Why do you take time out of your busy schedule to judge shows?
When I was younger, I admired those that judged livestock shows. My family had a passion for making livestock better, and I always held the show judges in the highest regard. Today, it’s no different. My schedule is never too busy to judge a show with the likes of Fort Worth. I am honored to have been chosen.
What is your background and current involvement in the hog industry?
My family has been involved in either showing or raising show pigs since I can remember. We have 25 sows, mostly cross and Yorkshire. I currently work for JBS where we procure and harvest close to 100,000 market hogs each day.
What person/people influenced or helped to shape your view on what an ideal show pig should posses?
There are two. I owe my passion, interest and drive for better livestock to my dad, Keith. He is the best I’ve ever seen when it comes to selection and animal husbandry. A lot of what I learned from him was unspoken. The kind of pigs we brought home were the same, the feed programs were basic by nature and health was pivotal in our success. Dan Hoge would be the other. That’s pretty much enough said. He had the same impact on me that he has had on so many who continue to achieve great accomplishments within the showpig industry.
What are your initial sorts when judging?
Look and balance is key to me. I realize that is pretty open ended, but I believe that any show is relative to surroundings, level of competition, and environment. I would encourage everyone to get the best drive out of their barrow as possible, show me his attributes and make me work to find things that could be changed.
When it comes down to those top enders, what separates them for you?
As stated above, I like to think of myself as a balance guy. If I have the opportunity to find a few that look great from the side, good fronted, big centered and can move; then step behind them for a rear view and their shapely, big hipped and square to the ground, then we’re going to have an exciting championship drive.
What is your biggest pet peeve in the show ring?
I understand each person who walks through the ring is at a different level of experience. That being said, there are sometimes a few individuals that appear to be of an age where control, and pig health and presence should no longer be an issue. If I have any pet peeve, it’s basically mannerisms inside the show ring. If you are going to take time to come to a show, please be prepared.
Who is the person you most like to sit and watch judge?
I like to watch a couple right now. Mike McCoy, because he absolutely knows nothing more than to do what he feels is right each time he judges. He is crisp, sharp and to the point. The other would be Mark Hoge. I have not watched him very much, but I was as engaged in a breeding show last year at the Indiana State Fair as I have ever been. His detail and descriptions of each entry is second no one in our industry.
What is your favorite sports team?
Go Cubs. Is there anyone else?
Last song you listened to?
Whatever is on my ipod playing. Odds are heavily in favor of it being something by White Buffalo
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