Show Mom Diaries: Show moms in Scotland – they’re just like us

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My husband, Craig, and I just returned from a trip to Scotland. Yes, Scotland. I can still hardly believe it’s true. Last summer, I was honored to receive the Andy Markwart Horizon Award through the American Agricultural Editors’ Association. This award came with a stipend for professional development, which went toward my attendance at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists 2014 Congress – held this year in Aberdeen, Scotland. Of course, we saw bagpipes. We were blown away by the picturesque rolling, green hills; and castles around every turn. Pictures truly do not do them justice. And there were kilts. Oh, yes. There... View Expert Column Post »

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Show Mom Diaries: The empty halter

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Oh, you never forget that moment. That moment your first steer is loaded onto the semi, and you’re handed that empty halter. That dreaded, empty halter. Maybe he was a sweetheart. Maybe he was a knot head. But as you carry that empty halter back to your stalls – now missing that animal once part of your barn for months – things are different. And you’re forever changed. For me, it was Tremor the Angus steer. I was 8. For months, we worked together in our Hillsboro, Texas, barn. We grew together and with each show we attended, I learned a bit more about what... View Expert Column Post »

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Show Mom Diaries: 13 truths of the show mom life

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As our family has ventured to several shows this year, I have loved watching our boys having fun and continually improving – both in and out of the ring. But another aspect of showing that I cherish? The chats, shared laughs and nods of understanding with fellow show moms. One thing I’ve discovered – we share a great deal of common ground, especially during show season. I give you 13 truths we all understand. - Manicure. What’s a manicure? - You know the best spots in town to purchase Joy... View Expert Column Post »

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Show Mom Diaries: What am I forgetting?

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As I type, our little family is loaded into the family truck and trailer, with our Hereford heifer, Velma, and steer, Lightning, in tow. Destination: the 2014 Illinois Junior Hereford Preview Show in Minden, Ill. I won’t lie. The moment I sunk into the passenger seat, I breathed a sigh of relief. We. Were. Packed. And. Loaded. Hallelujah! Of course, the stress of show preparations will hit soon. But, oh, how I’m relish the few hours of satisfaction of knowing one obstacle was achieved. Just last night, our house was a ridiculous disaster. Piles were scattered throughout the house – no... View Expert Column Post »

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Show Mom Diaries: That’ll do, girl. That’ll do.

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The look in his eyes said it all. I knew something was wrong when my husband, Craig, came back into the house this morning after cattle chores. As our 5-year-old Nolan was eating his Pop-Tarts® and our 8-year-old Waylon brushed his teeth, Craig whispered to me, “Maggie died.” Maggie. One of our two beloved farm dogs. We gathered the boys around the kitchen table and Craig gently broke the news. He had found Maggie lying in the grass with EmmyLou – our second dog – keeping vigil by her side. She was a good dog. Last summer, while we attended our first Junior National... View Expert Column Post »

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Show Mom Diaries: Deadlines, hot dogs and grass stains

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It was a strange feeling. That of excitement and anticipation, combined with a bit of dread and nausea. And it all was caused by that box-filled rectangle of doom: the calendar. Just yesterday, I began entering the dates and deadlines that will rule our family’s life throughout the next several months. An extended school year because of an excess of snow days this winter. Baseball and t-ball practices. Baseball and t-ball games. 4-H meetings. 4-H project deadlines. Swimming lessons. Oh, yeah. And let’s not forget the cattle and their local and state preview shows. The Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE). And our first... View Expert Column Post »

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Show Mom Diaries: Tears in the bathtub

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I was in our 2-year-old daughter’s room, dressing her in her Hello Kitty PJs for the evening, when I heard that all-familiar sound to a mother’s ears, echoing from the bathtub: sobbing. Now, when you’re a parent, you know that sound could mean a variety of things. Shampoo in the eyes. A broken toy. Or very rarely, a real concern needing immediate attention. I figured I should check it out. Entering the bathroom led to the discovery of our 5 year old in the midst of a real, heart-wrenching, alligator-tears meltdown. The reason? His 8-year-old brother is old enough to show the heifers... View Expert Column Post »

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It’s our turn

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I’ve never known another way of life. My earliest memories with my dad involved bundling up to venture to the barn to see the latest calf to be born. Watching him on the mic as a judge, or witnessing him at the halter at cattle shows from coast to coast. And eventually, working side-by-side with him and my brother at our southern Indiana family farm, rinsing and working hair on the year’s 4-H calves and Simmental and Shorthorn junior national projects. Sometimes, I brought home the purple ribbon. Sometimes not. But getting that hug and “good job” from my dad as I exited... View Expert Column Post »

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Christy Couch Lee
Christy Couch Lee Christy Couch Lee has served on the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) board of directors for more than 10 years, and is the 2013-14 president. She was named a 2012 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Young Leader award winner, presented at the IFAJ in Stockholm, Sweden.


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