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Champion’s Invitational Class”Virginia State Fair Junior Market Hog Show

Livestock Update, July 2007

Dr. Allen Harper, Extension Animal Scientist – Swine, Tidewater AREC

The separation date of July 20, 2007 for exhibitor care of State Fair Junior Division Market Hog Show project pigs is fast approaching.  Entries close on August 15 and should be mailed on official entry forms to Youth Market Hogs, c/o Kendra Redmon, Loudoun Co. VCE Office, 30 B Catoctin Circle SE, Leesburg, VA 20175.  The date of the junior show is Sunday, October 7th at 2:00 p.m.  The Open Market Hog Show is the day before, Saturday, October 6th.  Catalog information including entry forms and rules is available on the internet at

The State Fair Junior Market Hog Show is a competition.  Participants will be striving to select and raise project pigs that have good potential to win their weight class or even overall show champion.  However, emphasis should be placed on conducting a successful project, not just the end result at the exhibition.  Virginia Cooperative Extension publication 414-001, Virginia 4-H Youth Market Hog Project Guide offers a comprehensive information resource for conducting youth market hog projects.  Contact your local Extension office to obtain a copy.
Since 2004, the State Fair Hog Show committee has included a hair clipping rule for the State Fair Open and Junior Market Hog Shows.  That rule states that “for show eligibility hair length on the pig body (hams, top, sides, belly and shoulders) must be at least one half inch.  Pigs with body hair length less than one half inch are not eligible for the show.”  The rule is not always clearly understood by exhibitors and parents.  However, the basis for the rule is simple.  At most pork processing plants, market hog carcasses are de-haired rather than skinned.  The de-hairing process depends on scalding in hot water followed by mechanical removal of the hair using equipment that essentially “pulls” the hair out at skin level.  If the shafts of hair on the pig carcass are too short, this mechanical process fails and the hair is insufficiently removed.  Such carcasses must be skinned and, as a result, are substantially de-valued.

In addition, the market hog show committee has added a special Champions Invitational Class for this year’s show.  The purpose is two-fold.  The class will provide special recognition to youth who have excelled at their local, regional or multi-county junior market hog shows and hopefully, it will encourage more local youth swine exhibitors to participate in the State Fair Junior Market Hog Show as well.  Eligibility is based on the participant exhibiting the grand or reserve grand champion single market hog in a local, regional or multi-county junior market hog show in Virginia during the 2006 calendar year.

Attached to this article is a general entry form for the Champion’s Invitational Class to be used in addition to regular State Fair Youth market Hog Show entry forms that are available on-line (  Extension Agents, 4H leaders and FFA advisors are encouraged to make this opportunity known to eligible participants in their localities and to promote participation.

Special Champion's Invitational Class entry form - PDF



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