Champion at the San Antonio Livestock Show, as well as multiple livestock judging wins.
Landry’s favorite quote is one that anyone could learn from as it says, “Practice like you’ve never won; perform like you’ve never lost.”
Landry’s advice to a younger member would be to tell them how many opportunities the NJSA has for its members in terms of scholarships and leadership positions. Landry plans on taking full advantage of these opportunities as he wants to be on the Junior Board of Directors in the future. Landry’s other plans include earning a scholarship for football or livestock judging so that he can go to college. After that, he wants to become a professional football player, a veterinarian, or a showpig breeder. Congratulations to Landry on all of your great accomplishments thus far and we wish you the best of luck in all of your future goals!
The NJSA would like to recognize Riley Clinard, 9, from Rockdale, Texas. Riley is the daughter of Glenn and Shannon Clinard and sister to Jaxson, 3. Riley is currently in the third grade at St. Paul Lutheran-Thorndale, where she enjoys reading, playing basketball and volleyball. Outside of school, she enjoys baking, watching movies with her family, riding her bike, listening to music and learning to play the piano!
Riley has been actively showing pigs for four years, where the beginning of her career started at the 2014 SWTC in Belton, Texas. She showed a big Yorkshire gilt named “Stormfly” that placed in class along with also making the sale! Riley began showing pigs because both of her parents showed growing up, so it felt natural to follow in their footsteps. Her parents bought her a pig to raise and learn how to care for like feeding, bathing and how to show properly. It sparked her interest when she learned that pigs are raised for two purposes; breeding and pork production! Riley shows pigs because she would like to work with animal when she gets older. This helps her get an understanding the care and well-being for an animal. Riley’s favorite part about showing is getting to know more about the breeders and other exhibitors across the U.S. She loves the competitive nature of being in the ring, but outside of the ring she loves hanging out with her friends. World Pork Expo is her favorite show to compete at because of how large scaled the show is and how deep the competition is.
Riley has been a participating member of the NJSA since 2014 when she first competed at Belton! She has shown at the Southwest Type Conference since she has been a member of the NJSA and started showing World Pork Expo in 2016. Riley’s favorite NJSA event is livestock judging and skillathon because it helps her when it comes to the selection of her pigs and improves her knowledge of swine. When asked what she would tell a younger NJSA member she said, “Set your goals and dreams high and work hard for them. Even when you finish in the bottom of your class, listen and learn from the judge’s comments so that you can improve and get better for next time you’re in the show ring.” She has had many accomplishments within the NJSA that include two top 10 finishes in Novice showmanship both years she’s shown at WPX, along with Reserve Livestock Judging team at the 2017 WPX, and fourth high individual in novice sweepstakes. Outside of the NJSA, Riley has had many successes in the Texas Jr. Livestock Association in showmanship, along with Grand Champion Swine at the 2017 Milam County Livestock Show. She has won numerous buckles and awards for jackpots, 2016 Miss Photogenic at the Rockdale fair and is currently the 2017 Miss Photogenic and 1st Runner-up Little Miss Rockdale.
In the future, Riley wants to earn 200 belt buckles during her show career. She would like to attend Texas A&M University and to become a veterinarian after completing her undergraduate degree. She is looking forward to showing at the Texas majors this year with her gilts and barrow. One of her signature moves is showing her hair in a bun, which earned her the nickname “#bungirl.” Congratulations, Riley, on all your accomplishments, and the NJSA would like to wish you the best in the future!
Megan Mench of Shirley, Indiana, is a 19-year-old sophomore at Illinois Central College where she is involved in the ICC livestock judging team and the Ag Business club. Megan is the daughter of Tom and Jessica Mench and has one older sister, Morgan Mench. Outside of school, Megan enjoys raising showpigs with her family, playing basketball with her dad and sister, shopping with her mom and also being a member of her church.
Mench has been showing pigs since she was 5 years old. Her first show was the Indiana State Fair open barrow show. She started showing pigs because she was raised on a showpig operation and loved to hangout in the barn and work together with her sister, Morgan. When asked why Megan shows pigs, she said it is a family activity that they all love doing together and get to spend time together whether it is in the barn during the farrowing season or in the spring where they are getting prepared for the shows. “Showing pigs and the industry has organizations that give you opportunities to grow as individuals and help you become successful towards your future,” said Megan. She is truly grateful for networking across the country and the experiences she has had.
