“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 the time of coming off a big win, but remember you can’t get to the top by yourself.
Take a few minutes to reflect on your show career and think of 5 or 10 people who really influenced it. Even farther than that, think about your life and who has been there for you. I encourage you to thank them. Thank them for taking their vacation to come support you at the state fair. Thank them for bringing you some new show shirts because last year’s is running a little small. Thank them for road tripping with you and listening to your awful playlist. Thank them for being your biggest fan!