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At swine weigh-in—

By Staff | Apr 8, 2011

Rand Whitney, left, looks on as Joe Frederichsen, Ben Butcher and Alex Conover weigh one of Paige Whitney’s pigs during Saturday’s swine weigh-in at the Ida Grove County Fairgrounds.

IDA?GROVE – At the derby class swine weigh-in Saturday at the county fairgrounds, one 4-H Youth Council member was impressed with the numbers that showed

“We had about 20 families show up this year to weigh derby pigs,” said Christian Conover, a freshman from Odebolt-Arthur, Battle Creek-Ida Grove High School and member of the Blain Clovers 4-H?Club.

“Last year, we had five families so it was great to see the numbers grow.”

Conover is the son of Clint and Heather Conover of Ida Grove.

Jill Sadler, Ida County youth and program coordinator, was on hand to facilitate the event, which weighs derby pigs and registers all other fair-contest pigs on ID forms and with yellow tags.

She reported that 36 swine were weighed in at Saturday’s event which also registered pigs for market, gilt and barrow classes. Ear notching was also offered as part of the event.

Entrants could weigh as many pigs as they liked, but only six can participate in the derby class event which occurs during the Ida Country Fair from June 19 through June 24. The derby pigs will be judged on rate of gain and presentation.

Paige Whitney, a freshman at OA-BCIG High School, is competing in the derby class for the first time.

Rand Whitney, Paige’s father and the Ida Grove Feed Store manager, was on-hand to weigh his daughter’s pig.

“The maximum weight for entry rose to 55 pounds this year from 45 in previous years,” Whitney commented. “That’s probably one of the reasons we are seeing more entries.

“There’s got to be three times as many derby class entries as last year.”

Danielle Ortner, daughter of Andy and Michelle Ortner, of Danbury, has her eye on first place in this rate-of-gain contest.

“I got first place two years ago and second place last year,” she said. “I’m aiming toward second or first this year but really want first.”

Ortner brought 10 pigs to weigh and will enter the six that have the best rates of gain over this spring and summer.

“The trick is to keep your eye on the judge,” continued Ortner. “You want to be on the opposite side of your pig, making sure they are looking at your pig only.

“The pig needs to be well-fed, kept in clean bedding and taken care of with medications if it ever gets sick.”

Ortner is an eighth-grade student at Maple Valley Anthon-Oto schools.

Alex Conover, son of Burdette Conover and Christian Conover’s cousin, is a Holstein resident taking part in the derby class for the fifth year in a row.

“It’s a lot of fun to be part of the competition; it’s friendly and a good fair to be part of.

“You don’t feel ashamed if you lose since everyone is so good natured.”

Conover raises his own pigs noting that he “learns a lot from raising them from when they’re just born to showing them. It’s a good feeling to be part of it all.”

Contact Doug Clough at douglasclough@gmail.com.

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