Highland News Leader

Highland pork producers place stock in college’s first online sale

From left to right, Lane Rinderer, show judge Mike McCoy, Logan Rinderer, Miles Toenyes, Dan Ammann, Mike Ammann, Brian Rinderer, all of Highland, IL, stand with the champion Chester White barrow that the Amman Showpigs raised. In January, the pig was shown by Logan Rinderer and named Champion Chester White Barrow at the 2017 National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO.
From left to right, Lane Rinderer, show judge Mike McCoy, Logan Rinderer, Miles Toenyes, Dan Ammann, Mike Ammann, Brian Rinderer, all of Highland, IL, stand with the champion Chester White barrow that the Amman Showpigs raised. In January, the pig was shown by Logan Rinderer and named Champion Chester White Barrow at the 2017 National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO. Courtesy photo

The Internet is as pervasive in agriculture now as in any other industry. These days, you can even use a computer mouse to buy a pig.

Lake Land College, a community college in Mattoon, Ill., will be hosting its first-ever online pig sale on Pig Planet, an online forum for livestock auctions. The sale will begin the morning of March 1 and will last all day.

“We are excited about this event,” said Ryan Orrick, one of the college’s agricultural instructors. “It is a great opportunity for our students to gain knowledge and skill.”

Anyone can participate, and all of the pigs being auctioned are “top flight December and January aged show pigs,” Orrick said.

The college is using an online structure so the premier event can reach as many bidders as possible.

Orrick said that what makes this sale especially exciting is that all of the participating cosigners are alumni of Lake Land College. Out of the 17 alumni, two companies are from the Highland area.

One of the companies, Ammann Showpigs, was founded by a Highland family of Lake Land graduates.

The Ammann children, David, Dan and Devin, all grew up showing pigs and participating in “showdeos.” After graduating from the college and becoming more involved with the agricultural industry, the Ammann family decided to start the business in 2010. The business is now dedicated to raising high-quality pigs and providing an outlet for children who are interested in learning about agriculture.

“We’re just a small part of a big picture,” David Amman said.

While the main focus of the company is to sell their pigs, Ammann said that they are engaged with a number of youth activities including the 4-H Club and hosting practice for the Lake Land livestock judging team. When it comes down to it, it is all about getting kids involved and keeping the industry alive.

“At the end of the day its about the things that you learn, response respect, hard work, how to talk to people and networking,” Ammann said. “In order for the agriculture industry to stay alive we have to have youth be involved and passionate.”

The other Highland company included in the sale is Toenyes Livestock. Orrick said that he considers the two operations as some of the most successful in the country and that their help was instrumental in conducting the sale.

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