• General,  Stock Show Life

    Thank a Stock Show Kid

    Many livestock judges, at some point during Showmanship or the Grand Drive, will often look at the fresh faces of the stock show kids in and around the ring and deliver a similar message: Thank your parents. Thank your grandparents. Thank your breeder, advisor, or agent. Thank whoever it is that got you to this point. The ones that help make it possible for you to be a stock show kid.   I love that. I love judges taking time to ask youth to recognize how blessed they are to be stock show kids. To value the time, effort, and money it takes the grown-ups in their lives. I don’t…

  • General,  Leadership,  Stock Show Life

    4 Principles to Step up Your Showmanship

    Recently, I helped with a Master Showmanship clinic for cattle, sheep, and hogs. As I prepared for this event, I came up with 4 principles across the board to step up your game. Showmanship is more than how you brace or how you hold a halter, it’s about your ability to present an animal in the most effective way possible. These 4 principles, once mastered, will help you step up your showmanship to the next level. Intensity. This is one of the more difficult principles to master. Intensity is about being focused on the actions you’re taking and making sure there is purpose in each of them. Being in the…

  • General,  Stock Show Life

    After You Take Your Last Steps

    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…

  • General,  Leadership,  Stock Show Life

    Don’t Mistake Confidence For Cockiness

    When I began raising market lambs, I knew absolutely nothing. I would have them for three months, sell them at our small town fair, and gawk at the sight of my paycheck by the end of my project. When I started developing a greater passion for showing livestock, I decided to take lambs to our county fair as well. I ended up winning my showmanship division and I was over the moon! I couldn’t believe that my first time ever showing alongside big time competitors, I was the one that rose to the top. Because this was my first big win, my parents pumped me up. A LOT. And so…

  • 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,  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,  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…

  • Stock Show Life

    6 Friends You Need at a Stock Show

    Everyone has their stock show crew. Their buddies. Pals that have specific talents. These six friends will definitely heighten your stock show experience. Tech Guy There’s an online sale. You HAVE to get those online registrations in for the Jr. Nationals TONIGHT! A new season of “The Ranch” just dropped on Netflix. But your stupid phone, your laptop or tablet just won’t connect. Isn’t there internet everywhere?! You start to panic. Calm down and find the tech guy. His hands may be stained with Maxx Black, his knees may be dirty from kneeling under a heifer all day, but he knows his 3Gs, 4Gs, broadband and Wi-Fi. He can get…