Midwest Herdsman Livestock Magazine - February 2022

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February 2022

Midwest Herdsman

Graphic design • Website Design • marketing consulting Spring & Fall printed publication www.midwestherdsman.com | 815.997.4171 jayde.midwestherdsman@gmail.com


In this issue... “A marketing solution for good people and good livestock.”-Sue Finley

3 things feeders have in common page 19-20 have you heard of page 25-26

Staff Jayde Reilly Owner/ Graphic Designer Cuba City, WI

t! e g r o f don ’ t

2 key factors to picture show pigs page 32 future issue information page 38

This issue is available online at www.midwestherdsman.com

Save the Campaign template to use to schedule your next farm campaign 3

upcoming events

IOwa beef expo River falls prospect weekend Show in des monies, ia show in river falls, wi 02.12.22 - 02.20.22 04.30.22 - 05.01.22

Illinois beef expo Show in Springfield, IL

Riley Brothers Angus

Various sales - See List on ad

Triple L Showpigs

live sale in darlington, wi Various sales - see list on ad 02.19.22

coney creek farm hosted by sc online sales 02.22.22

Impact Hampshires

doherty family farm

various sales - see list on ad

Diamond V Showpigs various sales - see list on ad

Buck Lamb Sale- Early March Eggers Showpigs Ewe sale - June various sales - see list on ad semen available PLatner Show Pigs

Heart of iowa blow-out

show in iowa falls, ia 03.05.22 - 03.06.22

Champions on Chips

various sales - see list on facebook

Lobdel Showpigs various sales - see list on ad

Live auction in Jefferson, WI S & R Angus 03.19.22 Bulls for sale private treaty

wbia bull sale Junk/Gray club lambs

Hosted by dvauction online & in person semen & lambs for sale private treaty 04.02.22 magolski farms

the meltdown

pigs for sale private treaty

Sandrock Ranch Herefords

Southeast Elite show

Show in West Bend, WI suddeth lamb company 04.08.22 - 04.09.22 lambs for sale private treaty Live sale in benton, wi show in fond du lac, wi 04.16.22 05.21.22 - 05.22.22

Pioneer Showdown beef show

Uff Da Classic pig show

show in lancaster, wi show in stoughton, WI 04.22.22 - 04.23.22 05.29.22

Spring thaw beef show

SW WI Angus Classic

show in black river falls, wi 04.23.22 - 04.24.22

show at grant co fair grounds, WI Memorial day weekend

exit 69 royal rumble show in mauston, wi 04.29.22 - 04.30.22 4

Butts Family Farms

WLBA spring preview show at Jefferson co Fair Grounds 06.04.22 - 06.05.22

WLBa/purina livestock show edgewood colesburg ffa open swine show at wi state Fair Grounds show at clayton co fair grounds, IA 06.11.22 - 06.12.22 07.02.22

March Madness preview WLBA summer spectacular show in albert lea, mn show at Rock Co Fair Grounds 06.25.22 09.27.22

PRIMETIME PERFORMANCE Specht Family Simmentals SERVICES AVAILABLE YEAR-ROUND Annual heifer sale / Bulls for sale privately 10.01.22


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midwest herdsman

thank you! From the editor:

As this issue of Midwest Herdsman is hitting your mailboxes, I officially have a three month old at home. Having a child of our own has gotten my husband and I excited about her future in the livestock industry. We cannot wait to share these special memories with her as our parents shared with us. I have pictured your children at shows across the Midwest which I knew where important moments, but now as a mother, I understand on another level how important those memories truly are. Soon enough, I will transition from photographer to show mom. (How cool is that?!) The biggest debate in our household currently is what species should she show... stay tuned for her decision. I hope this issue of Midwest Herdsman provides you with some tips and tricks to help you get those darn pigs pictured as well as some insight to how to be a successful feeder. As always, thank you to my advertisers and readership for your continued support. I look forward to seeing you all around at Jackpot Shows and State Fair this Summer!