Megan has been a member of the NJSA since she was 7 years old. Megan has attended many youth livestock shows, but her favorite show is the World Pork Expo. She has accomplished winning junior showmanship in 2011 and having the division 2 champion crossbred gilt in 2015 “Rock” which was a family raised gilt. Megan’s favorite event is showmanship. She firmly believes that showmanship has made her into a well-rounded individual. It has allowed her to gain confidence in herself and strengthened her ability to talk to someone older than her and be professional.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Megan on all her accomplishments and wish her the best in the future!
The NJSA would like to recognize Caleigh Lewis, 8, from Cedar Point, Iowa. Caleigh is the daughter of AJ and Kim Lewis. Caleigh is currently in second grade attending Cedar Point-Urbana School where she enjoys multiple subjects in school along with playing basketball, softball and cheerleading! Outside of school, Caleigh enjoys soccer, dance, gymnastics and playing the piano!
Caleigh has been showing pigs since she was 3 years old, where she started on the Iowa Swine Jackpot Series. As Caleigh started to go watch her aunt show pigs, she always wanted to help. Along with watching her aunt, her dad raises showpigs, which helped give her a spark in wanting to show pigs. Caleigh enjoys getting to see her friends, while being able to work with and show her pigs! Her favorite thing about showing is being in the ring and competing amongst her peers. Her favorite shows to attend are World Pork Expo because of the really hard competition and she gets to see all of her friends. She also enjoys the Iowa Swine Jackpot finale because it’s everything she’s worked for and the Iowa State Fair where she sees all of her friends and has fun spending time at the fair.
Caleigh has been competing in NJSA events for three years, where her favorite event is the World Pork Expo because of all her friends there and all the contests to participate in. Caleigh’s favorite contest with the NJSA is showmanship. She enjoys showmanship because she gets to show off all of her hard work with her pigs. Caleigh’s most memorable moment with the NJSA was placing third overall in showmanship at the 2017 World Pork Expo. When asked what she would tell younger members about the NJSA, Caleigh said “The shows are really tough but don’t give up because they make you better!” Her list of accomplishments within the NJSA includes third overall novice showman, 10th Overall Novice Judging Contest, along with ninth Overall Novice Sweepstakes all at the 2017 WPX. Outside of the NJSA, she has won many awards in the Iowa Swine Jackpot Series, but her favorite memory is winning a belt buckle for showmanship for overall points!
In the future, Caleigh plans to attend and show at more NJSA shows. One day Caleigh dreams of becoming a teacher!
Congratulations, Caleigh, on all of your accomplishments and the NJSA would like to wish you the best in the future!
Bryce Ostrom of Dorr, Michigan, is a 10-year-old fourth grader at Bentheim Elementary where he is involved in playing basketball, baseball and football. Bryce is the son of Brady and Susan Ostrum and has one younger brother, Cooper, who is 6 years old. Outside of school, Bryce enjoys showing cattle, goats and of course pigs.
Since Bryce was 3 years old, he has been showing pigs. His first show was in Louisville, Kentucky, at the National Junior Summer Spectacular seven years ago. He started showing pigs because his family has a herd of 45-sows, and they use to raise showpigs. He likes being able to help on the farm and get ready for shows. When asked why he shows pigs, Bryce said because he has fun doing it, and he likes working with agriculture. “I like seeing how my hard work will pay off at the end of a project and also meeting new friends at shows,” said Bryce.
Bryce has been a member of the NJSA for the past six years. He says the reason he is involved in the NJSA is because he is able to show at NJSS with his friends and family. Bryce has attended events such as NJSS and the Michigan Livestock Expo. Bryce’s favorite NJSA competition is livestock judging because it tests his ability to evaluate the livestock. Bryce’s most memorable NJSA moment was at the NJSS where he placed top 10 in the sweepstakes.
Bryce would tell a younger NJSA member that being involved in NJSA, “It is a good way to make new friends.” Bryce’s favorite quote is, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” His future plans include continuing raising and showing pigs, cattle and goats. When he grows up, Bryce says he wants to be a farmer and a pro-basketball player.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Bryce on all his accomplishments and wish him the best in the future!
