Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Swineart, or MoleSwine
The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN
LEROY — Reggie is on his way to becoming even more famous.
For the past three years, Reggie has been the center of attention at the children's farmyard at the Mower County Fair.
His likeness also graces a poster found in the beer garden at the fair, advising patrons, "Don't be a hog, drink responsibly."
He's also been in an ad for Featherlite Trailers that proclaims, "Reggie rides anything … but he prefers Featherlite Trailers."
Now, he's on his way to making the record books. He and his caretaker, Peter Marx, drove up to the Minnesota State Fair on Wednesday, and Reggie took his place in the swine barn as the state's largest boar.
Not only is Reggie the largest boar for 2010, he's the largest boar in the state fair's record books. He weighs a whopping 1,450 pounds. That's almost as much as most adult horses.
The previous state record was set in 1994 by a boar that weighed 1,340 pounds, said Breanne Schuette, a state fair spokeswoman.
Reggie could be the first hog from Mower County to win the statewide competition, Schuette said. None of the state fair's records show a previous winner from Mower County.
"It is one of the things that is something of a tradition. People go down to the swine barn to see the biggest boar," said Schuette.
Each year, contenders for the title come from county extension directors, who notify the state fair if they've got a boar with the heft to compete. The boars have to be weighed on a state-certified scale before they can enter the contest.
Marx said keeping Reggie isn't much of a challenge. Reggie's diet consists of a five-gallon pail of corn and soybean meal each day. Marx said that's about 20 to 25 pounds of food. Reggie gets out for some daily exercise. Handling Reggie isn't that hard, but it's nearly impossible to force him to move. Marx uses gates and food to coax the porker into going where Marx wants him to go.
Reggie will come home after the state fair and will likely be back at the Mower County Fair Children's Farmyard next year. He will probably live out the rest of his life on the farm, Marx said.
Marx said Reggie's been in the running for the title a couple years before now, but was always bested by hogs that had more heft. Now, it's his turn.
Mower County Fair Secretary Neal Anderson said Reggie is like one of the family.
"It's exciting for the Mower County Fair," Anderson said. "This pig is a local celebrity, and now he gets time in the spotlight."