Jayde Reilly 5




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Top 10 Reasons to Join the GLBGA: 1. Be on the forefront of new marketing trends with our quality newsletter and Beltie Briefs 2. Participate in association educational events and annual field day 3. Attend training camps for families interested in raising, marketing, and showing 4. Support our juniors with educational programs and training to prepare for a livestock career 5. Participate in and attend multiple Midwestern cattle shows 6. Gain knowledge on topics to become more profitable and successful with Belted cattle 7. Utilize promotional handouts and displays provided by the GLBGA 8. Be part of the most active regional Beltie group in the United States 9. Utilize networking opportunities with other breeders and owners 10. Advertise your outstanding genetics on the GLBGA website, in flyers and the newsletter

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Pioneer Showdown

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the most Successful feeders have These 3 things in common When it comes to showing livestock, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and grind. From the time entries are made until the trailer is loaded for the show, it seems there are millions of details that require our attention. On a daily basis, we’re evaluating, making adjustments, and doing our best to follow through on getting the work done. It can be easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the big picture.

exhibitors, and how they want to grow together as a family through the course of the project.

The families that have the most success in the show ring keep their focus throughout the course of the season. And, while every season has its ups and downs, the best feeders arrive at the backdrop time after time because they have these three things in common; they set clear and measurable goals, they are hyper-focused on animal health, and they find ways to keep it fun.

HEALTH: For as much as we hear about the hottest new feed additives when we go to shows or supply stores, the best feeders don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about them. Sure, they learn about them, and they sure enough feed some of them, but they don’t lose any sleep over whether or not they should have used a little more of this or that. What they do lose sleep over, however, is animal health. If an animal isn’t feeling well, it’s not able to perform to its true genetic potential. And, if an animal isn’t able to perform to its true genetic potential, there’s no show feed in the world that can make up for it.

GOALS: The best feeders set clear and measurable goals, but they don’t just focus on ribbons and banners, their goals reach beyond the show ring. It’s easy to say “We want to win our class”, or “I want to win showmanship”, or “We’re going to win Grand Champion”, but wins in the show ring shouldn’t be the only metric which defines the success of your project.

“Wins in the show ring shouldn’t be the only metric which defines the success of your project” The most successful feeders create goals that align with where they’re at in the learning process, the age of the


In Principles of Show Pig Success, Brent “Boots” Boland says “The most successful families I work with work hard to set goals and they usually have their goals on display in the barn to remind them each day where their focus should be.”

“I have no doubt that animal health is the foundation of a successful project.” In The Showman’s Guide to Show Pig Health, Todd Price, DVM says “I have no doubt that animal health is the foundation of a successful project.” To be competitive, we need our show animals to eat, grow, and gain, and if they aren’t feeling well, that simply won’t happen. “Every year I tell people, there are more championships lost to health concerns than any other issue,” says Price.

Every great livestock show family understands the importance of animal health. In fact, you might not think of it this way, but almost everything we do in the show barn is intended to promote animal health. Here’s one example; We tend to recognize clean pens promote healthy skin and hair, but also when we clean those pens we’re providing a comfortable, dry place for our animals to lay and ensuring air quality in our barns at the same time - those are two huge components of animal health. The same can be said of dozens of other show barn activities from the way our show feeds are formulated to checking the barn morning and night. It’s all about health, and the great feeders know it. KEEP IT FUN: The third thing the most successful feeders have in common is that they keep the project fun. We can get awful serious about making sure the work is done. We can have arguments with our brothers and sisters, and moms and dads, and nieces and nephews, but at the end of the day, if these projects are fun, our families will want to keep coming back to the barn.

“When the best feeders aren’t meeting their goals in the show ring, they focus on building relationships, learning from their mistakes, and applying positivity to the situation.”

The best feeders find ways to keep the project enjoyable and engaging when things aren’t going well. When they’re not meeting their goals in the show ring, or their animals fall off track from a health standpoint, they focus on building relationships, learning from their mistakes, and applying positivity to the situation. Feeding and showing livestock should be fun. If we work hard to make it fun, our families will want to go to more shows, they’ll want to be more involved in the project, and they’ll want to take advantage of all of the other opportunities that come along with showing livestock. When this happens, we’re doing the job we’re supposed to be doing with these projects, which is growing young people into exceptional adults. Goals, health, and fun are the keys to achieving success with your livestock project. As they intertwine throughout the season, they’ll define how successful you’ll be this year. If you’re loading the show barn for fall, take some time to think about these three areas of your project, talk through them with your family, and create an action plan for how you’ll evaluate your progress. This blog post was written by B.J. Eick and is featured on the www.herdly.oi website along with other educational, informative and inspiring content that was developed with breeders and exhibitors in mind.


on chips







have you heard of... What is herdly.io? herdly.io is a new website for stock show families with video-based online courses that will walk you through the process of showing stock, from your first show to the final drive. Our mission is to help you and your family learn to achieve success in the show ring and beyond. The site contains a series of courses covering a specific topic. Each course is broken into individual lessons and all the courses are taught by industry leaders - the best breeders and feeders in the country - and they hold nothing back when sharing the secrets of their success. With herdly.io, you watch videos, learn from the industry’s best, and put your new knowledge to work as you pursue your next big win!


