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UWRF Hosts Upcoming Show Pig Sale

By Jessica Bergan
University Communications

MARCH 20, 2009 | The 4th Annual University of Wisconsin-River Falls Show Pig Sale, held at the Mann Valley Lab Farm 2 pavilion, is April 4. There will be 150 head of January- and February-farrowed show pigs for viewing at 10 a.m. and for sale at noon.

Stephen Hubly, a senior agricultural studies major from Clarks Grove, Minn., is the student swine manager on Lab Farm 2 and has played a very important role in making preparations for the sale. Day-to-day operations as swine manager include: breeding sows, giving shots, managing pig flow, weaning pigs, feeding proper feed rations, maintaining bio security, ordering semen, selling livestock, keeping records, cleaning hog barns, and overseeing the entire swine operation.

All of the pigs sold at the sale are from litters sired by boars from Shaffer’s Goldrush out of Indiana, said Hubly. The pigs will consist of mainly crossbreds; however, there will be a few purebred litters born in March as well. Currently, there are two purebred Duroc litters, one or two litters of Chester pigs, and a purebred Hampshire litter available through private treaty at a later date.

Harry Larsen, an instructional programs manager at Lab Farm 2, will also assist with the sale. Larsen and Hubly said they have both had the opportunity to be involved in the sale every year since it started. Larsen said that before the first Show Pig Sale, individuals would come to the farm and pick out their pigs and the farm would sell them via private treaty. This created some revenue for the farm, but also involved a high level of traffic through the barns.

Having a single sale causes less traffic through the barns, while providing more revenue for the farm, said Larsen. But there are also more expenses because this sale is requires intense preparation, he said. In the past years, spectators have come from as far away as western Minnesota and as close as River Falls. Hubly and Larsen both said that the past sales have brought in a tremendous amount of bidders and have high hopes that this sale will do the same. Profits from the sale returns to operations in order to keep the farm running in good condition, said Larsen.

The pigs must bring in at least $75 each in order to be sold that day, and people who purchased the 2008 champions will receive a $25 gift certificate towards any 2009 purchase. “It is just getting to be a good deal for the whole farm,” said Larsen. “It is a good educational process for the students running the sale having to do the paperwork and mating the pigs for the sale.”

Auctioneer services are provided by Bob Johnson, from Milton, who also conducted the sale last year. “It’s a lot of hard work putting it on and we put in a lot of overtime hours doing it. However, it is really a blast getting to see all the people and talking ‘pig talk’ with all of them the day of the sale,” said Hubly.

Lunch will be available by the UWRF Block and Bridle Club. For more information contact Hubly at 715-821-7094.

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Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:09:29 Central Daylight Time

 

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