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The 1998 Virginia State Fair Market Swine Shows

Livestock Update, July 1998

Allen Harper, Extension Animal Scientist, Swine, Tidewater AREC, Virginia Tech

Local 4-H and FFA swine shows continue to be successful at many locations throughout Virginia. These youth shows have maintained a significant presence despite the fact that the number of independent farms and farm families involved in commercial hog production has declined in Virginia and throughout the country. For 1997 there were 22 youth market swine shows reported in the state including locations as far north as Loudoun County, as far east as Virginia Beach and as far west as Pittsylvania County.

Part of the appeal of youth market hog projects is that with some moderate investment, grow-out facilities for project pigs can be set-up on a relatively small amount of land area. Feeding out market pigs teaches animal husbandry skills and general responsibility. Like any agricultural enterprise, there is no guarantee of profit, but growing pigs generally respond favorably to good management. If costs are managed well, the chances of realizing a profit for the youth participant is reasonably good.

The other key ingredient to the success of local youth swine projects and exhibitions is the involvement of Extension Agents, Agriculture Instructors and Volunteers. These are the people providing the support, leadership and information to the parents and youth involved in the swine projects.

The State Fair Junior Market Hog Show offers an opportunity for youth swine exhibitors to expand their level of project participation beyond the local level. It also offers youngsters who do not have access to a local show the opportunity to conduct a market hog project and exhibit their animals. Exhibitors too old or too young to be eligible for the junior show may opt for participation in the State Fair Open Market Hog Show held in conjunction with the junior show. Some specific advantages associated with participation in the State Fair Youth Market Hog Show include: 1) a total purse of $3000 in State Fair junior show prize monies, 2) $500 in additional "Virginia Futurity" prize monies, 3) a youth scholarship program that awarded approximately $4000 in scholarship deposits and participation awards last year, 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 State Fair Open and Junior Market Hog Shows.

State Fair Of Virginia Open Market Hog Show
October 3, 1998 - 5:00 p.m.

More detailed rules and entry forms appear in the State Fair catalog. A State Fair catalog may be requested from Ms. Lil Reynolds, Atlantic Rural Exposition, P. O. Box 26805, Richmond, VA 23261, phone 804-228-3200. Entry forms can be obtained by contacting Allen Harper, Tidewater AREC, 6321 Holland Road, Suffolk, VA 23437, Phone 757-657-6450 ext 106.

1998 Virginia State Fair Youth Market Hog Show
October 4, 1998, 2:00 p.m. - State Fairgrounds, Richmond, Va.

*Note that the show weight range has been moved to heavier weights to accurately reflect hog processor demands. To achieve the correct pig weight at show time it is important to start with pigs of correct weight and achieve rapid growth with healthy, well fed pigs throughout the project.

Starting Pig Weight Guide for 1998 State Fair Youth Hog Show**

Purchase or separation dateDesired feeder pig weightDesired show pig weight on October 3
June 1not more than 55 lbs230 to 265 lbs.
June 1545 lbs to 75 lbs230 to 265 lbs
July 170 lbs to 105 lbs230 to 265 lbs
July 1590 lbs to 125 lbs230 to 265 lbs
**Table assumes average growth rates of approximately 1.7 lbs per day. Pigs with health problems or exposure to prolonged heat stress will not gain at this rate.

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