Growing up showing livestock was probably one of the best things that ever happened in my life. Being at a stock show prepared me for my future, and taught me that the lessons learned would carry along with me for the rest of my life. Here are some of the ways that showing livestock teaches you life lessons:
- Practice makes you better. Stock shows are never won in the arena, they are won the months before the show preparing. "It's not always about winning, but learning."
- You aren't always going to get things right the first time. When your animal gets out of line at a stock show, you get it back in line. You can sit around and do nothing, or you can do everything to change your situation.
- Sometimes things go wrong. Animals have a mind of their own, and learning how to manage them in tough times will help you learn how to handle stress with confidence.
- Confidence is key. While showing a one ton animal, I learned that my confidence was the key to success. I wanted to show everyone all of my hard work, and my confidence helped me do that.
- To many their animals were always the best in their mind. The judge didn't always see it that way. I learned that criticism can help you improve.
- When showmanship comes up, you learn the smallest details can make a difference. The judge is looking for one person who presented their animal the best. In life, you have to learn how to present yourself, to get the job of your dreams.
- Always be on your toes. When the judge comes up and asks you a question about your animal, it's best to be prepared. It also comes in handy when a runaway animal comes your way.
- How to handle competition. When you apply for a job chances are there will be plenty of competition. Competition will help you work harder to achieve your goals.
- You can't always win. In life you will learn that you won't always get everything you want.
- Showing livestock helped me find my calling in life. I knew that as soon as I graduated from high school I was going to go to college and get a degree in agriculture. I would then use that degree and the vast amount of knowledge about the agriculture industry to give agriculturists a voice, and to help them find their own.
- At many state fairs, there are often many people who have no agricultural background walking around the barns. It was such a great experience to teach them some agricultural knowledge. Whether that be the difference between a heifer of steer, or why showing livestock was important. In life not everyone is going to agree with you or understand why you do the things you do. This is especially true for those in the agriculture industry, showing livestock helped me learn how to communicate to the general public about the importance of agriculture.
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