It is hard to believe that we will be weighing pigs in Perry, 4 weeks from tomorrow. As we have done for previous shows, we will be assigning pens prior to the show. I will be posting the link for the Google Doc that we will be using to request pen space around noon on February 2, 2015. This Google Doc will be open until 5:00 PM on February 13. The Agent or Teacher in charge of your group should be the one who enters the data into the Google Doc. Parents or students should not be given the link and should not enter any information. As with past Jr. National Shows, we will be very tight on pen space. We have 1973 pigs entered in the show this year (down 19 from last year). Last year we had 842 pens, and I do not expect that number to change. I have not received the penning charts from the fairgrounds to have an exact count of pens. Consequently, it is critical that we get an accurate count of the pigs coming to the show so that we can assign space so that everyone has a place to put their pigs. Between now and February 2nd, I would ask that each of you do several things.
1. Please check with your students and parents and see how the pigs are growing and if they are still planning on coming. Please include only those pigs that you know are coming or that have a reasonable chance of coming to the show on the Goggle Doc. Please do not simply tell me that you entered x number so you are bringing x number. In future years we will be using the “show up percentage” as a basis for assigning pens. I can understand leaving 2 or 3 pigs of the 20 you entered at home after the local show because they did not make weight or were not as heavy as the parents said they were. I have a greater difficulty understanding you bringing 10 of the 22 that you said were coming. It is important that you give us an accurate count of the pigs that will actually be coming to the show. If you find out after you enter your numbers that someone is not coming, please correct the numbers in the Google Doc.
2. Please verify your entries with the on line data base and make sure they are correct and that everyone is included. Every year we have animals show up that somehow were not entered. Please double check the sex of each pig.
3. Please verify that you have submitted ear notches for all of the pigs that you have entered and that the ear notches have been read correctly. Please make sure that the ear notches match the tag they were entered under.
4. Please start locating/building dividers for the pens as you will be housing 2 (or more) pigs per pen. The pens are 6’x6’.
5. Please designate 1 person (agent or teacher) who will be responsible for inputting information for your group into the Google Doc. If you have several groups penning together, please input the data for each individual group and then indicate that the groups want to be penned together.
6. Please verify that all of your animals have been blood tested and that they all have health papers. If they have not been blood tested, this needs to be done ASAP or they may not be able to get health papers in time for the show. According to the State Vet’s office, health papers and blood tests for junior (4-H and FFA) show animals showing in 4-H or FFA sponsored shows are good for 4 months (unless the show states otherwise).
7. Please remember that we will not assign any tack pens and that exhibitors are prohibited from having tack boxes in the aisle. Please plan on bringing shelves to go over the pens.
I will send more details as to how to access the Google Doc on the 2nd. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of assistance.
Have a great day and I look forward to seeing you soon,
Tommy: Please forward this to the FFA listserve.
C. Robert Dove
Associate Professor, Undergraduate Coordinator and Swine Extension Specialist
Department of Animal and Dairy Science
248 Rhodes Center for Animal and Dairy Science
University of Georgia
425 River Road
Athens, GA 30602