On this month’s edition of #HowTheyWork, we caught up with Austin Craig, co-owner and operator of C&C Showpigs from Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Austin gives an inside look at his operation and even shares some fun facts. Read his interview below.
Describe your operation in terms of scope, size, breeds, etc.
C&C Showpigs is owned and operated by Austin Craig and Justin Copeland. Together, they are dedicated to raising top-quality pigs for their customers. Their sow herd is around 50 sows, the majority of which are crossbreds, and a select few Chesters. C&C Showpigs is committed to delivering high-quality pigs to their valued customers in Northeastern Oklahoma and across the country. Below is a conversation with C&C Showpigs.
What, in your opinion, makes your operation unique?
Many often assume that there’s a family connection between us, but the truth is, we’re just good old high school buddies who shared a vision right after graduation. We made a plan to purchase a couple of sows and start a small operation, and it’s blossomed into something I don’t think either of us ever dreamed it would be.
One thing that sets our farm apart is our unique approach to housing our sows. Our sows enjoy the freedom of roaming in 3-4-acre pastures, much like the way cattle are typically grazed. It’s a fun sight as you drive up our road alongside the pastures and witness our sows roaming.
Throughout the years our operation has grown. We’re excited to see what the future holds for our farm and the continued growth of our operation.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To be honest with everyone, most importantly yourself.
Describe your ideal customer.
Our ideal customer is someone who not only possesses a strong determination to achieve success but also demonstrates a willingness to put in the necessary effort and dedication required to reach their goals. We greatly value individuals who intently listen to our suggestions as breeders.
Share a story of one pig that stands out amongst the rest of the ones you have raised.
The memory of our Grand Market Hog at the 2017 American Royal, exhibited by the Marlie Farris, remains a special moment that stands out to us. At that time, we had not yet won a major stock show, and that feeling of winning a big show for the first time will always be a special moment that continues to drive us to this day.
The memory of that win has become a source of motivation for us, driving us to push our limits and aspire for excellence in our operation. It was one moment that furthered our passion for the industry.
One thing you can’t live without as a breeder.
I hate to say it but our iPhones. Everything we need farm-related is in those things.
What is one chore that you hate to do but must be done?
Both of us absolutely hate clipping baby pigs.
If you could raise pigs anywhere in the world BESIDES the state you are in, where would it be and why?
We are fortunate to have built strong and lasting connections with many friends and customers in Texas. If circumstances ever led us to consider relocating, Texas would be a top contender. But in all reality, we would never leave Oklahoma.
What’s playing on your radio while working in the barn all day?
Anything Red Dirt, especially Turnpike Troubadours.
A thing you can’t live without unrelated to pigs
It would have to be our families and kids! They are our top priorities!
A fun fact that many people may not know about you.
Justin and I both absolutely love Whitetail Deer hunting; we don’t get to do it nearly as much as we want but it’s one of our favorite ways to unwind after a long fall sale season.
This or that:
Picturing or Videoing?
Videoing (when they cooperate!)
Crossbreds or Purebreds?
Stay in a hotel or stay in a camper?
Stay home or go to a show?
Go to the show! Doesn’t happen as much as we would like though.
Frozen semen or fresh?