Southwestern Iowa Family Wins 2021 Seed Stock Award | Cattle
MOUNT AYR, Iowa — Kevin Triggs isn’t sure when his grandfather started raising pigs.
“He got married in 1918, so it was some time after that,” he says. “He raised Spots and always said they were the best.”
Triggs carried on the tradition passed down from his grandfather and father, raising seed on the family farm in Ringgold County. And, he added a fourth generation with his sons Johnathan and Tyler.
Triggs received the 2021 Master Seedstock Producer Award from the Iowa Purebred Swine Council. According to the council, the award recognizes outstanding producers of purebred strains who exemplify integrity, leadership and success in producing and promoting the purebred swine industry.
The southwestern Iowa operation contains not only Spots, but also Chester White, Duroc, and Poland China pigs, as well as a few crossbred pigs.
Called Triggs Show Pigs, the herd has around 70 sows and a few boars. In addition to selling show pigs and breeding stock, the family also operates a boar farm called The Boar Battery, selling semen from Spotted and Chester White boars.
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Triggs started farming shortly after graduating from high school in 1980.
“We kind of started in the 70s and 80s, but we really started with show pigs in the 90s,” he says. “The boys showed a lot of pigs, and it really took off.”
Triggs says his sons have really grown the business, taking advantage of technology and social media to improve and market their livestock across the United States.
“They’re really good with that stuff,” he says, adding that everyone has their own area of responsibility.
The family has won numerous awards on the show circuit in 2021, including top honors at the CPS (Certified Pedigreed Swine) Summer Type Conference for Champion Breed Spotted Gilt and Reserve Spotted Boar. At the Southwest Type Conference their boar Chester White was the champion and top seller, and at the National Barrow Show they had both champion Chester Boar and reserve Spotted Gilt.
Triggs says they have a good number of regular customers, and he and his family make sure they are well looked after.
“My boys will help anyone, even if they didn’t buy the pig from us,” he says. “They will do whatever they can if anyone asks for help.”
Most pigs are sold through online auctions, live sales and farm visits.
Triggs says structurally sound pigs are always in demand.
“Straight hocks and legs and clean necks and throats are popular traits for everyone,” he says.
Triggs has always been active in his industry and his community. He is a member and past president of the Iowa Spotted Association and served on the board for several years. Triggs belongs to the Certified Pedigree Swine and National Swine Registry organizations. He is also a longtime 4-H club officer and recently retired as a longtime Vice Chairman of the Ringgold County Fair Board.
Triggs says that as the fourth generation takes over the farm more and more, he thinks the future is even brighter.
“The boys always look ahead. They are really determined to succeed,” he says. “We are always learning.”