ROCKSPRINGS — If you’ve spent time around the Meigs County Fair Hog Show over the past 10 years, it’s likely you have seen at least one of the Jordan children in the ring with their hog.
What you may not realize is the success the showmen have achieved during that time frame.
Four of Jason and Jody Jordan’s five children have taken part in the annual market hog show at the fair, with the youngest daughter Janie, not quite old enough to compete just yet.
Each of the four have taken home at least two grand or reserve champion ribbons, either in showmanship or for their market hog.
Over the past 10 years, either the grand champion or reserve champion market hog has been shown by one of the Jordans, and sometimes both titles.
Jackie, Jenna, Jacob and Jaycie, have each received numerous honors, including sweeping the showmanship and market hog awards in each of the past three years.
In 2017, Jacob Jordan, 16, earned grand champion showman and grand champion hog, with older sister Jenna, 17, taking reserve champion in both categories.
In 2016, it was Jenna Jordan who took top honors in both categories, with Jaycie Jordan being named reserve champion market hog showman and Jacob Jordan showing the reserve champion market hog.
For 2015, Jenna Jordan was named the grand champion showman, with oldest sibling Jackie Jordan being named the reserve champion showman. In the market hog category, it was Jackie Jordan being named grand champion and Jaycie Jordan being named reserve champion.
Additional top honors for the Jordans were as follows:
2014 — Jackie Jordan, grand champion showman; Jenna Jordan, reserve champion showman and reserve champion hog;
2013 — Jackie Jordan, reserve champion showman; Jenna Jordan, reserve champion hog;
2012 — Jenna Jordan, grand champion showman and reserve champion hog; Jackie Jordan, grand champion hog;
2011 (showmanship not available) — Jenna Jordan, reserve champion hog;
2010 — Jackie Jordan, grand champion showman and grand champion hog;
2009 — Jackie Jordan, grand champion showman and grand champion hog;
2008 (showmanship not available) — Jackie Jordan, reserve champion hog.
While the family has enjoyed success in the show arena, it is the year-round work on the family farm which leads to that success.
Jackie Jordan, now 19, began taking part in the hog show in 2007. But the family’s journey to the market hog show actually began a few years earlier.
Jody Jordan explained that her husband had wanted to raise pigs on the family’s farm, so when it came time for the couple’s nephew to be old enough to show animals (about two years before Jackie) Jason Jordan and his brother began breeding hogs on the family farm. That work has continued since that time, leading to all of the children taking part in the hog shows.
The work that leads to the fair begins shortly after the fair ends in August.
In late September of October, the hogs are breed, with the new babies born in February, which can lead to some late nights on the farm.
By April, the family has selected the hogs it will keep for the year, and sells the others.
That is when the training begins to take place, getting the hogs “fair ready.”
The kids are involved in the daily chores on the farm, spending even more time with the hogs during the summer months when school is out.
During the summer months, the Jordan children work with the hogs multiple times a day, feeding them and walking them, getting prepared for the fair.
That work was evident during showmanship and at the livestock sale, as the hogs walked to the photo area, stayed where they were placed and even looked at the camera a time or two.
“In the evening our yard is a show ring,” said Jody Jordan of her children’s work with their hogs.
There is a competitiveness among the siblings as well, but it is used to make one another better. The siblings agreed that it is nice to show with others at home who also know how to show, so that they can work with one another to get better.
“It’s a lot of team work,” said Jackie Jordan.
Asked their favorite part about raising hogs, Jackie Jordan said her favorite was learning the different personalities of the hogs. She added that they do not mind doing the daily chores on the farm.
For Jenna Jordan, her favorite part of raising the hogs is training them for the show. Jenna is also referred to as the “pig whisperer” of the group.
Jacob Jordan explained that his favorite part is walking and showing the hogs at the house with his sisters.
For Jaycie Jordan, age 12, the favorite part is playing with the new baby pigs.
While hogs have been their main animal, Jackie has also shown rabbits and lambs, also being named the grand champion rabbit showman in 2011. Jenna Jordan has shown lambs and dairy cows, while Jaycie Jordan said she would like to show a goat next year.
Jackie Jordan noted that it is three months of work for one day in the show arena, and that if you do good work then it makes it worth while.
The Jordan children will find themselves back in the show area at the Meigs County Fair next August, once again competing for the top honors with their hogs.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.