The NJSA would like to recognize Mason Wall, 15, from Ila, Georgia. Mason is the son of David and Selina Wall and has one sister, Brooke Adams. He is currently a freshman at Madison County High School where he enjoys livestock judging.
Mason has been showing pigs for 10 years, where his first pig show was at the Comer Fairgrounds in Madison County, Georgia. He found his spark in showing pigs when his sister began to show her eighth grade year. They had many friends who showed for several years, his sister then found an interest and he then shortly after found his. Mason loves doing everything from preparing for shows to meeting all new people to being in the show ring. Showing pigs allows him to do something he loves along with something that he can do with his family.
Mason has been involved in the NJSA for seven years, where he has competed in World Pork Expo, Southeast Regional and Summer Spectacular. His favorite NJSA show is the Summer Spectacular because there are so many contests to participate, but his favorite is skillathon, because he enjoys learning more about the swine industry. One of his accomplishments within the NJSA is placing third in Prepared Public Speaking at the 2017 NJSS. Outside of the NJSA, Mason has accomplished 3rd Overall Market Hog at the 2017 Georgia National Fair and Champion Showman 2017 Georgia National Fair.
Mason future plans are to attend the University of Georgia and pursue a degree in animal science. He would like to own and operate a showpig operation. Mason’s favorite quote is, “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” – Derek Jeter.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Mason on all of his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in the future!
The NJSA would like to recognize Payton Evans. Payton is the 18-year-old daughter of Roy and Misty Evans. She is originally from Carthage, Texas, but recently moved to Henderson, Texas. Payton is currently a 12th grader at Carthage High School. Her hobbies include CHS Spirit Crew, National Honor Society, and FFA, where she is the Vice President of her chapter! Outside of school, Payton works at the Kids Journey Preschool and Daycare and enjoys spending time with her friends.
Payton began showing pigs when she was just six years old! They began going to weekend jackpot shows, and she was instantly hooked! She continued to attend jackpot shows every weekend from August until March. Her start began with her older brother. When his first two pigs arrived in the barn, she instantly claimed the extra and took care of it as her own. Ever since then her love for show pigs has only grown. When asked why she shows pigs, Payton replied, “I show pigs because I absolutely love it. When I was little my mom would always tell me to do something you love that just comes natural.” For Payton, that’s showing pigs. It has always been something that has felt natural to her, so she fell in love with it and never looked back.
Payton’s favorite part of showing pigs is the connections she has made. She says, “I love the friendships I have made along the way. Some of these people have become my best friends. We may not see each other for months, but when we get back together it’s like we’ve never been apart.”
When asked about her favorite shows Payton has two. Her first is the World Pork Expo. She says, “Expo is definitely a must do show for anyone. It’s a week with some of your best friends. The quality of pigs shown is amazing. Not to mention, the free goodies and going over to the exhibit buildings and seeing the commercial side of things is very interesting.” Her second show is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. In Payton’s opinion, it is the most prestigious of the Texas shows. She says, “There is just something about walking onto those green shavings every year. It was also the first place that I ever won a major livestock show showmanship award. I am honored to say that I have now won all Texas major showmanships.”
However, Payton doesn’t just compete in Texas, she has also gone to several other shows including World Pork Expo, National Western and Fall Classic. Her favorite NJSA contest is the judging contest. She says, “I really like the judging contest. I enjoy livestock judging in 4-H and FFA and it’s really fun to only judge pigs.” Her most memorable NJSA moment is working with our younger members. Payton says, “I love to help younger members learn how to do things within the show ring. I fell that it’s my time to give back. I have learned so much through my show career just by watching others, it is important for me to set a good example.”
In the future, Payton will attend Western Texas College on a show and meat judging scholarship. After Western Texas, she plans to attend either Texas Tech University or Tarleton State University. Payton also wants to run for the NJSA Junior Board of Directors! Payton would like to thank her parents for all they have done for her in her showing career. She says, “We have traveled so many miles and created so many memories together.” Congratulations Payton, and best of luck in your future endeavors!
