State’s biggest boar has New Prague roots

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times
“Johnny,” a 1,040-pound boar raised at Widmer Pork in New Prague, is on display at the Minnesota State Fair as the state’s largest boar for 2018. (Photo courtesy of Widmer Pork)

Each year, the Minnesota State Fair features the state’s biggest boar, and this year, the prized pig has ties to Le Sueur County.

“Johnny,” a pig raised at Widmer Pork in the Heidelberg- New Prague area, topped the scales at 1,040 pounds and was featured first at the Le Sueur County Fair in Le Center before making the trek to the state fairgrounds last week. He is on display, where he is seen by thousands of people each day.

Bob Widmer, who operates Widmer Pork of New Prague with his wife Diana, said the pig was a community effort project, and was actually the pet project of his sister Shelly Tiede. The four-year-old pig lived at Widmer’s farm for most of his four years, where he was used as breeding stock on the Widmer Farm.

“He was up to 800 pounds when we shipped him off to Shelly’s farm to get him fattened up,” said Bob. “It’s always been her dream.”

Shelly and her husband Bill farm near Russell, in southwestern Minnesota. They fed Johnny over the past four months, working to fatten him up. He was certified as the state’s biggest boar earlier this summer.

To see more on this story pick up the August 30, 2018 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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