Part 1: 10 reasons to consider showing your livestock
25th April 2017
New entrant, passionate about UK agriculture. Blue Texel and Charollais sheep breeder. Newcastle university graduate, sheepdog enthusiast & Tesco Future farmer.
Please note: the views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of SellMyLivestock.
Summer show season is approaching quicker than I would have liked, with so much work to do in the meantime, getting them into a half presentable state is at the back of the queue at the moment. We are still relatively new to showing sheep, but showing livestock is quickly becoming one of our favourite times of year.
If you’ve ever fancied showing and want a few reasons to give it a go, look no further:
1. Firstly and most obviously the clue is in the name ‘showing’. You get to show off your favourite animals, and hopefully the judge will agree with you.
2. Now it’s not all in the winning, but winning prizes puts your stock up against others in your breed, and helps you to know how you are performing.
3. But there’s a lesson in losing too, you know to up your game next year, present and prepare your stock better or maybe just bring a different animal.
4. The social aspect is also a huge attraction. As well as catching up with your neighbours, you will meet loads of friendly people who share your breed/showing enthusiasm. Networking in agriculture can literally take you anywhere.
5. Additionally, agricultural shows give you the opportunity to talk directly to your consumers. The public are there wanting more information about their food and farming and it is a brilliant chance to connect with them, especially if you sell produce locally.
6. Shows act as a ‘shop window’. If people like what you’re breeding, your animals can be soon in demand, whether that’s through selling stock or through semen and embryos.
7. Shows may also be qualifiers for individual breed competitions within breed societies, so it a good way to build up contacts, get your prefix known and gain points towards trophies if they’re on offer.
8. Local agricultural shows are part of our heritage, by supporting them and entering classes we can ensure that the tradition continues.
9. There’s generally a large beer tent… and at bigger shows usually free food samples.. I’m sure it’s fine to do two laps of the food tent..
10. Showing is generally light hearted and good fun, no more so than watching young handler classes. There’s something incredibly warming and lovely about watching the children take it all very seriously, whilst trying to wrestle extremely uncooperative pet lambs around a ring.
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