Why You Should Show at a National Show Atleast Once in Your Life
The summer was 1986 and it was hot in Texas. Well, all summers in Texas are hot. My family had been involved with Polled Hereford cattle for several years. We had exhibited cattle at the local, county and state levels.
It was that summer that my family loaded up the truck and our bumper pull trailer. We loaded my one heifer and we headed north to our first National Polled Hereford Show. This was an inaugural trip for our family and we were very excited to see what the big show was all about.
Stock show people love to step into the show ring and exhibit their livestock no matter at what level, but everyone should go to a national show atleast once. The experiences and knowledge you will gain on that trip will last you a lifetime.
National Shows are eye-opening extravaganzas typically held in different states each year. There are events outside of showing for both the youth and the adults to participate like public speaking, 3-on-3 basketball, art, photography and even cooking competitions. Most national shows have plans for golfing outings, trips down rapids in Colorado, trips to national museums and more.
Most national shows are a week-long event. For most livestock families, this is their summer vacation. You stay in hotels, swim in the pools and even eat a wide variety of food from all over the country as you meet people from different states. Most people cook while at the shows and you have the chance to eat some of the best gumbo you ever had all the way to real New England maple syrup on pancakes.
Attending a national show can be one of the greatest experiences in life. Winning is important to all of us in the show ring. The nice part about attending a National Show you could win on multiple levels inside and outside of the show ring. The experiences you have at a national show are ones that last a lifetime.
Most national shows bring people from all over the United States and Canada. All the events and activities are designed to build friendships, comradery and sportsmanship. The wide range of people and events allow for everyone to get a bigger and better picture of your breed of livestock. You also make tons of friends - friends that will follow you through life.
Attending a national show will broaden your horizons. Even if you never attend another, you will learn new techniques for fitting, different ways of feeding, stalling your animals, and even new ways to show and exhibit your livestock. You meet people that have the same struggles and successes from all over this great country.
One of the greatest benefits attending a national show is the broadening of your minds. Most of us live and grow up in small rural areas of the country. When you attend a national show, it opens your mind to greater experiences, and will allow you to start a new path of setting goals and building relationships that will last a lifetime.
After attending our first national show, my family went on to attending shows for many years after. Even now that we don’t show, we love to go and spend time at these national shows, see old friends and make new ones. If you have never attended a national show, it is highly encouraged that you go to just one. Experience one of the most spectacular events you will attend in your show careers. And you never know. You might just get addicted and start going to more national shows.
Cover photo courtesy of Montana Ag Photography