2020 National Barrow Show Canceled

( Seedstock Edge/National Swine Registry )

The 2020 National Barrow Show in Austin, Minn., has been canceled due to COVID-19. The National Barrow Show was organized in 1927 and has served as a flagship event in the purebred swine industry. It also draws a large crowd of collegiate judging teams from across the country to compete in its annual swine judging contest.

Unfortunately, show organizers announced on Tuesday their difficult decision to cancel this event scheduled for Sept. 12 to 15.

“After much consideration and thought, association staff, Hormel Foods and the Mower County Fair Association have made the challenging but necessary decision to cancel 2020 National Barrow Show,” the National Swine Registry (NSR) said in a release on Tuesday. 

In 2001, the National Barrow Show was canceled due to concerns over the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) scare. The replacement show, the American Swine Breeders’ Classic, was held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds that year. No show was held in 1940 or during World War II in 1942-45. It was also canceled in 1952 due to swine vesicular exanthema, a viral disease similar in appearance to FMD.

"Because of COVID-19, we are losing the greatest swine industry event in history in terms of education and showcasing breeding stock and market hogs this year," says Dan Hoge, former livestock judging coach at Black Hawk College East Campus in Kewanee, Ill. "The NBS has been the platform for an immeasurable number of men and women to begin their careers in the swine industry."

Collegiate livestock judges prepare to mark their cards at the 2019 NBS Judging Contest.

Jack Wall, CEO of Certified Pedigreed Swine (CPS), told Farm Journal's PORK that CPS and the American Berkshire Association are working together on plans for a replacement show to be held in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 12-15. More information will be available soon.

NSR acknowledged the impact on their members, junior exhibitors, stakeholders and supporters.

"The associations are committed to helping prevent the spread of this virus by taking prudent steps to protect our exhibitors, their families and sponsors, as well as the community at large,” said Clay Zwilling, CEO of the National Swine Registry. "This global pandemic effects everyone, and decisions are being made in the best interests of our industry and members, but also with the emphasis of social responsibility and ownership to our global community."

NSR encouraged members to consider exhibiting and selling their breeding stock at other NSR events, such as The Midwestern, in Indianapolis, Ind., or the Fall Classic, in Duncan, Okla. NJSA members can exhibit their projects at the Southwest Regional, in Woodward, Okla., or the Eastern Regional in Hamburg, N.Y. Information regarding these events can be found here.

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