The NJSA would like to recognize Lynsey Schmitz. Lynsey resides in Oakes, North Dakota, and is currently a junior at Oakes High School. She is the 19-year-old daughter of Cathy and late Paul Schmitz. Her hobbies in school include basketball, DECA and FFA. Lynsey is no stranger to the show ring as she has been showing since she was just two years old and also shows sheep and cattle as well.
Lynsey’s first experience showing pigs was at the North Dakota State Fair. She started showing pigs because it was something her whole family could be involved in. When asked why she shows pigs, Lynsey stated, “Showing pigs is simply enjoyable. There’s no better feeling than having a bond with my show pigs that I take care of and show. It’s about the friends that I’ve made throughout all my years of showing. It’s also about the bond it has created with my family. Showing pigs is our vacation and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Her favorite part of showing pigs is the friendships she’s made and the travel she’s been able to do.
Lynsey’s favorite show is the North Dakota State Fair where she achieved the “triple crown” winning champion barrow, champion market lamb, and champion market steer all in the same year!
Lynsey has been an NJSA member since 2006 when she exhibited barrows at the World Pork Expo. Since then, she has participated in National Junior Summer Spectacular, World Pork Expo, and National Barrow Show. Her favorite of those is World Pork Expo because it is where she got her start in the NJSA! Lynsey’s favorite NJSA contest is showmanship because, she says, “I enjoy showmanship, especially during World Pork Expo, where the competition is stiff and I get to compete with some of the best!” Her most memorable NJSA moment is having Reserve Champion Yorkshire Gilt and 5th Overall Gilt at the 2016 World Pork Expo.
When asked what she would tell a younger member about NJSA, Lynsey replied, “NJSA has provided me with some of my greatest memories and has taught me so much about the industry.”
Lynsey’s future plans include graduating high school and attending a four year university. Lynsey’s favorite quote is Stephen Curry’s, “Doesn’t matter where you come from, what you have or don’t have…All you need to have is faith in God, an undying passion for what you do, what you choose to do in this life, and a relentless drive and the will to do whatever it takes to be successful at whatever you put your mind to.” Lynsey is doing just that as she pursues her goals and dreams in the show ring and beyond.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Lynsey and wish her the best of luck as she continues on in her future endeavors.
The NJSA would like to congratulate Ashlyn Summers! Ashlyn is the 14-year-old daughter of Jered and Tammy Kimmel and Mike Summers. She is currently a ninth grader at Midlothian Heritage High School. Her hobbies in school include FFA, FFA Chapter Conducting, public speaking, livestock judging, and choir. Outside of school, Ashlyn enjoys 4-H Archery and Shooting sports, hunting, showing goats and showing pigs through the Texas Junior Livestock Association (TJLA) where she is a junior swine director!
Ashlyn has been showing pigs for 7 years. She began her career at the Fort Worth Livestock Show in the Commercial Crossbred Gilt Show. There were 67 in her class, and she was very overwhelmed, however, she hung in there and accomplished her goal of top five in the class! Since then, Ashlyn has continued to have success in the show ring. She was in the top 10 of the extremely tough intermediate showmanship contest at the World Pork Expo in 2016 and 2017, third place landrace barrow at World Pork Expo, and the 2016 fifth overall crossbred gilt. She has also been extremely successful in shows all across Texas!
Ashlyn began showing pigs because of her uncle and aunt, Cole and Melissa Reeves. When asked why she shows pigs, Ashlyn replied, “I do it because I love it, and I found I am pretty good at it. I enjoy everything about it. I love the level of competition and the challenge of each new hog. It is very rewarding in the end of a pig’s show career to know how far they have come and knowing the hard work and hours I have put into them. The knowledge and skills gained over the years are irreplaceable.” Her favorite part of showings pigs is the friends you make and the experience as she says, “You will only get to enjoy within a small portion of your lifetime.” She strives to be a mentor and role model for younger exhibitors. Ashlyn says, “My mom always tells me, ‘People are watching you, so be your best’. This attitude in the show ring has helped me become a better person and is an attribute which I will be able to continue to utilize the rest of my life.”
