Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
For Fairfield High School junior Ryan Doud, 4-H has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember.
He lives on a cattle farm, and for the past eight years, he has been showing pigs at county fairs. He has been showing cows since he was 8. Living on a cattle farm, it made sense for him to show cattle.
His mom used to be involved with 4-H when she was younger. She was one reason he became interested.
He got into pigs thanks to his cousin.
“My cousin got into showing pigs,” Doud said. “My first year of 4-H, they bought a pig that was going to be too big for their county fair so they gave it to me to show.”
He said he wasn’t sure how to work with pigs at first, but he found a way.
“We’ve always worked with cows,” Doud said. “I basically stepped into pigs not sure what we were getting into. The first year went pretty good, so we just decided to keep on going after that.”
Currently, Doud has two pigs that he raises himself. He plans to breed the two.
Doud has shown in both open shows at the Jefferson County Fair and also at the Iowa State Fair. He has won several awards between the two venues.
His first year, he won junior showmanship and reserve champion market pig. Throughout the years, he’s also won intermediate showmanship and reserve champion overall breeding. The best that he’s done at the state fair was finish 5th in his show class.
Whether an exhibitor can bring home an award from the show depends on the competition, too.
“It depends on what class you’re in,” Doud said. “If you’re going for a carcass level class, you want the meat levels to be good. You want to see the quality in the meat. As far as showing, it’s just the judges preference on what they like with them. You just try to present your animal the best you can.”
Doud said his family is happy to see his success and enjoyment. His grandpa said that if he wants to, he could stop showing cattle and solely focus on pigs.
The rewarding part for Doud has been the competitions.
“The most rewarding thing is knowing we can compete with them,” he said. “We’ve never been that far away from stuff and just knowing where we started with them and where we’re at now is pretty neat to see.”
Doud says that he plans to continue being involved with 4-H for the foreseeable future. He also has plans to continue breeding, with the hope to have a show operation.