In case you haven’t figured out, our boys have shown calves since they were toddlers. I have this picture of the two of them with a halter on a calf when they were 1 1/2 and 3 1/2. One was “leading” and the other was pushing the calf from the rear. So it will come as no surprise that they’ve gotten a lot of cattle related Christmas and birthday gifts. With Christmas quickly approaching here are the top 5 gifts for showmen.
5. A hair care package including a roto brush, a cordless drill, scotch combs, dog brush, tail comb, laser sheen, revive, medicated shampoo, Joy soap and a foamer all packaged up in a new water pail. Sounds like a lot, but your calf and your showman will be so happy when the hair works like it should.
Roto brush on the left, dog brush on the right.
4. Show clothes in a new duffle bag that will hold enough clothes for a week at Junior Nationals, Louisville, Denver, Ft. Worth, State Fair, etc. If you have it embroidered with their name and the farm logo even better. Our boys won a couple of bags from a county jackpot show 10 years ago and they still use them today. One of the best prizes given for a breed champion and reserve.
3. Stall signs with the farm name &/or logo on them. We finally got our stall signs done just this last year at a local vinyl shop and they were so reasonably priced I’m not sure why we didn’t do them sooner. The guys built a stall display for us this year before the state fair and it works wonderfully.
2. A grooming chute with a padded floor and fitting mats. The padded floor makes fitting time much more comfortable for the calf and the fitting mats make it more comfortable for the showmen/fitters. We bought our aluminum chute when the boys were still young. As a matter of fact, it was my birthday gift that year. Probably saved my back more than once.
1. A show calf. You know as well as I do these kids drool over one calf. It’s the must have calf that year. And, if it fits in your pocketbook and doesn’t cause you to refinance the farm, you want it for them. Just make sure they’re old enough to understand the commitment (that comes at a different age for each child) and make sure you can get some return on your investment. And remember, it is that, an investment in your child. There are lessons to be learned with every calf, at every show and with every competitor.
So, there are the dream gifts for the showmen. How about I do a list next week that’s a bit more down to earth? The first three items on the list are easily doable on any budget. The last two, well, be smart about it. Make them work within your budget because your kids will appreciate it all the more when they have helped to work for the finances of it.
1. Restful sleep. You know, the kind you get after the last cow calves and you don’t have to get up every three hours for a few months. Ahhhhhh.
2. My stress bull. I found this little guy again this weekend when I was cleaning out our closet. Much better to squeeze the stress bull than let stress get to you. Apparently he makes a good football for the guys in the office, too.
3. The Thomas Family. We met the Thomas family a couple of years ago when the boys started fitting for them at the MO Cattlemen’s show. You couldn’t ask for a nicer family or better people to work with. I tell Austin he’s the little brother I never had for Jesse.
4. Ryan Hollenberg. Ryan was one of our 4-H kids. I now work for his parents at the real estate company and tell his mom I’m pretty sure letting Ryan go to shows with us is why he acts like he does. He and Mike and Chris share a lot of personality traits. Ryan is now our Angus cattle consultant and NuTech Seed District Manager and is a good friend on top of it all.
5. Cell phones. I can’t even think of going back to a time with no cell phones and especially no smart phones. We use ours for business and for fun.