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Albright: Showing Should Be Fun

by Courtney Schafer

Published: Friday, December 29, 2017

Born and raised on a purebred swine operation, Doug Albright of Coldwater, Mich. has always had a passion for swine and the livestock industry. To date, he has judged livestock shows in 30 different states.

"Ninety percent of the shows I judge are hog shows," said Doug. "However, I do also occasionally judge goats, sheep and cattle."

His judging career started in college and is a trait that has been passed down to him from his family.

"My family all judged in college and with the passion I have for animals, I did, too." Doug attended Black Hawk College and ended up at Kansas State University where he received his degree in animal science.

Upon graduating from college, he accepted a job with Pfizer, now Zoetis Animal Health, where he serves as a territory business manager/sales representative for the pork industry. He serves pork producers in northern Indiana and all of Michigan.

Raising, selling and showing pigs has allowed Doug to interact with youths and individuals from coast to coast. On his family's farm, Albright Swine Farms, they have 200 sows of the Duroc, Berkshire and Crossbred breeds. Each year, they sell around 800 show pigs.

"I grew up raising pigs with my family and started showing at the county fair," said Albright, who still lives in Coldwater. "It grew into an obsession."

Being able to help teach and guide the youth of America is why Doug has continued to accept judging opportunities on both the state and national level.

Doug shared that his favorite thing about judging is the ability to evaluate livestock. It's something that he has enjoyed and has become very passionate about.

"The true enjoyment I receive out of judging livestock and working with youth is something that is hard to explain," he said.

His advice to youths of all ages who are interested in or do show livestock is to always pay attention and stay focused.

"It's easy for kids to get wrapped up in the fun of an event, but kids need to remember it is no different than performing well in a sporting event," Doug said. "Showing is supposed to be fun, but when it is time to perform with their animal, that is what needs to happen."

He also shared that showing builds life-long friendships. It's important for youths to focus and give it their all while at shows, but in the end, the people you meet and become friends with is what truly matters and shouldn't be taken for granted.

Doug also shared his advice to parents of youths who exhibit livestock.

"Parents need to stay quiet at ringside. They also need to be constructive and encouraging. Everyone wants to win but they also need to remember why they are doing what they are. It's for their kids."

Doug's favorite experience while judging happened just this past spring at the Oklahoma Youth Expo. The show has a phenomenal stage and the quality of the event is unmatched, he said.

"I was judging the show with Andy Rash and he had the entire crowd stand and applaud the kids in the showring. It was like the kids were playing for a national championship game, which in a sense they were," he said. "That was quite an incredible moment for me to see so many people cheering on the kids who were showing."

Staying involved in the showpig world thorough raising pigs, judging and working with youths and working in the agriculture industry has allowed Doug to realize his passion for pigs and animal agriculture.

"I really couldn't imagine being a part of a better industry," he said.

The future of Albright Swine Farms looks bright as Doug and his wife Dana, are expecting their first child in a few weeks.

"I've been blessed to marry a woman who grew up with livestock and has an agriculture background. She understands the importance that agriculture has to me."

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