Dickess has top hog

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

ROME TOWNSHIP — It’s a rare show where the judge says “She’s wide in the front and back” and the audience applauds. But then, the criteria are a little different when he’s judging hogs.

And of the 150 hogs only two could be the top winners

For Jonathon Dickess, winning Grand Champion market hog was sweet because this year was his last year.

Email newsletter signup

“It feels pretty good. I’ve been showing for eight years,” he said. The Helping Hands 4-H member added that this is the first time he had placed this high. “I came in eighth once.”

Dickess said there isn’t much difference between raising a champion hog and any other hog.

“I just picked the right pig I guess,” he said.

Brandon Bowling, of Freedom Farmers 4-H Club, took the reserve champion trophy. After four years, this is the highest he has placed.

“I never even got a ribbon before,” he said. “This is pretty cool. I like it.”

The judge for the market hogs was Bill Funderburg, a former teacher and a farm owner who has been judging for 49 years. He worked up quite a sweat during the four-hour show.

His criteria for picking a winner, including being a “natural” hog.

“They have to be sound on all four feet, their backs have to be level and the widest part of their body has to be in the center of the body and they walk easy,” he said.

And how does he pick the grand champion.

“It’s lots of little things,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s easy. Here tonight, the show was very excellent. I was pleased with the entries and the kids and the 4-H people did a really good job.”