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Show season gives an opportunity to share

It has been a rather tough spring at our house. The weather has been uncooperative as we anticipate and navigate through planting. But we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and summer is just around the corner. Summer is by far my...

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Wyatt and Wynn (pictured in front) Lawrence showing their cow at the Minnesota State Fair. (Marytina Lawrence/Special to Agweek)

It has been a rather tough spring at our house. The weather has been uncooperative as we anticipate and navigate through planting. But we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and summer is just around the corner. Summer is by far my favorite time of the year. Our cattle get a much needed move to green lush pastures and the show season begins.

As my children have grown, the number of miles we travel to cattle shows has grown as well. This year will mark our furthest trip yet when we head off on an 18 hour trek to Louisville, Ky., for the Junior National Show.

I can't wait. It is considered vacation time for a cattle family to travel the country and visit with other farmers that raise cattle, catch up on each others lives and show our best animals to the world.

It has proven to be one of the most productive life lessons my children have experienced through the years and has allowed for opportunity to advocate for our industry in ways I never anticipated.

Most of our shows are in a county or state fair setting that is open to the general public, and as a result, we have many visitors big and small who want the chance to touch and feel the significance of a "cow." Some for the first time ever! My farmer and I have encouraged our children to be outgoing, kind and merciful with those that have the courage to approach and ask.

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You see, I have learned through trial and error that advocacy is not just talking about what you know, but knowing how to show compassion for those who don't. In many cases the general public wants so badly to ask, and we don't give them the chance. Our body language, our expression and our attitude can dictate in a split second whether someone will just walk by or pause for a moment to ask what we sometimes can interpret as a dumb question.

And yet my daddy always told me there is no such thing. Better yet, approach them! Offer them the opportunity before they ask. Give them an in, step out of your comfort zone and be human. That is of course what any of us really want in the beginning. We all appreciate kindness and purity of heart. In this day and age we are starving for it.

My children love showing cattle. The only thing they love more is sharing cattle with others. If you exhibit livestock anywhere throughout the summer, consider a new approach, and if you already work hard at sharing, keep doing it!

Fairs and exhibitions are the very best place to show our very best, in and out of the show ring. We may be the only "farm" that some people ever see.

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Related Topics: FARMINGPEOPLE
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