Swine show offers opportunity to pass on love for ag for Ault’s Scanga family
Market Swine Show winners
Grand Champion: Blake Logan, 15, of Atlanta, Ind., with a crossbred hog
Reserve Grand Champion: Cole Phillips, 12, of Bullard, Texas, with a crossbred hog
How pigs are judged
» Muscle: the widest portion should be through the rump and ham
» Structural correctness: the pig should move smoothly and with ease
» Capacity: Wide chest floor, good spring of rib and deep sided in both the fore and rear flank
» Frame: Long bodied and tall
» Style and balance: holds its head up as it walks, smooth in appearance, tail should be set high
Source: Utah State University Cooperative Extension
For more on Weld County 4-H Market Swine, go to http://www.weld4h.org/Projects/4HLivestock/MarketSwine.html.
DENVER — For the Scanga family of Ault, the market swine show Tuesday at National Western was the culmination of years of practice and teamwork.
Sam and Ian Scanga, 12 and 11, respectively, showed pigs as their parents watched them follow their footsteps into agriculture.
John Scanga, 42, now works at Elanco Animal Health. He spent time on faculty with Colorado State University.
“I think (showing animals) is a great way to expose your kids to something you’re passionate about,” John said.
This year, the boys showed a Hampshire, two Yorkshire barrows and a crossbred gilt.
Sam began showing pigs five years ago, and Ian started four years ago.
Sam and Ian attend Highland Middle School, where Sam plays football, basketball, baseball and runs track.
“I’ve learned you can’t be successful unless you really work and try hard,” Sam said. “I have to give credit to my mom and dad for helping when I was at school and doing sports.”
Though Ian’s gotten used to the show ring now, he didn’t used to be as confident.
“It was hard when we first started because we didn’t know what we were doing, and all these people around us did know what they were doing,” Ian said. “Now we do.”
Since they began, the boys have experimented with different feeds and rations to get their pigs to the proper weight. Since pigs are judged by muscle, structural correctness, capacity, frame, style and balance, it’s a constant trial-and-error process.
Anticipation mounted as their classes were called. Sam won Champion Junior Showman on Tuesday night. Ian finished sixth in showmanship.
“I’m a firm believer that you get what you put into it,” said Chauna Scanga, the boys’ mother. “At this level of competition, to get pinned and get a placing, we’re pleased.”
Until the boys got interested in showing pigs, she had only shown horses during her time in 4-H as a child. At the competition, she said she was proud of her boys.
“I wish people knew you don’t just buy your pigs and show them,” Sam said. “There’s a lot more work that goes into it.” ❖
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It’s time for Colorado meat producers to throw down the gauntlet.