Jada Johnson is a twenty-year-old college sophomore from Poneto, Indiana. She is currently a student at Lincoln Land Community College where she is on the livestock judging team and continues to be involved in her family’s show pig business. Jada shares her experience with RealPigFarming.
Real Pig Farming: Tell me about yourself — what’s your background with pig farming?
Jada Johnson: I can honestly say that my background of raising pigs started in the womb. My family owns and operates JJ Genetics where we breed primarily Duroc and Hampshire show pigs. Over the years, I have watched my family’s focus change from more of a foreign market with boars and gilts and having more sows, to now having a smaller number of sows and primarily selling show pigs to youth across the country. I truly owe all I know about hogs to my family.
RPF: What do you like about showing pigs?
JJ: I have always been a person to look at things differently than others of my age, and my favorite part about showing pigs would have to be the open show part of the events the National Swine Registry hosts. This has allowed me to form a connection with the breeders of the industry that have made the biggest impact on the swine industry. I enjoy talking to the breeders who have been raising pigs for decades and realize I can learn so much from them.
RPF: What is your favorite breed of pig?
JJ: If I ultimately had to choose a favorite breed, despite the brainwashing of Hampshire’s my dad gives me, I would have to choose a Duroc. If you really want to get me fired up, talk old Duroc pedigrees with me. It’s true, ask anyone who knows me; my veins bleed Duroc-red!
RPF: What has been the best part about serving on the Junior Board?
JJ: The best part of the Junior Board is being able to give back to the organization that has given me so much. Being able to help the younger kids that are involved in the industry and be a positive influence in their life and be someone that they can look up to is what motivates me.
RPF: Why is it important to be involved in a youth organization like the National Junior Swine Association (NJSA?)
JJ: It is vital to be involved in a youth organization. Whether that be youth sports, or showing livestock it teaches kids so many important things in life. To be specific, the NJSA has taught me how to struggle, how to be humble in victory or defeat, and work for all of the goals that I had set. I also realize that the connections I gain now will benefit me in the future. People you meet form avenues for different adventures in your life and you never know when you’ll meet those people again down the road.
RPF: What’s the best memory you have about being a part of the NJSA?
JJ: There are a plethora of memories that come to mind when I think about the NJSA. My all-time favorite though is from the 2010 World Pork Expo where I won Junior Showmanship, as well as the Duroc Gilt show on the same day. Most importantly, my best memories come from the friends that I have met over my time involved with the organization. 20 years down the road, I will not remember how I did at every show but I will remember the connections that I have made. Those connections and friendships are immeasurable.
RPF: What are your goals for the future?
JJ: Upon graduation from Lincoln Land in May of 2020, I will transfer to a four-year university and obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Ag Business. After graduation, I would like to get a job with either a livestock insurance company, feed sales position or a job with a livestock registry. My ultimate goal in the near future is to continue the JJG herd mark and raise competitive showpigs with my brother, Jackson, for generations to come.
RPF: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
JJ: I do have one final thought. I just wanted to say thank you to my family. Thank you for always knowing what is best for me. I have not always been the most flexible and easiest person to deal with, but it’s been awesome to share every experience with you.