SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As a light rain fell on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, fairgoers gathered under the cover of the Lincoln Stage to watch two annual favorites, the Hog and Husband Calling Contests. The competition was steep this year, with several entries in each category.
Taking first prize for his signature hog call was Nathan Broaddus, a 20-year-old resident of Raymond, Ill. Broaddus stepped up the microphone, started out nice and slowly, and quickly mustered up the power to let out an unbelievably realistic hog squeal. He has several different calls, all coming from his time as an employee with Borgic Hog Farms of rural Nokomis.
When asked how his second championship in three years of participating at the State Fair feels, Nathan replied, “pretty awesome.”
“I used to make the teachers mad and get detentions for squealing in class, but it obviously paid off,” he said.
Nathan will attend Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Ill. to study mortuary science, hoping to earn an associates degree in applied science. He is the son of Rick and Dana Broaddus of Raymond.
Though Broaddus was a tough act to follow, Kelley Tierney did quite well to receive first place in the Husband Calling Contest. Dressed as the tooth fairy, she entered the stage with her “fairy dust,” or glitter, adorning the judges as she “flew” by. With a toothbrush wand and basket of toothbrushes in hand, she began explaining the story of how she’d met her husband, Sweet Tooth, in a candy store. After reminiscing, she let out a long cry for her hubby, who came running to the stage covered in candy wrappers from head to toe. Kelley is from Cornland, Ill., and she has competed in seven husband calling contests, taking first prize five times.
She has no strategy, but Kelley admitted, “My husband kept raising his eyebrows as I stuck more candy wrappers on his clothes.”
The Illinois State Fair is one of her favorite pastimes. “I love the fair! I take the week off of work and we all come out here to enjoy it,” Tierney said. Placing second in both contests was Doris Probst of Effingham, Ill. With her facial expressions and hand gestures, she made the crowd laugh uncontrollably with both calls. She put all her energy into a great hog call, and even brought out a cowbell to summon her husband, Roy Boy.