Why Showing Livestock Matters


Fair season is about over.

Tie outs have been pitched out, stalls have been torn down and the trailers are headed for home.

Market animals have been sold, and breeding stock are ready to be turned out to pasture.

Tack boxes are soon to be emptied, trailers will be unhitched and the ribbons & trophies will be displayed.

And as the show sticks, halters and grooming products are put away for a few months before the next season, one thing remains.

Youth who matter.

I wish I could describe the feeling of entering a show ring.

Or the competiveness that opens up when you grab the halter of a show heifer.

The intensity that takes over as the gate to the ring is opened, and you drive your hog in.

What the heft of a lamb bracing against your leg feels like.

Or the fluidness of a goat who walks with you in the ring as you lightly lead them by their chain.

It’s a fair question.

Showing livestock doesn’t come with a cheap price tag.

First you have to purchase the animal and feed it.

Then there’s the nights in a motel, the meals on the go, and the snacks & beverages that filled the coolers.

The diesel bill and how it probably rivals the Sullivan’s bill…

The entry fees, the registration fees and the health check fees.

But can you put a price on the life skills a child gains while showing livestock?

The child who forges friendships that span species and states.

The way parents can let little kids run around the barn, knowing a community of friends are watching over their well being?

The trust that is developed between a youth & their animal.

Showing livestock is more than just a great feeling or a number in the budget.

Showing livestock is a matter of teaching children life long skills.

  • Multi-tasking.
  • Competitiveness.
  • Responsibility.
  • Hard work.
  • Honest ethics.
  • Flexibility.
  • A willing attitude.

We ask a lot of kids who show animals.

Think about how much is asked on just show day alone:

We ask them to show up to a ring on time,

To multi-task getting an animal ready with preparing themselves and mentally staying in the game.

To balance leading or driving an animal with paying attention to the judge and others in the ring.

We ask them to win humbly, and lose with grace.

All of these things that we ask of a kid who shows livestock; eventually we expect from adults.

Teaching it now in the show ring prepares youth to practice those skills that will be required and desired when they’re grown.

That in itself can explain right there why showing livestock matters and why it’s worth it.


The ability of a child to balance all that is asked in & out of the show ring?

You can’t put a price on that.

And that’s why the cost of showing livestock in the long run is worth it….because it creates youth and future adults that matter.

And we need people that matter.

Showing livestock…..it matters.

It really, truly does.

See you next season…

Article By: Success is Reason Enough – www.sexsoncharolais.com – Darcy Sexson