It was Karson Eads’ first time showing market hogs at the Washington Fair and what a debut it was.
Karson’s entry earned him the grand champion honor at Thursday’s competition.
The 8-year-old Leslie boy simply replied “good” when asked how he felt about the win.
Karson attends Beaufort Elementary School and is a member of the New Haven 4-H Club.
Trista Kormeier, another New Haven 4-H Club member, exhibited the reserve champion hog at the show.
Trista, 17, will be a senior at New Haven High School. This is her seventh year showing market hogs at the Fair.
Their animals will be the first market hogs on the auction block at Saturday’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction.
Karson said he walked his hogs every day preparing for the show. When he finished, he would treat his animals to marshmallows.
“I would give them two marshmallows each day,” he remarked.
In addition to showing his market hog, Karson also had an entry in the swine breeding judging.
Karson is the son of James and Devin Eads.
“I work with them every single day,” Trista said when asked about the regimen for her hogs.
She said she is saving the money she earns from the blue ribbon auction for college, “and maybe buy a car.”
She is the daughter of Barry and Angie Kormeier, New Haven.
A total of 163 market hogs were shown at the Fair Thursday and all received blue ribbons which makes them eligible for the Fair auction.
Winners of the showmanship competition were Katie Kluesner, senior division; Calvin Bidner, intermediate division; and Daniel Mallinckrodt, junior division.
The judge for Thursday’s show was Nathan Martin of Centralia.
It was Martin’s second year in a row judging livestock at the Washington Fair.
He also judged Thursday’s swine breeding classes and the market steer show that evening.
“I actually thought the quality of the hogs improved over last year,” Martin said of the 2014 show.
In the championship drive, he said there were 12 hogs shown and any one of them could have been judged the winner.
“It’s all about the kids who demonstrated great work ethic,” Martin said.
“Credit goes to the leaders, the kids and the Fair officials who all make this a very great event,” he commented after the show.
Martin began learning how to judge livestock when he was in 4-H and later when he was in college he was on the judging team at the University of Missouri-Columbia. For many years he’s been coaching youth on livestock judging.
He and his family farm about 1,500 acres in the Centralia area, raising row crops and Angus beef cattle.
The grand and reserve champions were chosen from the first-place winners in each of the 12 weight classes at the show.
The other first-place winners were exhibited by:
Caroline Otten, New Haven; Colton Vollmer, Washington; Lydia Otten, New Haven; Josh Seibert, Gerald; Nicole Brinker, Washington; Tyler Pruessner, Marthasville; Luke Herring, Union; Isabelle Enke, St. Clair; Jordan Pohl, Washington; and Jacob Bauche, Washington.
The complete list of all market hog exhibitors will be in the blue ribbon auction results published in next week’s Wednesday Missourian.
Last year, a total of 140 hogs were judged in the competition.
In 2012, 152 hogs were judged compared to 153 in 2011, 141 in 2010 and 154 in 2009 when only 97 received blue ribbons. That’s the fewest number of blue ribbons handed out since 2003 when 94 were awarded to exhibitors.
In 2008, 170 hogs were judged and all received blue ribbons.
A total of 172 hogs, the Fair record, were shown in 2007, compared to 153 hogs in 2006. Before that, the previous record was 147 hogs in 1999.
In 2005, 125 market hogs were awarded blue ribbons, compared to 124 in 2004, 94 in 2003, 137 in 2002, 130 in 2001 and 132 in 2000.