When You Start Showing Livestock...
When you start showing livestock, your life will forever be changed. There will be no more days spent being selfish, because you will have to be selfless to raise a Grand Champion. You will start out by chasing those purple banners and big shiny buckles, but soon realize that those things are the least important. They all will fade and tear, the memories and friendship will be something you hold onto forever. When you start showing livestock, you will gain new friends. You will be surrounded by people that share the same interests as you do. You will be involved with others who are passionate about agriculture. A passion that you will share with them, or learn about as soon as you walk in the show ring.
When you step in the show ring, it will scare you. You will have second thoughts about leading a one ton animal around in a ring, but after all is said and done, you will have a greater confidence in yourself. You will be presenting your showmanship abilities in front of a crowd of people, all while competing against others who are feeling the same emotions as you. You'll learn that the nerves will soon fade as you and the animal begin walking in the ring.
When you walk in the show ring, that walk is the most watched and admired thing. A walk that is so in sync that it is remarkable. One of the most impressive things about showing livestock is how the exhibitor and the animal take the same steps. Yeah you might have a halter on that steer, but if he doesn't trust you, that halter won't hold him from running. The trust shows through that walk around the ring. Every step you take, and every move you make they are right there beside you.
When you start showing livestock, you will learn that a handshake is essential. Win or lose, you better shake that judges hand. A handshake is beneficial, because you will see that judge again. They remember if you exhibited good showmanship or not. Make a friend, and shake a hand.
When the show is over, there will be lots of tears and hugs after a show. When you win your family and friends will hug you and tell you how proud of you they are. When you lose your family and friends will come up and tell you that they are still proud of you. Your livestock showing family will be there through the good times and the bad. They really are one of the best types of families to have.
It's who you are, it's not just a jacket. The FFA or 4-H jacket will make you hotter in summer, and keep you cold in winter. Regardless, you will wear it with pride. You will be representing your hometown and state in the back of your jacket. In the front, you will always be reminded that you are also representing yourself. Represent them well and wear the jacket with pride. There will come a day when you find yourself wishing you could wear it just one more time.
When you start showing livestock, you will grow with knowledge from real world problems and agriculture education as well. You will find a greater respect for livestock after showing them. If you can, you should try to get involved in showing. It'll make a positive difference in your life.
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