9 Ways Our Livestock Make Us Humble

Growing up raising and showing cattle, lambs and hogs has taught me the most valuable life lessons. While there are many fond memories of fun and success, there are also some not-so-pleasant instances that I often recall. I whole-heartedly believe that my involvement within the livestock industry has shaped me into the person who I am today. I have learned to get back up when I fall, try again when I fail, and put my best foot forward in all that I do. Our livestock teach us more than we may realize – both emotionally and physically. Here are my 9 Ways Our Livestock Make Us Humble –

1. You learn to withstand the coldest winters and hot and humid summers. In Minnesota, temperatures fall under -45 degrees below zero. Whipping wind, flying snow and pelting ice makes tending to your livestock a bit more difficult and less desirable. For whatever reason, it seems that livestock have a keen ability to give birth on the coldest days of the year. On the other side of the spectrum, 90 degree days in the summer can be miserable. With high humidity, just walking to the barn can cause a person to break a sweat! Harsh weather conditions may make chores challenging, but that makes this lifestyle all the more rewarding. Going in to a heated home in the winter, or an air-conditioned house in the summer, allows us to realize all the more blessings we have in our lives that we often take for granted.

2. You learn to take your time and do things the right way. Putting half the effort into a job will always yield half of the intended results. You and your livestock are a team, and can be a winning team if you put forth the time and work. Our livestock may not always cooperate, but giving up will not get you any further in the race.

3. You learn how to be a good sport – win or lose. Today’s culture has set the standard that everyone is a winner. This approach does not prepare children for the ups and downs of life that they will experience. This “handholding fantasy” is not going to better our youth, or form them into the leaders of tomorrow. While society may have eliminated the divide between winners and losers, life has not. Competition matters and makes a difference. Life presents competition day in and day out, and in many occasions the outcome is not fair. Everyone may not always “play by the rules.” As a result, an individual must practice acceptance, implement problem-solving, and be able to move forward while doing what is right. Without competition, we eliminate discipline, goal-setting, confidence, pride, guts and glory for future generations to come.

4. Everything revolves around the time schedule of your S.O…aka, your show heifer. Your friends call you and invite you for a night on the town. Sorry, but until chores are done, you are unavailable! Growing up, all of my friends would spend their summer days at the beach. Meanwhile, the closest that I ever got to the beach was rinsing my calves at our wash rack.

5. There is always work to be done. Rest is for the weary. Completing one task in the barn always seems to lead to three more.

6. You learn how to work with others. Adapting to different personalities of people is challenging enough. Throw some animals in the mix, and it can be a major challenge! Not only do you need to work well with your family and get along with fellow exhibitors, but you also need to understand your livestock. Animals have an amazing ability to sense emotions. If you are upset, they will become upset and uncooperative as well. It is vital to learn from each other’s differences in order to move in the positive direction together.

7. You become stronger than you think. We have all been cornered and put into a “man vs. beast” life-or-death situation with our livestock. Learning to think on your feet, remain calm and collected, and problem-solve in an instant are valuable life lessons. Remember, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”

8. You learn that patience truly is a virtue. Halter-breaking alone can be a major test of your patience. You have to realize that just as it takes time for a person to learn, it also takes time for an animal to build a habit. Dedication is working day in and day out with an animal, knowing you may not achieve your end goal. However, you cannot expect to experience success if you do not put in the effort ahead of time. Rinsing, combing, washing, blowing and exercising all take a lot of time. When animals do not behave, you have to be patient and know that things will soon take a turn for the better.

9. You realize that although you have spent innumerable hours working with an animal, in the end, you wouldn’t have spent it any other way. Animals do not always behave their best on show day, but knowing that you did as much as you could to get them where they are today is reward in itself. Furthermore, there is no better feeling of accomplishment as great as achieving success in the show ring. In an instant, you are confirmed that all of the frustration, blood, sweat and tears was definitely worth it.

Shared from Ranch House Designs

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