If you ask the common teenager how he or she spends the summer, many will say that they tend to get bored as the warm months roll on. But in the life of a livestock showman, the word “bored” is unheard of.
We are Macy, Landis and Heidi Seagraves, and we are honored to share with you the life of the showman. Growing up on a beef farm, we were exposed to animals and the show ring at an early age, but we weren’t forced to be involved with it. We chose to become showmen. To us, showing cattle is not just a hobby – it has become a lifestyle.
Responsibility in the show barn is a daily occurrence. Feeding, washing and haltering calves are some of the few things required of us each and every day.
Each morning, I [Macy] go to the barn, feed, water, hay and halter our calves. I also turn on fans to ensure the animals are cool and their hair grows at a faster rate. In the afternoon and evenings, we all go to the barn to walk, wash and blow the calves.
Then, Landis and Heidi feed, water and hay the calves, clean out their pens, then turn off the fans and let the calves run freely down electric-fenced alleys where they can graze. The goal is for each calf to build an adequate amount of muscle, depth of body, spring of rib and soundness of structure that makes them appealing to judges in the show ring. Preparing a calf for showing requires daily chores and responsibility, but through those tasks, character and work ethic is built.
We’ve grown together in our years of showing. Our family has really developed a spirit of togetherness by having mutual productive goals. We’ve built a strong team. Despite the early, cold mornings and the late-night walks to tie-outs in the rain, the love for the cattle remains.
To us, our fellow showmen are like a family. We work together, eat together, win together and lose together, and the impact that people in the cattle industry have had on our lives is overwhelming. Thankful is a word that doesn’t come close to describing the gratitude we have for our 4-H agents, agriculture teachers, parents and Young Farmer advisors. Throughout the winning and the losing in the show ring, we feel truly lucky to have such a great family of people in the livestock show barn.
It is a blessing to live on a farm and have the opportunity to exhibit livestock. Each and every day in our lives as showmen is an adventure, and we are looking forward to another exciting show season with our family, show team and advisors.
We can’t wait for the good times sure to come our way this season!