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Why your five best friends matter

One weekend in high school, I attended an FFA conference along with a few hundred other participants from around the state. The conference was great, the speakers were inspirational, the sessions were motivating, but what I remember enjoying the most was the people around me. They were so uplifting, so motivated, so forward-thinking. Spending time with people like that was very impactful, because I, too, felt more motivated. Jim Rohn, successful author and speaker, once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Whether you’re in the high school hallway, on the basketball court or soccer field, in the studio, at your office, or out for the weekend, who you surround yourself with matters. It matters because we are significantly influenced by those around us. If the people around us are goal-driven, we’re more likely to focus on our goals. If our teammates have a positive attitude, we’re more likely to see the glass as half full. If our friends see the bigger picture, we’re more likely to think about solutions from a wider perspective. Of course, it works the other way, too. If the people you surround yourself with are whiny, short-sighted, dramatic, lazy, or uninvolved, you’re more likely to take on some of those characteristics, too. So, of whom are you the average? Who are the people you spend the most time with in your home community, at school, and in your free time? Who are your circle of friends in…

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Choosing The Perfect Calf Blanket

It only makes sense to use a calf blanket for babies during the winter months. We know that these calves need to stay warm and dry during damp, cold winter days. Not only do they need to be comfortable, but blankets will keep them healthier by increasing weight gain. In my past experience, blanketed calves noticeably gain a significant amount of weight versus non-blanketed calves. Here are some points to ponder when choosing the right blanket. 1. How durable is it? Blankets are an investment in the health of your calf—don’t skimp on a cheap one! They should hold up during washing and daily use. If you purchase a good quality blanket, it can be used for years. 2. Is it water resistant? Look for a blanket that is water resistant. It’s important to keep your calf dry during snowy or rainy days. This will prevent them from getting sick and keep you from getting stuck with another vet bill. 3. Does it have straps? Straps are needed to keep your blanket in place on the calf. My personal preference for a closure system would feature a hook and loop front closure that rests on the calf’s chest. Also, I prefer adjustable elastic straps that fit snugly around the calf’s rear legs. Don’t give up on the hunt to find the perfect blanket! Your calf will thank you for it. Renee Hershberger

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When you feel like quitting, try this instead

I get it. It’s cold. If you live north of I-70, there’s a good chance there is snow and ice. Everything seems more difficult in the winter, doesn’t it? Cleaning pens suddenly requires specialized gloves that won’t cut off circulation, somehow keep your hands dry, and still won’t let you get frostbite. Hauling feed now requires skill in ice skating. My personal winter pet peeve: getting dressed to go outside takes longer than the quick barn check itself. In harsh conditions, it’s especially easy to feel like quitting. It’s just going to freeze again tomorrow, why bother breaking up that ice? Surely that one last chore can wait until the weekend, or spring for that matter. You said you were going to work with your animal every day, but that was before all this snow. Your friends have really started bugging you about not going out on the weekend with them any more, so it would easier to just blow off the chores you should really do on Saturday night. When you feel like quitting, ask yourself, “What will I feel like if I quit?” That’s right – what will it feel like when you don’t reach your goal because you gave up your commitment? What will it feel like when you let yourself down? What will it feel like when you know you didn’t do everything possible to achieve your goal? You know the answer. So stick with it, go the extra mile, and tough it out. Even when…

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The ONE thing that makes all the difference

  At the beginning of a new year, it seems all we hear about are resolutions – goals for the new year, changes folks swear they are going to make this time around, and, of course, weight-loss missions. That first week of January, your news feed is flooded with declarations of intent. You probably also notice them at the beginning of every sports season, every school year, and every holiday. We all have goals. We all have dreams about what could be. We might even have one (or more) of those resolutions for the new year. The reason we ALL have goals and dreams is because that’s the easy part. How many posts will you see later this month about those goals? What are the chances you’ll read about someone’s progress in March? Who will be excited to tell you about their improvement this summer? The bigger question, how many won’t? One of my favorite quotes is from Henry Ford. “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” Reputation isn’t the driving force here, but it’s a solid reminder that what distinguishes leaders is the ability to execute. Anyone can set goals. Not everyone will be willing to do the hard work to get there. You have some goals for your livestock project in 2016? Then you need to make the choice to do the work. What will the work look like for you? Depending on your goals, it could mean going to the barn before school,…

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What the pros know about being successful

