The journey began when I was a freshman at Monroeville High School in 1980 and became an FFA Greenhand. My mother and father took me to the Isler Durocs Public Auction bred gilt sale in Richwood, Ohio. I sat on the front row with them, armed with a solid budget of $300 to buy a bred gilt. My role model and favorite auctioneer of all time, Merlin D. Woodruff "Woody," was the Colonel, and Duroc Fieldman Mike Bayes was the ringman. I was a solid bidder from $250 to $300, as that was my budget to start my FFA Project.
The auction dragged on, and I bid on over 20 Duroc breds and even some English Large White breds, but I kept coming up empty-handed. Finally, Woody announced that the last pen of Duroc bred gilts was in the ring, selling a choice of 5. My mom leaned over and said, "I will throw in $50; you can bid up to $350." So, I bid aggressively, still missing out each time and praying that the high bidder would not sweep the ring. When the auctioneer announced, "Last bred gilt for sale in America—the chutes are clear!" I again bid up to my new budget of $350, only to be outbid once more. I put my head down, but then my dad said, "I will loan you the other $50; go for it again!" So, I bid $400 to ringman Bayes, and Woody looked right at me and said, "This young man has bid $20,000 tonight and hasn't been successful in buying one yet." And then he announced, "SOLD for $400!"
My first Duroc bred gilt, bred to RB Bulldozer, was loaded into the back of my dad’s 1/2-ton Chevy pickup truck with wooden stock racks, and we headed off to Monroeville, Ohio. That fall I purchased my first pair of Hampshire open gilts at the Ohio Fall Hampshire Sale in Lima, Ohio for $250 each using the money from my fair pigs. Little did I realize that many of the professionals at these auctions and breeders would become long-time friends and help pave the way for a great career in agriculture.
In 1984, as a senior in high school, I showed a Hampshire barrow at my first Type Conference in Lima, Ohio, and he was named Champion Carcass Barrow. Later in my senior year in FFA, I was selected as the State Proficiency Winner in Swine Production and Eastern Regional Winner in the United States, earning a trip to the National FFA Convention in Kansas City. That spring, I was selected as a State FFA Officer, the first in the history of my local FFA chapter.
From my time in college working at The Ohio Boar Test Station, to being selected as a Hampshire Fieldman by Rick Maloney (Blake and Ty Goss's grandpa), to having the Hampshire Board of Directors name me National Auctioneer at the age of 26, pigs have been in my blood. As an auctioneer, I get to see them one at a time and observe how people make their buying decisions. I have been blessed to judge the first-ever Exposition Junior Gilt Show, and the NJSS in Louisville, as well as Belton, Duncan, Georgia, and Indiana State Fair Hampshire shows. I have loved, and still love, every minute, and cherish the friendships made along the way.
Enjoy this collection of purebreds and crossbreds that are built for the long haul. I hope they will bless you as they have blessed my family and my career thus far. My story is not finished yet; in fact, in some ways, it's maybe just a different beginning at age 57 than it was at age 14. Back then, I was a no-name boy from a no-name town with a mother and father who offered the best support and guidance to spend $400 on a purebred gilt to start a project! ... See MoreSee Less
That’s a great story Kevin,this is why we as breeders need to encourage the young people out there. You never know who is the next Kevin Wendt out there. My start was very similar in my freshman year of high school. Not near as successful lol but something that changed my life !
Ol' Merlin was a great auctioneer, friend, and seller of everything, even if it was nailed down. Spent my youth going to farm equipment and draft horse auctions all over the country trying to catch a good deal.
Good luck in your future endeavors, whatever you choose I'm sure it will be a good deal.
Great story! Best of luck!
Deep in your roots … thank you for sharing ! This is why your passion for this industry is so strong 😊
I love the heart and passion in this! Such a similar story to mine with my mom & dad. Best of luck with the sale and future endeavors!
Beautifully written and a joy to read.
A great story! Forever grateful to have you as a role model for myself and other young people in the industry!
Living proof of chasing dreams and that they can come true with persistence and passion. Thank you for sharing!
What a awesome story
The journey continues! Thanks for sharing Colonel!
This is Amazing little story with a Big passion for the industry!
Thanks for share KW
Love reading this!
What a great story!!
Very interesting read. Thank you for posting this.
Great story Kevin!! We have really enjoyed having the opportunity to get pigs from you.
Great story and pics!! Thanks for sharing.
Very good read
Great story Kevin!!
Thank you for sharing this story! Wishing you the best for your new beginnings!
Great story! Thank you for what you do for the industry!
