Youth Swine Judging Contest Awards $4,750 in Scholarships
November 16, 2023
Six teams of Iowa youth won scholarships while participating in the Senior Division of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Youth Swine Judging Contest. The event, which invites students from across the state, took place at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines last week.
There were 120 teams represented in the Senior Division of the competition. The top teams came from Grinnell High School, Alburnett High School, Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School, the Winfield-Mt. Union Community School District, and Woodbury County in northwest Iowa.
A total of 517 students participated in both the Senior and Junior divisions.
“We enjoy welcoming students who are really into judging livestock, as well as those who don’t get a ton of exposure to agriculture,” said Cory Van Gilst, IPPA’s producer outreach director. “This is a day out of the classroom—a chance to see pigs in person and learn about the pork industry.”
Top Senior Teams
The top team was Grinnell FFA 1, earning 761 points. Team members included Tristan Graff, Kolton Kline, Rylee Mauss, and Aden Wolfe, all of Grinnell. Each receives a $500 scholarship. Wolfe had the highest overall score in the competition.
Alburnett FFA 1 had 729 points for second place. Team members were Lexi Geistkemper, Brady Hospodarsky, Jaxson Martin, Riggs Martin, all of Alburnett. Each receives a $250 scholarship.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck FFA 2 earned 725 points and third place. Team members were Prycely Beard and Dylinn Blohm, both of Reinbeck, and Parker Schmidt, of Gladbrook. Each member earns a $125 scholarship.
Grinnell FFA 2 placed fourth with 722 points and wins $125 scholarships for each team member. They are Peyton Davenport, Maggie Dayton, Zane Iverson, and Anthony Wolfe, all of Grinnell.
Tying for fifth place were Winfield-Mt. Union FFA 1 and Woodbury County 4-H 1, both with 717 points. All of those team members also receive $125 scholarships. Representing Winfield-Mt. Union were Eli Miller and Katie Miller, both of Winfield; and Kurt Beard and Quinlyn Smith of Morning Sun. Students on the Woodbury team included Grace Flannigan, Salix; Jacob Mitchell, Oto; and Kara Nelson, Pierson.
Top Junior Teams
The top five junior teams are Buena Vista County 4-H 1 — first place; Greene County 4-H 2 — second; Carroll County 4-H — third; Creston 2 — fourth; and Greene County 4-H 1 — 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 15th year for the event.
Eldon C. Stutsman Inc., Iowa State University, the Pork Checkoff, Producers Livestock, and Smithfield Foods all partnered with IPPA for this year’s contest.
Editor’s note: Photos of winning teams and other participants are available by request.
See full list of individual and team scores from the Senior and Junior divisions.