Growing up and being involved in the livestock industry, I’ve discovered it’s this industry that my passion lies. This passion is exactly what led me to apply for the Crew and why I love it so much. Today I want to take some time and share with you ten ways to make the most out of your experience in the livestock industry, whether it be showing, ag-vocating, or anything in between!
Tip #1: Never underestimate the value of connections.
There will be times in your life where you need some extra encouragement, a recommendation (if you are a senior, you will understand this), or someone to be an excellent role model in your life. Never, ever, be afraid to say “hi!” to someone or introduce yourself. This connection building goes for social media too. I have reached out to so many random people who share the same interests and values I do, because why not? We could all use a little encouragement, especially in 2020. You never know what will happen just by reaching out!
Tip #2: Enjoy every second.
Yes, I know the old, cliché phrase “life goes fast” or “it’ll be over in the blink of an eye.” If you are rolling your eyes at this right now, I get it. I hated people telling me that growing up because I was sure that it wouldn’t fly by. Well, as a senior in high school now, I can confidently say jokes on me! My FFA experience and showing career will soon be over, and wow, did that time fly by. While it’ll be good to move on to new things, I know saying good-bye to the blue jacket & the show barn won’t be an easy one.
Tip #3: Your parents are probably right.
If you knew me growing up, and still a little bit now, I am stubborn. In my early teens, I was convinced my parents were always wrong. It turns out they do know a little bit more than what I gave them credit for. They know so much more than us teenagers give them credit for. While sometimes they are hard on me, they are also my biggest cheerleaders, and I think this next story perfectly depicts that. I looked at a photo a while back that Legacy Livestock took of me after I had just won showmanship, and my dad was hugging me with a huge smile on his face. That picture is priceless and shows me how much my parents love and care for me.
Tip #4: Be the bigger person.
If you know anything about me, you know that I don’t do things halfway, and I certainly don’t do anything expecting to lose, and being involved in this industry has shown me how to lose. This includes being happy for whoever beats me, even if it’s not the easiest thing to do! Losing isn’t easy, and no one does anything wanting to lose, but I think it’s still the right thing to do to be respectful to those who beat you. Be the bigger person, shake that person’s hand and tell them sincerely, “good-job.” It’s not hard to do, and it honestly is a gamechanger.
Tip #5: Never forget where you started.
It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the craziness of success, but please never forget where you started. For me, I started on square one. At my first Nebraska State Fair I competed at, I got dead last. While that wasn’t fun, it did show me what I had to do to be competitive at a high level. I watched the older kids who were doing a good job, and while success didn’t come overnight, eventually, it followed all of my hard work and dedication. Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to help that young person out. No matter who you are or where you come from, never underestimate the impact you can make on someone’s life.