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Month: July 2016

You may not know them, but they know you

Some of my fondest memories are loading up in the truck with my dad and younger brothers to head to a jackpot show. Chilly mornings, cramped truck rides, and then a day full of showing pigs always made for memorable trips. One weekend I had gotten frustrated, though, and Dad gave me a little pep talk by telling me about some girls older than me who had been very successful in the showring and industry. I didn’t know them but he referred to them as “the Bentley girls” and I understood that the youngest of these sisters was about five or so years older than me. Fast forward to my freshman year of high school. Through some great luck, I attended the National FFA Convention in Kansas City that fall as a freshman. Having been an FFA member all of about 60 days, I wasn’t really sure what was going on and didn’t yet know any of the programs or people. However, my advisor made certain we attended one general session in particular because of the speaker. I can still remember where we were sitting. We were to the right of stage, way up in the top rows, hardly able to see the podium. The time came for the introduction of the speaker. It was the retiring address of one of the national FFA officers. Neat, I thought. The speaker was a girl who had grown up on a farm in Ohio. I was more interested. She had shown pigs…

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Winning is not the Point

With each passing week as the summer rolls on, another junior national comes to a close and more county fairs have named their champions. Maybe you won the banner. Maybe you won your class. Maybe you didn’t bring home any new hardware. Maybe you worked the better part of a year on this project and now feel like you’ve got nothing to show for it. “But winning is not the point.” Pat Summitt, legendary women’s basketball coach, passed away recently and, among the many articles and tributes I read in the days following her death, I came across a column dated June 28, 2016, in the Washington Post written by Sally Jenkins. Included in the column was a letter that Coach Pat Summitt wrote to one of her young players in 1982. The first paragraph of the letter reads: “Shelia, This is your first game. I hope you win for your sake, not mine. Because winning’s nice. It’s a good feeling. Like the whole world is yours. But it passes, this feeling. And what lasts is what you’ve learned. And what you’ve learned about is — life. That’s what sport is all about — life!” So if you win the next show? Awesome. Congratulations, sincerely. But remember, winning passes and what will last with you are the lessons you’ve learned and the foundation you’ve built for yourself. And if you don’t win? Here’s the final section of the letter penned by Coach Pat Summitt: “Winning is fun . . . Sure. But…

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