Local teen earns swine win at state fair


Owen Wischmeier has been showing pigs for six years.

That’s also the number of years he has competed at the Indiana State Fair.

In 2019, he placed third overall with a Chester barrow. In 2020, he earned reserve grand champion with the same type of swine.

What’s the next logical progression? Champion.

That’s what he accomplished July 30 at the fairgrounds in Indianapolis with his Chester white barrow, Chub.

“It was a great experience and very humbling and rewarding because the Indiana State Fair has one of the highest levels of competition you can find across the nation,” the 14-year-old Brownstown Central High School freshman said. “I benefited because it gave me memories with my family that will last a lifetime.”

That advanced him to the Grand Drive the next day. Competing against all breeds of pigs, Wischmeier said it was very different this year because it was in the cattle barn instead of the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

After the 2021 swine show at the state fair, the swine barn was torn down. It was still in the process of being rebuilt during the recently completed state fair and is expected to be ready for the 2023 show.

“Because of this, the 2022 swine show at the Indiana State Fair was a week earlier because we had to use the cattle barn at the state fair to show in,” Wischmeier said. “This was a crazy year because the county fair started on July 24 and we had to be up at the state fair with our pigs on July 28, so the two fairs were close together this year.”

Wischmeier said he shows different pigs at the county and state fairs. For the 4-H swine project, he said it’s not required to win at the county level to be able to show at the state fair. At the Jackson County Fair this year, he placed fourth overall with a barrow.

Swine is the only animal Wischmeier shows, and the same goes for his older brothers, Ethan and Eli, over the years. In 2021, Eli earned reserve grand champion barrow with a crossbred at the state fair.

“Showing pigs is a fun family activity that we have been participating in for a long time,” Wischmeier said.

“My brothers have supported and taught me many things,” he said. “My two older brothers are both 10-year 4-H members, and my oldest brother (Ethan) started showing when he was 5, so our family has spent many summers showing pigs. My younger brother (Lucas) will show in 4-H for the first time next year. I enjoy spending time with my pigs and my brothers in the pig barn.”

Looking forward to next year, Wischmeier said he will try his best to make it back into the Grand Drive.

“I am very grateful for all the people who have helped me along the way,” he said.

Outside of showing pigs, Wischmeier plays football and basketball.

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