Over the years as a dairy wife and cow mom, I've had the opportunity to meet breeders and producers outside of my comfortable circle of Holstein and Ayrshire friends. But there was one encounter that really made an impact on me. I’m a member of a farm and livestock group on Facebook where many people from all different aspects of agriculture gather to seek advice, sell items, look for equipment and share posts that are relevant to the Southern Ohio farming community. One particular post was by a mom looking for instructions on how to properly clip her daughter’s dairy heifer for their upcoming county fair. I started reading the advice being shared (some good and some not so good) and before I knew it, I was volunteering to drive over to help clip and fit the heifer. Right before we were to leave for the Ohio State Fair. With 35 acres of hay on the ground to bale. Did I mention it was a Jersey...the one breed that I have never taken a set of clippers to?
As I was en route to the Andreadis’ home, I started to second-guess my ability to get this heifer ready for her class, especially since it has been awhile since I’ve had to clip for a show. I began worrying about how much work I needed to get done before I left for the State Fair and really started psyching myself out. All my worrying was for not, when I pulled into the driveway and the cutest, most inquisitive young lady named Lacy greeted me with her calf, Butterscotch.
As I began clipping, Lacy wanted to know what I was doing and why I was doing it every step of the way. She asked me questions about our farm and our cattle, what we did at shows...and the next thing I knew, her heifer was clipped up and we were having a mini-showmanship clinic in her backyard. Even though I refused to be paid, my efforts earned me three jars of the best homemade jelly, a heartfelt card that was handwritten by Lacy, and some gas money. Best payment I’ve ever received as a quasi-fitter!
Driving home that night, I didn’t seem to have as many worries as I did when I left my house earlier that evening. Lacy’s passion and hunger to learn reminded me how important it is to take the time to share knowledge with the next generation. Lacy has no idea that I benefited more from our crash course in cattle fitting than she probably did. And I encourage you to do the same. When you have the opportunity, seize the moment and share your passion with others. An hour of your time could have a timeless impact on another.