3.01.2013

Dear past, meet present. I didn't pick it, but it's kinda nice. Love, Shae
I started showing livestock when I was about 5 years old, but my family's tradition of practically living half our lives in a show barn started long before then. I wanted to show sheep because Katie and Christie showed sheep, and if Katie and Christie did it, it had to be cool. My Uncle Shawn showed cattle, and I very distinctly remember a steer named Midnight going to market. Not cool, Uncle Shawn, not cool at all. Even before those that I remember, my Momma showed pigs and cattle and Daddy showed sheep and cattle. So livestock showing was just kind of in the family genes...speaking of jeans, I wish I could find the picture of little me helping Katie at the County Sale - I'm decked out in pink, jeans included. On second thought, leaving that picture out might not be such a bad idea.

While I won't pretend to wish I was still out in the barn at 5am working lambs every day, I treasure memories of the sound of a newborn lamb and receiving the sweet snuggles of our oldest ewe & my second show lamb, Pazarra. The late nights Daddy and I spent working in the barn might not have always brought out the best in either of us, but I knew the barn was a safe place for my dreams to grow, and that mom and dad would always encourage and support those dreams-turned-passions. I loved every single minute of showing sheep, even those that at the time I might not have liked very much. I learned the value of hard work, that money and success don't grow on trees and that you only get out of something what you put into it. As for my dad? He learned not to make a bet with me if there was a chance he might lose. :)
Kale holding a newborn lamb
I don't always show sheep when my brother needs help, but when I do, I wear white shorts.
My brothers made the switch to steer showing while I was in college, which meant all our sheep were sold to make way for a new adventure: raising cattle, with some horses to play with too. Initially I wasn't overjoyed - they were changing my tradition! I was scared of cattle, because they are big. But I realized Kaden and Kale weren't going to live out my dream - it was time for them to live their own. No matter if it is in the show barn, on the basketball court, on a baseball diamond or in a karate room, I want to see my brothers succeeding and reaching the goals they've set, chasing their dreams. My dream was to win grand lamb at county. I did it. It was time for new dreams to be made, new goals to be set, and new animals to be brought in. Showtime Club Lambs was no more - it was time for the Kennedy fam to raise some cattle.
a newborn calf...okay, I could get used to this adorableness.
 


I think I've adjusted pretty well to life as a cattle rancher's daughter ;) I've petted newborn calves and given kisses to show steers (not many times on either, but hey, I've done it). I've even fed the cows without getting trampled and walked my brothers' steers without being drug all over the place! The sound of weaning calves might be more annoying than the "baa" of a little lamb, but it's just as sweet. In the end, being involved in agriculture, watching my brothers succeed, seeing the leadership developed through FFA and 4-H, the responsibility developed by raising, caring for and showing an animal - that's what I love. As the FFA creed says, "...I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny..." It applies regardless of it is with sheep, cattle or baby giraffes (speaking of: Daddy, I want this. Please.).
Pailynn helped me hold Kaden's steer at the County Sale last night.
County Sheep Show 2010 - the last year my brothers showed sheep.

And now, for some humooooooor:





7 comments:

  1. I love the Old McDonald had a farm one! hahaha

    Happy Friday!

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    1. Haha, I thought it was hilarious too! :)

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  2. okay that's so awesome! What a cool part of your life.
    ps: the picture at the top, which was on instagram too, is amazing!

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    1. Thank you Veronica!! It is awesome to be involved in.

      Isn't that picture cute?! The steer actually was sniffing the lamb and licked its nose a few times, too. It was so cute to watch.

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  3. I love this post!! I grew up showing livestock and still have a couple of years left to show as an FFA member and i'm going to be so sad when it ends. I don't know if you've seen it yet but the Stockshow confidential facebook page shared a "So god made a stock show kid" video and it was amazing. It about made me cry. I'll attach a link so you can go watch it becasue im sure you would enjoy it. It's always great to find other people who share the same passions you do.

    Heres the link to the video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvLqcZ5mmI

    Erin
    My Blog-http://diariesfromthedirtroad.blogspot.com

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    1. hi Erin! I haven't shown a lamb since 2007 and you are right - you will miss it when it ends. Take full advantage of every opportunity you have through FFA! That video is so great, I absolutely loved it and every word of it was true :) Thanks for commenting!

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  4. I enjoyed reading this post. I wish I would have heard about stock shows years ago because I know my daughter would have loved them. I am still going to find one and take her to one this summer and hope she enjoys it.

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