The barns have been cleaned out, stalls torn down, and trailers are headed for the houses. Market animals have sold, and the breeding stock is ready to hit the pastures. Tack boxes are getting restocked, trailers will be cleaned out, and the ribbons & trophies will be displayed. As we close out the first of many major livestock shows in Texas, there are some things on many of our minds.
Showing livestock doesn’t come with a cheap price tag. First, you have to purchase the animal and feed it. Then there are the long nights in a motel, the meals on the go, and the snacks & beverages that filled the coolers. The diesel bill and how it probably rivals Sullivan’s bill… The entry fees, the registration fees, and the vet check fees.
But can you put a price on the life skills a child gains while showing livestock?
The child who forges friendships that span species and states. The way parents can let little kids run around the barn, knowing a community of friends are watching over their well-being? The way trust is developed between a youth and their animal.
Showing livestock is more than just a great feeling or a number in the budget.
Many can say the 4-H Fable hits home; it’s not just about a ribbon, the budget, or the feeling. Many are having some tuff talks on the way home, regardless of the color of ribbon you collected at the stock show.
There are 10 things EVERY successful showman needs to take to heart.
10. Win or lose, always show class.
9. Teamwork is a must, don’t be afraid to help others.
8. Nobody wants to hear how good you are, just show them in the ring.
7. When things get tough, Stay Positive.
6. Practice like you’ve never won, show like you’ve never lost.
5. Competition is what makes us all better.
4. Never get outworked.
3. Always show respect for our industry and your competition.
2. You don’t have to cheat to win.
1. Appreciate the “Show Mom” or “Show Dad” who make it all happen.
Jessica Kimbro, Extension Agent – 4-H and Youth Development