Spot Swine Breeder
Don Hazelett started his swine career by joining 4-H in 1945 with a Duroc barrow from his grandfather's herd. He purchased his first Poland China gilt in 1949 and raised that breed through 4-H and early in his pork production career. Growing up in Morgan County, Don was a very active leader, competitor, and innovator in 4-H and FFA. In 1953-54, as President of the Morgan County Poland China Association, he helped to organize the first production sale for the young group of breeders.
He enrolled at Purdue University in 1954 and gained his Animal Husbandry BS degree in 1958. While at Purdue, Don was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, the Livestock Judging Team, the Ag Council, the Gimlet leadership honorary, Editor of the Purdue Agriculturist, and was selected one of the "10 outstanding students in the school of Agriculture".
After college, Don was an Extension youth agent in Hamilton County and then joined the Poland China Record Association in 1960 as Managing Editor of the Poland China World. In 1967, he joined Dick Middleworth and started Hazelett & Middleworth Poland China, where performance testing was a major part of the genetic program.
In 1970 Don was President of the Indiana Pork Producers and served seven years on the Executive Board. In 1976, he received the IPPA "Meritorious Service Award".
Also in 1976, the Hazelett herd was the number one recorder of Spotted hogs in the Nation and was Premier Breeder at the Indiana State Fair in 1978, 79, 80 and 82. He served as President of the Indiana Spot Swine Breeders Association and in 2007, Don received the National Spotted Swine Record "Distinguished Service and Hall of Fame Award".
Always an innovator, Don, organized a group of purebred breeders that sponsored the daily market reports over the WOWO radio station in Fort Wayne. He initiated the 4-H club awards for 4-H exhibitors of Spot hogs at the State Fair for more than five years. Those awards are still given today. He worked with then Swine Barn Superintendent, Don Brown to start the "World Biggest Boar" and "World Champion Sow and Litter" contests at the Indiana State Fair. Almost every State Fair in the country now has those contests. Indiana was the first.
In 1987, Don joined Denny Shoup at Premier Swine Breeding System as a Genetic Consultant, assisting commercial producers throughout the Midwest in improving both the quality and quantity of their swine herds.
He has served on countless county, state and national pork boards. His service to his fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, has been stellar. He has dedicated countless hours as an alumni, house advisor, Board member, and chairman of the 100th Anniversary celebration of the fraternity.
Congratulations and thank you to Don Hazelett for using your talents as a progressive purebred breeder, counseling the commercial industry, and serving as a strong supporter agricultural youth and college students.