One of the coolest parts of my childhood was showing animals, and I would love nothing more than for my kids to be able to do the same one day. But if you didn't grow up in the livestock world yourself, it can seem a little overwhelming at first. Despite this, here are five reasons you should take the plunge and join the show world.
1. They'll learn the value of a dollar
Showing livestock isn't really a free hobby to pick up, but it has a lot of learning moments to it. Get kids involved in the whole process, including the budgeting of feed and care. That's how most of my friends growing up first started ever learning about money, and it made their transition into adulthood that much smoother.
2. And they can even make some money
When it comes time for the animals to finally go to auction, the goal is always to at least break even, but ideally to make a profit. That's how I paid for my half of my first car, from the money I made selling my livestock. College fund, anyone?
3. It's a great way to make friends
Some of the closest friends I've ever made, I met from 4-H and livestock shows. I've made the best memories with these people, and I'm beyond thankful for the opportunity I had to meet them.
4. They'll learn how to win humbly
Nothing feels better than that handshake that names you Grand Champion. You want to smile and celebrate, but, there's a right way to do it. Smile, shake the judge's hand, say thank you and shake the hand of your competitor. Save the celebration til you're out of the ring.
5. And to lose graciously
You win some, and you lose some. Some days you won't place as well as you hoped, but it happens. You can't throw a fit just because you didn't win. Shake the judge's hand, listen to what they have to say, and congratulate your competitor.