Youth Exhibitors #FarmON in the Cyber Show Ring

Judge A.J. Williams discusses the grand barrow drive in the Battle of the Barns cyber pig show hosted by Walton Webcasting. ( Walton Webcasting )

Swine industry leaders like Lynsee Pullen are making sure that kids get to #FarmOn and continue their ag education despite the many changes they are experiencing in their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pullen, a pig farmer from Indiana, joined AgriTalk host Chip Flory to discuss how she’s helping create opportunities for kids to show pigs on a virtual platform through Walton Webcasting, a live stream service provider in the livestock industry.

“Livestock shows have been shut down due to social distancing,” Pullen said. “We’re farming on and we want to push forward to give these kids an opportunity. Many of our youth that show livestock actually don't live on a family farm. This is their connection to agricultural education in the agricultural world.”

Kids come together on a virtual cyber platform to live out their passion and learn along the way, Pullen explained. She said their first judge came in with a few doubts about how the process would work. 

“By the end of it, he was raving about it,” she said. “Obviously a judge wants to see an animal in person, but this is the next best thing that we have. The kids are doing a fantastic job sending us quality videos where we can truly study the livestock as if we were there.”

Can we get back to large gatherings and large livestock exhibits again? Flory asked. 

Pullen is optimistic but believes it is something livestock exhibitors and their families will have to ease back into. 

“The swine industry has been practicing biosecurity for years. So, this idea isn't totally foreign to us as far as washing our hands, keeping the social distance from each other, etc. I think the hardest thing will be breaking the handshake,” she said. “But other than that, I think we will slowly jump back in. We're resilient and it will happen again.”

The agricultural community has an opportunity to be a leader in how we bring people back together safely, Flory said. 

“I think what some forget is agriculture is huge in technology and technology is going to be a great factor for us to move forward,” Pullen said. “We need to be leaders and set that example that we are pushing forward.”

At the end of the day, Pullen says its farmers’ nature to take care of people. 

“We're going to make sure that everybody is fed, but we're gonna make sure that everybody's been taken care safely,” she said.

Share how you #FarmON by texting FarmON to 31313 to submit your photos or video. Be sure to include “farmON” with your images. See more from all segments of agriculture at AgWeb.com/FarmOn.


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