Barrow show is about the kids

Published 9:48 am Friday, February 10, 2012

As agriculture has evolved and changed over the years, one goal has remained constant for organizers of the annual Minnesota State Spring Barrow Show: keeping youth interested in agriculture.

The 68th annual Minnesota State Spring Barrow Show 2012 happens today, and weigh-ins were Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’ve got everything pretty well lined up,” organizer Darryl Mattson said. “We set up on Tuesday, and then weighed pigs on the evening of Wednesday and Thursday.”

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Mattson, a local pork producer and event co-organizer, said they expect around 100 exhibitors and 250 animals in the show. Some of the exhibitors bring up to as many as six animals to show.

Mattson started showing barrows when he was 18, and he’s 63 now. He has also served on the board of directors for 20 years and seen the changes over the years. The numbers of exhibitors and animals, he said, is probably what’s changed most throughout the decades.

“At one time, we got up to 1,200 pigs in the show,” he said. “There’s not that much livestock out there anymore. It’s like everything else, producers have either gotten bigger or quit.”

The show allows competitors, from kids through adults, to exhibit their livestock and participate in a judging contest.

Junior division exhibitors must be either 4-H or FFA members, and must be in at least the third grade. A kid’s class will be for those in the second grade or younger who wish to exhibit.

The show remains an important part of local agriculture because it’s about the only type of event that allows local youth in agriculture the chance to show off their animals in what some consider the “off-season.”

Mattson said people come from all over the Midwest, as far south as Des Moines to the Wisconsin border, Winona and Worthington.

“It’s pretty much the same as it has been for 68 years now,” he said. “Showing pigs, the judging contest and it’s educational.”

Mattson said he hoped the area didn’t get too much snow right before the show because they’ll have to clear it out of the fairgrounds to make room for parking and trailers. The 4-H food stand will again be available and will be run by the Conger 4-H Club.


Spring Barrow Show schedule


Place: Freeborn County Fairgrounds

Wednesday and Thursday: offical weign-ins

Today: in the Judging Arena

8 to 9 a.m. registration for judging contest

8 to 9:30 a.m. judging of Junior Pen of Three

9:30 to 11 a.m. judging of junior individuals

11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. judging of junior individuals

1:15 to 2 p.m. judging of junior derby barrows

2 p.m. judging contest awards

2:15 to 3 p.m. judging of truck lots

3 to 4 p.m. judging of open individuals

4 p.m. selection of sweepstakes winner

7 p.m. annual donor rib banquet at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club