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The Virginia State Fair Junior and Open Market Hog Shows

Livestock Update, July 2003

Allen Harper, Extension Animal Scientist - Swine, Tidwater AREC

The structure of the swine industry has changed dramatically over the past two decades. Hog farms in Virginia and elsewhere are fewer in number but larger and more specialized. However, 4-H and FFA market hog projects and local youth swine exhibitions continue to be popular. In many cases, young people involved in the market hog project do not live on a farm that produces hogs commercially.

Youth participants and their families do not have to be engaged in commercial swine production to learn from the experience of conducting the market hog project and exhibiting the animals at the conclusion of the project. VCE publication 414-001 Virginia 4-H Youth Market Hog Project Guide offers a comprehensive information resource for conducting youth market hog projects.

The State Fair Junior Market Hog Show offers an opportunity for youth swine exhibitors to expand their level of project participation beyond county or regional shows. It also offers youngsters who do not have access to a local market hog show the opportunity to conduct a market hog project and exhibit their animals. Exhibitors that are not of 4-H or FFA age may opt for participation in the State Fair Open Market Hog Show, which is open to exhibitors of all ages. Specific advantages of participation in the State Fair Junior Market Hog Show include: 1) total prize monies of approximately $3000, 2) additional carcass evaluation prize monies of approximately $500, 3) opportunities to earn youth scholarship monies for post-secondary education costs, and 4) an excellent opportunity to visit with other youth and families involved in swine projects.

The following are some general rules and deadlines for the 2003 Virginia State Fair Youth and Open Market Hog Shows.

State Fair of Virginia Junior Market Hog Show - Sunday, October 5 at 2:00 p.m.

State Fair of Virginia Open Market Hog Show - Saturday, October 4 at 5:00 p.m.

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