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New Faces to Watch – Zelinsky Livestock

Monday, May 2, 2022

Showpig News

Tune in to the video below to learn a bit more about Riggen Zelinsky and what is going on at Zelinsky Livestock!


Riggen Zelinsky knows what it takes to raise good livestock. He grew up on his family’s sheep operation, Bar-Zel Suffolks in Brookings, South Dakota where he developed his foundation and learned what it takes to be successful in production agriculture. One summer Riggen’s dad brought home a show pig, and his love for a new segment of the industry was born.

“My family has been raising purebred Suffolk sheep my whole life. One summer my dad surprised me with pigs and I’ve been involved in the commercial and show pig industry since. I always believe there’s room to adapt and make certain things better in different aspects of the livestock industry and I want to be a part of that,” says Riggen.

Zelinsky Livestock, located in Rock Valley, Iowa, was started when Riggen purchased Duroc gilts for his sister Raesa, who is still in 4-H, to show last year. Those gilts have now become the start of his purebred herd, and he hopes that each year he will continue to grow and gain more knowledge.

“I hope to keep gilts each farrowing and grow. With my sister still being 4-H age, I am targeting pigs for northern state fairs as well as Aksarben and American Royal, so my initial goals are to feed my sisters new found love for showing pigs, gain a reputation as a good young breeder and become a better stockmen,” Riggen explained.

In addition to continuing to develop his operation and learn, Riggen is also passionate about supporting and mentoring the youth of the industry.

“At shows, I can see how much fun kids have when they have someone supporting them. And how easy it is for a kid to have fun and enjoy livestock. I want to be able to help kids find the passion I did. Because I believe livestock can really take you anywhere you want in life,” Riggen says while talking about what he hopes to accomplish as a producer.

As a first-year breeder Riggen has chosen to consign in The Debut to showcase his litters to an online audience. He hopes it will help create some excitement for his business and help him get off to a great start.

“Marketing pigs is hard enough after you’ve done all that work to get them to selling point. The Debut gives a young livestock producer the tools needed to market pigs,” Riggen says.

The Debut is a premier consignment auction platform that showcases new consignors, breeders or operations looking for a facelift or re-introduction to the market. The next Debut is May 9th. Look for entries from Zelinsky Livestock and reach out to Riggen with your inquiries or questions about his offering. Riggen Zelinksy: (712) 720-0492