• General,  Stock Show Life

    Stock Show Dad

    He’s the last one in the barn the night before show day. The show kids need sleep, so he takes care of the last-minute jobs. Before he goes to the house, he double checks the show box making sure his favorite comb and new clipper blades are there. The show kids can’t always be trusted to put things back. He takes daily care seriously. He’s up early to feed and rinse before his farm-work or job in town begins. He’s not afraid to rouse the show kids out of bed to put in their work too. He loves a good joke and will pull one over on the show kids,…

  • General

    Be the Role Model

    No matter the age, everyone remembers their first stock show like it was yesterday. From the nervous, first-time jitters to scrambling around the barns trying to borrow items that didn’t make it into the tack box from other exhibitors. The one thing that’s etched into my memory is watching and interacting with the older kids. When I was younger I was so fascinated with everything the older kids did and hoped to be just like them someday. The majority of the time, they wouldn’t pay attention to the younger kids; but there was always a few in the group who would go out of their way to help get a…

  • General,  Stock Show Life

    Stock Show Kids Say the Darndest Things

    Stock show kids. A special kind of kid indeed. Kids that learn hard work and determination. Kids who make friends from all over the country. Kids who, when they speak, can make their parents swell with pride or turn bright red with embarrassment. Yep, those stock show kids say the darndest things. “Who are we eating?” A valid question from any stock show kid who has ever shown a market animal. Yes, that juicy hunk of beef or tasty tenderloin on the kid’s plate was once their beloved steer or barrow. Yet they have accepted the animal’s purpose and are thankful, be it curious, about which animal is so delicious.…

  • General,  Stock Show Life

    Sometimes They Just Don’t Get It

    Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve had to change or cancel plans because of your livestock? Growing up this was a struggle that I faced daily. From weekend shows to feeding my animals, there always seemed to be an obstacle that I needed to tackle in my weekly schedule. Sometimes that obstacle was having to sort out my priorities and cancel different activities. Sometimes it was trying to fit in sports practice, feeding, and a FFA meeting all in one night. However, these were all things that I could handle. The greatest obstacle that I never seemed to conquer was when others didn’t understand my dedication. Individuals…

  • General

    A Very Dairy Situation

      For most of us, the thought of losing our way of life is the farthest thing from our mind. But for the majority of American dairy farmers, that’s a huge reality. The dairy industry is suffering a devastating economic shift that’s forcing some to throw in the towel. As fellow animal agriculturists, it’s critical that we understand the situation, support them however we can, and do our best to prevent the situation in our respective industries. Whenever an entire industry goes through any economic shift, especially as significant as this one, there are several factors that play a role. The most significant typically is supply and demand. We have…

  • General,  Stock Show Life

    Stock Show Mom

    She’s up late with the last load of laundry, waiting on the good socks that don’t end up in the toes of the show kid’s boots. She hangs the rest of the show clothes by the door. Ironed and ready. Belt and boots to match. She packs the show day snack bag. She even throws in some fruit just to make herself feel good. She makes sure the show day cooler is stocked with drinks that don’t leave the show kids with blue or purple faces. She’s in the barn working hair. Rinsing and brushing. ProHair and her favorite scotch comb are her preferred tools. A mixture of new innovation…

  • General

    #BeKind; Stock Show Edition

    If you haven’t heard of the #bekind movement, I suggest you look into it. Right now it is mostly in schools to help combat bullying and violence. I don’t think think that bullying and violence are necessarily problems in the Stock Show world, but has being kind to other people ever hurt anyone? Being kind can only elevate this industry and demonstrate leadership to others. The essence of the movement is view your attitude as a choice. It’s not fun to be on either side of the opposite of kindness. You always have a choice, so choose to be kind. So you can be kind when attending stock shows as well.…

  • General

    Take a Chance

    Mary Tyler Moore once said, “Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fall in order to practice being brave.” Recently, I took a big chance as I flew from the mountains of West Virginia to the (very) windswept plains of Central Montana. Here’s a little background: for my major, I am required to complete an internship as part of my graduation requirement. I waited a little bit too long (the last semester before I graduate), and here I am, finishing up my internship in Montana. I always knew that I wanted to visit Montana, but I never in a million years thought…

  • General

    4 Things to Help Keep a Positive Perspective in the Livestock Show Industry

      Perspective is defined as a particular attitude or way of regarding something. In a more simplified definition, our perspective is our current frame of mind regarding our current thoughts or feelings. From time-to-time we could run the risk of losing a positive perspective about the livestock show industry.  How do we know what loosing perspective looks like? What are the warning signs? The fun is gone – We seem to have lost the joy in engaging with the industry in one way or another. Things we used to love to do have lost some of their appeal. Maybe we’re second guessing attending a show or we dread the work…

  • General

    Eat, Sleep, Show, Repeat.

    Eat, sleep, show, repeat. This is the slogan of countless youth across America. So many of us are so enamored with showing livestock and everything it has to offer; from banners and buckles to life lessons learned. But one major component of this lifestyle that everyone seems to overlook is the bond that is created between show teams and their families. The “aha” moment when this realization and feeling of gratefulness sinks in can happen at any time, especially when you’re least expecting it. Maybe it’s apparent at a late-night team dinner after a jackpot, when everyone is exhausted but laughter and smiles still fill the restaurant air. Or maybe…