Number of participants down at the Scotts Bluff County Fair

Ethan Bomberger of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, smiles as the judges shakes his hand. He was selected grand champion in the swine showmanship Tuesday at the Scotts Bluff County Fair.

MITCHELL — Ethan Bomberger, 12, of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, displayed control of his swine in the ring.

Bomberger has been working with his pig since April as he prepared for his fourth Scotts Bluff County Fair. With the hardest part being the first time he worked with the animal, he became familiar with her mannerisms where he could keep her driving.

During previous fairs, Bomberger had made it into the round robin by default, so he set his eyes on winning this year.

As he drove his pig around the arena, he learned how to keep her moving from practice.

“Every pig is different, but with this pig, when she’s not moving I start to tap her with the brush more,” he said.

Once the swine showmanship was underway, Bomberger said he enjoyed showcasing his ability to control his pig.

“It’s not about the pig,” Bomberger said. “It’s about yourself and how you show yourself and express your pig.”

As the judge moved around the arena, Bomberger kept his eyes and swine moving toward the judge to capture the judge’s attention. Once the judge extended his arm out to Bomberger as the grand swine showman, Bomberger's joy was visible on his face as he grinned from ear to ear.

“I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I am in the round robin now and this is awesome,’” he said. “I’ve only ever been defaulted into round robin, so this is great.”

While the moment was one he will never forget, Bomberger turned his focus to the round robin competition. To ensure he is prepared, he plans to study.

“I know they’re going to quiz us, so I’m going to study questions,” he said.

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Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at

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