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Five things: Clinton man inducted into Wisconsin State Fair Hall of Fame

By Catherine W. Idzerda
August 16, 2015

CLINTON—Bill Clothier knows his pigs.

He also knows his Berkshires, his Durocs and his Tamworths.

On Friday, Aug. 7, Clothier's knowledge earned him a spot in the Wisconsin State Fair Hall of Fame.

Here are five things you need to know about the honor:

1. Pork picks: Every year, the Wisconsin Pork Association recognizes someone who has shown a commitment to both the fair and the industry. Clothier has been a swine breeder all his adult life, and he has shown pigs since he was a youngster in 4-H.

2. Prize pigs: Clothier first began showing “Clothier Durocs” at the Wisconsin State Fair in 1973. In 1979, he won reserve senior champion for his Duroc gilt.

He and his family members also have won grand champion Berkshire boar three times, supreme champion boar, grand champion Tamworth boar and grand champion Tamworth boar and gilt.

A boar is a male pig. A gilt is a female pig who has not had a litter.

3. Keys to greatness: Clothier and his son, Jon, operate Clothier Genetics.

“I like to improve the pigs,” Clothier said. “It's very challenging, but very rewarding, too.”

What makes a good pig?

Clothier is breeding for characteristics such as productivity and hardiness. You want an animal that can be stress-free.

Clothier is currently raising Berkshires, which are to hogs what Angus are to beef, Clothier said.

“They're extremely high quality,” he said. “The meat usually goes to fancy restaurants or is sent to Japan.”

4. Farm work ethic: Clothier was raised on a farm in South Beloit, Illinois. His family raised dairy cattle, sheep and pigs.

He and his wife, Peggy, bought their first farm in Clinton after they were married.

FFA and 4-H were part of Clothier's childhood, and he said they were an important part of his life.

“You learn a lot of responsibility,” he said. “You learn how to care for animals.”

The more comfortable animals are in their surroundings, they more they will thrive, Clothier said.

5. Past pork picks: The Wisconsin Pork Association has named a number of people to the hall of fame including James Walsh, Beloit; Don Lang, Beloit; Greenview Farms, Beloit; Ralph Wilson, Burlington; Gary Brewer, Albany; Paul George, Evansville; and Alan Butts, Evansville.