By: Taylor Gazda Stipe
To my Future Showman,
If anyone ever asks if you were raised in a barn, I hope you get to answer yes; for being raised in a barn isn’t always a bad thing. This industry that we are a part of is not like most, so there are some things that I want you to know.
I want you to know that we are a family. During the good times and during the bad, there is group of people who will always have your back.
I want you to know that you’re going to become attached. You will realize that your calf is far more than just a calf. When you need to talk, they will listen. And even long after that animal is gone, you’ll remember the bond that was shared for years to come.
I want you to know that I will be just as nervous as you. My eyes will be racing back and forth between you and the judge. With every movement you make, I will be ringside cheering you on.
I want you to know that you’re going to meet your best friends. These friends will also be your rivals, but at the end of the day their success will be just as exciting as your own.
I want you to know that you’re not missing out. While family vacations will be spent in dirty barns and not on sandy beaches, the memories we will make are the memories you’ll share with your own children someday.
I look forward to the day that you get beat. Though you might not realize it then, that will be the day that changes it all. Your drive will be stronger, your fire will burn deeper and you’ll begin to work harder.
I look forward to the day that you win it all. I look forward to this day because that will be the day that all of your hard work pays off. I look forward to seeing the judge reach out to shake your hand, and I look forward to seeing you smile as you rub your calf’s head.
Above all, I want you to know that it’s not all about the trophies, the banners and the awards. I want you to know it’s about so much more. This industry we are a part of embodies a feeling that you won’t be able to shake. You’ll understand what I mean someday.
My sweet child, I want you to know that I pray this journey is everything for you that it was for me — and more.