The vice president, loan officer and lending services administrator at $414 million-asset Shamrock Bank in Coalgate, Okla., has showed livestock since the fourth grade, a hobby that she now continues with her family.
This is what we have done as a family since I was a kid. This is our vacation. We spend a week as a family at the Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE). [We also] make a couple trips to Iowa every year looking for sheep to help teach other kids. It’s been a family thing, and I have a lot of great memories with it.
Everything starts at home. You have to work with the sheep’s feeding program, exercise program, teach them how to show, find out their little quirks. They have quirks, just like humans do. You have to find out what works best for each animal. It’s a lot of time and effort.
We’ve all had special sheep. They’re market animals when we get to OYE, so they’re bought for slaughter once the show season is over. There have been a few of those that have been hard to get rid of, so there’s been some tears shed, but that’s also a life lesson. The highlights have been my oldest daughter winning Grand [Champion Doe] at OYE and my youngest daughter has made sale at the Tulsa [State Fair] and won.
You learn hard work [and] dedication, and you learn to win and lose with grace and dignity. It teaches you a lot of life lessons. It sure does. Anytime you can get your kids involved and do it as a family, or spend time in the truck, barn or at a show together—that teaches your kids [those lessons].
Brianna Boecker is an editorial assistant with Independent Banker.