Youth Swine Show Program

January-March 2002

Larry McMullen , Swine Field Specialist


County 4-H/FFA swine shows vary greatly across the state of Iowa . Swine projects are declining in both 4-H and FFA. Therefore, this Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) Iowa Communications Network (ICN) program was designed to provide ideas to improve the existing swine shows as well as give suggestions as to how swine projects might be increased at the county level. Swine show committee members also need updated information on how to design and implement a successful swine show. Consequently, this program was provided to assist county extension and swine superintendents in developing and conducting the county fair swine show.


Because of this need to assist the counties in their swine shows at the county fair, an ICN program was conducted on December 13, 2001 for county swine superintendents, fair officials, parents and ISU Extension staff. Larry McMullen, ISU swine field specialist, organized the ICN program sponsored by IPIC. Denise Schwab, State 4-H and youth development specialist, discussed "4-H Philosophy, Ethics, and Function." Tom Baas, ISU Extension swine specialist, was to have presented "Swine Derby Shows - Maximizing the Benefits." However, due to an emergency Baas was unable to attend the program. In his absence, Larry McMullen, ISU Extension field specialist, presented the material for Dr. Baas. Larry also discussed "Marketing, Auctions, and Special Swine Projects." Jim McKean, ISU Extension swine veterinarian, expounded on "The Bio-Security and Health Issues for Conducting County Youth Swine Shows." Al Christian, ISU swine farm manager and nationally recognized swine judge, presented the topic "A Judges' Point of View." Handouts were available on topics to all participants. A time for questions and comments was provided at the end of the program. Forty-two ICN sites were available.


A total of 189 individuals attended the ICN program. The attendance was represented by 24 % Extension Staff, 23 % Swine Superintendents, 16 % 4-H/FFA Parents, 14% Fair Officials, 7% FFA Advisors, 5% 4-H Project Leaders, and 9% Other. With a rating scale of 1 to 5, (1 = no use and 5 = very useful), the overall rating of this ICN program was 3.71. When asked the question "What changes will you make in your county swine show as a result of this program?" the following comments were made: "Work on incorporating better options for youth to develop and grow, maybe change showmanship"; "Hopefully more discussion to audience about derby show"; "Consider doing a derby show";"Load in control"; "Placement of showmanship - beginning verses end"; "Hopefully more discussion to audience about derby show"; "Review our procedures for preparation"; "Possibly add PPPP program for more commercial aspect of projects"; and "Biosecurity." An additional follow-up to the County Extension Education Directors is planned for after the 2002 county fair season to measure the adapted changes due to the ICN program.


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