COLUMBUS, OHIO – Making its debut at the 2023 Ohio State Fair, the “Breaking Boundaries” Pig Show featured participants between 9 and 22 years old with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Along with the assistance of 25 youth mentors from the Ohio Pork Council’s OH-PIGS program, the participants experienced their first-ever “center-ring” opportunity to care for and show pigs in front of a state fair audience complete with judges.
“We know the real-world life lessons that are gained in the show ring for so many youths around Ohio and the nation and we wanted to create that type of opportunity for this special group of young people, too,” said Kelly Morgan, OH-PIGS manager and Ohio State Fair assistant swine superintendent. “While the experience may have only been for one evening at the state fair, we hope that for the young people and their families that this inaugural show created a lifelong memory that creates good emotions.”
Thanks to the kind collaboration by OH-Pigs’ families, each participant was furnished with their own show pig and paired with a mentor to help guide them in their experience.
“We hope that we’re starting something that will be an annual event at the Ohio State Fair,” said Cheryl Day, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council. “It’s just another way that we can demonstrate how our state’s pig farmers and show pig families continue to give back to not only their own communities, but the whole state.”
About the Ohio Pork Council
The Ohio Pork Council was established in 1968, beginning with nearly 800 pig farmers dedicated to the task of promoting their own product. Currently, OPC has approximately 2,500 members. Their mission is to serve and benefit all Ohio pork producers. To learn more about the Ohio Pork Council, visit www.OhioPork.org or call 614-882-5887.