Random Evening Thoughts

     It was nice yesterday, but it got butt-ass cold today.  And still, NO moisture.  But, we live in NW OK, we only need to wait a day or two and the weather will change.  Maybe, not for the best, but it will swing the other way.

       It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a school board, fair board, congress, or a stock show committee, there are always those that want things done a certain way, but they don’t want to take part, voice their opinion or take the grief for decisions made.  But, they always have comments to others after the fact.   I’ve never had this problem.  To a fault, I will sign my name to something that I think, say or feel that needs to be changed.  As a result, I have had names attributed to me, but that is fine.  I actually like people, I just get sick of dealing with them–some more than others.  Work, goats, home, it all adds up. It does give me comfort knowing that when I get sick of others, there are plenty more that have had enough of my crap.  It all evens out.

        Judges–I enjoy watching livestock judges.  I don’t necessarily like watching the shows, but I like watching judges and their tendencies.  Doesn’t matter what species is being judged, a good judge is a good judge.  And likewise, a bad one is a bad one.  I like, really like, a good set of reasons.  But what I really like is being able to look at the top 5 or so in a class, class after class and understand where a judge’s priorities lie.  That speaks volumes.  Actions speak louder than words.  This is also what normally signals a game of dirty pool.  When a judge is fairly consistent through numerous classes, breeds, divisions and then, hiccup, there comes one that doesn’t fit and it runs all the way to a purple banner.  I’m not referring to any show in particular, just the fact that there are times that make you go HHMM?!  That deal just didn’t fit.  However, I have witnessed judges, at numerous shows, that didn’t have any business judging period.  The ones that should have joined the band back in 5th grade instead of trying to learn to mark a 4-H judging card.  Sometimes, people accept a job that they aren’t prepared for and shouldn’t do, but pride gets the better of them.  I mean, I’ve been asked to judge rabbits and some pretty good sheep shows.  I could do them and probably talk my way through them, but I don’t need to do them.  There are better people than me to judge rabbits.  Too many, go ahead and take the job and they shouldn’t.  

     First, it is hard to get a good judge hired.  Pick a reason– Already hired somewhere else, other conflicts, deer season, football tickets, family matters, etc.  Sometimes, you just have to try a new one to see if it works or not.  Most of the time that you are listing judges to hire, you better make a list of 10.  It amazes me how many times the truly good judges of livestock are not used, because of a FEAR that they might be political or for that matter, but actually it is because their is a fear that they WON’T be political.  It all depends on who is calling the shots.  

     I wish there was a grading system for judges.  Referees & umpires get grades, scored and get to do bigger games as a result of grades that are done after the game is over.  Think about that.  Wouldn’t it be cool for a judge to have to justify themselves to a panel of their peers after the show is over.  I mean, you screwed up the Billings International Livestock Show.  You probably don’t need to be judging Houston this next year.  

     The other theory is to utilize the olympic style system–have 3 or more judges.  This won’t work at most shows because it is hard enough to get one competent judge hired.  But, it would work for a major.  When you have 3, it limits the political crap.  Any of us that grew up in the 80s or before, remember what it was like to see the scores from the USSR & communist block countries compared to the rest of the judges.  Political–yes, it was and they didn’t try to hide it.  

     I’ll tell you something that I have learned in the show (goat) business and every year it is continually reinforced.  Spend money on top shelf genetics.  Go ahead and spend more money on high quality feed and hay–it will pay off.  Always spend money on facilities–comfortable animals look better and therefore, sell better.  In the end, you will work harder and more productively when you like the looks of the animals on your own farm.  It won’t come easy and it won’t come quick.  Explore partnerships, AI, ET/Flushes, paying for help, etc. in order to find a way to maximize your genetics without getting too deep in debt.  This business is about money and you have to spend money in order to make money.  There are no shortcuts.  There are rewards–mentally and financially.  And always, let me reiterate this point, ALWAYS get a good picture–for your website, text sales, emails, magazines and facebook.  Because you don’t want to try to sell them without a picture.  

      Stay warm, keep the animals healthy, work hard & play hard.  Don’t pray for luck, work for it.  

Ooohh!! I just noticed that we have 950 some words tonight.  Do we try for a 1000?  Nope.  Today, is not the day to go for a 1000.  A picture is worth a 1000 words, not a blog.