Gassman excels in GJCF Swine Show with multiple awards

Grant Gassman

Grant Gassman, 12, came home with several awards from the GJCF Swine Show this summer. His most prized is Champion Purchased Market Barrow – Light Weight. Gassman has only been showing for two years. (Express file photo)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

For this being only his second year exhibiting pigs at the Great Jones County Fair, 12-year-old Grant Gassman came away with some hardware this year. Gassman placed in the following classes during the 2020 GJCF:

     • Champion Purchased Market Barrow – Light Weight

     • Reserve Champion Purchased Barrow

     • Reserve Supreme Champion Market Hog

     “I was pretty surprised,” Gassman said of how well he did this year. “It’s all in how the judge likes the pig and how the pig looks.”

     Gassman exhibited his pig “Wiggy” this summer. As for why he named it “Wiggy,” he said, “Because it’s always waging its tail.”

     The Gassmans buy their own pigs and raise them on their farm in Scotch Grove. Gassman said they usually purchase their hogs in March and he starts working with his pigs after they’re about a month old.

     “They’re not very big,” he said.

     Part of Gassman’s routine when working with his pigs to get them ready for the fair is teaching them to walk correctly.

     “You don’t want them to go too fast. You want them to keep their as high as they can,” he explained.

     Prior to the GJCF, Gassman attends open swine shows to practice his showmanship with his pigs.

     “You can see what you need to work on before the fair,” he said.

     Another tip Gassman offers for Swine Show day includes looking at the judge while in the show ring. He said you also want you pig to be the correct weight, look clean, and clip their hair.

     “It definitely helps to not be so nervous,” offered Gassman as advice to other 4-H and FFA youth. “The one main thing is to buddy-up to your pig to gain their trust. They’ll like you more.”

     Gassman said he rewards his pig with treats when it does something correctly.

     After showing this summer, Gassman said he knows he’ll have to spend more time with his pig, walking them longer for practice.

     As for how he gained the necessary skills to succeed so well in the Swine Show, Gassman credits his father, Kevin.

     “My dad taught me,” he said. “He knows a lot.”

     Gassman said they also have family friends who shared some tips, too.

     Aside from the GJCF Swine Show, Gassman also showed his dog in the Dog Show.

     “They had lass classes this year because of COVID,” he said.

     He said his dog didn’t do as well as previous year, but he still had fun.

     Gassman also entered a picture he took on his iPad of a kitten on his farm as part of the F.A.S.T. projects. He received a blue ribbon.

     Honoring National Pork Month in October, when asked his favorite pork product, Gassman said pork burgers.

     “I just really like them,” he said.

     Gassman, a seventh grader, is a member of the Prairie Hill 4-H Club. His parents are Kevin and Chanda Gassman. 


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