It’s Summer Show Season

I grew up showing cattle; it was my passion!  I showed a few sheep also.  I honestly believe that you can take a girl out of the showring, but never the showring out of the girl.  The sights, sounds and smells of a show always bring back memories.  Awesome friends, family, fun times, and great steers. 

"L.J." One of many cross-bred Maine Steers I showed.

 

When I go home to visit Mom and Dad it is inevitable that some thing reminds us of … such and such a steer … do you remember the show when … what ever happened to so and so. 

A long time showman in Indiana told my Dad that “You may not remember all the times you won, but you will always remember the times you thought you should have won and didn’t.”  Those times still make good conversation around the kitchen table. 

Sister, Grandpa and I at the County Fair.

 

Here are two poems I found years ago.  I hope you enjoy them and remember the good days you had showing livestock.

Hank

He bellows mightily

in a show of triumph

a traditional gesture of meeting

and the arena explodes in a wave of unbridled applause.

Standing at the pinnacle am I

the culmination of my toil

that infinite moment of tremendous glory.

A disbelieving smile covers my face

I own the Earth for this long, long minute.

He can feel it, too

aware of his achievement

all eyes upon him.

For this is his moment as well.

Suddenly, in the eyes of others, he is twice as good.

He strides long and proud

if he could smile he would

It’s over, Dad’s buying.

I stay to finish what I’ve started

and humbly accept the round of congratulations

with barley contained jubilance

in every shake of the competitor’s hand.

Now he’s gone

and the moment to our fame sits,

merely collecting dust

and the ribbons aren’t as bright.

My place of tribulation in not a glamorous theater

not a gorgeous villa

but an aging structure with a rust-streaked tin roof

he walked a way on gravel

not a red carpet

and I wore jeans and a polo, not a tuxedo.

But that long, long minute

will always shine bright

in my eyes and in my heart

even though we are now apart

Grand Champion

~Found in the National Livestock Exhibitor~

 
 
 
 

I loved to fit cattle as much as show them.

 

Why Do Cattle Families Do It?

They come from all across the country on the appointed day.  Most should be at home spraying corn or bailing hay.

They broke their best yearlings, and now they are ready to show.  So they have loaded the tailor and headed to the Summer Expo.

For many it’s a family outing as they cross the states.  The pickup is being pushed hard, ‘cause many are running late.

For cattlemen this is the Family vacation- to get away is a bear!  The next one will come in August when they return to State Fair.

The kids have on their Wranglers pressed and creased by all means!  City cousins will never understand why they don’t where designer jeans!

These kids are on a mission; you’ll never call them quitters.  They’re out to produce and fit and show Grand Champion critters.

             It’s a Herculean task, but yet they have a lot of fun.

              But when the judge is finished,there will be just one.

          Why do cattle families do it?  Is it just to get bids?

         It’s to showcase their best crop – Not the cattle, but the kids.

        ~Found in the Simmental Register June/July 2000~

 

Grandpa, Me, Mom, Sister and Dad at the County Fair Sheep Show.

 

Did you grow up in the showring?  What are some of your favorite memories from showing?

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3 Responses to It’s Summer Show Season

  1. Ida says:

    This is all so true! Nothing can replace the memories from days spent with 4-H animals. I did it for 10 years and still think back to those days on a regular basis. My favorite smell in the whole world is cut alfalfa as it is laying out in the field drying. Anyone who know’s me know’s I have thought for a long time that they sould make an “alfalfa” airfreshner! A couple weeks ago I was in Eric’s barn and there was part of a square bale of alfalfa. I couldn’t resisit and picked up a large handful and smelled it…….took my right back to the sheep barn at the Thomas County Fairgrounds where I spent so much time! 🙂 Oh the memories and the pictures. I always say I never needed stuffed animals growing up…I had real animals. 🙂

    Growing up judging in 4-H, FFA and in college I still find myself “judging” animals all the time. Just the other day at the clinic I was helping test bulls and a client brought in three bulls to be tested and two were going to go to another client. I thought to my self right away…I like those two and I do not like this one. In the end…..the new owner chose the same two I had without missing a beat. I smiled to myself and thought “good choice my friend, good choice.” It’s crazy how those things never leave a person! 🙂

  2. Rosie says:

    I did grow up in the show ring, and loved every minute of it. I don’t think people removed from agriculture realize how many valuable skills and lessons can be picked up from 4-H or Junior Breed Organizations! Thanks for the post, made me smile 🙂 I’ll be following along with your blog!

    absolutelyagriculture.blogspot.com

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