Kirk Swanson is known for having a gift when it comes to breeding a selecting livestock. His talents created the legendary sire Hillbilly Bone. If you ask Kirk about his industry success, he will be quick to tell you it’s due to many lessons he learned from mentors along the way. Kirk shared one such lesson with the Showpig.com team.
Jennifer Slagle, her dad, Ron Smith, and her husband, Don, are the principals behind WinMor Farms, a 100-sow show pig operation located in Grinnell, Iowa which is one hour east of Des Moines on I-80. Ron has been living in Grinnell since December 2014. Don and Jennifer had been living in the Des Moines area but recently moved to Grinnell with their two children, Will (10) and Anna (9). They both work full-time in the ag financial services industry. Don also manages their row-crop farm. They feel very fortunate that Jennifer’s dad, Ron, is able to fully devote his time to managing the show pig operation. The family also recently hired a new full-time herdsman to their team. Derek Moore joined WinMor Farms in September of 2018 and has been a great addition.
Al Snedegar has spent his life in the purebred swine industry, from raising swine to judging fairs, there aren’t many hats he hasn’t worn through his more than half a century in the swine industry. Perhaps, his greatest contribution is the countless young industry leaders that he has helped shape over the years through his role as an educator and a mentor. We caught up with Al to learn what he felt was his greatest lesson.
What is your goal at Hi Point Genetics, when raising showpigs?
Hi Point Genetics of Chrisman, Illinois, work each day to make showpigs better, but this doesn’t stop at the backdrop.
“Not only better in terms of making it to the backdrop, but also better in the sense of being a successful project for the buyer. We feel that if we can make the customers life better, then we have had a successful exchange,” Mike Miller says.
We have a small family farm. Normally, we have 8-10 Hampshires, a Duroc, and three Crossbred sows in production. Typically, we buy interest in a top Hampshire boar, each year, and use AI from the best boars available. We also have used some frozen semen and old-line genetics to experiment and try to increase genetic diversity in today’s Hampshire lines and use proven sires we like or admire for productivity. We have 30 acres of cropland that is farmed by our neighbor using organic production practices and a few cows we own in partnership to raise show calves.
Carl Kent & Sons Showpigs began in 1974 in Pottsboro, Texas. The family consists of Carl and Joyce Kent, Blair and Jessica Kent, Brandon and Mondi Kent, and Brian and Tammy Kent. There are six grandchildren (Morgan, Henlie, Kyler, Hayden, Barrett and Ryder)! The farm consists of 40 showpig producing females and 6-8 boars on stud!
My name is Chris Fischbacher, and I’m 32 years old. Ilive in Wildorado, Texas. I have been married for 7 years to my wife, Steelee, and we have two kids, Mattlee and Case. I started raising pigs when I was a kid in 4-H, and I have been doing it full-time since 2011. We currently have about 50 sows and a dozen boars. We primarily raise crosses and Yorks, but we also have a few Spots, Durocs and Berks.
I’m Will Winter and a third generation WTX. I live on the farm with my wife, Marisa, son Monster (Colter) and 2-1 (Sutton). We operate Wintex with Dad. We run 4.5 acres of showpig and purebred sows and roughly 30 boars. We row crop farm and are starting to attempt to raise club calves (because we had free time).
I grew up on a diversified livestock operation and was very involved with showing livestock through 4-H, FFA and other junior programs such as the NJSA. I attended Fort Scott Community College as well as Iowa State University (ISU) where I was a member of the Livestock Judging Team. After graduation at ISU, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to return back to Missouri and oversee the showpig portion of Team Sloan Livestock. I am also part owner of Apex Sires that’s located in Indiana, as well as an advocate for Linder United.
The Showpig.com team caught up with David Korb of Korb Farms, Ohio, amid all the excitement following their record-busting Yorkshire boar sale at the Summer Type Conference, and this is “How They Work.”
The Showpig.com team asked legendary swine auctioneer Col. Dan Baker to recall some of the greatest lessons he has learned along the way. He wrote this account of some words of advice that have followed him through the decades.