“This has been the most amazing experience of my life,” said Pierce Woodruff, the 14-year-old who recently set an Iowa State Fair Sale of Champion’s all-species record with his show pig, Larry. Pierce is a member of the Gowrie Ground Breakers 4-H Club in Webster County. He and his family have been raising show hogs for years on their farm outside of Moorland, Iowa.
Pierce bought the pig from The Chosen Ones in Cedar Rapids, which was bred by Nick Berry and Ty Lettow at Lettow Show Pigs. “I’ve worked hard to take great care of him,” said Pierce. “I fed him, walked him and we practiced showing every day.” Pierce entered Larry in the 4-H Market Hog competition at the Iowa State Fair, earning the title of Grand Champion 4-H Market Hog. This also meant a spot in the Iowa Foundation For Agricultural AdvancementSale of Champions Winner’s Circle, where philanthropic buyers purchase the animals, allowing the bulk of the sale price to be given back to the youth exhibitor.
With his family looking on, Pierce showed Larry around the ring one last time. Midway through the auction, the spectators in the standing room-only arena cheered as the auctioneer announced the duo had just broken an all-time, all-species record for the Iowa State Fair. Buyers Iowa Select Farms and Lynch Livestock Company teamed up with $22,575 in local support to purchase Larry for a final sale price of $61,000.
“I was in shock the whole time,” said Pierce. “To show in the Sale of Champions ring on top of the purple shavings was an experience I will never forget. I am so grateful to everyone who helped me get here.”
His father, Jason, and mom, Tiffany, couldn’t be more proud. “He’s been showing since he was a little kid, and he’s worked so hard to get to this ring,” said Jason. “I’ve watched him grow from a young kid showing pigs to a young man. All of the opportunities Pierce had when he was young helped play a big part with the goals he achieved this summer.”
Pierce intends to put it towards pursuing an animal science degree at Iowa State University where he hopes to be on the Livestock Judging Team. After that, Pierce hopes to continue on to pursue his DVM and become a veterinarian. “I’d like to continue working with animals and stay in agriculture,” said Pierce.