Did you read the Washington Post article “Swine for sale: How kids’ livestock shows became a cutthroat (and expensive” business)”, that focuses on the negative part of showing livestock? I don't recommend it. An article that mentions that the most expensive pig always wins is not an article that you should spend your time reading.
Although this picture is just of a pig and a sunset, I believe it is a great representation of the Junior Swine Show Program, in more ways than one. It shows the time spent with an animal and teaches kids to be determined, hard working, patient, proud, and humble. That pig will be exhibited in a show that gives the exhibitor the opportunity to experience many great things. That pig is the reason for many friendships, memories, family moments, tears, laughs, miles spent on the road, meals eaten with people across the country and across the world, competitions, wins, losses, and fun. Those experiences are priceless and any person who has ever shown a pig has experienced this. The sunset stands for a bright future ahead and represents the idea that days will end but new days will also come. Some kids may leave the livestock industry and others will run the livestock industry. No matter what their future holds, we do know that the livestock industry had an impact in their lives, and it all started with one pig.
Often times the phrase “Born in a Barn” is seen negatively, but not at our house. Luckily, we were not legitimately born in a barn, although some days it seems like we live there.
The barn is where you go to work, to escape the rest of the world, and to prepare for an upcoming event. It is where arguments take place, as well as many laughs. Tears are sometimes shed as plans don’t happened as planned. It’s where you learn how to work hard, accomplish the impossible, never give up, and always look towards the future. Most importantly, it’s where a family bonds.
The barn is where the work is put into before traveling to a show. Nothing means family bonding like six people packed into a six passenger truck traveling to a destination hours away. The goal remains the same, winning. The animals change with each show, and not matter what, new memories are always made.
My favorite days are when my family meets in the barn. The animals are taken care of everyday, but the animals are the reasons my family comes together and works to accomplish the same goal. Dirty clothes, shower caps protecting our hair, radio blasting, the people I love surrounding me; that’s what my barn means to me.
Southeast Iowa born. Ames living. College girl experiencing the real world.
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