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Rick Gradert

Rick, Shari, Tyler and Adam Gradert -- Geneseo, IL  

Gradert Show Pigs is a family-owned show pig operation based in Geneseo, Illinois. The Graderts strive to provide high-quality swine projects to youth exhibitors across the country. The Graderts run about 20 sows, consisting of Crossbreds, Chesters, and Spots, offering follow-up service that helps customers do well in the show ring.

The Graderts have been showing hogs for more than 15 years and used Kent Show Feeds from day one. They chose to use Kent Show Feeds because of the "strong nutritional backbone that brings out the best in our swine genetics." Specifically, they really like the results they get using Final Drive. This product gives their hogs an extremely fresh look on the top side of their skeleton and gives the "pop" that exhibitors desire.

Over the years, the Graderts have enjoyed many successes, including memorable wins at the Illinois State Fair, Team Purebred Jr. Nationals, and World Pork Expo. They have been fortunate to show pigs and hang banners from coast to coast. "The friends we have met doing that is priceless." Rick Gradert said. "Raising kids in the stock show life is an incredible experience."

He continued, "Our family had the privilege of showing the grand barrow at the Illinois State Fair in 2013 and reserve barrow in 2017. Both Barrows were sired by Xbox at ShowTime Sires. He is a boar that was ahead of his time. He is probably my favorite."

"The sow we call our Bobell sow is probably my favorite female. She is a Blue Light X Renig from Ben Bobell. Adam accidentally bought her online and she turned out to be an awesome female, that generates with every breeding."

"One piece of advice I would give to today’s youth is to Never Give Up!" Rick said, "Don’t give up on yourself or your pigs. We have had several show pigs that most people would have just gotten rid of, and many of these went on to win banners. Pigs and people mature at different levels at different times. You never know when the best will come out."

In addition to time with the show pigs, Rick runs a grain and cattle operation. Shari works outside of the farm, but enjoys being in the farrowing barn the most. Tyler is an instructor and Assistant Judging Coach at Black Hawk College on the East Campus in Kewanee, Illinois. Adam is a student at Black Hawk College East and a member of the Team Purebred Jr. Board.

gradert show pigs family
"One piece of advice I would give to today’s youth is to Never Give Up!"

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