For Tyne Wilson, working with children who have special needs has always been a dream. She never imagined it would become a reality in the Swine Barn at the Missouri State Fair.
The No Limits P.I.G. Show returns to the fair this summer. P.I.G. stands for Pigs Ignite Greatness. Inspired by the Bacon Buddies program held at the Iowa State Fair, the event is designed to provide opportunities for youth with physical or cognitive challenges to “experience the greatness” of showing at the state level.
This year’s show will be at 2 p.m. Aug. 18 in the Swine Barn of the Missouri State Fairgrounds.
“Our main goal is for everyone involved to feel welcome,” Wilson explains. “The Swine Barn is one big happy family, and we want all exhibitors to fit in.” She, along with committee members, are building on last year’s success.
Lead in the show ring
Wilson is no stranger to the state fair. This marks her ninth year in the swine show ring and second helping with the No Limits P.I.G Show.
The Cass County native first learned about the show through her mom, Nici, one of the committee members who manage the show. In 2021, Wilson partnered with Declan Odle, who also lives in her hometown of Pleasant Hill, Mo., to drive hogs across the green shavings.
“When the opportunity came up for me to help, I was more than happy to lend a hand and show my support,” Wilson says. “I want to expand the eyes of kids, and let them know nothing can stop them from doing what they want to do.”
All participants work with a more experienced Missouri 4-H or FFA swine exhibitor. These individuals, referred to as ambassadors, assist with all preparations needed for the show and in the ring, all while creating an overall positive atmosphere.
Ambassadors are selected through an application process, which looks at their enthusiasm, positive spirit, kindness and respectfulness. They also must have a well-tempered and docile pig available.
In addition to showing, all exhibitors are given the VIP treatment. Last year’s participants received a No Limits T-shirt, free admission to the fair, a tour of the fairgrounds, meet-and-greet lunch, and more. Photos were also taken with Gov. Mike Parson.
Similar celebrations are set to continue this year in recognition of the Missouri State Fair swine barn’s centennial anniversary.
Share passion for pigs
Overall, one of the main goals of the show is to provide a “day without limits” and ensure all exhibitors experience camaraderie, excitement, joy and gratitude.
Wilson says she is looking forward to meeting even more people and working with kids who are excited to try new things. She hopes to see the event expand in years to come.
Exhibiting livestock at the Missouri State Fair enables youth to enhance their leadership skills, build lasting relationships, and grow both personally and professionally. For some, like Wilson, entering the show ring holds a much deeper meaning and significance.
“I hope this event teaches people that although we might not all be the same, we can share the same passion for something,” she says. “As time goes on, I hope our numbers continue to grow bigger, and our hearts love deeper.”
For more information on the No Limits P.I.G. Show, visit mostatefairfoundation.net.
Quinlan writes from Mexico, Mo.