10 Things You Understand If You Show Livestock

If you’ve grown up in the livestock industry your lifestyle can be a lot different than someone who has not, and chances are several of these 10 things are very relatable to your life.

1. “I can’t I have to feed.”
If I’ve said this line once I’ve said it a million times. If you have livestock, you schedule everything you do around them. Which isn’t a bad thing, it allows us at a young age to prioritize things and take responsibility.

2. Wash Rack or Water Fight?
Most livestock folks don’t get to freely go to the beach or a waterpark like other people do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with what you’ve got. If your family is anything like mine the wash wash rack sometimes turned into a water fight if the day was hot enough. Who says you’ve got to be all work and no play right?

3. All your time is spent in the barn.
You spend a majority of your time dedicated to the barn, especially in the summertime. There’s a lot more to showing that just leading your animal around the ring, and it starts with the behind the scenes work put in everyday back home. From 4 A.M. wake up calls to get your steer inside to walking your pig for hours after school or practice you work hard and are glad to spend any free time you have with your livestock.

4. Chores counts as a workout, right?
With showing livestock, I believe it is very unrealistic to get the proper daily aerobic workout in that you need to stay in shape. Luckily for us livestock folk, our work can can double as a work out, or at least I’m counting it as one. Who needs a fancy treadmill, when you’ve got to run after the herd of cattle who are heading pretty quickly toward the open gate. Feeding and exercising the stock or carrying hay or straw bales gets you moving, and let’s face it even brushing on your cattle can be an arm workout some days. Farm workouts may not be the most traditional form of exercising, but it sure does get the job done.

5. Where are you going on vacation this summer? “Junior Nationals”
It’s not very often a livestock family goes somewhere that’s not involving their stock or a show. If your summers were anything like mine, vacation was whatever location Junior Nationals were at that year. It was never a bad thing, because thanks to the livestock industry I’ve got to go to some states that I would’ve never got to go to before. Now would I rather have flown out to some of them instead of riding 16+ hours in a truck and trailer, yes probably, but that’s part of the bonding time on vacation right?

6. Barn Concerts.
There’s always been something relaxing about the sound of the fans running, or the sound of the blower to me, but I do love to turn the stereo on and blare the music as loud as I can. We all have our go to playlists to get our days started or to wind them down, or even to pump us up on show day.

7. Long distance friendships are very normal
I met my very best friend thanks to showing livestock, and many kids in this industry can say the same. We get the chance to meet so many people from all across the United States, and to build friendships with these people as time goes on. With these friendships we never freak out when we don’t see each other for quite some time, because let’s face it we’ve been working on this relationship since we were 7.

8. “Why is everyone staring at me? Oh yea I have my chore clothes on.”
Every single one of us know the stare as we walk into the gas station, local grocery store, or even Walmart wearing our chore attire. Now I personally have never figured out if its my actual appearance or the sweet aroma coming from my clothing that makes them turn their heads, but regardless I can feel their stares burning through my soul.

9. We all have those shows we look forward to every year.
We put so much hype on just a few shows every year. The North American, or otherwise referred to as “Louisville” I believe has got to be one of the most looked forward to shows of the year. We all have our shows we love to go to and are sad as soon as it’s over, but that’s what keeps the drive going in each and every one of us.

10. “Livestock Talk”
“Go pull that back leg”, “Driving” your pig, “Bracing” your sheep, “Hey, Loin her top”, “Popping in her pasterns”, “Sow bellied”, “Working Hair”, and can’t forget the number system for the legs when you’re trying to set up your heifer or steer. There is so much terminology we use on a daily basis that a non-livestock person would never understand. You don’t even think twice anymore when you’re talking livestock around the general public, but the dazed and confused looks remind you, you’re not speaking the “normal” lingo.