AMES, Iowa – It works out to over $200 a pound.
A champion Duroc boar born on Iowa State University’s swine teaching farm and raised by animal science students sold for $85,000 at an auction on Wednesday.
The boar tips the scale at around 400 pounds, but he moves with surprising ease. That’s part of what made him so valuable to buyers at the National Barrow Show in Austin, Minn., where he was sold this week.
“He’s wide and muscular with a very sound build,” said Ben Drescher, who manages university farms for the ISU Animal Science Department. “His movement is free and easy, and he’s really athletic.”
Video footage from the auction on the National Swine Registry’s YouTube page shows the boar moving with a swagger appropriate for such a fine specimen of a pig.
The boar’s genetics also added to his value, Drescher said. Both of his parents displayed superior traits, and his father fared well at last year’s National Barrow Show.
This year’s boar soaked up the spotlight by taking top honors in the Duroc boar class and fetching the highest price at auction. The boar was sold to A Cut Above and Huinker Durocs, Ltd., a pair of breeding companies that will use the boar for stud, Drescher said. The new owners have decided to name the boar “Cyclone,” he said.
Drescher said around a dozen ISU students in ag-related majors pitched in over the last few months to raise the boar, which was born in the spring. Animal science students Greg Krahn, Dan Harmsen and Morgan Pittz all took prominent roles in raising the boar. Drescher said the boar’s performance at the show and auction is a great reward for months of hard work.
Allen Christian, a former ISU teaching farm manager for whom the swine teaching farm is currently named, also made the trip to Minnesota this week.
Iowa State’s swine judging team, comprised of five students in animal science and other agricultural majors, finished second in the senior college division at the National Barrow Show.
“It comes back to the great agricultural tradition we have at Iowa State and the university farms,” he said. “Some really good genetics are sitting there, and we’ve got great students who work really hard and commit themselves.”
The $85,000 raised in the boar’s sale will go back to the animal science department and will help pay for some improvements on the ISU swine teaching farm, Drescher said.