Just like that – World Pork Expo (WPX) is already a week past! We hope everyone was able to catch-up on some sleep and get some rest after a very successful week. As some of the interns were first-time attendees of WPX they had quite the exciting experience diving in head first. Find out what they thought about WPX and their internship experiences so far!
Romoser’s notes from the road – Matt Romoser, NSR Fieldstaff Intern
Wow – what an internship it has been so far! My time at the National Swine Registry (NSR) has mostly been spent with the Northwest Field Representative, Michael Lackey, and the Eastern Field Representative, Blaine Evans. I have been very fortunate to visit some really great firms and see some great hogs. Herd visits, thus far, have primarily consisted of looking at what everyone was planning to bring to WPX, many of which competed very well. One that sticks out in my mind would be the Champion Duroc Boar from Dan Meeker in Illinois. This King of Outlaws son was every bit as good at the farm as he was in the show ring. He was stout featured, good built and had the balance and look to compete in the show ring. I look forward to seeing what this guy can do for red hogs in the future. Along those same lines, All Shook Up at Crossroads Genetics, Indiana, seems to be doing a great job in the Duroc breed. As a whole, his hogs are heavy structured and have the extra rib and skeletal width. This leaves me very optimistic and excited to see what the females out of him can do, later on.
While I was visiting farms in Eastern Iowa, Lackey and I were able to make a visit to Weisinger Farms. On our visit we saw some great young boar prospects out of Generator at Upperhand Genetics, Indiana. Additionally, we were able to see an awesome set of young cross boars that now stand at Premium Blend Genetics, Indiana. In general, all three of those sons resembled the look of a show barrow, with the basic build to make great replacements as well. Nathan has been doing a great job in both the cross and purebred show rings, and I was very thankful for the opportunity to visit with him and his family.
WPX has come and gone, but it did not happen without some great memories being made first. From checking in a record number of entries, to staying out until 1 a.m. for the crossbred boar show, to selling a $90,000 Hampshire boar, this was definitely one for the books. While that week was exhausting for everyone, it only makes me more excited for what we might see at Summer Type Conference (STC).
To finish up, I wanted to mention on some of the boars we saw Thursday at Purple Power Boar Stud, LLC, Indiana. A great set of Yorkshire boars greeted us at the beginning of the tour, as you might expect. Here and Now, W.O.W. and Dress to Kill were all very intriguing breeding pieces, and if you haven’t already, these may be some boars you should look into. Chris also has some really interesting young Duroc and crossbred boars. The Duroc boar he calls Honey Moon was a purchase from Joe Eggers, Iowa, and is one, who in terms of flexibility, squareness and having a balanced image from the side, looks to be a Duroc female deluxe. On the crossbred side, I was fortunate to see some of the young progeny out of Hillbilly Hilton at 4K Farms, Iowa, that Chris had as the result of some bred sow purchases. As you might expect from the Swanson farm and the Hillbilly Bone line, these hogs were sound on their feet and legs, heavy structured and look to be later maturing with some growth and performance.
All in all, these first few weeks on the job have been nothing short of fantastic. I look forward to what the rest of the summer has in store and to continue to learn from some of the nation’s very best breeders.
A wrap on WPX – Jessica Harsh, NSR Marketing & Communications Intern
As a first-timer at WPX, I really was not sure what to expect other than it was probably going to just be another livestock show providing show coverage via the internet. I was certainly wrong in regards to it being “just another livestock show.”
It was more than that – it was an eye-opening adventure.
With over 200 new junior exhibitors and around 3,000 hogs shown, one can learn a lot about the hog industry sitting ringside, especially if you are from a primarily cattle background. The only time I would typically think of a show going into the wee hours of the next morning is the champion heifer drive at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE), and that rarely ever happens. Well, in Des Moines, both junior and open shows happened to go past midnight at WPX. For me, this really capitalized on the true passion producers and juniors have for the industry.
Not only did I see some of the best hogs in the country but I was able to watch some of the best showmen in the country, as well. Showmanship has always been something near to my heart, and I was blown away by the majority of the junior showmen’s skills. It was incredible to see how well a 7- or 8-year-old could drive a hog! Being able to drive a hog like that does not just happen over night, no matter what age you are. Aside from the best hogs and best showmen, the swine industry is filled with great people and were all very welcoming.
A very popular visitor showed up during one of the shows – the Bachelor! To say the least, most girls were pretty excited when Chris Soules came in the barn. I was behind the camera catching all the action, so the answer to your question is “no,” I did not get a picture with him – just of him.
We also had a great first launch of webcasting the entire junior and open shows. For those who could not make it, the NSR and Walton Webcasting were able to bring WPX to them. Be on the look out for webcast coverage of the National Junior Summer Spectacular (NJSS) and STC shows held in Louisville, in a few weeks.
I hope everyone was able to get rested up and look forward to seeing everyone again in Louisville, June 29-July 4.
WPX experiences to last a life time – Charlie Huelsenbeck, NJSA Intern
Going into WPX, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard several things from people to look forward to, including being around some of the top breeders and hogs in the country. Needless to say, WPX was an experience I will not soon forget. Not only did I get to work with the youth that will be the future of the swine industry in years to come, but I also got to know some of the junior board well and made memories that will last a life time.
One of my favorite parts of WPX was working with the Novice members during the Judging Contest. Just listening to the little kids and the crazy reasons why they thought one pig was better than the other was fun. Sometimes kids say the funniest things, especially when it comes to evaluating livestock. A close second for my favorite thing during WPX was working with some great people throughout the week and meeting new people within the swine industry that share the same passion I have.
The National Junior Swine Association (NJSA) is looking forward to seeing everyone in Louisville, Kentucky, in about two weeks. We are excited to see a record number of hogs entered again!