Characteristics of a Showmen: Adaptability & Accountability
As a showmen, it's your duty to put your animals needs and concerns before your own. It's explicitly your task to make sure that your animal is fed, warm, and safe before you even sit down to eat dinner. Keeping your animals best interests in mind isn't always easy, especially when you have put in a full years work on a wether who decided to get an infected salivary gland 2 weeks before state fair.
This summer my adaptability was pushed to its limits. I had questions with no certain answer and it was my sole responsibility to make the right choices for my animal. Should I just leave him home, will it affect his eating, is it legal to bring him to shows, and how should we treat him? The list goes on. As a showmen you must be adaptive, and be accountable for the adaptations you make.
So I made a choice, I chose to continue showing him with an alpaca halter rather than a chain so that it didn't rub his sore, I chose to moisten his feed to help him eat, I chose to have a long discussion with the vet about the best thing to do. It was my adaptability that allowed me to continue showing my weather this summer. It was my accountability that pushed me to make the choices that I did. In the end I made the correct choices; the infection only lasted about a week, the swelling went down, and he was in peak condition for state fair. But sometimes we don't make the correct decisions; we do not adapt properly, and it's our accountability that forces us to take responsibility for that.
Sometimes we are faced with situations that are seemingly impossible. New strict legislation, public pressures, and misunderstandings are beginning to cripple the agricultural industry. As the next generation of agriculturalist, showmen, stewards, and leaders of American Agriculture it is our duty to be adaptive in our ever changing world and be accountable for our actions.