Young people enjoy showing at World Pork Expo
By Jean Caspers-Simmet
Date Modified: 07/09/2012 3:09 PM
DES MOINES — The bigger the swine show, the better for 16-year-old Kory Kuecker of Whittemore.
With exhibitors from all over the United States, the recent World Pork Expo Junior National at the Iowa State fairgrounds certainly fit the bill.
With three older brothers, Kuecker grew up around swine shows.
"I've been at shows for 15 years," said the 16-year-old. Kuecker's father, Randy, and uncle, Keith, own Kuecker Seedstock at Algona. They have 400 sows, sell Yorkshire and crossbred show pigs and raise crops.
Kuecker is a junior at Algona High School where he is involved in FFA. Kuecker showed a Yorkshire barrow, a Yorkshire gilt and a crossbred barrow and gilt in the junior show.
He shows pigs at the Kossuth County Fair, the Iowa State Fair and at some jackpot shows during the summer. He's exhibited at shows in Oklahoma and Texas. Kuecker has showed at World Pork Expo for five years.
"I like showing," Kuecker said. "I like seeing all the different pigs. The bigger the show, the more fun it is."
Kuecker said that he has family has won some classes at World Pork Expo. Last year, they had the high-selling crossbred gilt, which sold for $7,500.
Kuecker has met a lot of people showing pigs and enjoys catching up with friends at the shows. Kuecker's Yorkshire gilts placed second and fifth in their classes in the open show, and his Yorkshire barrow placed 10th and his Yorkshire gilt 8th in the junior show.
The World Pork Expo Junior National was Micah Clark's last show. The 21-year-old came all the way from Bakersfield, Calif., to show her pigs. A student at California State University with finals looming, her parents, Roger and Sheri, drove the pigs to Des Moines.
Clark flew to Des Moines just before the show.
Clark said her family owns 2.5 acres of land and has 20 sows that they breed and farrow. They also own California Swine Services, a pig feed company.
She brought seven pigs to World Pork Expo.
"When I showed at the Western Regional in March, I was planning that it would be my last show," she said. "But I won there and decided I really wanted to show one more time. I like how big it is here. There are people from all over. I know a lot of people from going to other national shows and it's nice to see them.''