You Don't Need 2,000 Pigs To Attend Pork Day

Junior Pork Day at Purdue designed for 4-H'ers too.

Published on: Feb 27, 2012

Here's a meeting for swine enthusiasts with kids, whether you raise 10,000 head per year or just buy a barrow for your son or daughter to finish out and feed at the county fair. The Junior Pork Day sponsored by Purdue University Extension is Saturday, March 3.

The day long program is designed to introduce youth to all aspects of the swine industry, from judging to learning how certain pork products sold to consumers are made. The entire program is held in Lilly Hall of Life Sciences on the Purdue campus. Lilly Hall is also home to the Purdue University Animal Sciences department, headed by Alan Matthew. Registration fee for the event is $5 per student.

Activities include live animal evaluation, judging feeder pigs and market animals, evaluating carcasses for meat quality and value, and evaluating classes of retail cuts of meat to pick up subtle differences in various pieces of meat when compared to one another.  There will also be information on learning about pig rations, and tips on how to produce a quality product for the consumer.

Johnsonville Brats is sponsoring lunch. Afternoon sessions include what goes into making a good brat, debunking food animal myths, and preparing g for show day and swine showmanship. The emphasis will be on how 4-H youth can help debunk myths that might arise even amongst their peers and non-farm friends about food and how it is produced.

Due to a rotation schedule, each participant should get a chance to take in every subject, and get a glimpse at everything from judging live animals to judging retail cuts of meat, plus how to properly care for animals in a safe and humane way.

Against the backdrop that nine animals were disqualified from the Indiana State Fair after the show last year due to drugs found in their system, a meeting such as this one to teach kids how to prepare animals correctly without cheating is even more critical.

For information, contact Brian Richert at 765-494-4837, or email: brichert@purdue.edu, or contact Aaron Fischer in 40H at 765-494-8433 or at aaronfisher@purdue.edu.