Jacob Welch's proud piggy, Lloyd, is ready to go into the ring at the Minnesota State Fair. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Jacob Welch's proud piggy, Lloyd, is ready to go into the ring at the Minnesota State Fair. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

Jacob Welch and Lloyd must’ve hammed it up at the fair – they’re going to state.

“He’s a crossbred, and he got grand champion overall at the county fair,” said Welch, a state fair-bound member of the Bloomfield Cloverleaves 4-H Club, “and he’ll be shown Aug. 22.”

Welch got Lloyd as a preteen piglet in April and has worked for the past several months to make him the swine star of the Fillmore County Fair.

“He won first class overall crossbred and overall market. It’s hard to tell when you pick them out (as piglets), but it’s how they’re built and how they walk, their muscles, how they stand. It’s kind of hard to tell how they’ll grow, but when I looked at him, it was how he stands on his feet, that he’s evenly built,” said Welch.

Lloyd’s filled out so well that he was almost immediately the pig of the judge’s eye.

Welch was relieved to have the showing portion of the swine show over with and to receive his ribbon and state fair trip. Now he travels up the road to the Twin Cities where he’ll be “a little bit more confident” about showing because he’s already taken a pig to the state fair last year and gotten to practice and learn what the judges are discerning in the porcine parade.

“I’m excited about the ribbon, and I like to go to the fair just to get the chance to show with people from around the state,” said Welch. “I get to see my cousins because one of them is showing a pig, and this year at the county fair, I got reserve champion showmanship in the intermediate class. It’s a chance to show my pig and have fun, go eat fair food. It’s fun to go up and look at all the animals people have worked hard to get to the state fair.

“It’s also fun to see all the other stuff…the projects that people have worked hard to do.  I’m also there for the non-livestock weekend with my vet science project on the PEDv pig virus.  I got reserve champion.  I’ve studied it and know a lot of facts about it, so I just have to tell the judges.”

The 4-Her also entered several other projects in the Fillmore County fair, earning recognition for them as well. He took an “exploring animals” project, a vet science project, a craft and photography. He received grand champion for his exploring animals project and honorable mention for his string art craft, as well as a blue ribbon for his photography.

Welch hopes that his fellow 4-Hers and Spring Valley area residents journey to the state fair to take in the sights, and enjoy the wonderful swine — like Lloyd — hamming it up for barn visitors.