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Showmanship Training

Posted by Afton Blight on June 23, 2013 at 9:50 PM

This month's Swine Club meeting focused on showmanship skills. During the fair, each swine club participant gets two opportunities to show their animal. On the first day of showing, the judge is evaluating the young person and how they work with their pig, this is called Showmanship. The next day, the each animal is judged by their physical characteristics and perceived meat quality and cutability.


Each showman is encouraged to work with their pigs in the months prior to fair in order to familiarize the pigs with the showing process. The 4-H'ers are required to look professional in a button-down, tucked-in shirt and pants when entering the show ring. Once the youth and their pigs enter the show arena they try to parade their pigs in front of the judge. The Judge places the participants on their ability to keep their pig at a good viewing distance while walking the pig in a way that allows the judge to see all sides of the animal for evaluation purposes. Having good eye contact with the judge is key and the older 4-H members are often asked questions about the pig producing industry or pork quality and need to have a satisfactory answer in order to place well in the showmanship class.


Being top showman takes a lot of work and dedication but it ultimately comes down to impressing the judge in a few minutes time. The winners of the showmanship classes in all the livestock clubs then have the opportunity to show each specie at the fair during the Show of Champions which is Thursday of fair week.

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