Some pig! Highland teen takes top prize and $40,650 at state fair

News-DemocratSeptember 15, 2013 

Jared got a lot of pampering for a pig.

Owner Lane Rinderer fed him well, exercised him in the yard, hosed him off and brushed him every day.

"I have special soaps, and I use a loofah," said Lane, 15, of rural Highland. "And there are different shines and oils you put on (pigs) to make them sparkle."

The spa treatments paid off last month when Jared was named Land of Lincoln grand champion barrow (castrated male) among junior livestock at the Illinois State Fair.

Four days later, the 292-pound pig sold for $40,650 at the Governor's Sale of Champions.

"It was a record sale for a Land of Lincoln hog," said Lane's mentor, Scott Toenyes, 40, who works for Lane's family at Rinderer's Farms. "Last year's brought $11,000."

Lane will get 80 percent of the sale price or $32,520. The other 20 percent will be donated to 4-H and Future Farmers of America.

Lane plans to put some of his share back into his swine-showing hobby and save the rest for college.

His parents, Brian and Nicki Rinderer, and other friends and family traveled to Springfield for the show.

"Lane and Scott thought they had a shot (at the championship)," said Brian, 39. "But until it happens, you just don't believe it."

Lane is a sophomore at Highland High School and a member of its FFA chapter and Livestock Judging Team.

Word of his big win spread among students after newspaper coverage.

"They know (the pig) sold for $40,000, and that's the cool part for them," Lane said. "But they don't understand the time and the work and the effort that went into it."

Lane has been showing pigs through the National Junior Swine Association about three years, traveling to Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma and throughout Illinois.

He buys pigs from breeders and raises them on Scott's property.

"A show pig has to be stout-boned," Scott said. "They've got to have good muscle shape, and they've got to be sound enough to walk good and not teeter around."

Lane bought Jared in April and named him after the seller, Jared Frueh.

Lane took four pigs to the state fair. He wore his lucky button-down, peach-colored Polo shirt.

A pig named Dennis won reserve champion barrow in the Chester White breed. Jared won champion Yorkshire barrow before advancing to the Land of Lincoln competition.

"I was surprised," Lane said. "There were so many good (pigs) there. It was unbelievable. It was something you never forget."

The win was the second big one for Scott, who helped nephew Miles Toenyes raise a supreme champion barrow at the 2007 state fair.

Jared was purchased by Brandt Consolidated, a Springfield-based fertilizer manufacturer, in cooperation with other agricultural companies.

Lane was required to stay at the fair all week with Jared and answer questions from the public. One of his visitors was Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

"He just asked about the pig," Lane said. "He asked how old it was and what it was like to win."

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