Most all of our "vacations" revolve around our love for our kids and cattle in some way shape or form. Yesterday the whole family loaded up and headed west to Grand Island, Nebraska for the Junior National Hereford Expo. This is what we lovingly refer to as a "show-cation" by those of us bit by the livestock show bug. A "show-cation" involves early mornings, late nights, lots of physical labor, old friends and new, laughs, a few tears and oh, and it generally leaves you with two feelings by the end of the trip; "Ah, I love this life!" and "Man, I need a vacation!"
The Junior National Hereford Expo is arguably the Greatest Show on Earth and this year we are breaking records with over 2000 head of Hereford cattle entered by exhibitors ages 7-20 from all across the United States. There are also over 20 educational contests and a week full of fun and learning for all in attendance. The location changes from year to year and in 2016, Wisconsin will host the show for the first time since 2005.
Our oldest can exhibit for the first time at Junior Nationals next year in Madison. This year though, she is participating in the pre-peewee showmanship contest. The Pre-Peewee Showmanship is for the kids not quite old enough to exhibit their own cattle (but want to!) and are given the chance to shine on this grand stage right along side the older kids they are surely looking up to. I have heard more than one person say that it is their favorite part of the show; seeing those little ones out there showing everyone how it is done! Pure joy!
This is undoubtedly the beginning of a new tradition, as our family vacation will take us near and far across the country with a cattle trailer instead of a camper. Boots instead of flip-flops. Forks and shovels instead of marshmallow roasting sticks. And we wouldn't have it any other way.
Stay tuned this week as we experience Hereford Nation in Nebraska!