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Month: February 2016

12 Struggles Every Online Sale Buyer Can Relate To

1. Your entire evening revolves around the goal of putting the kids to bed before the sale starts to wrap up at 8:00 PM… And if it doesn’t get done, the kids stay up late enough that you can almost guarantee a note coming home from the teacher or a call from the principal the next day. 2. It’s kind of like a game of chess (although I don’t play chess so I’m really just assuming) calls chess a mind sport that includes calculated strategies as well as caution to not make moves too hastily and foresight to look into the future and consider the consequences of our action… all true of an online sale buyer, right!? 3. Watching the sale on your “mobile” phone certainly does not mean you’re capable of being mobile… You’d think that, since these sales can be watched on your phone, that life would go on even in the midst of a sale. Nope, not at our house… the typical protocol is to be in the house, phone in hand, 3 inches or less distance between your face and the screen, the entire time. 4. The longest 5 minutes of your life The dreaded refresh… this kind of feels like a time-out for adults. You know the one, the kid forced to sit on a chair in the corner of the room with his head down, agonizing over the time that just doesn’t seem to pass and feels like an eternity 5. When there’s…

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7 ways to build your network in the stock show industry

I showed pigs growing up. When I was in high school and thinking about college and career, I often wished I could start expanding my network. I wanted to meet people who had careers that interested me. (In high school, I wanted to be a farm broadcaster.) I wanted to talk to students a few years older than me who were at a college I wanted to learn more about. (You can major in Agricultural Communication?) Sometimes, I really wanted to talk to a professional whose work I admired. (I listened to the same voices on the radio each day and wanted to know more about their career path.) Since I graduated from high school pre-social media (but post-AOL Instant Messenger for those keeping track), the avenues for networking were limited. But today, there are several options for networking online in addition to the tried-and-true. Here are seven ways to build your professional network in the stock show industry: A good handshake and introduction – I don’t believe any social media platform or technology will ever take the place of a good handshake and introduction. This one is simple. Practice this skill. Then use it to introduce yourself to that speaker who came to your class, the professional who took time to judge the contest you’re participating in, and the junior board member who goes to that college you think is cool. Volunteer at events – Want to get in the same room as the above mentioned individuals? Show up…

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Yes, my kids are RAISED IN THE BARN!

Some say my kids are raised in a barn like it’s a bad thing. I’m here to tell you on the contrary, it’s the best thing. My husband and I have made a conscious decision that we want our kids to be involved in raising livestock from a very young age. In fact I can specifically remember that when we brought each one of them home from the hospital as a newborn bundle of joy, our first stop was the barn before we even set foot into our house. I have pictures of each of the kids fresh out of the hospital in their car seats, sitting on the barn floor in front of the sheep feeders with curious ewes and dogs coming right up to sniff the new addition to the family. That’s a memory that I will always cherish. Now that my three kids are ages 7, 4 and 2, and we’re in the heat of lambing season during February in Ohio, I am starting to truly see values being infused into their tiny little souls as a result of being in the barn during lambing season.  To call specific attention to my point, I believe there is significant value in involving your children in raising livestock. Some might ask “Why?” so here is my answer to why my family chooses to raise our kids side-by-side while raising livestock.   There’s something miraculous about witnessing a new life come into the world. I believe any mother or father…

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9 Things They Just Don’t Understand

  If you have friends that are not involved in the stock show lifestyle, these are topics you will constantly find yourself explaining to them. 1. The fact that it is perfectly normal to have best friends that live thousands of miles away from you. We all have that stock show best friend, that person you get so excited to see. Every time you do see them, it is like the “reunion of all reunions”. We met this person at NAILE or National Western, or at Jr. Nationals and this is “our person”. They just get it. No, you don’t have to see them or talk to them every day, but when you do, look out for hours of fun conversation and catching up. 2. I will cry when I sell my animal. “Why are you crying? Don’t you get money for your animal?” I don’t think anyone out there shows livestock for the money. The life lessons and character I see that shine through in stock show kids are why we do what we do. So yes, the animal I worked with all summer does get sold, and yes I will absolutely be upset, even though I knew this going into the project. 3. I promise that everyone dresses like this at the shows. I’ll never forget the first time I went to school in show jeans and square toes. One girl asked me if it was cowgirl day and she missed the memo, so that was slightly embarrassing…but…


Why your five best friends matter

One weekend in high school, I attended an FFA conference along with a few hundred other participants from around the state. The conference was great, the speakers were inspirational, the sessions were motivating, but what I remember enjoying the most was the people around me. They were so uplifting, so motivated, so forward-thinking. Spending time with people like that was very impactful, because I, too, felt more motivated. Jim Rohn, successful author and speaker, once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Whether you’re in the high school hallway, on the basketball court or soccer field, in the studio, at your office, or out for the weekend, who you surround yourself with matters. It matters because we are significantly influenced by those around us. If the people around us are goal-driven, we’re more likely to focus on our goals. If our teammates have a positive attitude, we’re more likely to see the glass as half full. If our friends see the bigger picture, we’re more likely to think about solutions from a wider perspective. Of course, it works the other way, too. If the people you surround yourself with are whiny, short-sighted, dramatic, lazy, or uninvolved, you’re more likely to take on some of those characteristics, too. So, of whom are you the average? Who are the people you spend the most time with in your home community, at school, and in your free time? Who are your circle of friends in…

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