Have you ever caught yourself saying these things? “If only I had a better wash rack, then…” “When I finally get better at clipping, then…” “We don’t have what [insert neighbor’s name] has, so I can’t…” Yep, I’ve been there, too (on all counts, unfortunately). But here’s the deal. When we’re faced with challenges, it’s easy to to fall into the “if/then” trap, but it doesn’t get you any closer to your goals. Even the most expert and elite professionals started somewhere. And therein lies the key: START. Just start. Start where you are. Don’t wait until you feel ready. Don’t wait until you have all the equipment on your wish list. Don’t wait until you can go every last show. Don’t wait until your barn is perfect. Just start. Successful people – in livestock, sports, business and life – know that what separates the great from the good is the willingness to get started, wherever you are, and then keep working, even when you don’t feel ready or when progress seems slow. So stop making excuses. Walk your pigs. Rinse your calf. Practice showmanship. Clean the pens by hand. Learn as you go. Celebrate the wins and learn from every win and loss. And keep working. Take action. Before you know it, you’ll be on the road to success. But before you can get on the road, you have to get started. What will you start today? Marlene Eick

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Set Goals in January, Not Resolutions

The definition of resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something. “My New Year’s Resolution is going great.”- said everyone ever…on January 2nd. However, by the third week of January, everyone seemingly forgets how dedicated they were earlier in the year. Every decision made had previously revolved around that initial resolution. It’s great to start strong, but what ever happened to finishing up that resolution? Despite Webster’s definition, resolutions just don’t seem to have that concrete sense about them. They are easily overlooked and forgotten by the first few weeks of a new year. To make a change, everyone has to take that first step, but they have to continue and make it a habit. So how do we make changes without creating resolutions? The answer? SET GOALS and create road maps to get there. Give yourself a chance to be successful by taking the time to write down all that you hope to accomplish. Be specific about what you want to achieve. Set timelines and most importantly have an understanding of your motivation behind these goals. Tell people around you your goals and aspirations. Surround yourself with people that help you reach those goals and that help keep you accountable. Put these goals in a spot where you look at them every day and you are constantly reminded to keep focused. I’ll leave you with this; “The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by…

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Set goals, but learn this secret.

I graduated from a small, rural high school. Among the many perks of a small school is often having the same teacher for multiple courses. I had the privilege of learning from Mr. Leuthold for two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one year of pre-calculus, and even though the content changed from year to year, his approach to class was the always the same. Each day we would spend a significant amount of time reviewing the homework problems assigned the previous day, going over the steps we used to arrive at an answer. He wasn’t interested in just the answer that was at the end of the problem; he checked to see how we had gotten there. When quizzes and exams were graded, we earned points for the steps we demonstrated solving a problem and for the correct answer. Mr. Leuthold often discussed the importance of paying attention not just to the answer, but to the “getting there”. Whether you’re showing cattle, lambs, goats, or pigs, you start each project with a goal. Maybe it’s a banner. Maybe it’s to make the cut at the majors. Maybe it’s a breed champion. Maybe it’s getting your name called at the circuit’s banquet at the end of the season. Goals are critical, but know this: paying attention to the “getting there” makes all the difference on the way to your goals. Here are a few tips to make the most of the “getting there” in this year’s project: 1.…

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Welcome to Live. Stock. Life!

To be honest, this whole blogging thing is new to us here at Weaver Leather Livestock, but we’re ready to hit the ground running with fun and useful information for all the ways you live the livestock life! If you’re looking for show hacks, tips from the pros, judges’ perspectives, leadership skills, life lessons, and much more, then you’ve come to the right place. Before we get to it, however, we thought it’d be a good idea to share with you a little bit about us and what we believe in. There are lots of things that make us tick, but if we had to nail it down to just a few that really embody who Weaver Leather Livestock is, we’d have to go with Quality, Heritage, Innovation and Commitment. Why these, you ask? Let us tell you! QUALITY What does quality mean to you? To us, it means the finest materials, skilled craftsmanship, innovative design and attention to detail. You can rest assured that you’ll find them all in each and every product you buy from us. When you choose Weaver Leather Livestock products, you get unparalleled quality that will have you coming back again and again. That’s our promise to you and your success as a showman. HERITAGE Every company started somewhere with big dreams of the future. For more than 40 years, Weaver Leather has manufactured quality products developed by professional experts, tested by you and backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. And it all started with…

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