Showmanship is Ashlyn’s favorite NJSA contest. As she says, “There is a lot of diversity in the showmanship ring, you are competing against some of the best showman in the country and there is a lot of them. It is a great feeling to represent your state on the biggest stage in the swine industry. I love getting to show off the time and effort that I put into my stock at home and believe it is a true test of a showman’s dedication to show at this level. The top 10 of all the showmanship categories are the elite showman around the country.” Her most memorable moment in the NJSA is showmanship at the 2017 World Pork Expo when she came out in the top 10 of the intermediate showmanship division!
When asked what she would tell younger members about NJSA Ashlyn replied, “Get out and meet new people at the shows because those are friendships that will last you a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to try new things compete in every event possible. You will grow as an individual and learn new things along the way.”
Her favorite quote is from her uncle, Cole Reeves, “Win or lose, we drive them like they can’t be beat,” and Ashlyn has done just that! Her future plans are to attend a junior college on a judging scholarship, then transfer to Tarleton State University. Ashlyn can often be noticed by her trade mark blue/turquoise shirt and orange headband! Congratulations Ashlyn, and we wish you the best of luck in your bright future!
The National Junior Swine Association would like to recognize Olivia Vorpagel for the NJSA Youth Spotlight. Olivia is nine years old, from Adams, Minn., and is homeschooled. Her parents are Brent and Julie Vorpagel, and she has two siblings Natalie, 1, and Caden, 5.
In school, her favorite hobbies are reading and playing T-ball. Outside of school, her favorite hobbies are reading, photography, swimming, biking and showing pigs. Olivia has been showing pigs for over four years, starting when she was four years old. Her first show was the World Pork Expo, with a Duroc gilt named, “Purple” She got her start from encouragement by her parents, and from there she really enjoyed it. Currently, her favorite part about showing pigs is showmanship, and the show she enjoys most is the National Junior Summer Spectacular.
Olivia joined the NJSA four years ago, and her most memorable moment was when she won the Best of Show award at Louisville this past summer in the Amazing Advertising contest. Additionally, some of her NJSA accomplishments include Champion Novice Showman at the 2017 and 2016 National Barrow Shows, 3rd Place Novice Sweepstakes at the 2016 World Pork Expo, and Reserve Champion Novice Showman at the 2015 National Barrow Show. When asked what she would tell a younger member about NJSA, Olivia said, “The NJSA has helped me grow over the past few years in my ability to show pigs. I have met friends and always have a lot of fun with my family attending NJSA events. There are many contests you can participate in and have a lot of fun while you are at it. I encourage you to try it out too.”
Olivia’s favorite quote is from Galations 6:9, “Do not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time you will reap a harvest.” Her future plans include continuing to show pigs, starting a 4-H career, and going to college to be a pediatrician. She would like this to be her future career because she likes helping people and being around kids. Lastly, showing pigs has taught her that the more work you put into something the more you can succeed.
Congratulations, Olivia, on your accomplishments thus far, and good luck in your future aspirations!
The National Junior Swine Association would like to recognize Stormi Swaim, from Rockville, Ind., for the NJSA Youth Spotlight. Stormi is nine years old, and currently attends third grade at Turkey Run Elementary School. Stormi is the daughter of Jeremy and Lori Swaim, and has two siblings, Whitney, 8, and Cora, 1.
In school, Stormi’s favorite subject is reading, and currently she has received all “A’s” in her school work. Outside of school, Stormi enjoys camping, soccer, softball, and basketball. Stormi started showing pigs five years ago, and got her start from her parents when they agreed that showing pigs would be a great family project. Stormi enjoys most the time she gets to spend with her family and friends while working with and showing the pigs. Her favorite show is the World Pork Expo because there are so many people present, and also so many activities for the NJSA kids. Her favorite NJSA events are the skillathon and showmanship contests, because she can study and learn so much about pigs! The NJSA moment she remembers the most is finishing 2nd and 3rd in showmanship with her sister at the 2017 Southeastern Regional show in Perry, Ga.
Stormi started her NJSA career three years ago, and has attended many shows such as WPX, NAILE, Summer Type Conference, Southeastern Regional and the National Barrow Show. Her list of many accomplishments includes many Top 10 finishes in Novice Showmanship, 2nd place in Sweepstakes at the 2017 Southeastern Regional, Champion Chester Barrow in the open show at the 2017 NBS, and 1st place in Team Judging at the 2017 NJSS. Outside of the NJSA, she has had the Champion Chester White Gilt in the IJSC in 2017 and has finished Top 5 in Novice Showmanship in the IJSC, in 2017. When asked what she would tell younger members about the NJSA, Stormi said, “The NJSA is a great way to meet new friends and learn about pigs!”
