By Sara Tischauser
This year, the Outagamie County Fair will once again be having a terminal hog show at the fair because of new mandates from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
Steve Green, one of two superintendents for hogs at the Outagamie County Fair, said when he was a youth showing at the fair, the hog show was terminal. Then he said about 10-15 years ago, the fair moved away from the terminal show and exhibitors could take their hogs back home if they wanted to after the fair. During that 10-15 years of time though, Green said there were some years where the show was a terminal show because of the swine flu and other diseases.
Per the DATCP, when swine are purchased from a herd, the originating herd must be tested for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) before the swine can move into a new herd.
“State law passed requiring testing,” Green said. “Best option for test kit $100 per farm. We didn’t want to add extra expense to have every kid test [herd].”
Green said because of the cost of the kit, the livestock committee decided to make the hog show a terminal show so exhibitors wouldn’t have to spend the $100 to test their herds. He said even if they had not gone to a terminal show, if just one exhibitor didn’t get their hog tested and brought it to the fair, then the entire show would become a terminal show anyway.
With the show being a terminal show, Green said they have to make sure that locker plants will be able to take all the hogs from the fair for slaughter. He said the main places they use are Roskom Meats in Kaukauna (Freedom) and Maplewood Meats in Green Bay.
Green said the locker plants have a limit on how many animals they can take and still keep their coolers at the correct temperatures. Because of this ,Green said they have asked youth to possibly limit the number of hogs each exhibitor brings to the fair.
“Our recommendation was if you had lightweight hogs that would be too light for sale to not bring, unless [that’s] all you had then bring one,” Green said.
He said they also recommended that exhibitors that have three hogs to show maybe consider only bringing their top two hogs to help with the number of hogs the meat plants have to take after the show.
From the fair, Green said they truck animals to Maplewood and Roskoms, but people can choose to have their hogs taken to other plants. However, there is a time frame the hogs have to be to the meat plant after the show and Green said they, at the fair, will call and make sure the hog got to the meat plant. If hogs are not taken to the meat plant within the time frame, Green said there will be consequences.
The terminal show, Green said, will probably be continued in the future for the hogs.
“I think this is going to be more permanent,” Green said. “Probably more contagious than what swine flu was for pigs.”
However, even with the fair having a terminal hog show, Green said he believes exhibitors will continue to bring hogs to the fair.
“I don’t foresee it from stopping people from showing,” Green said. “May just bring less to fair to keep number [of hogs] in check for locker plant.”
By Sara Tischauser