Meet Best of the Barns Sheep Showman – Sam Schmillen

Iowa Native, Sam Schmillen is no stranger to being in the sheep show ring. His work ethic and positive attitude about life make Sullivan Supply proud to introduce him as your 2022 Best of the Barns Sheep Showman.  Get to know Sam a little more below and what drives him to the winners circle.

Most Memorable Show: 2 shows come to mind so I’m going to list both of them.

The 2021 Iowa State Fair, that was the year our family battled a ton of adversity. I had broken my ankle and shredded a ligament at the end of February, two weeks later my Mom had some major medical issues from a blood clot, and a few weeks after that we had all of our keeper ewe lambs killed by a pack of dogs. We had actually stopped filling our show string because we weren’t sure if I’d even be able to show. Early in the season, we had some very good friends’ step in and help us out when we were all laid up. 2021 ended up being the year I won both Grand and Reserve at the Iowa State Fair and we couldn’t have done it as a family without some very special people.

The other show that comes to mind was the 2018 Arizona National show. This has to be one of the most laid back and relaxing shows once you arrive in Phoenix. It was just Dad and myself, Mom and Brooke Bowen stayed home to lamb out the ewes. After winning that show we had the opportunity to take our lamb to the Capital building for pictures, they also flew up to the farm to do the interview later in the Spring. That show really does a great job of making you feel like you are a part of something special. Dad also snagged tickets to see the Golden State Warriors while they were in town which was very cool.

Most Memorable Show Animal: “Willy”, he was my Reserve Overall Lamb at the North American in Louisville. I was 11 at the time and just getting started so he gave me that boost of confidence that it takes in the beginning of a show career to go out and compete against the older kids.

What is your go to song for road trips: “God’s Plan” by Drake

What are you most excited about in the future: I have a lot of lofty goals in the show ring for the next 2 years. I’m excited about the set that I have in my barn for this year and seeing how they continue to progress as the year goes on. I would like to make a run at these Fall National shows before my show career is over.

I’m also having fun watching and working alongside my 2 younger siblings, Brittney and Archer. For the longest of times they were just tag alongs and now they have their own projects. Brittney had a great 1st year of 4-H last year and this year she is eligible to show at the Iowa State Fair. Having the livestock has allowed us to bond even though there is a 5-year age gap.

What’s one interesting fact about yourself: I’m 6’7”…slightly tall for showing sheep.

Favorite Sullivan Supply Product: We are a big fan of “Rejuvenate” Shampoo. It’s been in the Schmillen showbox for at least 4 years now. It’s one of those shampoo’s that cleans the hide but doesn’t dry it out like some other brands. Those shows when it is especially hot, Rejuvenate keeps the hide hydrated without that wrinkled out look.

What’s your Favorite Motivational Quote: Don’t decrease the goal. Increase the effort. Make adjustments, not excuses.

Tips/Tricks for Success on Showing: Surround yourself with the right people. Showing livestock is a hard game, but when you have a good family support system and key people that are there for advice and tips…plus they’re fun to be around….there is nothing better than a livestock show!

Way to go again Sam, on being a standout showman. Good luck to him and all the junior exhibitors as we all gear up for a fun family filled stock show summer. Stay tuned as we get to know more of the 2022 standout showmen this week.

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