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Published: Saturday, 1/15/2005

Williams County hog breeders will contest state claims

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Howard Parrish and his family, nationally known hog breeders, asked the Ohio Department of Agriculture this week for a hearing on a charge that the family sent a substitute hog to the slaughterhouse instead of the grand champion from the Williams County Fair.

The family's request, made through Columbus lawyer Charles "Rocky" Saxbe, was hand-delivered on Thursday, about an hour before the deadline.

The hearing, which will be the family's first formal opportunity to dispute the state's account, will be at the agriculture department in front of an agency-appointed attorney. The attorney will make a recommendation to agriculture Director Fred Dailey.

The agriculture department tentatively set the hearing date for Jan. 25, but a department spokesman said it is likely to be delayed if lawyers ask for more time to prepare evidence or witnesses.

Two of the Parrishes face a ban on involvement in Ohio livestock exhibitions.

If the family is not satisfied with the hearing's outcome, it could appeal the decision in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Had the family not requested the hearing, the agriculture department's proposed discipline would have been imposed.

The ban would affect Howard Parrish, president of the Williams County fair board and a nationally known hog breeder, judge, and auctioneer who lives near Edon.

The department also had sought a ban on his son, Frank, from participating in livestock exhibitions in Ohio for a period of one year.

In addition, it proposed that Frank's daughter, Caprianna, forfeit the awards and proceeds from her grand champion hog at the Williams County Fair in September.

The agriculture department charged that Howard Parrish, instead of sending Caprianna's grand champion market hog to the slaughterhouse, as is required for state inspection, substituted another hog that was owned by his son, and falsely represented it to be Caprianna's champion.

"The actual grand champion hog has never been produced for slaughter and post-mortem examination," Mr. Dailey stated in letters sent to the three Parrishes.

Frank Parrish declined comment last night, his attorney could not be reached, and Howard Parrish hung up on a reporter.



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