Prime swine

Landry Layton has been raising show pigs since she was 8 years old. Now at 14, she’s accomplished something some top swine producers have worked toward their entire lives.

At the 30th annual World Pork Expo in early June, Landry took home the highest honors with her grand champion Yorkshire boar. But that wasn’t all. Her prize pig then brought $150,000 as the top-selling York at the prestigious show.

“I was pretty shocked,” Landry said. “It was the first national show we’d ever been to, and I knew there would be a lot of competition, so it was pretty hard to wrap my head around the fact that we won and that he sold for so much.”

Landry, daughter of MFA Retail Sales Representative Rowdy Layton, made the trip with her father to Des Moines, Iowa, to exhibit the boar, which she affectionately called “Jimmy” at home on the family’s farm near Welch, Okla. They almost didn’t make it to the show, however. Landry’s older sister, Aubrey, was attending FFA’s Washington Leadership Conference, and their little brother, Lucas, was scheduled for surgery the day before the show.

The Laytons enlisted the help of family friend Joe Snedden, a representative for Ralco Show Feeds, to take the hog to Iowa and care for him until Rowdy and Landry could get there.

“We were able to get there in time for the show,” Rowdy said, “and we’re sure glad we did!”

The family got in the show pig business about nine years ago, with Aubrey raising and exhibiting Durocs. When Landry began showing, too, she chose Yorkshire breed instead. Lucas also shows swine.

“My first pig was a York named Henry, and I just fell in love with him,” Landry said. “I was so sad when I had to sell him at the fair, and I decided I wanted to try to raise more like him.”

The girls started showing locally at county fairs and have shown at the Oklahoma Youth Expo for the past couple years. Landry said they decided to try the World Pork Expo for a change of pace.

“We knew we had a pretty good boar,” she said. “He was just a really good, structured hog. And we wanted to do something different than the local fairs—see what a national show was all about.”

The Laytons raised the grand champion boar from birth, feeding MFA’s swine starter pellets in the beginning and transitioning to Ralco Show feeds sold through AGChoice in Chelsea, Okla.

“Everything the boar ever ate came from MFA’s Aurora feed mill,” Rowdy said.

Jimmy is now standing at Thompson Brothers Genetics in Pleasantville, Ohio, which partnered with Chuck and Ben Olsen of South Dakota and Schenken Genetics of Texas to buy the boar.

Rowdy anticipates they will have a couple more litters from the same sow and sire, and Landry said she hopes to return to the World Pork Expo with another champion-quality pig.

“Even though showing is a lot of work and responsibility, it’s a great experience, especially when you see it pay off,” said Landry, who also shows cattle. “This year may have been a once-in-a-lifetime win, but I’d like to try to repeat it.”

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