Terry, Jennifer, John Cross and Grayson Utley
Knox City, Texas
Utley Farms is committed to hard work and dedication in raising pigs that can compete on a consistent basis throughout Texas. Growing up in a small town and being a child of an Ag teacher, Terry Utley always had animals to feed. “I showed pigs, steers and sheep, but I always knew I wanted to be in the show pig business” said Terry. “When I was attending college at Tarleton State University, I got my first chance at raising show pigs working for Charles Luedtke; he had up to seventy sows, all while doing custom hay baling.” After college Utley took a job with the Texas Cooperative Extension in Knox County as an Ag Agent, keeping him in the show industry. The youth in Utley’s county competed at the local and state levels, where they were fortunate to have a successful show career with class winners, several Breed and Reserve Breed Champions, and even a Reserve Grand barrow at the State Fair of Texas.
Knox City. They have a son, John cross, and a daughter, Grayson, ages 7 and 5 respectively.
How would you describe the hogs in your barn? The most important selection criteria for our sow herd is the females need to be sound with a good underline and will lie in the crate and raise pigs. They need to be complete, attractive and Champion Lightweight Hamp functional. On the other 2011 Houston Livestock Show “If you stick with good people, then good things will happen.” hand, show pigs need to “Being an Ag Agent, I was fortunate enough to meet some be not only big legged and great people and make great friendships along the way; one stout, but good looking, of these friends being Kyle Stephens. He has been a big help athletic and sound as well. to me and my family getting Utley Farms where it is today, They too need to look their working closely together in our breeding program, boar weight with good skin and selection and the feeding program.” hair condition. Today, Utley Farms is a 20-25 sow operation consisting of Spots, Hampshires, Chesters, Durocs and Crossbreds. What is your biggest Farrowing is primarily the end of July through September, struggle? while a few sows are also bred for March born pigs targeting As everyone knows, it’s the State Fair of Texas. “As a young family, it is an honor so hard to start a new 3rd Place Hamp at Houston to be recognized in the Breeder Spotlight. At Utley Farms, business and start a family Shown by: Kristen Kuehler we strive to make the best show pigs we can and continue at the same time, so some to improve our genetics,” says Utley. “I believe if you stick of the biggest challenge we with good people, face here at Utley Farms is then good things money; it takes a lot of cash will happen. We are flow to make this dream lucky to have a lot possible. Luckily, we are in of great friends that good standing with Citizens help us out around Bank, haha. Then you have the farm when we to worry about issues we all are out of town.” face in the pork industry, like Terry is also the PEDv, which can wipe you manager of O’Brien out overnight. 6th Place Hamp Co-op Gin and his Shown by: The Myers Family San Antonio Livestock Show The Utley Family: John Cross, Terry, wife, Jennifer, is a school teacher in Jennifer & Grayson
“It’s hard to sore with the eagles, when you fly with the turkeys.”
What are your proudest moments? Two of them came in 2011. Our son John Cross won the Grand Champion at the Knox City local show when he was just 4 years old. We also bred the Champion Lightweight Hamp barrow at San Antonio, where the exhibitor also won a $7,500 scholarship. We’re very proud of the first boar we raised and sold in 2012 to Kyle Stephens; Django, a Spot that has done a great job so far. His littermate went on to be the Champion BOPB at the Fort Worth Stock Show in 2013; that was a heck of a litter! This past year, we had a family here in Knox City that wanted a Berk Champion Black OPB and a Spot for Houston. We Shown by: Kristen Kuehler 2013 Fort Worth Sock Show didn’t have any that age, so I called up buddy Kyle and we found a pair that went on to be the Champion Berk and Champion Spot at Houston! Even though these pigs were not bred by us, the spot was out of Django. And it was pretty cool to have a brother and sister combination in the Champion Drive of Houston that we helped 3rd Place San Antonio out with. Although that Shown by: Kayla Hunter is a few of our biggest accomplishments, we feel honored that in our short time, we have also raised high placing show pigs throughout Texas.
5th Place Hamp Shown by: The Utley Family 2014 Houston Livestock Show
High Placing Chester Shown by: Shannon Reeves 2013 Houston Livestock Show
What advice would you give to young show pig producers? Like myself, I would recommend that you find a breeder out there and watch what they do and learn from the best in the business. And remember that family and friendships are important and that this activity is a great way to strengthen those relationships. Growing up through the 4-H and FFA programs, my wife and I have witnessed that this is one of the few things you can do as a
Django bred by Utley Farms now housed at Stephens Farms
family; it’s one of the best things! We get the opportunity to watch young kids grow and we can help influence them the way we were influenced. The people and the memories we have had will never be forgotten. When the whole Utley Family gets together, you can bet we talk about show pigs from the past to present. “Hard work, dedication and good ethics will have the most important impact on success.”
Who do you admire the most? The ones that I admire the most would be my parents, John and Fredye Utley. They have taught me that hard work, dedication and good ethics will have the most important impact on success, not only in the show ring but in life. I also dearly appreciate my wife Jennifer and our two kids; they play a big part in helping out around the barn doing daily chores and checking on the animals. Again, this program is so great because I have the opportunity to teach our kids what my parents taught me- you work hard, you try your best, and 99.9 % you will have success. If it was easy we would all be doing it. As my Dad would say “It’s hard to sore with the eagles when you fly with the turkeys!” “It is has been fun the last 6 years here at Utley Farms. We have met some great people throughout the state and made great memories doing what we are passionate about. But hopefully this is just the beginning as Utley Farms strives to continually improve the genetics, and with hard work and dedication, continue to produce winning show pigs. We will provide you with excellent service with your project from selection and feeding to grooming and showmanship; and you can count on our help at the shows to see your pig reach its full potential.” Visit www.utleyfarms.com for your next Champion!
Champion Spot (out of Django) & Champion Berk Houston Livestock Show 2014 Brother & Sister Team