For non-stockshow people, it is hard for them to comprehend the amount of dollars spent on a “good one”.  You commonly hear phrases such as “These animals cost THOUSANDS!”  And, “I CANNOT believe how much money people spend on these animals.”   Some would think that we are crazy for the amount of money spent on show animals, show feed, supplements, clippers, heat to keep them warm, vet bills, etc, etc, etc.  I am sure that they could use phrases like crazy, ridiculous, stupid, etc.  They would all be correct if they wish to use these terms when describing my family and many others that are just like us.  

    But I would disagree.  I can see the dividends that the stock show program has paid to my two kids.  I do NOT measure these dividends paid with banners or trophies.  I could make a case that my kids have made money (although I lost money) as a result of their involvement in the stock show industry.  Phrases like work ethic, responsibility, goal setting, care, learning, management, social networks, etc. are what I am spending my money on when investing in my kids stock show programs.  Memories are another phrase that you can’t put a dollar amount on–both good and bad.  

      Stock shows are what you make of it, when involving your kids.  If it is all about a win, well, go find something else to do.  There is too much good to learn, that when properly applied, will lead to wins.  Yes, money matters, but it isn’t the main factor.  “Do it RIGHT”  is the phrase that matters most.  

     Now, let’s use another phrase.  “DISGUSTING”.  It is absolutely disgusting how many millions of dollars have been spent by Okie State and ou on their respective football teams.  Tax payers, donors, alumni, companies, whoever wanted to donate some cash, it all gets spent in the name of winning football games.  Facilities, coaches, tutors, dorms, clothes, shoes, training facilities, doctors, maybe even on players–it is AssInIne!  And this is the best that either university can produce?  Neither school was competitive in a conference that did NOT put a team in the final play-offs.  And let’s not even go into that deal called U of T in Austin orTAMU.  They should all be ashamed that Baylor and TCU “out-fed and out-showed” the big boys.  It’s gross.  And we are all guilty.  We’ve been to games, watched them on tv or bought the apparel.  I’m all for kids being involved in athletics, music, tech ed, academics, FFA, 4-H, whatever.  But let’s remember what we’re after, better kids.  That’s it.   

     The more I think about it, the more I like Notre Dame, Duke and the Ivy League schools in  regards to athletics–win, but not at all costs.  Granted Notre Dame and Duke spend a pile to win football/basketball games, but they have a small student base and still churn out a lot of highly educated student/athletes.  Better yet, let’s just cheer for our alma mater’s livestock and meats judging teams.  Those are real deals that produce.  Dollars spent on those programs are dollars well spent.  Last I checked, they have national champions in those contests. And most of those kids were a direct result of a livestock program.   

     I’m really not on a soapbox, I just don’t see much satisfaction in this Bedlam victory, as both schools have lost sight.  We, in the livestock show program, occasionally lose sight of the real objective and although I have been guilty, I don’t want to be.  

      Here’s to making better animals and more importantly, better kids.  Have a good one.