Goin' Showin'Sunday, October 03, 2010 By Ellen Hevenor
While some high schoolers have never stepped foot in a barn, other people practically live in one. Even before school, some FFA-ers and 4-H members are right alongside their show animals- feeding them, watering them, and even doctoring certain animals. I personally know how much hard work, time, and effort goes into raising many animals for just a few stock shows. Being a lamb-shower myself, I know that it is not easy. A lot of days, especially right around show season, I go straight from school, to volleyball or softball practice, and then off to the barn. Even on the weekends, I sometimes have to give up my whole Saturday to go to a stock show. For those of you who are still a little fuzzy on what exactly a stock show is, here is a watered-down explanation. Basically, kids raise animals (whether it be lambs, goats, steer, hogs, etc.) for quite a few months before the county stock show comes around. These animals go under a strict diet and exercise routine depending on how they look. Each animal must also be able to walk and “behave” in the show ring: it has to set up a certain way and stay calm. At the shows, each species of animal is divided by breed, which is then divided into weight classes. If you place well enough in your weight class, you can go on to win your breed, and then maybe win Best of Show. While showing animals is a lot of work and at times it can be frustrating, I don’t know what I would do without it. Whether it’s placing at major shows, or just a little friendly competition, all is fun when you’re goin’ showin’.