Wayne brings home Grand Champion title
GRAND CHAMPION — Remi Wayne stands next to the Featherlite trailer that she won the use of for one year for winning Grand Champion honors at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair. (Star Eagle photo by Kathy Paulsen)
By KATHY PAULSEN
This March came in like every other March for the Wayne family. It was time to pick out pigs for 4-H.
Rodney and his daughter, Remi, found what they thought would be good pigs at the swine auction in Albert Lea. There were 85 pigs available.
Over the years, the Waynes have come to know Randy Morris well, purchasing pigs from him each spring. Randy lives near Myrtle, and he and Justin Morris, who lives in Mankato, also show pigs at the fair.
Rodney and other farmers are only able to purchase pigs at an auction. They can’t just go to the Morris farm and look over the pigs available for purchase and buy one.
Rodney admits that although he is the most influential, Remi is the one who selects the pigs they purchase and is the one who takes care of them the most. They both work together to get the end product.
After the purchase in March, the work began to prepare them to be at their best with hopes of winning top honors.
First, of course, Remi needs to come up with names for these pigs. Remi likes the reality television show, "Jersey Shore" and named both of her pigs after characters on the show. One she named Vinnie, who is a "nice guy" on the show, and the other one she named Ronnie because he had a lot of muscle.
Next, she started to work with her pigs and made sure they fed them the right feed. Between Rodney, Remi, and other Wayne girls, Jessica and Taylar, these pigs were walked and washed every day and put on a strict food regimen.
Vinnie really liked to have his belly rubbed and Ronnie liked to play tag and always had to be touched. He liked to nudge them for attention. In the end, they became more like pets than a 4-H project.
Remi and Rodney attended nine shows prior to the Albert Lea Fair where, and as a member of the Hartland Highliners 4-H Club, Remi is required to show her pigs and place high enough to earn a trip to the state fair.
Remi and her pigs always did well at the shows. This year was no different.
Remi won Reserve Champion Market Barrow and was third overall for State Fair lineup. She also won Reserve Champion Senior Showmanship, where her ability to work with the pig is judged rather than how the pig looks. The next stop was the Minnesota State Fair.
This is a long day for the pigs and their owners. To understand the process of the barrow show, there are two classes of pigs, Purebreds and Crossbreds.
First, they show and judge the purebreds and then show and judge the crossbreeds. Remi and Vinnie were in the crossbreed show.
There are three weight classes: light, middle, and heavyweight. From each weight class, there were six groups of at least 15 pigs, with one pig being chosen the best from each one. At the end of each of the weight classes, the six first place pigs come back and a champion and a reserve champion pig is chosen for that weight class division.
Next, the Crossbred champions (one from each weight division) and the one Purebred champion competed against each other to find the best Market Barrow of the whole show at the State Fair.
Here is where the Wayne dream came true: Remi won first in her middle weight group with Vinnie, and Vinnie was chosen Grand Champion Middle Weight Division Barrow, and finally for the ultimate goal, Vinnie was awarded named Grand Champion Market Barrow. The judge named him the best of over 200 pigs he looked at that day.
For this honor, Remi and her family were given the use of a Featherlite pig trailer for a year with the option to buy it after that, a coat, and the right to see her pig at the Purple Ribbon Auction. Remi's pig set a new State Fair sale price of $9,600 for Grand Champion Market Barrow.
Hormel Foods and Pioneer Hi-Bred International always donate money to the top honored pig. However, Rodney said that without the generosity of many local people, her success would not have been possible.
The local people include Brian Wayne from Pioneer Seed, Mike DenHerder from Channel Seed, Dave Broskoff from Broskoff Structures, Chris Beyer from WFS who obtained donations from Cropland Genetics, DeKalb, BASF, Winfield, Solutions, Del Lanco from Syrgeta and others, Ag Star Financial Services, Justin Morris from Ag Power Enterprises, Jake Veldman from MoeGeo's, Hartland Farms, Syngenta, Duelm’s Prevailing Genetics, Mycogen Seed, Upper Hand Genetics, Wells Fargo and David Thamert.
It’s quite obvious the time Remi spent with her champion barrow made a difference. Knowing an animal and vice versa is a big step in showmanship. Anyone who has ever shown an ornery pig knows how difficult that can be.
Remi raised a grand champion. But only because she herself is a great champion.