What an impressive week it was there in Louisville folks. Once more, I was impressed by the amount of outside help and commitment displayed by the youth, parents, and breeders of our outstanding organization!
The opportunity to spend the week before Louisville at the office in West Lafayette brought upon an opportunity for me to experience first-hand just what kind of “prep” went in to making this show run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Needless to say, I may have fine tuned my organizational skills that week by a mere margin.
July 9th would mark that start of a week that was sure to be an eye opener for me not only in terms of the hogs I would set me eager eyes upon, but maybe more so the philosophy and passion possessed by the gentlemen behind these two lucrative firms. Now readers, on a more personal note, as I naturally spend an ample amount of time behind the wheel of a trusty steed, these last few weeks I started asking myself a few questions in this time. Aside from the hogs ( I understand they are the reason we go to herd visits), why have the firms I have visited been able to be so successful? As far as the things that work for each farm, why does it work for them? What is it that ties it all together to write the story of success on a farm to farm basis? In what ways are these farms exclusive to each other? Now these are just few of the questions and the point I am trying to drive home here ladies and gentlemen is that I have quickly learned that reflection on a day to day basis play an integral role in how I decided what it is that I need to take away from the last visit in order to mentally prepare for the next visit. When I say mentally prepare, each visit for me is an opportunity, in order to make the most of any opportunity you have got to have a plan or an idea of what it is you want out of the opportunity. I do my best to have a sincere visualization of what I may be fortunate enough to get out of each visit, if not I considered it time well wasted. I consider the men currently in the full time position of my job and previous field men of the NSR, talented minds that have conquered this task and have mastered the ability to do so. Enough with the Corey Carpenter Summer Intern philosophy soap box, you’re on here to read about what I’ve seen so here it is.
Tuesday the 10th of July brought me maybe the most unique visit to date. Monday the 9th I had traveled down to Jonesboro, AR which sits about 20 miles from Lake City. I arrived at the Cobb Family farm about 9 o’clock that Tuesday morning with anticipation at capacity. Now everyone I have talked to so far asked me how it was and the first thing I tell them is that my hopes for this visit were as such; that both Steve and Aaron would just talk and talk and talk and talk and if I got real lucky they would talk some more! Still to this day I firmly believe that if you just don’t say too much and let them share with you than you will get more valuable information that you ever thought. Long story short Tuesday the 10th must have been my lucky day because I got all of what I had hoped for and more. Steve and Aaron possess one of the most evident passions for the purebred and crossbred hog industry that I have experienced. I struggle to describe with words the dedication they have had to the industry. CHECKMATE , FINAL MOVE and REVOLUTION were all three Yorkshire sires Aaron drove out of the stud for me. All three hogs had pedigrees with history behind them! I was able to see sows that go back to these three hogs and you talk about breeding boars that pass it on, these hogs flat get it done. For those of you looking to make barrows, REVOLUTION is the sire for you as he sires the most barrow shaped muscle in Steve and Aarons experience. CREATURE, BEAR, SUPER SPECIAL and MODERN MARVEL were cross hogs Aaron drove out for me. I can say with much confidence you folks don’t need me to describe and tell you all the good I saw in these hogs, they have simply beaten me to it through the offspring they have produced off that farm. Tremendous breeding pieces across the board, everyone knows what they have done! I want to thank Steve and Aaron for taking their valuable time to show me their operation and share with me a little bit about their operation and how they have become the reputable firm they are today. A herd visit for the books!
Hillsboro, KY would be my next stop to see some Yorkshire hogs that are unique in their own right. Eric Watson and I would meet up at the farm around 2 o’clock on Wednesday afternoon and get acquainted. Like many visits we made the short walk to the herd sire pens where one could find, SPUD, MAGNUS, DIEGO and a little boar they call SPONGEBOB. Now I maybe telling you all something you already know but I’ll go ahead and say it anyways, if you want to make complete, correctly angled, functional, production oriented hogs that will give you all of that on top of that showpig look you may already have, you need to study the Watson firm. It is really that simple. Lay in a set of females with Diego and go whatever direction you want from there, you will have good hogs! Eric does an amazing job doing what he does with the hogs there and it is no mistake! We have seen these guys in the sale ring at shows around the country and it’s for a good reason. Folks the value is in that flesh and bone that sits in front of a lot of you at the shows. This has got to be one of the most predictable, consistent set of Yorskshire hogs in the country. I was truly privileged to be able to spend my afternoon discussing Yorkshire hogs with Eric and I thank him dearly for sharing his thoughts and ideas regarding Yorkshire hogs with me.
Another great week on the road has served me well and my summer only gets progressively better in terms of my ability to take advantage of every opportunity I am presented with. I hope to see a lot of you at the state fairs coming up here in the weeks to come. Again, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding the hogs I have seen in the past weeks. I have thoroughly enjoyed discussing hogs with those of you that have!
Until next time.