It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon. You’re at the county fair, hanging out with your friends on the show box. The sounds of the midway and the smell of deep-fried everything fill the air. There are people everywhere. A stranger walks up and begins to ask you questions about your animal.
“What’s his name?”
“What does he eat?”
“Where do you keep him?” The strangers questions seem endless.
“How could anyone go through life and know so little about animals?” You wonder.
Now, imagine the moment the stranger leaves. Did you and your friends giggle about how uninformed the stranger was or did they give you props for advocating about agriculture?
Youth livestock shows are one to the best ways to spread a positive message about animal agriculture. As a part of the show community, you’re part of the livestock industry family. Even if you don’t live on a farm yourself, you know this family. They’re the ones whose names are on your awards, whose banners are hanging around the show ring and whose businesses sponsored the mulch and the buildings in which you’re showing. They support you, and as a part of the family, you have a job to do.
Talk to that stranger and be proud of your project. Answer all of their questions about animals, no matter how long it takes, and always be loving and factual. Take it farther than the county fair. Share your story on social media, tell your friends why raising animals makes a difference in the world and show them how you care for your animals each day.
Most of the world doesn’t know what you’re doing in the barn, and they don’t understand it, but that’s O.K. because you don’t understand how to underwrite a loan or perform open heart surgery (at least not yet).
In the world, very few of us are lucky enough to grow up with livestock, but all of us still need to eat. So, it’s O.K. that people have questions about their food and from where it comes. Luckily, you’ve already got the answers to their questions. Share your story.
Marlene Eick is a storyteller and coach. As co-owner of Herdmark Media, she helps businesses in agriculture tell their story. As a leadership and career coach, she helps people discover the stories within themselves.