If Ella Bobell could give any piece of advice to showman across the country, it would be to practice patience while walking their pigs.
Though her age is only in the single digits, Bobell has probably put as many hours into her swine projects as most junior showmen. She has shown pigs since age three and works hard at home to train them to act just right.
Luke McDonnell lives in New Castle, IN where he works as a Channel Seedsman and owns LM Ag Services. In addition, he also owns 50 sows jointly with two of his best friends, Ricky and Megan Rosenbaum in Omaha, Nebraska. They place projects currently with around 80 families across the US. Luke has two beautiful Girls, Johnie Anne 7 and Raynee 5.
Nick Berry is the CEO at Swine Genetics International and part owner of Lettow Showpigs. He lives in Ames, IA with his wife Corinn and 2-year-old daughter Collins. Nick is equally passionate about the commercial swine industry and the educational platform that the showpig industry can provide for our future leaders in the pig business.
Lynsee Pullen, her husband, Kyle, and their first baby, Kashton Shaffer Pullen born on May 30th, 2015 all reside in Walton, IN. Lynsee works for her family farm Shaffer’s Gold Rush as well as raises Duroc and Crossbred show pigs with her husband.
Jennifer Slagle, her dad, Ron Smith, and her husband, Don, are the principals behind WinMor Farms, a 65-sow show pig operation located in Grinnell, Iowa which is one hour east of Des Moines on I-80. Don and Jennifer reside in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston with their two children, Will (7) and Anna (5). 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, Rob, is able to fully devote his time to managing the show pig operation.
DL Showpigs houses 180 sows and 20 boars in Lamesa, TX. Owned by Josh, Bridgette & Kenley Krohn this operation is focused on providing both purebred and crossbred seedstock and showpigs. In addition to pigs, the Krohn’s also raise cotton, hay and cattle.
W-D Swine Farm - Home of the Watje Blue is family owned and operated, located in Turlock, CA. They run around 150 sows that farrow year-round. Ryan started raising pigs when he was 8 years old and has had a passion for the industry since. He now shares that passion with his wife, Stacey and their 3 kids, Trent, Drew and Stella.
Arlington, Indiana is the home of Premium Blend Genetics and owner, Ted Laird and his wife of 30 years, Regina. Ted and Regina have four children: Jacob, Morgan, Nolan & Mitchell. We asked Ted to share with us a little bit about how he keeps everything running and this is what he said…
As a husband, father, pig farmer and agriculture enthusiast, Jesse Heimer has found his way to the top of our business over the years and created a name for the HH brand both in the ring and as a provider of elite genetics. From the Hill in Taylor, MO, Heimer’s progressive approach to all facets of the business and unique take on our industry has provided differentiation for him in the marketplace and one that many look to as a current benchmark. Want to know the inside scoop on how he operates? Well here it is…
Final Drive Genetics is a 50-sow, showpig operation located in Shipshewana, IN. It is owned and managed by Jordan and Katie Leatherman and Jordan’s dad, Todd Leatherman. In addition to her duties with the operation, Katie is also a 4-H Extension Agent for Purdue University in Elkhart County, IN.
Keppy Showpigs, located in Durant, IA and is run by Kaylee Keppy, her brother Jake Keppy and her fiancé Cole Rushing. Kaylee grew up on a crop and livestock farm and was very involved in 4-H and FFA showing livestock. She attended BHE and ISU and received a degree in Animal Science. She was also involved in the livestock judging programs at both schools. In addition to her responsibilities with Keppy Showpigs, Kaylee is a show feed specialist for ShowTec in the Midwest.
As a seasoned stock show dad and well-traveled auctioneer, Kevin Wendt, CEO of The Wendt Group corporation, has done his homework on the hot spots to grab a bite to eat over the years. And yes...we're going to share his culinary finds with you!