What’s the point of showing at the county fair?

What’s the point of having Amanda show a calf?

Doesn’t she want to be a doctor?

Why do you want a barn and smelly farm animals in your yard?

I hear these questions from my surburian friends. I have a wonderful 15 yr old daughter who wishes to persue a career in medicine.  But her favorite hobby is 4H. And I wholeheartedly support it.  She is learning life skills that will serve her well as an anesthesiologist.  Hard Work.  Dealing with disapointment.  Determination. Grace under pressure. Sportsmanship.

She worked hard with her calf all summer. Out of the 3 kids she spent the most time working with her animals.

She tried hard to bond with him.  Feding him treats


Walking him sometimes twice a day.


She sat with him when he was ill


She went into the show ring with high hopes of placing well.  She had definitely done the work. Easily twice as much as her brothers.  But then her calf decided to have his own mind on show day.  He planted his feet and refused to walk.  The judge had to push her around the ring.  She was mortified. She placed dead last.


It was her attitude that made me love her even more. She would work harder next year and do better. She doesn’t have a quitting bone in her.

So, while she attends a medical school program for ambitious high schoolers, I think the rural life is preparing her well to deal with medical school.

Sometimes, even with hard work, you don’t win.  And that is ok.


5 responses

  1. 4-H is such a wonderful program full of life skills for youth to acquire over the years and through project work. Keep up being supportive—she will thank you for it one day!

  2. Yep – been there, done that 🙂 The “Farmer’s” three children all love to farm and drive tractors. My three children are “transplants” to the farm – having arrived well into their high school years….they dislike it. One wanted nothing to do with it – she is now in law school and proudly recounts farm stories when there is a case study about farms or animals. Funny how it will eventually affect them in a positive way. For now, we will continue on our learning curve.

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