Kiser takes top prize in hogs
TOBY KISER, 15, with judge Galen McCune and his hog JFP Duke.
With a 272-pound hog named after a license plate, Sonoman Toby Kiser, 15, took the top prizes at the Sonoma County Fair last week.
With his pig, JFP Duke, Kiser earned a ribbon Thursday for Grand Champion Market Hog. On Saturday, Kiser showed he knows how to handle a hog when he took home the ribbon for FFA Champion Hog Showman.
"We did have a really good pig this year, probably the best we've ever had," Kiser said.
It is his fifth year of raising animals for the Sonoma County Fair, specifically lambs and pigs, although this year he participated in the Marin-Sonoma Fair and the California State Fair as well. Kiser said he typically has a good showing at the Sonoma County Fair, but this is his best year yet.
"I'm normally always a breed championship winner," he said.
Each of the 292 hogs registered in the fair is judged first by breed. Kiser won breed champion in the light crossbreed category. The seven breed winners then compete in the final championship round, which Kiser won.
"We did well for a couple of years and we're just doing better and better," he said.
During the auction on Sunday, Kiser was excited when he sold his hog for $12 a pound, for a total of $3,264 - well above market value.
The animal was purchased by his parents, Stacey and Barry Kiser as well as Nuns Canyon Quarry of Glen Ellen.
He declined to say how much he paid for JFP Duke or how much he spent raising the animal.
When asked if it was hard to send the animals to the slaughterhouse after spending a year rearing the creature, he said not anymore. "It is your first couple of years, but then you get used to it," he said.
Several other Sonoma Valley youths earned ribbons for showing hogs, but by press time the Index-Tribune could not acquire the complete list of winners, which will be published in a later edition of the paper.
In the coming weeks, Sonoma Valley FFA and 4H students will show other animals including lambs, steers and rabbits.
Any local youths who win ribbons are invited to send a high resolution photo and details to Emily@sonomanews.com.