Summer show season brings people together
Last year about this time I shared a few words about the summer season in our home, and the joy we experience in spending our days traveling the country showing cattle and spreading the good news about our industry. This past weekend was the begi...
Last year about this time I shared a few words about the summer season in our home, and the joy we experience in spending our days traveling the country showing cattle and spreading the good news about our industry. This past weekend was the beginning of our 11th season out on the road. But this year I sense something different about it - about us. It could be that we are all getting older, that my children are really not children anymore, or maybe it's not anything. However, I sense a sweetness about where we are and where we are going as a family and as cattle breeders.
This past weekend was the Regional Junior show for our kids. It is a wonderful time to come together with all our fellow cattle breeders. We visit and catch up on each others lives and begin the long summer of what has become a quasi family for a few months before we part for the winter. When we arrive, I always remember how comforting and easy the relationships are. They are warm and full of laughter, support for one another and a deep understanding of what it means to be involved in one of the greatest professions on earth - farming and ranching. There are hugs all around and despite the competitive nature of the process, we all cheer for everyone. What we represent together truly matters to us all.
This year our oldest son was honored to receive the award of Champion Senior Showman. Of the ten finalists in the ring that evening, on any given day, any one of them could win, or has won this spot at the top. My son has been close but never won, and it definitely was a goal of his to achieve this place of honor.
Watching the class, I knew that Wyatt was having a good day. He was working well with his heifer and she was listening to him. There were others in the ring having a good day, too. It would come down to the minute details in the end. In a cattle show, champions are chosen with a handshake by the judge. He will generally share his thoughts about the class prior to picking his champion. It is a suspenseful time as you wait for him to put down the microphone and take the walk to his choice and shake their hand.
As a parent, it is one of the greatest moments I have experienced - watching the hard tireless work of your child pay off. And it never gets old to see them succeed. Interestingly enough, the most memorable moment for my son was the one that followed when his fellow competitor, known for great success in the show ring, took time to walk over, shake his hand and congratulate him. It made the victory that much sweeter, to know that those around him were glad to see him win.
We are blessed to be surrounded by so many good people who share a common goal. I spent the entire day receiving congratulations from parent after parent. The most prevalent statement I heard all day was, "He deserved it, and we are so happy for him." I am happy for him too, because I was reminded again how blessed we are to be in the cattle business and the lifelong relationships our children are establishing will carry them through good times and bad. It is a great time to be a farmer. And there is a lesson in this for us all.