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February 16, 2007

4-H members and parents can learn, pig out at Junior Pork Day

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Evaluating pork cuts, reading ear notches and preparing show pigs for the ring are all topics that will be covered at Purdue University's Junior Pork Day 2007.

First- and second-year 4-H swine project participants and their parents are encouraged to attend from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 3 in the Lilly Hall of Life Sciences building on Purdue's West Lafayette campus. The event also is open to all 4-H members.

"This program helps students and their parents have a better understanding of purchasing, feeding and nutrition, and taking care of their animal," said Clint Rusk, Purdue Extension livestock specialist. "We will teach the kids basic selection and what to look for when they are choosing their project pigs."

In addition to teaching participants about show animals, Junior Pork Day also will educate participants about how to be smarter consumers of pork products.

"Not only are the 4-H members raising swine, but they are also consumers of pork products," Rusk said. "We will educate them on choosing bacon, pork chops, ham, etcetera from the grocery store, because not all of those products are the same. We want them to be better informed."

Participants will be divided into three groups that will rotate sessions throughout the day. These sessions, led by Purdue livestock experts, will include:

*  "How to Judge Feeder Pigs, Market Hogs and Gilts."

* "Evaluating Pork Cuts and Carcasses."

* "Giving Injections and Understanding Residues."

* "Everything but the Oink."

* "Know Your Notches and Baby Pig Processing."

* "Preparing for Show Day and Entering the Ring."

* "Bacon Processing - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly."

* "Swine Health - the Basics of Health Care."

Each group also will have the opportunity to evaluate three classes of swine, as well as three classes of retail pork cuts.

"The program offers a chance to evaluate live pigs so 4-H members and their parents understand what judges are looking for," Rusk said. "We want to do whatever we can to increase their comfort level and knowledge of the animal."

Door prizes and awards, sponsored by the Crossbred Classic, Indiana swine associations and the National Swine Registry, will be handed out near the end of the program.

Registration is $5 and will begin at 8 a.m. in the lobby of Lilly Hall. Lunch will be provided and is sponsored by Johnsonville Brats.

For more information, contact Rusk at (765) 494-8427, rusk@purdue.edu, or Brian Richert at (765) 494-4837, brickert@purdue.edu.

Writer: Jennifer Stewart, (765) 494-6682, jsstewar@purdue.edu

Source: Clint Rusk, (765) 494-8427, rusk@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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