My dad took me to the quiet fairgrounds two weeks after the fair. We walked into the sheep barn and stopped where the alleyway goes into the show arena. As we looked out into that arena we could still see the path the judge had the cattle, sheep and goats walk in that large circle and where the pigs rooted. My dad turned to me and said, “I’ve seen you win and I’ve seen you lose in this exact spot for the last nine years and every one of those years I’ve been proud of you.” I stared into that empty arena and started reminiscing; I had been in that exact spot when I won both of my round robins, I’ve watched my cousins and close friends show from that spot, and I’ve also grabbed breeding sheep, after breeding sheep from that spot, each time looking at my friends, who were kind enough to help me show, and my parents smiling at me. Each livestock showman has memories of the wins and losses, whether those memories be from one arena or multiple, we look back on these memories and always remember that one spot, the spot that will always have special meaning. My spot just happens to be the alley in our old, rickety sheep barn. Some might remember a special spot in a show ring where their steer got that champion slap, or that stall where one had their first pig. All these spots have meaning to the exhibitor, even though it may not mean anything to anybody else.
I do know not everyone has animals, or special animal memories, and some of those people may have a special spot in an indoor exhibit building. I’ve also had a special spot in our 4-H exhibit building. For four years now I’ve had my woodworking projects in that wonderful Best of Fair corner. Others may remember where their first indoor project was displayed or the place they got the materials or had the idea of doing the project. So, when thinking of a “spot”, it doesn’t always have to be near that livestock arena.
There are times we take these spots for granted, I never really realized mine until this year. As some of us near the end of our careers, we should think about those spots and let those that are starting their careers know it’s not all about winning or getting the big ribbons. It’s about making memories that will last a lifetime in the most random spots. I hope to go back to those fairgrounds after I am finished and stand in that spot and see someone else win that buckle or get the champion slap and remember all those years spent making many memories in one spot.
Like Raised in a Barn on Facebook. On Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram @raisedbarn. Pinterest @inabarn
My name is Sierra Osborne and I live in Sidney Montana. I am currently a senior at Sidney High School. I raise and show Suffolk sheep and black angus and crossbred cattle. I have been in 4-H for 9 years and take projects in market and breeding sheep, market and breeding beef, rabbit, cat, shooting sports, and woodworking to our county fair each year. I’ve been involved in FFA for 3 years now and currently serve as our chapter president. For CDEs I compete in Farm Business Management, Agronomy, and Prepared Public Speaking. I have gained so much knowledge and skills through these organizations and look forward to share some of my thoughts with everyone. I’m very excited for this opportunity and look forward to helping bridge the gap between producer and consumer.