From the Mic :: 2019 NJSS
Photo Credit: National Western Stock Show Media Team
Duroc and Landrace Barrow Judge :: Brian Arnold, Ind.
What is your favorite show to attend?
As far as shows I’ve attended, I have probably enjoyed the NJSA Eastern Regional in Hamburg, New York the most. It’s low key, a great time of year, the fairgrounds are world class and the host staff is second to none.
What do you and your family do for fun?
We enjoy spending time together working outside and visiting our families when we get a chance. We live close to Purdue, so we make it to several sporting events throughout the year.
What is your background and current involvement in the swine industry?
I grew up on a grain and swine farm in northeast Indiana and our family raised a few showpigs. I competed on college judging teams at Blackhawk East (BHE) and Purdue. Upon graduation, I had the opportunity to serve as an agriculture instructor and co-coach the livestock judging team at BHE. I’ve also worked for the National Swine Registry and Zoetis. Today, my role is Sr. Product Manager – Direct Fed Microbials, for United Animal Health.
What are you looking for in your champion barrow?
Genuine composition and freshness, ideal proportions, skeletal quality and elite show ring presence.
What is the best hog you’ve ever seen?
I still say the best hog I’ve judged was the champion market hog from the Stanislaus County Fair, in California, during my early judging career. Some other memorable hogs I’ve seen that come to mind are 7-2 at Garry Childs, Who Made Who at Dan Burzlaff’s and Alias at Tim Marek’s.
What advice do you have for young people in the livestock industry?
My advice is to seek to understand how broad animal agriculture is and that young talent is in high demand across all of agriculture.
I’d also say that global issues, technology, consumer demand and a growing population removed from production agriculture will continue to drive rapid change in the livestock industry. These changes will directly impact, more so than ever before, the stock show industry. It’s critical that breeders, exhibitors, leadership and livestock organizations establish an aligned approach towards sustainability and growth.
What do you enjoy most about being involved in the NJSA?
I get the most enjoyment out of watching young people grow and develop during their time with the organization, and then seeing them make the transition into successful careers and starting families. Dan Hoge has always said, “You’re never done, your roles just change.” I think alumni of the NJSA see the value of their own experience and encourage other young people that can be positively impacted through participation.
What is one important trait young individuals can gain from showing?
A lot of growth opportunities can be gained when combining people, pigs and a competition. There’s a lot that is learned from showing livestock and I think one valuable trait is “perspective.”
What do you enjoy most about being involved in the swine industry?
I most enjoy meeting and learning from incredible people and developing relationships that transcend the swine industry.
What is your favorite aspect about judging a show?
I enjoy the chance to work with young people that share the same passion for competition and livestock, and I also enjoy the chance to evaluate great livestock.