Showing livestock and growing up around stock shows aren’t something that a child experiences and then quickly forgets. If you grew up around stock shows, you’d probably agree that it was an impactful and life-changing experience.
Whether you are the one who is walking down memory lane or have children today that you are bringing up around stock shows (or both), you’ll probably have some stories to tell. Showing livestock leaves a child with valuable lessons and some priceless memories. Here are just 11 things only kids raised around stock shows will understand.
1. Your Morning Alarm Isn’t for You
When you’re raising livestock for shows, your morning alarm is for your animals. It has nothing to do with you.
2. Livestock get Washing and Grooming Priority
Again, livestock come first. They get to eat, bathe, and be perfectly groomed before any of your basic needs are met.
3. It Pays to Smile at and Shake a Judge’s Hand
There’s a good chance that you’re going to meet the same judges many times at livestock shows. The sooner you begin smiling, shaking their hand, and being friendly, the better.
4. Always Wear Your Boots to the Barn
Even if you just plan on walking into the barn to grab a few supplies, it’s a mistake to wear anything other than your boots unless you want to go shoe shopping.
5. There’s No Such Thing as a Set Meal Time
There are no set meal times when you’re showing livestock. If you’ve been up since 5:00 a.m., a cheeseburger at 10:00 a.m. is perfectly acceptable. Likewise, eggs and bacon at 9:00 p.m. make a delicious dinner.
6. Your Hairspray and Hair Gel Substitutes
Livestock shows are often hot and sticky environments. Even if you forgot your hairspray or styling gel in your day bag, a little dab of Tail Adhesive or Sullivan’s Prime Time will do the trick in a pinch.
7. Being Fair Royalty Means Something
Whether it appeals to you or not on the surface, you should run for fair King or Queen at least once in your lifetime. You’ll have a blast and never forget the experience.
8. Never Get Between a Pair of Fighting Pigs
We’ve all heard the saying, “you never wrestle with a pig.” If you decide to wrestle with two pigs, you’ll just get dirty and will still have two angry pigs.
9. Your 4-H Family is Something to Cherish
Your 4-H family stood by you from the beginning, where they taught you the ropes, helped you load your trailer, weigh your animals, and cheered your successes.
10. All of Your Bank Accounts are “Livestock” Accounts
Whether your bank accounts growing up were a savings or checking account, just about every birthday cash, paycheck, and tax return went towards your next livestock purchase.
11. Use your Stock Show Experience for Scholarship Cash
Your experience raising and showing livestock was valuable in more ways than one. If you know where to apply, you can get some college scholarships based on your stock show involvement.
Stock show kids, current and former, are champions for the hard work and dedication that they put into raising and showing their animals. As Tom Hanks once said, “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.” What are your fondest stock show memories?