Then Go and Get it!

Coming off the National Western Stock Show I must admit that my mind wondered a bit during the open Simmental shows. From the sidelines I watched Lindsay Hall assist her dad John Grimes judge the Simmental shows. Nothing tugs at my heartstrings more than a parent/child combo judging shows.

My mind wondered because I was watching a young woman who has had great success raising and showing livestock, served a leadership role in her junior breed Association, obtaining a Masters degree in a field that years ago many would deem for males, and go on to work for a highly successful Agriculture company.

Now I’m not trying to start a discussion on sexism. There is enough of that going on in our country today. All I want to talk about is the impact woman have on our industry. What many call a glass ceiling in politics needing to be broken has already been shattered in the livestock industry.

As a young girl and still today I idealized and admired Christy Collins. Her class, creativity, vision, and forethought has always intrigued and motivated me. As a young girl I remember emailing (I might still have that email) Christy asking her advice on design, college, photography, whatever she would give me. A few years ago when she offered a seminar in Stillwater, Drew and I attended and soaked in all the knowledge we could from her. Christy has been a leader and role model for woman in the Beef industry for years.

Today as I find my profession grounded in the seedstock industry I am thankful for people like Christy Collins, Rachel Cutrer, Crystal Blin to name just a few who personally have been excellent role models for myself and I know many others. I remember watching the State FFA Secretary Brooke Core Powers speak at my freshmen Greenhand banquet, and I wanted to be just like her. Extremely blessed four years later, I took my place as State FFA Secretary. Growing up in the livestock industry and as a heavily active FFA member, I quickly realized just as I watched others as a role model, I, too had to realize my actions, ideas, and values were watched by those younger than me.

Many can say that the livestock industry professions in the past have been dominated my males. I think of Terri Barber being Chair of the Hereford Board. Is she their first woman? I am not completely sure, but I know that her role intrigues and motivates myself to take on leadership roles in our Association. The Simmental Association has never had a female chair. Tell me that doesn’t have to change!

Across the country more and more woman are judging shows and major shows at that; just as I watched today. They are dominating judging contests, coaching, and taking their rightful place as industry influencers. Young woman are chairing junior breed association boards, and just this past October the first African American young lady was elected National FFA President (along with a very special lady from Kentucky!). There are no barriers or boundaries to what girls can accomplish, and there shouldn’t be anyone to tell them they can’t. In fact, there isn’t anyone who should tell anyone they can’t accomplish anything. Turn those dreams into goals, and make them happen!

I was listening to Oprah’s podcast this morning with Maya Angelou. She was the first African American girl to be hired to drive a street car in San Fransisco, and she was only 16. Her mother asked her why she wanted to be a driver, and she said, “Because I like their uniform.”  Her mom said, “Then go and get it!” Shouldn’t that be what we tell ourselves or those who need encouragement.

Woman are strong, creative, set goals, have vision, and get things done! Isn’t it exciting to think about all the future leaders coming up through 4-H, FFA, and junior breed associations who will be making such a positive impact on our industry. I am lucky enough to call some of the greats friends, mentors, and motivators. Though I am not raising any young girls myself, I am excited to see girls continue to make a mark in Agriculture, and teach my boys the value woman in our industry bring to the table.

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One Comment

  1. Deanne Young
    Posted January 24, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    This is so very well written Holly. You should be including your mom and you in the list of those that inspire. You have only begun to accomplish great things.

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