Hoppe wins $10,000 Scholarship at Skillathon


Kara Diclemente

At the County stock show in January, junior Charlie Hoppe directs his pig. The competition requires the competitors to look at the judges while keeping control of the pigs. “It can sometimes be really difficult to control the pigs,” Hoppe said. “Knowing where exactly to go, all at the same time keeping an eye on the judges and your surroundings, really makes you be on top of your toes.”

Janet Nava, Reporter

The Swine Skillathon is a pig competition where junior Charlie Hoppe won a $10,000 scholarship on Feb. 11-13. This competition helps expand the swine industry to students that are in FFA or interested in this specific industry. Students from high schools can compete for the winning scholarship of $10,000, after passing the requirements of the competition. Hoppe has participated in the competition before, but this was his first win.

“I did the competition last year so I knew from participating in the first time, that I wanted to do it again and try to get that scholarship,” Hoppe said. “I suspected that I was going to do it again during the school year, and so I started preparing for it and signed up in November, so from mid-December to early February I studied and spent the bulk of my time for training for it.”

Hoppe didn’t prepare alone, FFA sponsor and agriculture teacher Jack Winterrowd helped Hoppe learn the necessary information for the competition. The assessment covers skeletal parts, cuts of meat and tools of the trade.  Hoppe tried several different methods of preparation for the competition.

“After they posted all the study material online I printed it out and looked over it whenever I got the chance,” Hoppe said. “Then I practiced for about three months preparing for the hard part of the competition, the essay requirement. There was also a speech at the end, if you made it to the finals; so I went over current topics and prepared what my speech could potentially be over, it took a while to get the right topic.”

The $10,000 scholarship really motivated Hoppe to enter the competition again, especially after not winning last year’s competition.

“We were there anyway showing purebred gilts and so it was just another opportunity to compete,” Hoppe said. “I always had been interested in the swine industry and I wanted to do things with pigs and learn about them, so the competition got my attention; I felt like I could do well in it this year and winning one of those scholarships was my major incentive for doing it.”