2012 December Seedstock EDGE - page 10

Mike Paul
CEO, National Swine Registry
NSR Editorial
Open Mike
Interest Bearing Account
When we invest our time, talents and
money into a project, we hope we will
get a good return on our investment.
I think back to the mid-’90s, and there
was only talk about a junior swine association.
Many members and other swine industry
enthusiasts referred to the outstanding youth
programs offered by other specie groups, and
how great it would be if a similar program
was available to young people in our industry.
After the NSR staff met early in 1998, it was
decided to hold a junior activity that summer.
e first attempt at a junior activity
was in conjunction with the Summer Type
Conference, which was scheduled to be held
the second week of July at the Tippecanoe
County Fairgrounds in Lafayette, Ind. e
NSR was blessed that summer to have two
interns, Jennifer ‘Hotchkiss’ Shike and Daryl
Real, that were actively involved in other
junior programs. ey grabbed the bull by
the horns and put this event together. With
no idea what numbers to expect for their
first event, they hired Kim Brock to judge
both showmanship and the gilt show.
e showmanship contest was slated to
begin at 1 p.m. on that ursday, with the
purebred Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and
Yorkshire gilt shows immediately follow-
ing. Entries began to rolling in, and every-
one involved could see this junior activity
was going to be quite a bit larger than first
expected. With all of the animals entered in
the STC and the junior event, it was clear
they weren’t going to fit in the swine barn at
the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds. After
calls to several surrounding fairgrounds, the
Cass County Fairgrounds finally agreed to let
NSR use their hog pens, if NSR could pick
them up and return them to the fairgrounds.
To contact Mike, use your smartphone to scan the code to the left or e-mail him at
Show day arrived, and there were 202
gilts exhibited by more 120 junior exhibi-
tors from 14 states. No doubt, Kim had his
hands full starting with the first showman-
ship class through naming the champion
gilts at 9 p.m. that evening. Skillathon and
judging contests were held on Friday, with
more than 200 young people participating
in each event. To say this maiden event was
a success would be an understatement!
Building from that event, the NSR has
continued to hold a Summer Spectacular
every year. Following the implementa-
tion of the NSR long-range plan, Jennifer
Shike became the director of junior activi-
ties and was charged with the development
of the NSR website. It wasn’t long before
being the director of junior activities was
a full time position – and then some.
e National Junior Swine Association
was officially formed in 2000 with 200 young
people signing-up as members. Today, there
are more than 12,000 NJSA members from
just about every state and even a few foreign
countries. Yearly activities have grown from
the Summer Spectacular to the following:
National Western Stock Show, Denver,
Colo.; Southeast Regional, Perry, Ga.; Boot
Camp for younger NJSA members held in
Columbus, Ohio, last year; Western Regional,
Turlock, Calif.; National Youth Leader-
ship Conference held in Modesto, Calif.,
last year; World Pork Expo, Des Moines,
Iowa; NSR Summer Spectacular, Louisville,
Ky.; Southwest Regional, Chickasha, Okla.;
NBS® Barrow Classic, Austin, Minn.; Eastern
Regional, Hamburg, N.Y.; American Royal,
Kansas City, Mo.; North American Interna-
tional Livestock Exhibition, Louisville, Ky.;
and a Regional Leadership Conference that
will be held at Michigan State University
this December. Along with the addition of
regional and national shows, the NJSA now
includes classes for purebred barrows and
crossbred gilts and barrows at most events.
Quite an impressive list of activities, isn’t it?
When you look back at the growth of the
NJSA since its inception, and the major part
it plays in many of our members’ business
plans, I ask you to see what a good inter-
est bearing account it has been. If you look
back to the first Summer Spectacular and
see the young people who participated in
that event, and the roles they now have in
the swine industry, it makes you step back
and appreciate the commitment that was
made by many to assist in the growth and
preservation of the purebred swine industry.
If you wish to be part of this progres-
sive youth program, consider becoming a
sponsor of the NJSA. You can call the NSR
office at 765.463.3594 and ask for Cally or
Torie. ey can also be reached by e-mail at
or
torie@nation-
alswine.com,
or mail your sponsorship to
NSR, 2639 Yeager Road, West Lafayette,
IN 47906. e possibilities are unlimited.
“... It makes you step back and appreciate the commitment that was made by
many to assist in the growth and preservation of the purebred swine industry.”
10 • SEEDSTOCK EDGE
December 2012
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