Mineral County youth recognized for Symbol of Excellence

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  • Decker Milender won the Symbol of Excellence during this year’s Montana Pork Producers Council and MSU Extension for his quality pork. Here he posses with owners of the Big Sky Motel in Superior during last summer’s 4-H livestock auction.

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    Heather Haskins, photographed here with IFG during last summer’s 4-H livestock auction, received the Symbol of Excellence award for superior pork products from the Montana Pork Producers Council and MSU Extension. (Kathleen Woodford/Mineral Independent)

  • Decker Milender won the Symbol of Excellence during this year’s Montana Pork Producers Council and MSU Extension for his quality pork. Here he posses with owners of the Big Sky Motel in Superior during last summer’s 4-H livestock auction.

  • 1

    Heather Haskins, photographed here with IFG during last summer’s 4-H livestock auction, received the Symbol of Excellence award for superior pork products from the Montana Pork Producers Council and MSU Extension. (Kathleen Woodford/Mineral Independent)

GREAT FALLS — The Montana Pork Producers Council and MSU Extension collect hog carcass data across the state for the Symbol of Excellence program annually. This year’s winners include two Mineral County 4-H members, Decker Milender and Heather Haskins.

The Symbol of Excellence program was initiated in 1984 as a joint effort between the Montana Pork Producers Council and MSU Extension as a means of recognizing youth and swine breeders who select and raise market hogs that meet carcass merit standards and who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in producing quality pork products.

The Symbol of Excellence data and standards are reviewed by MSU Extension and Montana Pork Producers Council to adjust carcass criteria to meet industry standards. The Symbol of Excellence standards are based upon live weight, hot carcass weight, back fat, loin area, marbling, color, wetness, and firmness.

Ultrasound data was added to the 2018 year in order to collect more hog data from 4-H and FFA members who exhibit their hogs at county and state fairs throughout Montana.

Youth exhibitors and hog breeders in the light carcass division are:

1. Decker Milender, Mineral County (Hudson Family Show Pigs, hog breeder).

2. Blair Lytle, Lake County (Zeb Lytle, hog breeder).

3. Oliver Post, Ravalli County (Ken Miotke, hog breeder).

4. Jacob Pfendler, Granite County (Kimberly Lowery, hog breeder).

5. Trevor Klind, Valley County (Hi-Line Show Pigs, hog breeder).

Youth exhibitors and hog breeders in the heavy carcass division are:

1. Heather Haskings, Mineral County (Ken Miotke, hog breeder).

2. Brodie Ober, Cascade County (Cascade Colony, hog breeder).

3. Addie Pearson, Teton County (Kaare Pearson, hog breeder).

4. Wyatt Johnstone, Hill County (Habets Show Pigs, hog breeder).

5. Talvin Champ, Blackfeet Reservation (Habets Show Pigs, hog breeder).

Youth exhibitors and hog breeders in the ultrasound division are:

1. Khaylana Pengelly, Flathead County (Kalispell FFA Chapter, hog breeder).

2. Miles Wacker, Custer County (Wirt Farms, hog breeder).

3. Raegan Lange, Custer County (Barry DeJaegher, hog breeder).

4. Heidi Phalen, Custer County (Darwin Germann, hog breeder).

5. Nathan Hoffman, Dawson County (Pat and Bridget Zeimer, hog breeders).

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