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Barrow show breaks with tradition

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Ken Klotzbach, kklotzbach@postulletin.com Marissa Shute, 4, of Austin, leads her hog around the ring in the Novice Showmanship competition of the barrow contest Sunday at the the Mower County Fairgrounds.

The 65th National Barrow Show is under way at the Mower County Fairgrounds. It will be the first time in the show’s long history that crossbred boars will be shown and sold at the event.

Early entries in the NBS Junior Showmanship Contest and Junior Barrow Classic were on the grounds before 9 a.m. Saturday and all junior barrows were weighed and in their pens by 5 p.m.

With their animals comfortably settled after some long rides, the youngsters were rewarded with a junior exhibitor pizza party. Showmanship began at 9 a.m. Sunday in Crane Pavilion and the Junior Barrow Show followed at noon.

Judging hogs

Ken Lane, of Spragueville, Iowa, served as judge in the showmanship competition. The University of Iowa graduate didn’t miss a chance to give the exhibitors a tip or two on how to improve their performances, and he defended his decisions.

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"This high level of competition gives every one of them an opportunity to showcase their talent," he said. Time and again, he reminded the young people that showmanship is a team effort between the animal and its trainer. "If you two don’t cooperate," he said, "it isn’t going to go well."

For those who follow pork show fashion, sparkly belts are a must this year. At least four out of five of the young women exhibitors, and some on the NBS staff, sported sparkly belts this year.

"The World Series of Swine Shows" continued at 8 a.m. today with the arrival of junior and senior college students, Future Farmers of America and 4-H Club members. While most students are from the Midwest, some come from as far California.

Breeding stock

The Breeding Stock Show begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday with Berkshire, Spot, Chester White and Poland China in the North Ring and Yorkshire, Landrace, Duroc, Hampshire, and Crossbred Boars in the South Ring.

Bruce Hendrickson and his daughter, Breann, 16, were among the first to arrive at the Mower County Fairgrounds on Saturday morning.

The 665-mile ride in their pickup truck, towing six hogs, had taken 12 hours, counting a two-hour nap.

Asked why he did it, Hendrickson said: "I read about the history of National Barrow Show in Ag magazine and then I looked it up on the Internet. I just had to come."

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It’s Breann who will be showing their two Yorkshires, two Hampshires and two Crossbreds.

"This junior thing is keeping the hog industry alive," he said. "I don’t get to show a thing."

Breann said her experience at the Clark County Fair and livestock shows in Louisville, Ky., which is just south of Charleston, has helped her to take better care of her animals. She placed in the top 10 of the Junior Showmanship’s crowded intermediate class.

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