In honor of Valentine’s Day, a day reserved for love and filled with heart, here is a peak into the love and heart of a showman.
Look past the boots, past the show shirts, past the belt buckles. Look beyond the goat, pig, cow, sheep, or turkey. Look closely. There you will see the heart of the showman.
We want our kids to be genuinely good people. People that care, think, and work hard. We want our kids to grow up and be leaders for the future. This is probably one thing, at least, we can all agree on. While there are countless ways to instill these traits in our youth, there is one way that has proven successful time after time—showing livestock.
If you look at the heart of a showman, you’ll most likely find it made of gold and in the shape of some species of livestock, because livestock showman have learned to care deeply and are passionate about what they do. It becomes who they are.
If you look at the heart of a showman, you’ll find both fierceness and gentleness because it takes both to show. One must be fierce and firm with animals, especially when trying to get an animal that out-weighs you by more than little to lead. Gentleness, too, though is vital to build trust and a bond between the showman and animal.
If you look at the heart of a showman, you’ll discover both a friend and a strong competitor because although they will cheer you on, they also know the importance of being an advocate for themselves.
If you look at the heart of a showman, you’ll find respect for others. Respect for the other showmen and the competition they bring. Respect for the judge and their expertise and knowledge. Respect for parents that make showing possible. Respect for an animal that is larger and can out-power them.
If you look at the heart of a showman, you’ll see gratitude for so many things—the opportunity to show, for buyers who support their livestock projects, for parents who spend hours and a lot of money getting them to and from shows, for fellow showman who understand them, for mentors who teach them, for animals that make them into showmen, for the community that showing provides. They are grateful for a great deal of things.
If you look at the heart of a showman, you’ll see dreams that turn into goals. The showman chases after those goals and dreams, and many times they make those dreams reality. It may take years, but they never stop dreaming.
If you look at the heart of a showman, you’ll see a heart that cares profoundly and thinks deeply, because showing livestock is for the passionate, and it requires thought and knowledge. You’ll see a work ethic that is strong, because it takes hard work to show livestock. And, above all else, you’ll see love. Love for livestock. Love for family. Love for the industry. Love for each other. That love and all the traits mentioned run deep because the heart of showman is ever so genuine.
Look at the heart of the showman. It may just be a kid’s heart, but it is filled with so, so much good. Showing livestock has filled so many kids’ hearts with character, dreams, respect, fierceness, and love.
May we all have the heart of a showman.
Photos by: M. See Creative