May 1, 2019
Goodwell, Okla. — Great partnerships produce great opportunities and the Swine Clinic held Saturday, January 19, 2019 was a perfect example of one of these instances. Hosted by Oklahoma Panhandle State University in partnership with Goodwell Public Schools, the event was held at the England Center at the Panhandle State Farm and saw nearly 20 participants despite an early morning start with snow and ice packed roads.
The clinic took birth during a meeting among Panhandle State Administration, Panhandle State Agriculture faculty, Goodwell Schools Administration and faculty, and Goodwell community members brainstorming on opportunities to partner for the future. It seemed to be the right fit for a groundbreaking of such with the bigger plan being to use the clinic as a model for many more partnerships to come.
Panhandle State Professor of Agriculture Education Nels Peterson knew the clinic had the potential to serve as a wonderful hands-on learning experience for Ag Education students enrolled in his “Planning the Community Program.”
An upper-level class, the focus is on providing experience within the informal education that is done in the Agriculture Education program. The eight students enrolled in the course were able to help throughout the clinic providing assistance with setup to registration and ring help.
An Ag Education major Bailey Brown of North Platte, Neb. commented on the event, “I think the showmanship clinic was a great opportunity for area 4-H and FFA members to learn. It was also a wonderful opportunity for OPSU to host this event and hopefully we can continue to do things like this in the future. I saw how an event like this is planned and run, something that will help me as a high school Ag Teacher.”
The event kicked-off with registration at 8 a.m. with the clinic following at 9 a.m. Open to resident’s in the Panhandle and Woodward districts as well as surrounding counties, the clinic saw a number of local students as well as students from the Woodward area. Each participant could bring their own pig to work with throughout the day.
The clinic was instructed by Blake and Alissa Williams. The Williams grew up showing livestock and Alissa’s family has been raising show pigs for many years. She was very successful in the show ring as a contestant earning such honors as Kansas State Fair Grand Champion and Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS) Reserve Grand Champion as well as top 5 in showmanship at both the Kansas State Fair and KJLS. She was also the Champion Senior showman at the Kansas City Royal and had numerous showmanship wins at area spring livestock shows. Alissa judged for Seward County Community College (SCCC) where she talked the high set of reasons on Hereford bulls at the National Western Sock Show and the high set of reasons on Maine heifers at the North American International Livestock Exhibition (NAILE).
Blake is the location manager for Livestock Nutrition Center in Garden City, Kansas. He showed cattle throughout high school winning Supreme heifer at the NAILE, Cow Palace, Fort Worth, and the National Western Stock Show. He showed hogs and cattle at Texas majors and was a member of the state’s winningest FFA chapter. Blake judged at SCCC placing high consistently in hog classes including high set at NAILE.
Blake and Alissa are now raising their two boys, Brayden and Alec, and teaching them to love animals and how to be champions in the show ring.
Community member Joel Wilson commented on the event, “It isn’t often that exhibitors get to learn from people of this caliber. I have taken my kids to some expensive camps and clinics around the country and the level of instruction was just as good right here in my back yard as it was at those camps. I have heard from parents and instructors since the clinic that have indicated to me that not just their youth learned something at the clinic, but they did as well.”
He added, “There is a real value in showing livestock. Kids learn sportsmanship, work ethic and humility. Every kid wants to win and every parent wants their kid to win, but we’re all family and we help each other anytime it’s needed. I think that is evident in the fact that Blake and Alissa came down here and shared their expertise with these area kids.”
Following the instructional portion of the clinic, participants had the opportunity to participate in a Showmanship Contest. The winners were as follows:
Champion- Tyrun Rose- Goodwell FFA
Reserve- Avery Harrison- Beaver FFA
Champion- Kynlea Myers- Texhoma FFA
Reserve- Deke Wilson- Goodwell FFA
Champion- Gunner Wilson- Goodwell 4H
Reserve- Taggert Berry- Texhoma
The most improved award went to Jess Brown of Beaver 4-H.
Special thanks goes to Wilson and fellow community member Robbie Smith as well as Goodwell Agriculture Teacher and Panhandle State graduate Colt Humbard for helping with all the details and making the event happen.
Peterson commented on Humbard’s involvement with the event. “It is really nice to see the young people I teach in Ag classes after they graduate and are out in the workforce as Ag professionals. That is one of the neatest aspects of my job. Colt did a very nice helping to coordinate the event.”
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