The Kent Show Feeds Ambassador Program brings our customers the best advice and success stories from key influencers in the livestock show industry. Our hope is that their success will lead to your success in the show ring! Our Ambassadors have websites and Facebook pages where you can follow their progress closely and glean new ideas through every show season!
Gradert Show Pigs – Geneseo, Illinois
Rick, Shari, Tyler and Adam Gradert
Gradert Show Pigs is a small family operation located in Geneseo, Illinois, where the family raises both purebred and crossbred hogs. Their goal is to provide high-quality genetics, with follow-up service that will help their customers do well in the show ring.
They have been showing hogs for over 13 years and using Kent Show Feeds from day one. They chose to use Kent Show Feeds because of the “strong nutritional backbone that brings out the best in our swine genetics.” Specifically, they really like the results they get using Final Drive. This product gives their hogs an extremely fresh look on the top side of their skeleton and gives that “pop” that all exhibitors desire.
Over the years, the Graderts have had many successes. Some of their most memorable wins have been the Illinois State Fair, Team Purebred Jr. Nationals, and World Pork Expo.
Outside of their time with the show pigs, Rick runs a grain and cattle operation. Shari works outside of the farm, but enjoys being in the farrowing barn the most. Tyler is now an instructor and Assistant Judging Coach at Black Hawk College on the East Campus in Kewanee, Illinois. Adam is currently a student at Black Hawk College East and is a member of the Team Purebred Jr. Board.
Learn more about Gradert Show Pigs
Jason Johnson Show Lambs – Delavan, Wisconsin
Jason, Sasha, Sara, Jacee and Justin Johnson
The Johnson family consists of Jason and Sasha, and their three children: Sara, Jacee, and Justin. They run around 250 ewes and raise Suffolks/Hampshires/Crossbred market lambs in Delavan, Wisconsin.
Some of their favorite Kent products are 20 Lamb for their baby lamb creep; 18% Texturized Lamb Starter grower/finisher for their show lambs; and 34 Lamb Supplement as a mix in for lambs being grown out. Kent EnergiLass tubs are a huge hit at their farm as well, providing added nutrients the ewes need.
The greatest showing accomplishment (so far) for Jason Johnson Show Lambs was breeding and raising a ewe lamb that won multiple jackpots across the Midwest. Then, at the Wisconsin State Fair, she was named Supreme Ewe and also won the honor of Supreme Breeding Sheep. This ewe lamb, named “Keeping it Classy,” went on to be voted “Show Lamb of the Year” for 2016.
To keep up with the Johnsons and learn more about their show lambs, go to their website.
Learn more about Jason Johnson Show Lambs
Platner Show Pigs – Mechanicsville, Iowa
Platner Show Pigs is proud to be “all about the kids!” This operation of about 120 sows, owned and operated by Andy Platner, is located outside of Mechanicsville, Iowa. It consists of both high-quality purebreds and crossbreds. Andy began breeding and selling high-quality show pigs upon completion of his studies at Iowa State University.
Platner Show Pigs has been enjoying ongoing success at county, state, and national shows across the country. The most memorable to Andy was raising the record-setting gilt that sold at the 2014 Crossbred Classic.
When he is not in the pig barn, you can find Andy caring for his other breeding livestock, which consists of over 100 head each of both crossbred cows and white-faced ewes. You can find out more about Platner Show Pigs at their website or their Facebook page.
Platner's Website Facebook Page
K Boysen Showpigs – Wapello, Iowa
Kale, Koby, and Kabe Boysen
K Boysen Showpigs consist of Kale, Koby, and Kabe Boysen, along with the help of their parents, Duane and Jodi Boysen. With their roots embedded just west of Wapello, Iowa, the boys started showing pigs in 2006. K Boysen Showpigs started out farrowing their own sows in 2012 with one crossbred and one duroc. Since that time, they have worked their way up to 22 sows, with 20 being crossbred & two purebred.
K Boysen Show Pigs have strived to keep their sow herd on an upward swing with the newest trends and upcoming genetics. The Boysen’s know Kent Show Feeds has the ability to compete at all levels; county, state, and national. Each of the boys has achieved success at those levels with feeding Kent Show Feeds.
They are the most confident with Prime Time, as it is the easiest to use from the beginner to the expert feeder. They use Prime Time from start to finish, all the way to the championship drive.
Kale, Koby, and Kabe are willing to give their advice to any and all exhibitors on feeding, showmanship tips, or general swine care knowledge. Helping young kids getting started showing pigs and watching them succeed in the show ring is most rewarding to them.
Some recent memorable wins for the Boysens include Reserve Champion crossbred barrow at 2016 World Pork Expo and Grand Champion Market Hog at the 2017 Iowa State Fair. They have also had several class and division winners at numerous state and national shows from the NAILE (Louisville, KY) to National Western Stock Show (Denver, CO).
In the Boysens’ spare time, Jodi works at the flower shop they have owned for 27 years. Duane farms on and is a local real estate agent. Kale is now a senior at Iowa State University after graduating from Black Hawk East. Koby is currently a senior and Kabe a junior at Wapello High School.