Sow Families


We think we have an outstanding set of sows that we’ve been building around.  Our students’ focus has always been on building better hogs from the ground up.  Their commitment to making hogs that are correct in their feet and legs, clean and flexible in their joints, and comfortable in their skeleton, paired with a few of the extras, is paying dividends for us and our customers.  Our sow herd is organized into families that we’ve built around.  Each sow good enough to have a family built around her is named after a student who has made an extra special impact on our swine program.  Some programs honor outstanding students with plaques, but around here, the biggest honor is to have a sow family named after you!  Welcome to our version of a Hall of Fame for both students and sows.




Claire 77-10

  • Crossbred
  • Bear x Creature
  • Bred by Steve & Aaron Cobb, AR

Claire Crocker was a Presidential Scholar and Pre-vet student here at Murray State who spearheaded the creation of our show pig herd.  Without Claire’s leadership as a student, the program as we know it wouldn’t exist.  It seemed appropriate to name our most influential crossbred sow after her.  Pictured at 6 years old, 77-10 was one of four original Cobb sows here in Murray, and emerged early on as the no-brainer to build around.    She was ahead of her time in terms of being taller fronted, cleaner headed, and a notch bigger outlined.  She was a perfect mother in the crate and was one of the soundest 7-year old sows you’ll ever lay eyes on.  She forms the foundation of our crossbred herd, appearing on both sides of many of our females.  Keeping boars out of her has allowed us to intensify her influence in our herd even now.


Claire 77-2

  • Crossbred
  • Black Onyx 4-3 x Bear (Claire 77-10)
  • Bred by Murray State University
  • Incredible build & design
  • Flexible Skeleton
  • Keeps them moderate and shorter bodied

Claire 5-9

  • Crossbred
  • Soul Train x Bear (Claire 77-10)
  • Bred by Murray State University
  • Donated by David & Ella Fourqurean
  • Bold blade, rib shape, and mass of forearm
  • Guaranteee muscle & appeteite in her pigs
  • Pigs are as easy feeding as they come

Claire 11-6

  • Crossbred
  • Tree Trunx x Soul Train (Claire 5-9)
  • Bred by Murray State University
  • Stout bonework yet clean jointed
  • Near perfect toes & pasterns
  • Out of the deepest litter ever produced here in Murray


 Sarah 50-11

  • Crossbred
  • Creature x Bear
  • Bred by Steve & Aaron Cobb, AR
  • Donated by OL Robertson
 Sarah Traylor was a 2016 graduate of Animal Science who co-chaired our Annual Spring Show Pig Sale in 2016.  Sarah was an honors student who wrote her honors thesis on intra-uterine insemination in show pig sows.  Sarah spent more than a few nights farrowing sows while collecting data for her thesis.  50-11 had that unique combination of being super stout in her bonework yet up on her pasterns and athletic in her build.  Her pigs always got better as they matured and she stamped them with incredibly clean front ends, deep chest floors, and plenty of center body.  We’ve recently retained some young boar prospects out of a prominent daughter of 50-11 in hopes of re-exerting her influence in our sow herd. 


 Jane 13-6

  • Crossbred
  • High Gear x All Swag
  • Bred by Lensman Show Pigs, OH

Jane Webster was a 2017 graduate in Animal Science.  She was an ultra-reliable farm volunteer whose hard work and performance earned her a place as a student herdsman at the swine lab.  In much the same way, Jane 13-6 has performed her way right into our sow program.  We didn’t initially plan to build around her, but when they routinely produce incredibly deep consistent litters with bone, pastern strength, and tall trendy front ends; and they breed, farrow, and milk like she does, it’s hard to ignore.     



Ella 21-4

  • Yorkshire
  • Power Up X Intrigue
  • Bred by Grimm Purebreds
  • Donated by David & Ella Fourqurean

Ella Fourqurean was a 2017 graduate in Animal Science and is currently a graduate student focusing in Agricultural Communications.  Ella was a student herdsman for 3 years and is now the Graduate Student Manager of the swine farm.  She has shown tremendous loyalty and dedication to growing our swine program, and has been the go-to person for everything from guest lectures and farm tours to fitting pigs for shows and sales.  21-4 is as long and cool-fronted as you can make a York sow; she’s spooked more than a few students by turning her head and neck completely around to look behind her in the farrowing crate.  What makes her really good is the way she combines this almost freaky head and neck with a massively open chest floor and great shape to her rib.  Where she’s good, she’s really good; we’ll be building around Ella 21-4 for some time to come.  No In Control, Untouchable, or Ricker influence in her pedigree!



Miss Heath 4-5

  • Yorkshire
  • Musketeer x The Blitz
  • Bred by Jasmyn Davis, OK

Heath Durbin was a 2017 graduate in Ag Business, and was an incredibly influential farm volunteer.  He co-chaired our Annual Spring Show Pig Sale in 2017 and was one of the best salesman and farm promoters we’ve ever had.  As part of a student project in AGR 426 Swine Production, Heath paired with Sydney Linville and Seth Carter to propose and negotiate sales of our pork through Murray State Dining Services.  4-5 was one that Heath spotted as a little pig.  We took an unusual chance on her and it paid off.  She matured into an impressive gilt and later productive sow.  She’s beautifully built in her skeleton, strong topped, and is loaded with mass but with a smoother muscle pattern than most of today’s Yorks.


Miss Brandon 4-1

  • Yorkshire
  • Dog Knott x The Grizz
  • Bred by Braxton Pittman, IL
  • Donated by OL Robertson
Brandon Boester was a 2015 Animal Science graduate who helped work the farm through growing pains in its early years.  As part of a student project in AGR 426 Swine Production, Brandon led a group of students who designed, planned, and proposed our new farrowing house and nursery, which was dedicated in 2016.  He showed Miss Brandon 4-1 to Champion York Gilt honors at the 2013 KY State Fair.  Don’t let her picture fool you, pictured at 5 years of age, Miss Brandon 4-1 has generated more winning York gilts from our farm than all other York sows here combined.  She’s a true generator, like so many sows with Grizz in their pedigree.  She makes them bigger outlined, good on their pasterns, deep chested, and puts true rib shape into them.  Her daughters and grand-daughters generate just like she does.  No In Control, Untouchable, or Bone Buzz in her pedigree.

Miss Matthew 4-3

Miss Matthew 4-3

  • Breed: Yorkshire
  • Not Even Close 25-2 X Committed
  • Bred by Murray State University

Matt Papineau was an early student herdsman at the swine lab who always showed an impressive ability to overcome adversity and remain resilient.  His work early on laid the foundation for much of what we’re able to build on today.  4-3 was the lone daughter retained from a set of four Watson-bred York sows here in Murray.  All of the Watson sows here were producers, but 4-3 paired production with more flexibility and an impeccable hip and hind leg.  

Emily 13-3

Emily 13-3

  • Hampshire
  • Reach x Pivot Point
  • Bred by David Martin, IA
  • Donated by Emily Hume

Emily Hume was a 2016 graduate in Animal Science who volunteered and later worked as a student herdsman at the Swine Lab.  Emily chaired our Spring Sale in 2015 and was part of the crew that proposed and pushed for our new farrowing house and nursery.  She was as reliable as they come and was no stranger to hard work, day or night.  Emily showed 13-3 as Reserve Champion Hamp Gilt at the KY State Fair.  13-3 is super maternal in the crate and puts real Hampshire muscle and extra look into her pigs.