Growing up around the cattle industry my Christmas was different than many of my friends’. Instead of new clothes or the latest technology, I often received gifts that would be added to the show barn and my herd.
As an eight-year-old I couldn’t have been more excited to figure out what was under all that wrapping paper on the morning of Christmas. As I began tearing into a large box with a camera in my face awaiting to see my surprised look, I took out all of the paper and discovered a small picture, little did I know that picture would change my world. I had just received my first show steer.
5 Things you might get for Christmas if you show livestock: 1. Your next set of show calves
Not only did I receive my first show steer in a wrapped box, but many other steers and heifers along the way. My first steer was Woody and I went on to show him at my first junior nationals in 2009 in Tulsa, OK.
2. The newest show barn speaker
This one was on my Christmas list every year, but my parents knew if I ever got the one I wanted they would never be able speak to me again in the barn because I would have the volume up so loud, and they would have to listen to my music.
3. The show kid wardrobe
Receiving clothes has always been my absolute favorite. From jeans to jewelry…lots of jewelry, a few belts, and of course boots. Santa and Christmas always came in very handy when I was in need and they still do now as a sophomore in college.
4. The latest show supplies
My first “big” Christmas present for the show barn was of course a new blower. (I asked for pink, but unfortunately, I got a black one instead. That was probably the right decision now looking back, thanks Dad).
5. All of the many shows we attend each year
While this may not have been a wrapped present under the tree each year, I know how much hard work my parents put in to let me experience the “show life” and have the success I have been fortunate enough to have over the years. Spending family time in Kansas City, Denver or at the JNHE surrounded by livestock is one of the best gifts that keeps on giving.