In the future, Stormi plans to attend Purdue University to become a veterinarian. Additionally, she will begin 4-H this year and also will be showing cattle.
Congratulations, Stormi, on all of your accomplishments thus far and good luck with you future goals and aspirations!
Drive and charisma are two easy words that can be used to describe Brendan Dean Gross. The 7-year-old from Grandview, Texas already has five years of showing under his belt, and has found much success in and out of the show ring. Brenden is the son of Randy and Megan Gross, and has one 5-year-old sibling, Campbell. He attends Grandview Elementary School in Grandview, Texas. In school, his favorite activities are Math, the Gifted and Talented program and University Interscholastic League. Outside of school his hobbies include playing football and baseball, and of course spending time in the barn and showing pigs. Showing pigs was a natural choice for Brendan and his family, his parents brought him to his first show and Brendan says “My mom and dad took me to shows and I wanted to show like the older kids. I thought it looked fun.” Brendan enjoys the competition, meeting new friends and having a fun time with his friends and family.
Brendan first stepped into the show ring at the age of two and a half at a jackpot show in Glen Rose, Texas. He has come a long way since then, learning more every year while he shows and competes in speaking and judging opportunities the NJSA provides. Brendan has been an active NJSA member for three years. His favorite NJSA event is National Junior Summer Spectacular because he enjoys the speech contest, this past year he won the Novice Division Prepared Public Speaking contest the day before his 7th birthday – what a memorable day. Brenden also received 2nd place in the Sweepstakes at World Pork Expo in 2017 and says this was one of his most memorable shows. In the NJSA his accomplishments include, 2017 WPX, 2nd place judging team, 8th high individual in judging, 6th place showmanship and 2nd Novice Sweepstakes. At NJSS 2017 he won 1st in Novice Prepared Speech and 10th place judging team. In his home state of Texas he also has been fortunate to win the 2015 State Fair of Texas, Champion Poland Gilt and Reserve Supreme Champion Gilt, 2016 State Fair of Texas, Champion York Gilt and Supreme Champion Gilt, 2017 Fort Worth Stock Show, Champion Spot Gilt, Reserve Champion Duroc Gilt, Reserve Champion Commercial Gilt.
When asked what he would tell a younger member about NJSA, He would say “That the NJSA is a good place to have fun and meet new friends.” Brendan has big goals for the future, and his favorite quote “Always try”, will help him achieve these goals. His future plans are to serve as a Texas State FFA Officer, attend Texas A&M University, compete on the judging team and study to become a veterinarian. Congratulations, Brendan, on your accomplishments thus far, and good luck in your future aspirations!
The National Junior Swine Association would like to recognize Camden Smith from Lima, Ohio for the NJSA Youth Spotlight! Camden is 8 years old, and currently attends third grade at Allen East. Camden is the son of Justin and Jacklyn Smith, and has two siblings, Hunter, 13, and Brynlee, 5.
In school, Camden’s favorite hobbies are his math and reading classes, and he is currently a straight “A” student. Outside of school, Camden enjoys playing football, basketball, and baseball and running 5k’s and wrestling. Camden started showing pigs in the Ohio Jackpot Circuit in 2015, and has been showing for three years. He got his inspiration from his father and brother, who both showed pigs. His favorite part about showing pigs is a quick pen by the judge, selling gilts at Louisville, showmanship contests at home with his siblings, and water fights in the barn with Hunter. His favorite show is the National Junior Summer Spectacular because of all the fun events and things to do besides showing, such as Kentucky Kingdom, Trampoline Parks, and Louisville Bats games.
Camden started in NJSA two years ago. He has participated in the NJSS in 2016 and 2017. His favorite NJSA event is the Duroc gilt show because they are his favorite breed and can make some money for the summer’s hard work if the gilts are good. His most memorable NJSA moment is making the final drive in Showmanship at the 2017 NJSS, and this is also his favorite accomplishment. Outside of NJSA, he has won PeeWee Showmanship at the 2017 Allen County Fair.
