It’s that time of year again; the days are getting longer, the sun’s shining a little brighter, and we can finally spend some time outside. It also probably seems like all of your classes are taking forever. And if you’re anything like me, you might be starting to spend more and more time daydreaming and looking out the window at the green grass and warm sunlight.
I know that right now it feels like the end of school is so far away, but I promise it really is just right around the corner. You see, I always found that it was hard to focus on school in the spring because I put my attention on the next FFA Career Development Event contest coming up.
I remember spending hours studying and practicing reasons and how good it felt when all that preparation finally paid off. I know that at times it might feel like the contest team you are on doesn’t apply to you or won’t help you out in the future. However, those skills you learn in a contest will stick with you for the rest of your life. Livestock judging helped me so much with personal development skills, learning how to speak to a judge and how to convey a clear and understandable message. Evaluating the livestock taught me to assess a situation from all angles and to make sure I check all the key points. It taught me how to look at something as an individual and how to compare two things together, and how to pick out the important standouts in a group of individuals.
Livestock judging makes a difference for me in my everyday life, and those skills I learned have helped me out in many situations such as in job interviews and in the college classroom. I use critical thinking and communication skills every single day, whether or not I am working with livestock on that given day.
FFA members, if you will commit to your contest team, give it your best and make the time to invest in your content, you will walk away with much more than just knowledge about that specific subjuect. Instead, you will walk away with practical tools that you can use in your everyday life, and that will help make you into the leader you are meant to be.