Skalitzkys honored at state fair

Gary Skalitzky and his wife, Diann, were honored Sunday at the Wisconsin State Fair. The couple was inducted into the pork association’s hall of fame for their many contributions. Pictured from left are Diann Skalitzky, Gary Skalitzky, grandson Reid Joas, daughter Jodi Joas and son-in-law Kyle Joas.

Twenty years after his dad was honored, Gary Skalitzky of Waterloo was chosen by the Wisconsin Pork Association (WPA) as the 2019 inductee into the Wisconsin State Fair Hall of Fame. He, along with his wife Diann, was honored Sunday in the swine barn at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.

The award recognizes outstanding individuals who have demonstrated a long-time commitment to the Wisconsin State Fair in the open or junior shows and to developing a quality breeding program.

Skalitzky feels very humbled to accept the award.

“This is an honor to be recognized with the previous hall of fame inductees,” he added.

The Skalitzkys own Chester Home Farms where they raise Chester White hogs, Angus beef cattle and run a cash crop operation in Jefferson County.

Skalitzky has served as the open breed show swine superintendent at the state fair since 2008, where he acts as the liaison between the fair board, open show swine exhibitors and the state’s swine industry. He took the position to continue to see all his fellow breeders. He held this position for many years with his daughter clerking and wife doing paperwork.

He also served as a director of the WPA for many years.

The hall of fame inductee was born on a dairy and pork farm in Waterloo, where he grew up raising and showing hogs since age seven. Skalitzky was a member of the South Side Eagles 4-H and the Waterloo FFA, where he showed Chester White Hogs at local, county, and state shows in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana, and many breed shows all over the country.

He is very proud of the fact that breeding stock from their farm has been sold to other farms throughout the United States and in many foreign countries.

Skalitzky’s father, Earl, and his uncle Zeno were some of the founders of the Wisconsin Pork Association and Chester White Swine Registry.

The Waterloo resident attended the University of Wisconsin Agricultural Short Course and returned to the family farm where they held an annual breed sale each month offering quality Chester White hogs for the buyers. This was a family affair with his dad, uncle, brothers Jim and Randy and families making each sale a success.

In 1973, Skalitzky married Diann Schultz. She taught and coached at Waterloo High School for 38 years.

The couple has two children, Scott and Jodi. Both were active showing pigs through 4-H, FFA and at many other shows.

During these years, Skalitzky was president of the Jefferson Pork Producers, a member of the Waterloo School Board building committee, coached youth and 4-H basketball, served as chairman of the Meat Animal Project (MAP), built the fair sale barn and served as superintendent at the Jefferson County Fair.

Besides his work on the farm, the Waterloo native judged many county, state and breed shows along with being an active member of the WPA, representing their interests at the Arizona and Washington, D.C. conferences. In the pork association, he has been on the board, many committees including scholarship, served as grill man, worked with promotions, along with attending annual conferences.

Jodi showed pigs and went to school at River Falls and completed her degree in Upper Iowa University in business. Jodi married Kyle Joas in 2001. They have a son Reid.

“Scott went on to Madison College, he completed his career as plant manager for Waste Management and helped on our farm,” Skalitzky said. “We lost him to cancer in 2008. That’s when we decided to give positive help to the next generation through continuing education for 4-H and FFA, which both Scott and Jodi have received.”

The family raises scholarship money each year hosting a plow day and in the last decade has given out 55 scholarships and helped 4-H and FFA members in need of assistance. The plow day is held the last Saturday in October on the part of the farm where Scott lived.

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