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Month: April 2016

Why you must empty the wheelbarrow tonight

We’ve all been there. It’s been a long day. School, then practice, then chores and now it’s late. The sun has gone down and you’ve just finished in the barn for the night. Except there’s still that one lingering task. The wheelbarrow you filled today is still sitting by the door. It needs to be emptied. You know it should be emptied, but you are tired, you tell yourself. Plus there’s homework to be done. It can surely wait until the morning. And it could. It could wait until morning. It could wait until you’ve come to the barn to start the next day’s tasks. Now that you mention it, those record books you’ve been meaning to keep up could wait until next week.The project you’ve committed to helping with for your 4-H club or FFA chapter could wait until next month. There are so many things the you could push back to a later date, and just think of all the time and energy you’d save right now! But can they really wait? Your favorite running back doesn’t stop a few yards short of the goal line. Leaders know the ability to deliver results puts you on the path to success, and delivering results means not leaving work unfinished. So often we let things go that would only take us a few minutes to complete. We justify it to ourselves in the name of saving time or effort in the short run. Without fail, the time you don’t spend…

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“I Never Would Have Made it This Far on My Own”

“And I hope they know I never would’ve made it this far on my own. Where would we all be without those fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, the friend’s we’ve made? I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for those I’ve loved along the way.” – Eric Church This screamed out to my stock show family. I was driving to a lamb sale the other day and was in tears from hearing these words. You know how people say, “It takes a village to raise a child“? Well it definitely takes an army to raise a stock show kid! Think about it… Could you have made it this far in your show career without that support system you have? I can guarantee you couldn’t have done it on your own. I know the success that I had while being in 4-H directly reflected the numerous people I relied on to help me, support me, encourage me, and above all, love me. Showing livestock is truly a family sport. You may not be related by blood, but a common bond and a common goal can be just as strong. Think of those who helped you before you had success, when it was just a dream that seemed too good to be true. The people who not only believe in your dreams and aspirations, but those who took an active role in helping you achieve them should be thanked and appreciated. I know I didn’t always think of that at…

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Influence: How you can change the world

Maybe you don’t think it’s possible, but whether you realize it or not, we all have an influence on the world. Influence is your ability to affect change in the world around you and the truth is that you affect change whether or not you’re even trying. You are already exerting influence. You do make a difference. What kind of difference do you make? What kind of influence do you have? Is it positive? Or something else? Do you encourage your friends to skip practice or do you encourage them to practice harder? Do you stand idly by while someone gets teased or do you step in and say something?  Do you speak poorly of others when you don’t place very high at the show or do you demonstrate a positive attitude? Even when you’re not directly interacting with someone, you can still influence them. Your behaviors and attitudes are often observed by younger exhibitors, younger players, and younger students. What kind of influence do you have with them? No matter what you do, or don’t do, you are influencing the world around you. What happens to your team when you skip practice? You get out of sync and you hold your hard-working teammates back. However, when you encourage your teammates to practice harder, everyone gets better and the team moves forward in a positive direction. Each scenario plays out the same way. Your actions hold influence. Every choice you make influences the world.  If you could change the world around you,…

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When I Say, “I Miss Showing Livestock”…

…here’s what I really mean.   When your show career is finally over, there will be so many things that you miss at first. Reality pretty much sinks in the first time you head out to the barn to feed, water and work with your animal… but the barn is empty. Here is where you spend those early mornings and late nights. It’s where your lambs would greet you as you approached the gate. The barn is special, but it’s certainly not the only place you’ll miss. As time goes on, you find that you miss the things that you might have taken for granted.   1. The Rush There’s no feeling quite like entering the ring. The pressure is on and it’s show time! I think as you grow up that feeling is rarely found and it is one that you should hold on to and enjoy each time you step into the ring. 2. The Road Trips Spending January and February on the road searching for the “Great One”. So many memories are made on the road! 3. Your Animals It’s hard not to miss your animals. I’ve spent more time in the barn with my animals over the summer than with any one of my friends. 4. The People You will miss the time with the people that you care about and bonded with over a shared passion of showing and raising livestock.   5. Sharing Goals You will miss sharing the goals of success with your…

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