Five teams of Iowa youth won scholarships while participating in the Senior Division of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Youth Swine Judging Contest. The contest was held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines earlier this month.
There were 162 teams represented in the Senior Division of the competition. The top five teams came from Grinnell High School, Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School, Winfield-Mount Union Community School District, Columbus Community School District (Columbus Junction), and Bellevue Community School District.
A total of 706 students—about 150 more than last year—participated in both the Senior and Junior divisions.
“It was great to have the Judging Contest again this year, especially with the numbers we had,” said Cory Van Gilst, IPPA’s producer outreach director. “It’s a unique opportunity for students from around the state.”
Top Senior Teams
The top team was Grinnell FFA 1, earning 753 points. Team members included Dominick Clayton, Kolton Kline, Nina Walton, and Aden Wolfe, all of Grinnell. Each receives a $500 scholarship.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck 1 had 749 points for second place. Team members were: Dylinn Blohm and Cole Fleshner, both of Reinbeck; and Amaya Peterson and Delaney Petersen, both of Gladbrook. Each receives a $250 scholarship. Petersen had the highest overall score in the competition.
Winfield-Mount Union FFA 1 earned 748 points and third place. Team members were Carter Loyd, Eli Miller, and Katie Miller, all of Winfield; and Quinlyn Smith, of Morning Sun. Each member earns a $125 scholarship.
Columbus FFA 1 placed fourth with 747 points and wins $125 scholarships for each team member. They are Mady Howell, Drew Totemeier, and Gabe Totemeier, all of Columbus Junction; and Cole Storm, Conesville.
Bellevue FFA 1 received fifth place with 734 points. Each receiving $125 are team members Cameron Casel, Grace Hintgen, Maverick Scheckel, and Kinnick Paulsen, all of Bellevue.
Top Junior Teams
The top five junior teams are St. Malachy Catholic School (Creston) — first place; Bellevue FFA 2 — second; Chariton Middle School 1 — third; Central Trail FFA 3 (Leon) — fourth; and Benton County 4-H 1 (Vinton) — fifth. Each of the junior teams wins a plaque.
Points were awarded for each of the following activities: tests on meat quality and knowledge of commercial pork production; as well as judging four classes of hogs that required students to test their commercial gilt selection and market hog evaluation skills; score a keep-cull gilt class; and do a live carcass evaluation, which involved examining 10 pigs individually to determine each animal’s weight, loin eye size, and back fat, then comparing and ranking them on carcass value.
The day also included a demonstration of pork carcass fabrication and a seminar about careers in the pork industry.
This is the 14th year for the event.
Eldon C. Stutsman Inc., Producers Livestock, Smithfield Foods, Swine Genetics International, Iowa State University, and the Pork Checkoff all partnered with IPPA for this year’s contest.
Editor’s note: Photos of winning teams and other participants are available by request.