Camden’s favorite quote is one his father says all the time: “Bad attitude, bad results.” Camden’s future plans are to continue having fun showing pigs during the summers and working on all sports and getting good grades. In the future, he wants to be a NFL football player, a CEO of a company, and run a showpig operation on the side.
Congratulations, Camden, on all of your accomplishments and good luck in your future aspirations!
The NJSA would like to recognize Briggs Williams. Briggs hails from Winder, Georgia. He is the 18-year-old son of Melissa and Andy Elrod and Robby and Kristin Williams. He is currently a senior at Winder Barrow High School. In school, he enjoys playing baseball and welding. When he’s not busy showing pigs and participating in his extracurricular activities, Briggs enjoys hunting.
Briggs began showing in sixth grade when his sister sparked his passion for show pigs. Since then, he has attended the Summer Spectacular, World Pork Expo, and Southeast Regional as well as many shows in the state of Georgia. Briggs enjoys showing pigs because he says, “It is fun, I am very competitive, and it is something our whole family can participate in together.” In fact, his favorite part about showing pigs is the competition.
When asked about his favorite livestock shows, Briggs said, “The NJSA shows because I enjoy traveling to all of the shows and seeing the different people and getting to see all of the breeders at those shows.” His favorite of the NJSA shows is the Southeast Regional, where he camps with many of his out-of-state friends he met through the NJSA!
His most memorable moment within the NJSA is winning the Champion Hampshire Barrow at the 2017 World Pork Expo! Briggs’ success stems beyond the NJSA as well, where he has been in the Top 10 in the Georgia Junior Livestock Program Showmanship points circuit for numerous years.
Briggs’ would tell younger members that, “NJSA is an event everyone should participate in to experience showing livestock on a national level and that it is a great organization to be a part of because of the opportunity that you have being a youth showing livestock.”
In the future, Briggs plans to attend some of the national shows he has not yet participated in. Upon graduation, he would like to pursue a career in welding. In closing, Briggs said, “Livestock has taught me a lot of responsibility and to have patience with the animals. Livestock showing is what bonded our family together with our stepdad. It is something that we can all participate in and spend quality time together.”
The NJSA congratulates Briggs and wishes him best of luck in his future endeavors!
Gavin Sinclair of Cloverdale, Indiana is a 10-year-old fifth grader at Cloverdale Middle School where he is involved in running Cross Country and Track. Gavin is the son of David and Cristy Sinclair and has one younger sister, Katelyn who is 5 years old. Outside of school Gavin enjoys working in the barn, going to pig shows, riding his 4-wheeler and running in 5K’s.
Since Gavin was 5 years old, he had been showing pigs. His first show was in Midland, Texas at Piggin’ in the Permian open show where he got to show with his cousin, Kenley Krohn. He started showing pigs because his Mom and Dad both showed pigs and they helped him with his first project. When asked why he shows pigs, Gavin said that his Grandpa Jerry raised pigs and showed them, and that from a young age he can remember always wanting to follow in his footsteps and raise pigs like he did. “Showing is fun and exciting, says Gavin. “I like setting goals and working to make myself better. The friends I have from showing are the best! Dropping spiders at the state fair with my friends is so much fun.”
Gavin has been a member of the NJSA since he was 6 years old. He says the reason he is involved is because he has always shown Yorkshire gilts so it just kind of made sense! Gavin has attended events such as the World Pork Expo and NJSS. He said he enjoys both WPX and NJSS because they are a week long and a fun vacation with my friends, family, and my pigs! Gavin’s most memorable NJSA moment was at the 2017 NJSS where he won Grand Champion Bred and Owned Gilt with his gilt Stella. She came out of his first litter of pigs.
Gavin would tell a younger NJSA member, “That it offers so much more than just showing pigs. You get to meet a lot of people and going to a NJSA show is more fun than Disney World.” His future plans include continuing showing pigs and also attend college after high school. When asked what he wanted to be someday, he replied with, “Not sure but I definitely would like to make a lot of money and also raise pigs.”
The NJSA would like to congratulate Gavin on all his accomplishments and wish him the best in the future!