At a glance, showing livestock looks practically effortless. Competitors show up with their livestock and wait for the judges to hopefully award their animals with ribbons and trophies. Though it looks easy, showing livestock is more than just arriving for the show. Behind every prized heifer or steer is an abundance of commitment and hard work. If you’ve never shown livestock before but think you’d like to, here’s what you should know to help you get started.
What Are the Benefits of Showing Livestock?
Showing livestock requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Most of your time will be spent grooming, feeding, and caring for your livestock in hopes that they will someday take home the prize. But there are a lot of benefits to showing, including:
1. Invaluable Life Skills
Especially for children and young adults, showing livestock offers up a handful of important lessons. Responsibility, determination, sportsmanship, and confidence are just a few.
2. Networking Opportunities
You can meet friends and establish a name for yourself when you show livestock. These relationships can pay off when it comes to purchasing or selling animals, finding local deals, and marketing.
3. Monetary Potential
Many competitions come with cash prizes, trophies, and professional accolades, which could mean showing livestock will help you market your brand. Whether you’re considering breeding or selling products pertaining to livestock, attending shows puts you and your efforts on center stage.
How Can You Get Started Showing Livestock?
1. Get Firsthand Experience
If you’ve never worked with livestock before, volunteer on a ranch or farm and talk to breeders, so you can understand the process better. You can also attend livestock shows to meet people with experience who might be willing to share some tips of the trade.
2. Make Space
Raising livestock requires a lot of space—not just for the animals, but for the equipment and shelter. You will need a barn with proper ventilation and enough room for the animals to move comfortably, as well as plenty of space outside.
3. Get the Right Equipment
Before you begin purchasing animals, you’ll need the right equipment to help with shelter, grooming, and feed systems. The kind of equipment, as well as the amount, will depend on how much livestock you plan on having.
4. Find Your Livestock
Your livestock will likely come from a local breeder. Fellow competitors, breed registries, and even your local veterinarian might all offer advice on where the best place is to purchase your livestock.
If you’re looking for high-quality livestock equipment and agricultural supplies that won’t break the bank, Vittetoe, Inc. in Keota, IA, has you covered. The knowledgeable and friendly staff is available five days a week to help you choose the right equipment for your specific needs. If you don’t live in Iowa, they have a fully staffed shipping department, so you can make your purchase online and have it sent directly to you. Check out their online store or give them a call at (641) 636-2259 to learn more about what you need to start showing livestock.