Growing up in agriculture, and especially the show ring has taught me a lot.

I thought that this post from Michele Payn-Knoper, a “Community Catalyst. Advocate. Farm & Food Connector,” summed up our experiences rather well.

In her blog, Lessons learned on a show halter, Payn-Knoper describes her young daughter’s bond with her first show animal, Ving.

She writes, “A few pieces of leather and a small metal chain. Not a lot makes up a show halter that can control a thousand pounds of animal, but those pieces seem to intertwine with heartstrings ? and carry a lifetime of lessons. If you?ve shown cattle (or any species), you likely remember your first calf, the most stubborn animal you?ve ever worked with and the heartbreak that comes with owning animals.”

Throughout the blog, Payn-Knoper tells the story of watching her daughter grow and bond with her heifer. The tears and triumphs both played a part in their “growing pains.”

They learned 8 valuable lessons in their first year together –

After reading the blog, I immediately thought of my own time in the show ring. Now as an adult, I think back to those lessons often.

We’re lucky to live how we do, filled with friends and comrades in the livestock industry. Each working hard to make a difference and help feed this growing world.

Kudos to you parents who allow your children to participate, who teach the value of hard work and let them learn these valuable lessons in and out of the show ring.

Plus, how can you not fall in love with a hardworking youngster … Who works hard for the buckles in the ring and out of the ring?

What did you learn from raising and showing livestock? Have anything to add to the list above?