Patrick Arkfeld, a sophomore animal science student at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, was selected the top showman and collected the trophy for the FFA’s grand champion market hog.
Arkfeld had earlier shown a champion Duroc boar and reserve champion Hampshire breeding gilt at the National Western Stock Show in Louisville, Ken., but said the Otoe County award for his purebred yorkshire is an honor.
“There's great competition at the Otoe County fair.
Over the last couple of years there are more people getting into hogs because it's cheaper than cattle and it's easier on the kids,” he said.
He said the grand champion award is a relief.
“It's nice to see all the work pay off. It's more than just throwing a pig in the pen with a mudhole and a feeder,” said Syracuse FFA instructor Tim Arkfeld.
Taylor Heng of the Nebraska City FFA showed the reserve grand champion.
Judge Lindsay Gardner said both hogs had “good details” and represented the priorities of muscle, growth and balance.
She called Arkfeld's barrow a “cool dude” and said Heng's champion gilt “comes at you with a lot of power.”
She described the reserve champion barrow, shown by Cameron Johnson, “as acceptable.”
“He has a very bold, open rib,” she said.
Also in the ring for the championship selection were barrows shown by Abigail Wehrbein of the Conestoga FFA.
Trey Mueller was selected for reserve showman.
“I was very impressed with the young people. With the quality of the projects and how hard they worked,” said judge Lindsay Gardner, who works for Boehringer Ingelheim in Omaha.