By: Lexi Delaney
The binder that my family calls “The Bible” is home to health papers, pedigrees, PQA cards and so much more. This is the first and last thing we check for before leaving the house. Without “The Bible,” I couldn’t make it past check in to even unload let alone make it to the show ring.
Show box or treasure chest? After years of showing, my show box is a mobile, mini show barn that never gets unpacked. I don’t know where anything is placed in there but I know after a little digging I’ll find it. From towels to screwdrivers, safety pins to electrolytes, the show box has everything I’ll ever need. Need a brush? Check the show box. Need a number clip? Check the show box. The best part about pig shows is you’re surrounded by family and friends so if I don’t have what I need in the show box, it’s guaranteed someone will.
You can NEVER have too many buckets. My mom is the queen of labeling our buckets and we still somehow manage to send them home with our neighbor at a show or end up with extras. It’s always better to have more than end up without enough.
If I had a dollar for every time someone laughed at my dad carrying around my bedazzled sprayer bottle, I’d be rich. But you know what, we’ve never lost it. Whether it’s bedazzled or has colored duct tape, having a sprayer bottle different from everyone else’s makes it that much harder to misplace. Having an extra in the trailer is a good idea because a sprayer bottle is an item you’ll need at every show.
Feed and Feeders
Expo is a long week for the people and the pigs, so making sure you have more than enough feed and feeders are important. My family measures out exactly how much feed we’ll need in buckets to bring on the grounds, and then have plenty of extra in the tack pen on the trailer.
June in Iowa always seems to be the hottest during Expo week. Bringing enough fans to keep the pigs cool is a vital aspect to keep them eating and have them tuned in on show day.
With numbers growing in exhibitors and pigs every year, it is crucial to bring your divider gates. There are only so many pens to fit the pigs so utilizing divider gates makes it much easier on exhibitors and staff.
Although you can usually find a hose lying around in the wash rack, you always need to have one on hand. I’ll say it again, Expo is extremely hot so rinsing your pigs multiple times a day to keep them cool will ensure they’re comfortable and not getting stressed out.
Every showman has their lucky whip they are convinced they cannot show without. Although that is the most important whip, make sure it’s not your only one. You never know when you’ll need to grab another whip to help your friend to the wash rack, go for your nightly stroll around the barn, or in the very likely case, when another whip breaks.
Although there isn’t enough room to have a tack pen, a tack area is a significant part of Expo. This is the show mom’s pride and joy. They have all the tables, chairs, coolers, snacks and games packed for the entire barn. What makes them the happiest is seeing the tack area filled with new and old friends playing games, eating and occasionally taking a quick nap in between classes.
A Good Attitude!
The World Pork Expo is hot. World Pork Expo is packed. Be ready for a week full of sweat, tears, and laughter with friends from all over the country who love showing pigs just as much as you do.
About the Blogger
Lexi Delaney grew up in Iowa where she showed pigs with her family. Being an active NJSA member, Lexi now serves as the vice president for the NJSA. She is a recent graduate of Iowa State University and is now working for Swine Genetics International, where she handles their marketing efforts.