To exhibit a market animal at the Kentucky State Fair requires more than just showing up with a cow, pig or sheep. It takes months of care and nutrition. This is something Logan Goggin knows well.
Showing market animals has been a family tradition ever since his grandfather first exhibited cattle.
Goggin, son of Joe and Teresa Goggin, began showing cattle when he was 6 years old. He continues to do so but branched out into showing pigs about five years ago. He and his sister, Amanda, are the first generation of their family to show pigs.
“We own about four pigs every year, just for showing purposes. We show pigs for the fun of it,” Goggin said, explaining that they are fun to feed and show, and it was something new when he started.
There are multiple levels of shows during the season. Many are local and regional fairs, but the big one, the one that matters most, is the state fair.
At the Kentucky State Fair, youth exhibitors showing cattle, hogs, lambs and goats who win grand champion and reserve grand champion, are able to sell their animals in the Sale of Champions.
This year, Goggin made it to the sale with his hog, scoring a reserve grand champion.
“The Sale of Champions is set up to benefit those youth exhibitors that exhibited a champion market animal. It’s set up to reward those exhibitors for their hard work and accomplishment. Pretty much everybody’s goal is to make it to that sale,” Goggin said.
While in high school, Goggin joined the Future Farmers of America, or FFA.
In 2010, he became the state FFA president. At the time, he was a student at the University of Kentucky but had to take some time off to complete his duties.
He is now an academic junior at UK and in his last year of FFA eligibility. That is why making it to the Sale of Champions was so sweet for Goggin.
“This is the first year that I had gotten to sell in it. It was a rewarding experience, showing for several years and finally making it there,” he said.
Goggin says his family gets four show pigs in the spring, and the animals usually weigh about 50 pounds. Over the next few months, they will gain weight. The hog sold during the Sale of Champions at the state fair weighed 282 pounds and sold for $14,000.
“We buy in the spring and sell in the fall,” he said.
The pigs are placed on a careful diet to make sure each gains the weight it needs. Each is weighed daily to monitor weight gain.
“Most of your success is dependent on what you do at home. That’s how it is for everybody … You are not just throwing feed in there; certain feeds make them do certain things.”
During show season, the show cattle and show pigs get washed down almost daily. Efforts to keep them cool and clean often make him believe that, in many cases, the show animals have “got it better than some of the people that live here in our own county.”
Goggin believes it’s important for kids to learn to work with and care for animals, because “it teaches them skills that you can’t get in a classroom.” These are skills his parents, Joe and Teresa Goggin, have taught him and his sister, who are the fourth generation on the family’s farm in Boyle County.
Goggin is majoring in agricultural economics with minors in community and leadership development and in business. While he doesn’t yet know what career path he will choose, he says, “I always want to stay involved in this. I want to stay involved in the cattle industry.”
Goggin believes he will always have some part in the family farm, even though he can no longer show for competition.
Even now, he maintains an active role in the industry beyond his family farm. Goggin is a member of the Kentucky Junior Cattlemen’s Association and the president of the Kentucky Junior Angus Association. He also manages to stay involved on campus in various activities, including being the president of his fraternity, FarmHouse.