2005 4-H Swine Verification in East Central Iowa

Larry K. McMullen, Swine Field Specialist, Southeast
Problem Statement: 

In order to exhibit swine at the Iowa State Fair 4-H swine show, 4-H participants must weigh-in derby pig entries and verify all market pigs.  The verification process for all pigs involves gathering a hair sample for DNA typing, receiving a tattoo number and an ear tag as well as pig description for sex, color, and breed.  Pigs may be verified at public weigh-in sites or for a fee on-farm verification can be made.  At the public weigh-in sites, bio-security must be maintained between the respective pigs of 4-H participants.  And the efficiency of the verification process must be obtained in order to process the pigs in an expedite fashion.
Programmatic Response: 

For the east central Iowa area, three public sites were made available to 4-H participants.  Sites were located on the Clinton County Fairgrounds at DeWitt, Cedar County Fairgrounds at Tipton, and the Linn County Fairgrounds at Central City and four on-farm visits were made to verify pigs as well.  All supplies and equipment were secured for the collecting of hair, tattoo and tagging, and the recording process.  In order to maintain bio-security at the public sites the incoming trailers were advised to park at a distance from another.  Handling of pigs during the verification process was done by the 4-H owner and/or parents.  In addition, verification staff handling the pigs wore latex gloves which were changed between groups.  Also, all equipment was disinfected between the changing of ownership groups.  In order to process pigs expeditely, at all the public sites, two verification lines were established.  Therefore, minimal waiting time for verification processing occurred.

The verification process for the 2005 4-H State Fair at DeWitt, Tipton, Central City, and on-farm was completed in a very efficient manner.  A total of 55 4-H members representing 42 families from 10 different counties verified a total of 256 derby pigs and 379 market pigs for a grand total of 635 pigs.  Site numbers were as follows:  DeWitt 19 members, 115 derby, 147 market, 262 total done in approximately four hours; Tipton 11 members, 37 derby, 75 market, 112 total done in approximately two hours; Central City 16 members, 63 derby, 90 market, 153 total done in approximately three hours.  Comparing the number of pigs verified at these east central sites to the total numbers verified for the 2005 Iowa State Fair, 19.9% of derby pigs, 28.6% of the market pigs, and 24.3% of the total pigs were processed from 24.4 % of the total exhibitors at these locations in a very efficient and organized manner.

March 7, 2006
108 Iowa Pork Industry Center

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu