“When you do what you love, the seemingly impossible becomes simply challenging, the laborious becomes purposeful resistance, the difficult loses its edge and is trampled by your progress.” ~Steve Maraboldi
To set the background, my family raises show lambs....this means that we raise lambs and sell them to kids in 4-H and FFA to exhibit at various fairs in their state. The kids will buy the lambs in April, take care of them all summer, and then show them at the fair in the fall. If they do well, they will sell the lambs in what's called a premium sale hopefully for a profit. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
The first time we decided to have our own lamb sale (rather than going to a sale where multiple breeders each sell a few lambs a piece....you've read before about that first sale) was probably about 8 years ago or so. The sale was at our little show barn. About 7 buyers came. My dad just called off the various ear tag numbers and asked if anyone was interested. We started the bidding low, sold about 10 lambs maybe, and I don't think anyone paid much. But it was a start. It gave us something to work on and grow and aim for.
This weekend, we had our best sale to date. There were over 100 people there. We sold 59 lambs in about an hour. It was pretty cool to look around and know that all of these people were there because of the work that we (my parents in particular) have done to continue improving the quality of our lambs. It was even cooler to know where we started and what we've been able to create.
Of course, the sale is first and foremost a revenue generator for us. Obviously, we've got to pay the feed bills for all of those sheep we have hanging around having babies! But beyond that, it really is a little bit like a reunion of sorts. We are blessed with great neighbors and friends who show up to help us every year. We never have to wonder if they will come, we never have to pay them, we never have to ask if they remember. They're just there, ready to help. And we've got several long-time customers...some who were there at our house that day 8 years ago buying sheep and did the same thing yesterday at the fairgrounds.
I suppose I could end this blog in a lot of ways. Thoughts about setting goals and working hard. Or wrap things up by talking about the sacrifices that my parents have made in order to keep things afloat during the worst drought in history. Or look back on the winning lambs we've had over the last few years.
But in the end, I think it's about the people. Isn't it always? It's about spending time as a family, be that feeding show lambs or sorting ewes or making a sale list the night before the big day. It's about having a day to visit with people who have been part of my life since I was a little kid who I might just see in a barn a couple of times a year now. It's about doing our part to be sure that the kids showing today make those same memories that we got. That's what's important. That's what matters. We're blessed to be a part of something like this.
Oh, and by the way, stick around tomorrow to hear some of Little Cowboy's best quotes from the weekend. You won't want to miss that.
For What It's Worth
1 week ago