Swine showmen shine

Youths keep it cool in market swine show Thursday


Eye contact. Check.

Composure. Check.

But what the heck is the NSR?

The market swine show drew one of the largest crowds Saturday at the Moffat County Fair as FFA and 4-H members brought their best but couldn't put their finger on that acronym.

"Good showmen must have a combination of composure and compassion," swine judge Brett Kaysen said to the competitors and crowd under the Moffat County Fairgrounds barn. "And you need some knowledge of the industry."

As the senior showmen displayed their swine, Kaysen continued quizzing the future of the swine market.

"I am not familiar with the NSR at this time," one competitor said.

"Have you ever thought about politics?" Kaysen replied, drawing laughter from the crowd.

But not to fear, no one seemed to remember that NSR stood for the National Swine Registry.

The questions were meant to weed through the showmen and test their composure.

And in the end, a true veteran came away with the top prize. Blake Kawcak was named grand champion of the senior showmanship division, and Natasha Chapman took reserve champion.

"And you did it without a smile!" Dennis Otis threw at his co-worker as Kawcak walked his sow back to her pin.

This is Kawcak's seventh year showing swine, and this year marks his sixth grand championship in showmanship.

"I just keep focused and do the best I can," Kawcak said, now smiling.

Despite a sow that repeatedly wanted to leave him, Kawcak kept his composure on the outside while on the inside his stomach turned knots.

"I was really worried because at home she didn't do good, and when she was running away from me in the pin I was really nervous," Kawcak said.

The rest of the competitors weren't far behind Kawcak, as Kaysen continually commented on the high level of quality in each showman.

"It was really tough this year," Kawcak said.

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