The Duncan Banner
A portion of old U.S. Highway 81 was closed down Wednesday morning. And even if it hadn’t been, it might still have been difficult for anyone wanting to travel past the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center to do so.
Entries for the National Swine Registry Fall Classic arrived Wednesday morning at the fairgrounds, with hogs being unloaded into various pens in the livestock barns and the main arena. In all, there were between 600 and 700 head of hog expected for the annual hog show and sale.
“It grows every year,” Loisdawn Jones, Duncan Convention and Tourism Bureau executive director, said. “When I was here (at the fairgrounds) at 3:30 yesterday (Tuesday), there were already four trailers waiting at the gate.”
But by the time the gates opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday, the line of trucks and trailers extended farther than could be seen, rounding the curve near Claud Gill Arena and the Duncan Municipal Airport.
Darren Lynd of Wisconsin, was among the first people to arrive at the Fair & Expo Center. With him, he brought 50 head of swine. Of those, four are to show and the rest are to sell.
Lynd said this is his 13th year to participate in the Fall Classic in Duncan. And he keeps coming back because it provides fun and is lucrative to his swine selling business. He said attending the Fall Classic is important to him, important enough for him to drive 910 miles one way.
“I like selling the pigs, meeting people,” he said. “It’s a working vacation.”
This year’s check in was a bit different than in the past. Not only did Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry employees have to check health records for each of the hogs, they also had to look at the livestock entries to ensure they were healthy and properly tagged.
Justin Roach, with the Department of Agriculture, said it might have taken a little more time to get people checked in because of this, but people were more than cooperative.
“Federal rules changed for identification,” Roach said. “So, in addition to checking health certificates, we have to check the hogs, too. The National Swine Registry and the Fall Classic have done a fine job of making sure everyone’s informed.”
To help move the check in process along, the Department of Agriculture had five people on hand Wednesday morning. Throughout the day, other employees rotated in and one person was scheduled to spend the night.