Illinois pig breeder and showman named to Wisconsin Hall of Fame
A long-time pig breeder and showman is now in the Wisconsin Pork Association’s Hall of Fame.
This year’s inductee is the late Robert Ellingson, who was involved in breeding and showing pigs since 1965 on the family farm near Poplar Grove, Illinois, just south of the Wisconsin border east of Rockford.
Kenneth Luety with the Wisconsin State Fair presented the plaque to Ellingson’s family Saturday. “This would be the 30th year that we have done this, so the pork producers sponsor it and the Hall of Fame members are actually the ones that decide who is the lucky recipient every year.”
Robert’s son Mike Ellingson says his father passed away April 4th after 47 years of showing pigs at both the Wisconsin and Illinois State Fairs. “This was his happy place. He came here with friends, family, and everyone showing up. It just meant so much to him.”
Ellingson tells Brownfield that breeding and showing pigs is a way of life that’s different and more expensive than simply raising pigs for the market. “There’s a competitive side to it. You know, everybody wants to win, but it’s really more about the exhibitor part of it. You know, it’s what have you done for the last year? It’s the fruits of your labor. It’s here’s what I bred, here’s what I like, and here’s what I’m proud of, and if wins, it wins.”
Mike Ellingson says his sons are continuing to show animals. One is carrying on the tradition with pigs, while the other has an interest in draft horses.