They'll say it isn't reflective of our industry, that it doesn't teach kids about commercial operations, etc.
To that - I'd respectfully disagree.
Showing cattle matters.
Because it helps create & shape youth that matter.
Kids that show cattle can load up a trailer, and set off to a show halfway across the country by themselves, because they know how to care for their livestock, and budget their money so they still have enough for diesel on the way home.
They wake up early before school, to feed and care for their animals.
They stay up late in the evenings working hair, feeding rations and making sure their steer is rinsed one more time before they head to bed.
They know how to win humbly, and lose graciously.
They know how to respect others.
They know how to receive critique, how to ask questions, and how to push just a little bit longer.
They know how to evaluate their own cattle and others; and how to defend themselves verbally in front of a judge.
They know that one little tweak in the showring can be the difference between a championship slap....or nothing.
They know that whether you placed first or last....you still need to shake the judge's hand.
They know that those around them are trying to beat them in the ring....but when they walk out that gate, if a fellow showman needed the proverbial shirt off of their back, they'd hand it to them in a heartbeat.
They know what it's like to chase the purple.
We help with a few shows a year, and while we don't have kids ourselves, we know how important it is to provide opportunities for kids and young adults to show their livestock.
Why? Because they're our future. More importantly, they are agriculture's future.
And for them, the experience of showing cattle matters.
And making kids feel like they matter; well....it needs to matter to us.
Let's make sure these kids know that they matter.
Success is reason enough.