Haylee and her rabbit project...
When I was younger, my intention was to teach Agriculture. I got an AgEd degree to prove it. A semester of student teaching at a prominent South Texas high school, though, broke me of that. Fortunately, I was a part of TAMUK‘s livestock judging team and my coach got me an interview with IBP Inc. I took a job as a buyer for them in Central Iowa, but I worked with them for only a year. The opportunities for advancement were limited, and that year Iowa was the coldest place on the planet, so we moved back to Texas and I changed courses, completely.
I never thought I would experience the life of my original Agriculture track again, but coming to the NMCCH has changed that. Here we have our own working farm and farm manager, Rick Daniell. We also have our own 4-H chapter, Shooting Stars 4-H, and many of the kids here have opportunities to work their own 4-H projects. It is a wonderful chance for them to learn, grow and show.
This week is fair week in Roosevelt County, NM. I’ve been blessed with occasions, over the last couple of weeks, to help Rick and the kids get their projects ready for show. I’ve also been able to watch my own kids show their rabbits. I would have never thought, given the last 13 years of my life, that I would again be living a fair life. Washing pigs. Clipping sheep. Coaching kids to show pigs. I’m living a fair life.
The fair life is tiring. It means you might be up at 4 am, at the fairgrounds all day, and not home till 11 pm. But it’s rewarding. The smiles on a face when the judge pens a child’s pig. Even consoling a child who’s devastated about not placing has its benefits. Those are real teachable moments, and possibly, some of the best teachable moments given the circumstances. Hard realities of life are learned when you live a fair life. You feel robbed, at times. Other times, you are elated. Still other times you feel defeated. These are all real and raw experiences.
Cory Long sheers sheep...
I am proud of our kids, both my own kids and the home kids. They’ve done well and that’s what matters the most. I suppose its right to say that I owe a “Thank You” to the NMCCH because coming here has allowed me the opportunity to put a BS degree to good use, putting me back in touch with what it means to live a fair life.