Thanks for sharing 👍🏼
An awesome story!
Great story of your journey and I’m proud that my family got you started. Thank you for sharing.
Wondering about the one-of-kind collector's items Kevin has compiled over the years?
Here is a SNEAK PEEK of unique industry treasures that will be offered Nov. 6, 2023. Don't miss out on your chance to own a piece of this coveted collection of memorabilia!
Vintage Poland Hog Sign ▪️Single sided metal with weathering and some patina ▪️1960's era road sign measures 3.5 x 4 ft ▪️Made by The OHIO Art Company for multiple breed associations in the 1960's to display at the road farm entrance or on their barns. Rare find here! ... See MoreSee Less
• TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31 • Trick or Treat Night: Spend Halloween looking at all the treats! Special appearance by The Great Pumpkin and Charlie Brown. Costumes optional. Showing at the farm from Noon to 6 PM
• SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5 • NFL Sunday: Enjoy tailgate and looking at stock! If you're a Browns, Bengals, Lions, Cowboys, Colts or Bears Fan -- OH MY! Everyone is welcome. Showing at the farm from Noon to 6 PM
ONLINE AUCTION DETAILS
• MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6 • Auction Day: Showing at the farm from Noon to 5 PM. Bidding opens at 5 pm on showpig.com
FULL DIGITAL CATALOG WILL BE AVAILABLE ON OCT 30
Farm Address: 14730 Middleburg Plain City RD Plain City OHIO 43064 Near: 20 minutes west of the I 270 outerbelt of Columbus OHIO 20 minutes north of I 70 London OHIO Exit on SR 42 to Plain City
For questions, do not hesitate to contact Kevin Wendt at (419) 566-1599, Riley Wendt at (614) 400-8148, or Jim McCoy at (740) 572-0271 ... See MoreSee Less
After much heartfelt reflection on the profound journey of Wendt Livestock, we have arrived at the deeply challenging decision to disperse the family’s cherished sow herd on November 6, 2023. As a collector at heart, Kevin feels the gravity of this transition and is dedicated to ensuring these remarkable animals find the right homes where their legacy can be carried forward.
Significantly, this offering will include many of the show gilts that were central to Ethan and Riley's outstanding show careers. As their chapter in the show ring concludes, these gilts hold a prominent place in this auction.
Within The WENDT GROUP and Showpig.com, a series of exciting initiatives are on the horizon, each requiring our dedicated focus and unwavering commitment. As we approach our last go in the show ring next summer and look ahead to our children's new journeys, this transition feels timely. It's a period of both personal and professional evolution, perfectly poised to embrace the next chapter of opportunities at TWG.
We invite you to be a part of this notable transition, to not only acquire a piece of a storied legacy but to witness a renewed focus at The Wendt Group. Join us online at showpig.com for an auction that celebrates the past and embraces an exciting future, with a keen eye on exceeding customer expectations in every facet of the business.
The offering encompasses: Hampshire • Crossbred • Yorkshire • Duroc • Berkshire Over 70 lots, featuring boars, gilts, bred females, frozen semen, equipment, and cherished memorabilia from Kevin's collection!
This is by far the most heartbreaking, but also relieving decision our family has had to make. Many tears have been shed since we made the decision a few weeks ago. I’m sad I won’t get to see my girls at the farm each day, get to play with their babies, and make breeding decisions with dad. But I’m excited for the rest of their careers at new great homes. As me and Ethan’s last year is 2024 this is a great way for us to get to spend more time together as a family and reshape our focus on the future and our “last dance” as junior exhibitors. Wendt Livestock is not over, just changing directions for a bit. Please check out the lots and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
For hard decision to make I’m sure! Good luck with the next move, I’m sure you guys will do great with whatever is next.
I 💗 The Wendts. Excited to see the next chapter. It will be dynamic and definitely successful. I'm sitting in the seats waiting to watch and applaud.
Excited for y’all’s next chapter. Always rooting for you guys!
Such a hard decision to make! Excited for your next chapter!!
Sorry to hear about the tough decision, but best wishes on all the future endeavors with everything you and your family decide.
“There is nothing permanent except change.”-Heraclitus
I look forward to watching and sharing the journey of this new chapter of your lives.
Are you all still keeping JL rumble and the other boars ? I am wanting to breed to him in a few months.
I'm sure you will miss the everyday connections with the hogs. I know I did when I moved to Arizona. Hogs and family are the reasons I moved back. I love my family and even at my old( er) age I really enjoy the challenges of breeding and raising hogs.
Good luck in all your futures. Enjoy life very day. 😃