Who should use herdly.io? Any 4-H family can benefit from herdly.io, especially if you’re in the first half of your showing career. The lessons are engineered to be family friendly and they’ve also been developed in a manner that will provide value to the most seasoned showmen. Kids will definitely learn from the lessons, but we recognize in any successful project, parent involvement is crucial, so we’ve done our best to speak to a broad audience so everyone can benefit and learn.

How do I use herdly.io? herdly.io course are available on-demand, anytime, from any device. Once you have access to the content, which is available for purchase or on a subscription basis, you can simply login and watch from anywhere, just like your favorite shows on Netflix.

What courses are currently on herdly.io? We’ve started with a show pig focus and we currently have available five courses which include Breeding & Raising Show Pigs, Show Pig Health, Principles of Show Pig Success, Winning at Swine Showmanship, and Selecting Show Pigs.

What is new on herdly.io? On February 1, Selecting Show Pigs, taught by Troy Sloan, Team Sloan Livestock, Cameron, Mo., will be available. The course guides families through the process of finding a show pig breeder, evaluating pigs, working with a breeder to meet your goals, and also includes lots of tips for buying pigs through the variety of sales formats available to show families today.

Who is behind herdly.io? herdly.io is a passion project of B.J. and Marlene Eick of Wooster, Ohio. Their unique backgrounds in livestock production, education, and filmmaking have blended together as they’ve pursued a challenge so many families face when they begin showing livestock; closing the knowledge gap between experienced and inexperienced showmen.

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KEY FACTORS WHEN picturing pigs

! ut o s i th check There’s no way around it. Taking photos of baby pigs is an absolute pain. It can be physically challenging and, even on the best of days, it can prove to be mentally exhausting. While I love pigs, I know I’m not alone when I say I despise taking pig pictures. Here are two key factors I’ve found to make the job easier.

Relative to appetite, it sure seems to me that pigs are more curious and more willing to stay with the photo process longer if they’re a little hungry and a little thirsty. I’m sure not suggesting this is the only way to get baby pig pictures, in fact, it’s extremely uncommon and likely only effective if you are picturing small groups of pigs, but I do feel like I’ve repeatedly produced good results using the following method.

Preparation - People will share a million tricks they’ve used to get good pig pictures, and I feel like I’ve tried them all, but the only one which has worked repeatedly for me is to invest time in preparing the pigs for picture day. I look at it this way; on any given set of pigs, it’s going to take a set amount of time to get the photos. You can either invest that time in preparing and training the pigs, which will allow you to take photos quickly, or you can spend no time preparing and training the pigs, in which case you’re going to spend all your time banging your head against the wall trying to get pigs to cooperate.

I’m a bit different than most in the fact that I strongly prefer to picture pigs off a pull pan, so I train the pigs to the pan and the picture area at the same time. I simply mix some milk and feed together in the pull pan, run a group of pigs into the picture pen, and let them enjoy the treat. I repeat this for three days, then on the fourth day, I shut down feed and water for a few hours before running them into the picture pen for photos. Since they’re comfortable with the process and excited for the treat, we can picture them quickly and the pull pan allows us to maintain a lot of control over their pose.

I think there are a lot of factors that can come into play when you’re considering how well pigs will cooperate on picture day. No doubt fill, age, how long they’ve been on chips, and exposure to people can all play a role. To me, the two most important factors are the pig’s comfort level with their environment and their appetite.

Lighting - Even the most well-lit barns can be rather dark when it comes to taking photos, especially when the infinite variables of camera and lens quality are considered. This means you’re going to need more light. Invest in $100 of LED bulbs and fixtures at Rural King and place them over your picture pen. Put some light directly overhead and put additional light at the corners of your picture area where it will shine onto the sides of the pigs. Give it a try! Your camera will thank you.

Relative to the environment, if pigs are comfortable being in the picture area, and comfortable with the process of getting prepared and moved to the picture area, they’re far more likely to cooperate with you. A friend of mine has overcome this challenge simply by taking their pictures in the pen where the pigs live instead of moving them to a dedicated picture area.


These two keys should help you improve your baby pig pictures this Spring. For more information about improving your photography for all species of livestock, visit learnlivestockphotography.com

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Details & Dates Future issues: Fall Issue 2022

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