Ending on a High Note

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bakersfield Victorville

Well folks, we did it. We finished our last show of Brianne’s 10-year sheep showing career this past weekend with a two-day show and we ended it on a high note. She won 2 Reserve Champions with each one of her lambs and placed second to the top showman in the state in showmanship both days. I couldn’t have asked for better.

It seems like only yesterday that this shy little girl stepped into a livestock show arena for the very first time; untrained, unsure, unaware of how this livestock show thing worked. But, over the years she has gained confidence, knowledge about raising livestock, skills in presenting her animals to their best, respect from fellow competitors and made a ton of friends along the way. We have traveled thousands of miles over the years, shown in some of the worst weather California could throw at us and come out the other side strong, committed and even more dedicated to what we were doing. It isn’t all about buying lambs and winning prizes. It’s about building a foundation for what Brianne wants to do in her adult life, and clearly that will include raising sheep.

Bakersfield Victorville Sheep Show

yosemite

At the end of the weekend our friends took one of the lambs north and delivered it to its new owner, a friend up north whose daughter will take it to the state fair. The other lamb came with us and was dropped off to its new owner, a friend who will show him at our county fair. It was strange though, coming home with an empty trailer, no lambs to settle back into their home, no equipment to unload, clean, reload waiting for the next show weekend, and when 6pm rolled around we hardly knew what to do with ourselves. We usually feed at 6 then work on showmanship in the cool of the early evening, but not this night. It was oddly quiet. Sure there where chores we could have done, projects we could have worked on, but our routine was out of sorts, broken. The block of time set aside each night for sheep related tasks was empty and silent.

But, life is all about change and we have to change with it or become stagnant. So now Brianne is going in her direction…an internship with an agricultural company, then off to college in August. After that who knows what the future holds. She wants a farm of her own, a flock she can hold on to and not sell off after each show season that much I do know. She is already connecting with large breeders she can work for while in college and hopefully work with when she is finished.

In the short term I’m taking back my farm starting with a new batch of meat chicks and a greenhouse, then moving forward with new garden areas, fruit trees and more vegetable beds, and raising a pig for the freezer. There are plans in the works, laying the foundation to move from my little suburban homestead to a larger farm, but for now those are only plans rolling around in my head. When I look at the horizon I see a world of possibilities, not next weekends show. How quickly we change and move on.

It’s been a long ride, folks, and a good one. I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.



One Response to “Ending on a High Note”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    *sniffles* Beautiful. This post sort of reminds me of Charlotte’s Web. :)
    E.

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