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Who’s on your team?Who’s on your team?

From the Farm: Building your team in life takes time. But knowing those who have your back, especially when they have a similar lifestyle, can make life easier.

Jennifer Carrico

June 1, 2023

2 Min Read
family working calves on farm
TEAMWORK: We recently worked calves on our farm. When everyone knows what their job is, the day moves more smoothly and is less stressful. This is how you find your team. Jennifer Carrico

As we have all celebrated Memorial Day, it’s always good to remember those people or groups of people who got us where we are and have helped us along the way. For me and my family, one of those groups is our cattle-showing family.

This is made up of some of our closest friends. Many of us lead similar lifestyles living on a farm, raising cattle, bringing up our kids in the show ring and participating in many of the same activities, which builds a bond among us. While some who look at our lifestyle from the outside don’t understand it, we know life lessons are being taught, work ethic is being built, and lifelong friendships are being made.

I recently came across a poem I wrote for some friends who had lost their father. While not everyone in agriculture shows livestock or even has animals, we all have people who make our daily lives better.

These people might be the agronomist at the co-op who helps you figure out what insects are in your fields and becomes a friend along the way, or the veterinarian who consoles you when you must decide to put down your prized cow or horse. It might be your banker who advises you on the right purchases because he cares about your success, or your younger neighbor who asks for advice because he remembers his dad saying how you have always been such a great producer.

All the relationships you have are important — some a lot more than others. Learning to deal with different personalities and growing as a person makes you realize who are the most important players in your life and who has your back. The family I wrote the poem for below has a great team, and I’m lucky my family does as well. Do you know who is on your team?

Stockshow dad’s pride

Lord, bless the barn where so many hours were spent,
Preparing for the next show or sale where they went.

Providing the right skills for them all to know,
While watching the family and calves continue to grow.

Endless hours in pastures searching for the right one,
And always adding a smile because it really needed to be fun.

Encouragement to spend our days mixing the right feed,
And working with the calves until they would properly lead.

Some have hobbies of fishing or hunting, but our hobby is showing cattle,
We would work so hard, it sometimes felt like we were headed to battle.

We’d be tired and worn and work until the end of the day,
While purple ribbons were the goal, we knew family time was why we would stay.

Whether hanging a purple banner or placing further down the line,
He was always there with a smile, high five or a “try harder next time.”

His pride and love for his children and grandchildren has always been high,
Now he can watch all of their championships from the great show ring in the sky.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer Carrico

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Jennifer lives on a farm near Redfield, Iowa, where she runs a small cow-calf operation with her family. A 20-plus year ag journalism veteran, Jennifer has covered a wide range of agriculture issues. A graduate of Iowa State University, she has worked for local daily papers and other agriculture publishers. She came to Wallaces Farmer from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. She enjoys writing, managing cattle, and hearing and telling farmer stories.

Jennifer has two children. Kassidy, 21, attends Black Hawk East College, but will transfer in the fall to Oklahoma State University. Son, Klayton, attends Panorama High School where he excels in academics, sports, FFA and 4-H.

“My favorite part of being an ag journalist is to tell the story of the farmer and rancher,” she says. “The farmer and rancher do the work to make the food, fiber and fuel for everyone. I want to use our online presence to broaden that message to those off the farm.”

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