March 12, 2020
The spring months are some of the most exciting in the Hereford breed. From national show season, to production sales and the beginning of calving season, this is the time of year when breeders get to see their genetic progress. Cattlemen across the nation are preparing to showcase the progress they have made throughout the year.
Likewise, many are starting to see if the breeding decisions they made a year ago are going to be effective. It is exciting and nerve-racking at the same time because of the unknown potential behind the decisions they have made. The lessons and decision making skills we learn through agriculture and the cattle industry are so important to everyday life. Being able to evaluate and decide which choice is going to provide the most potential in the future is comparative to what many youth face during the milestone moments in their life.
What sports should I play? Do I go to college? What career field do I want to be apart of? Where do I want live?
All these are decisions young people face could have large implications in their future. Just like the choice of which bull you breed to can greatly impact your breeding decision the following year. Yet, many times we look at these life decisions as daunting tasks.
As a young boy, I would always come home from school and run to the mailbox eager to find next sale catalog or Hereford World in the mail. It was always exciting to sit down and read through the pedigrees, list of national champions, and see the genetic progress breeders were making and the different bulls which had become some of the next popular sires in the breed.
Breeding decisions are something that excites me because of the overwhelming potential. I saw mountains of opportunity in the multitude of bulls that could be chosen from, and I was always excited to see the next generation of calves hit the ground.
This is the same excitement that we should see in our life decisions. The endless supply of opportunities that Hereford youth faces can be overwhelming at times, but it is important to remember that the potential of what we can do and where we can go is endless. Just like breeders choose the breeding combinations that match their operation, juniors need to choose the path in life that best works for them.
There is no cookie-cutter choice for young people to make in their walk through life because we all have different experiences and goals. The true beauty in that is that you are never restricted to staying on the same path. Just like a poor breeding combination, some choices you make may not turn into the future you want and it may set you back. However, there is always the next choice to be made that can direct your path just like a change in breeding philosophy can change the quality of your calf crop.
Hereford youth who are graduating high school are in one of the most exciting times of their lives because they have the freedom to try different things and explore their interests. We strive as a junior association to help our youth explore their interests and develop skills that they can showcase in their career.
A great way to do this is through the Bridging the Gap Career Fair at the Junior National Hereford Expo or attending the Faces of Leadership Conference. This time of change is one of the most exciting parts of life involving all the energy that surrounds the cattle industry this time of year.