I have had my faith shaken really bad over the past few years. Not my faith in GOD, (NEVER) but my faith in the jr. livestock show program. I’ve been led behind the curtain and didn’t like what I saw. However, there have been moments lately that give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the industry as a whole that makes me happy to be a part of it.
To start with, I spent this wet (YES!) saturday on the road with a dad and a student. We started the day eating breakfast at the PollyAnna Cafe in Woodward (YES!). Then we ventured out to pickup a lamb (yes, a lamb) for a student. Rodney Washmon is a damn good hand with these show lambs. And these kids of his can flat ass outwork and out show most. And these kids are fun. Washmon was doing me and more importantly a student a favor in order to get a top shelf sheep for reasonable money. The breeder was great to deal with as well. We then stopped at another big name farm. Great FFA/stock show family. I left there the first time today, really liking what we had gotten done there. Then, we got a call to come back. And I REALLY liked what happened then. All involved in this paragraph are stock show junkies that like to see hard working kids have a chance. Dollars were left on the table compared to an auction, but it is fun to see breeders make sure good stock end up in the hands of great kids. It is a great practice that pays off for all involved.
Then, I got home and dealt with ear tagging, vaccinating and horn burning. Not fun, but it went well.
And now, I am inside, checking this book of faces when I see that a bonafide good one is having a birthday. It is a known fact that I put more value on the kid than I do the animal. Here’s the story.
At the 2014 Tulsa show, I was in a foul mood. At least that is my excuse for my mistake with this kid. I was standing near the show ring talking. In front of me was a great kid that was in junior college at the time. He was watching his sister show. I wanted to know what the goat was that she was showing. So, I hollered at him. “Hey Kody!”
He didn’t turn around and acknowledge me. So, I said LOUDER “Hey, Kody!” He kind of turned and looked, like Who.I.T.H.?! are you talking to? But, he acted like I was talking to somebody else. So…..
I now said, “Damn, Dietz!” He turned around and squared up to me like WTF?! Dude!
Schneberger was standing next to me, now laughing like a hyena that enjoyed getting kicked in the nuts. “Why are you calling him Kody?”
What? When? Oh hell! I don’t know. I’m a dumbass. RUSM?!
For some reason, I had it in my head that Kory Dietz was Kody…..not Kory. That deal has haunted me for years. I can’t explain how I screwed that name up. It isn’t like me to screw up a name. Especially a kid that I have known for years.
Let me fill in the blanks. Kory Dietz grew up in Alva. He wasn’t a known stock show kid when he was younger. He was THAT kid that followed Mr. Staats and Mr. Nation anywhere that they would take him. He bought cheap goats and made them good, real good. He was an addict to studying livestock. Nation scooped Dietz up into the livestock judging contests. And they won. Won state titles, then went to some national contests then went and judged overseas. They won a lot. This kid has an eye for stock.
Staats moved to the state office so then Lastly started hauling Dietz around showing does. That pair was doing WAY good together. But Jon then moved to Georgia. This left Dietz with some dang nice does. He needed some help and a buck to use. Poe Cat and Dietz started showing goats together. This pair worked well together. Are you noticing a trend? Everybody that deals with Dietz has a good run.
Poe bought a cheap, skinny goat from me one summer. It was the classic “Hey, what do you want for that skinny bastard?”
My reply, “Dang. That’s out of a wicked good doe that had triplets. He’s just skinny. Who is it for?” Poe replied, “Ah heck, that Dietz boy needs one that will feed.” My reply, “What do you have to spend?” He replied, “Not much, but I got it in cash.” Done. Well, Kory took that little, skinny goat and cashed a few checks. He ended up reserve grand at Woodward District (behind Bree and right ahead of Duke) and then made the sale at OYE. The next year, I let Kory and Bree Taylor have pick of the wethers at our place. Kory won a class at OYE with his goat.
Now, Kory is getting ready to graduate the great college in Stillwater–OSU. He has helped his sister to success. He has raised good goats. He still helps Poe, goes to Georgia to help Lastly and follows good livestock. And he is literally, the story of why livestock exhibition is a great thing. His parents have been very involved and are great to be around at shows. GREAT people! And to this day, it still pisses me off at myself that I called him Kody. One of my few regrets! To this day, I truly cannot explain my mistake that day. I can blame it on the fact that I normally called him Dietz. But I screwed up and it burns my ass.
So, when I saw on the socially transmitted disease known as Facebook that Kory Dietz was having a birthday, I had to text him “Hey Kody! Kody! Hey Kody, tell Kory Dietz happy birthday!” And he replied in appropriate fashion–better than I would have.
Basically, it was good to see that it rained more on the burnt areas of NW OK. Thank GOD! I saw some good livestock today. Dealt with some even better people. Got in a better mood. Was reminded of one of my biggest mistakes. Remembered why we do what we do. Happy birthday to Kory Dietz. And all of those like him that bring the positives of livestock showing to the forefront. We can get caught up in the dollars, the politics, theBS or whatever. But in the end, it all comes back to the basics. A kid, now adult, like Kory Dietz is EXACTLY what the stock show program is about. Oh, and I have met his girl. I will gladly speak for Staats, Nation, Poe and myself and allow that this kid is following suit and is looking to do as we all did and improve the gene pool by marrying higher quality.
Everyone of us in this industry needs to step back, realize the true value of a dollar and remember why it is what we do. I’ve been guilty. We all have. We need to celebrate success stories and condemn wrong doings. We don’t need crooks and lawyers. We need success stories and yet we have plenty of these happy stories amongst us. Regardless of their name. Kody or Kory. They are right there in front of us.
p.s. Yes, this is one of the few times that I have admitted that I was a not smart person.
p.s.s. And for those of you that text wanting to know when I was going to write some stuff….here you go.