It was a fun day Friday at the Minnesota State Fair. I left the studio a little after 5:30 am to beat the traffic. I needed to be in the Swine Barn show arena at 8:00. The Breeding Gilt Show began at 8:30. Normally when I go to the State Fair I park in the field just east of the Mall of America and then take the Park and Ride bus to the Fair. They do not start operating until 8:00 am so I had to park on the State Fairgrounds.

Watching a swine show is quite different than a dairy show. During a dairy show all the cattle are on halter and are led around in a circle. The Dairy Judge is in the middle or walking around to get a good observation and place the cattle. Then the judge places the class from top to bottom all in a nice straight line. That is not how a swine show is run.

In a swine show each pig comes into the show ring and the 4-H member "drives" the pig by tapping it with small stick or whip. The pig is tapped on the back to get it to move forward. A tap on the right shoulder to get the pig to turn left and a tap left shoulder to get it to turn to the right. Hard hitting or whipping is not allowed. In the swine Show at the State Fair on the side of the ring are 10 little pens.

The judge places the pigs in the class from 1 to 10 in the pens. Then each pig is let out one at a time and the judge explains his reasons for placing the class the way he did.