National Barrow Show returns to Austin

Published 6:09 pm Friday, September 10, 2021

After being cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Barrow Show returns to Austin from Sept. 11-15 at the Mower County Fairgrounds.

This year marks the 75th year of the event, dubbed “The World Series of Swine.” The show will feature top breeding boars and foundation females, purebred breeds, and judging teams from across the country.

The show is a partnership with the National Swine Registry, the National Junior Swine Association, the Mower County Fair Board, Hormel Foods, the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce and Discover Austin MN.

“The National Swine Registry is very excited to be back in Austin for the 75th annual National Barrow Show,” said Cassie Godwin, marketing and communications manager for the National Swine Registry. “It’s a historical event and we’re excited to be back and experience the rich history the event holds.”

The National Barrow Show is one of the longest running livestock shows in the country and a favorite of many of the contestants, some of whom have been attending for several decades.

Approximately 300 exhibits from across the country are entered in this year’s event, Godwin said. That number includes both the junior show and open show.

That number has a significant economic impact to the Austin community and surrounding areas, according to Discover Austin, MN Executive Director Nancy Schnable.

“From a tourism perspective, this annual event is a long standing tradition of bringing hundreds of visitors into our community to eat in our restaurants, sleep in our lodging facilities, shop at our stores, fill up at our gas stations, and they also experience some of our incredible attractions,” Schnable said. “Explore Minnesota Tourism research shows the return on investment is $180 to $1, so for every $1 invested in state tourism marketing returns an estimated $180 in spending by travelers. For State and Local taxes, it is $18 to $1, so for every $1 invested in state tourism marketing returns an estimated $18 in state and local taxes.”

Schnable noted that registrants are coming from 14 states outside of Minnesota and it is estimated that 800 head of livestock and about 30 college teams will be in attendance this year.

The show was modified in 2019  to shorten it by one day; however, this year it will return to a full five days.

The public is welcome to watch the shows, check out the livestock in the barns, and attend the Community Windsor Chop Dinner on Sunday.

For more information about this year’s show schedule and exhibiting, visit

“We’re looking forward to a great event and our NSR and National Junior Swine Association are looking forward to a great week,” Godwin said.

National Barrow Show


• Saturday, Sept. 11

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Junior registration opens

1 p.m. – All junior market hogs and junior breeding gilts must be on the grounds

2 p.m. – Junior market hog and crossbred gilt weigh cards due

3 p.m. – NBS Junior Showmanship (senior, intermediate, junior and novice)

5:30 p.m. – Junior exhibitor pizza party

• Sunday, Sept. 12

8 a.m. – Junior Classic Breeding Gilt Show, immediately followed by Junior Classic Market Hog Show

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Community Windsor Chop Dinner at the Plager Building

Noon – All open show breeding stock, truckloads and open market hog show entries must be on the grounds

1-2:30 p.m. – Truckloads checked in and weighed

1-3:30 p.m. – Open Market Hog registration

3:30 p.m. – Open Market Hog weigh cards due

• Monday, Sept. 13

8 a.m. – Junior college and senior college livestock judging contest in Crane Pavillion. FFA and 4-H judging contest registration, followed by contest.

8 a.m. – Check-in for open show breeding stock entries

1 p.m. – Individual Market Hog Show, immediately followed by Truckload Show and Hog College Home Run Drive

• Tuesday, Sept. 14

7:30 a.m. – Breeding Stock Show begins (CPS/ABA/Crossbred Gilts Show in North Ring, NSR/Crossbred Boars Show in South Ring)

• Wednesday, Sept. 15

8:30 a.m. – Sale begins (CPS/ABA/Crossbred Gilts Sale in North Ring, NSR/Crossbred Boars Sale in South Ring)