The time has come. The time when you take your last steps in the show ring. The time that seemed like it would never come, but it also came far too quickly. You might wonder, what now? Below, is a list of things you could take advantage of to remain involved with junior show ring activities.
Help younger family members. If you happen to be lucky like me to have younger family members that are showing, you’ll have the opportunity to help them. You can offer encouraging words as they enter the show ring, showmanship tips, and generally help around the stall or pen. It can be pretty rewarding to be on the sidelines too.
Assist younger youth in your area. One of the most rewarding things I have been able to do has been help first year kids or younger kids with showmanship. They always seem so excited about starting out with their new or first project. They haven’t developed any bad habits and are eager to learn. One of my most rewarding moments was the result of helping a young man with his lamb with showmanship and then he went on and won his showmanship division.
Provide help to the show organizers. There are numerous opportunities to remain involved through assisting the show staff. They are always looking for help and trustworthy people to do the job. I know that this summer, I’ll most likely be providing help at my county fair because I won’t be showing nearly as many as I did as a junior (I’m going to show a few in the open show).
On that note, show in the open show! Especially if you show registered stock, there is ample opportunity to continue showing outside of the junior show ring. You can stay connected to your show friends, and continue networking as well.
Sure, your time may be up in the junior show ring, however there are plenty of ways to remain involved. Since my years as a junior showman have come to a close, I hope to take advantage of the many opportunities available to this, “has been.”
Jennifer Friend was raised on a small cow/calf and sheep farm in Central West Virginia. From an early age she caught the “show bug;” when she was two she told her Mom that she wanted to show a sheep while her Mother was judging a sheep show! Ever since then, she has been showing sheep locally and at the state level. It wasn’t until she was 8 that she was allowed to show a calf and that heifer’s influence is still found in Jennifer’s herd. Besides the show bug, Jennifer competed on 4-H and FFA livestock judging teams and then went on to judge at the collegiate level for West Virginia University. She will be graduating in May 2018 with a BS in Agriculture and Extension Education and Jennifer plans to pursue a career in production agriculture.