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About Mitch Stuber

Hello fellow agriculture enthusiasts. I am Mitch Stuber, the new State of North Dakota Representative for Raised In a Barn. I am from Slope County, located in the Southwest corner of the state. We bought our first Boer Goats five years ago, and that has now expanded into a herd of more than fifty. Here on the Stuber Ranch we have raised Hereford cattle since 1909, when my great-great grandfather started the place on the same exact land that serves as our headquarters. We have grown to a herd of roughly 1,000 head and around 300 registered. We bring in buyers from all across the country from Texas to Washington. My great uncle Roger has served as president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, while my father Duane is one of the hardest working men you will meet in your life, hands down.

About Myself:

I am the youngin of RIAB, as I am only 14 years old and will be a freshman in high school this fall. This past ND state fair I showed my goats, bringing two does (Ellie and Minnie) and a market wether (Napoleon). With Ellie in intermediate showmanship I placed reserve, falling just short of the state round robin competition. In FFA as one of the youngest competitors, with my doe Minnie, I made the final drive and again fell just short of the round robin. I have been president of my 4-h club the past three years and have also won the last three overall showman buckles in my county. Some people like to make fun of my naming skills, as I named my buck Jackalope and my doe Unicorn, both who were born in July this year. My favorite color is pink, but apparently my mother doesn’t think I should put a pink bow on my locker for decoration (what’s her problem?). I also enjoy singing classic country duets with Jerry the Steer, which for some reason my siblings don’t tolerate very well. My heifer Brittany despises me, probably because of the singing. I don’t know why, because Jerry and I are beautiful singers. Anyway, if you are looking for quality registered boer goats find us on Facebook or Instagram @stuberranchboergoats. And if you happen to recognize me at a stock show,  judging competitions, or the state or national convention, I would love to talk agriculture, or if you have questions on regulations or politics of the industry I’m always willing to talk. Probably after the show though, as I’m not the most pleasant morning person. Goodbye for now, let the skies bring rain, let the herd stay healthy, and God Bless America!!

-Mitch Stuber, State of North Dakota Rep and Oreo enthusiast.

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One Spot, Many Memories

My dad took me to the quiet fairgrounds two weeks after the fair. We walked into the sheep barn and stopped where the alleyway goes into the show arena. As we looked out into that arena we could still see the path the judge had the cattle, sheep and goats walk in that large circle and where the pigs rooted. My dad turned to me and said, “I’ve seen you win and I’ve seen you lose in this exact spot for the last nine years and every one of those years I’ve been proud of you.”

I stared into that empty arena and started reminiscing; I had been in that exact spot when I won both of my round robins, I’ve watched my cousins and close friends show from that spot, and I’ve also grabbed breeding sheep, after breeding sheep from that spot, each time looking at my friends, who were kind enough to help me show, and my parents smiling at me. Each livestock showman has memories of the wins and losses, whether those memories be from one arena or multiple, we look back on these memories and always remember that one spot, the spot that will always have special meaning. My spot just happens to be the alley in our old, rickety sheep barn. Some might remember a special spot in a show ring where their steer got that champion slap, or that stall where one had their first pig. All these spots have meaning to the exhibitor, even though it may not mean anything to anybody else.

I do know not everyone has animals, or special animal memories, and some of those people may have a special spot in an indoor exhibit building. I’ve also had a special spot in our 4-H exhibit building. For four years now I’ve had my woodworking projects in that wonderful Best of Fair corner. Others may remember where their first indoor project was displayed or the place they got the materials or had the idea of doing the project.  So, when thinking of a “spot”, it doesn’t always have to be near that livestock arena.

There are times we take these spots for granted, I never really realized mine until this year. As some of us near the end of our careers, we should think about those spots and let those that are starting their careers know it’s not all about winning or getting the big ribbons. It’s about making memories that will last a lifetime in the most random spots. I hope to go back to those fairgrounds after I am finished and stand in that spot and see someone else win that buckle or get the champion slap and remember all those years spent making many memories in one spot.

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My name is Sierra Osborne and I live in Sidney Montana. I am currently a senior at Sidney High School. I raise and show Suffolk sheep and black angus and crossbred cattle. I have been in 4-H for 9 years and take projects in market and breeding sheep, market and breeding beef, rabbit, cat, shooting sports, and woodworking to our county fair each year. I’ve been involved in FFA for 3 years now and currently serve as our chapter president. For CDEs I compete in Farm Business Management, Agronomy, and Prepared Public Speaking. I have gained so much knowledge and skills through these organizations and look forward to share some of my thoughts with everyone. I’m very excited for this opportunity and look forward to helping bridge the gap between producer and consumer.Displaying IV8A2276.jpg

 

A Letter to FFA Members

Being involved in the FFA is one of the best decisions you will make. Through this organization you make lifelong friendships, develop leadership abilities, and so much more. Here are a few things I want you to remember.

 

It goes by so fast.

One day you’re zipping up your jacket for the first time, or preparing for your first CDE, and at that time it doesn’t seem like a very big deal because it seems like you have all the time in the world. Take it from me, even though you think you have a ton of time in this organization, you don’t. It goes by faster than you think.

 

Take advantage of every opportunity.

Whether you’re a greenhand or a senior, one thing I cannot stress enough is to not be afraid of failure. If you’re scared to fail, you will miss so many opportunities in your FFA career. If I would have let my fear of failure stop me from giving my first speech, I would not be giving speeches at so many different places now. You have to realize that sometimes you will fail, and you might fail more than you succeed but you can’t let that stop you. The FFA will help you grow so much if you take advantage of every opportunity.

 

Be a rolemodel.

There is always someone looking up to you. If you are an upperclassman and see a greenhand struggling, go up and talk to them. More than likely you were just as scared your first year as they are. If it wasn’t for the upperclassmen encouraging me to do everything FFA related my freshmen year, I wouldn’t be as involved or have such as strong passion for the FFA like I do now. Asking someone to go to a chapter fun night or encouraging them to try a new CDE could mean the world to them and light a passion in their heart for FFA and Agriculture.

 

Set an example.

Put yourself out there. Show the younger members that it’s not dorky to scream, run around, and sing at the top of your lungs! Let them see that you’re their FFAmily and that they can trust you. You won’t remember the FFA events where you sit back on your phone hiding from possibly making yourself look weird in front of your chapter, but instead you will remember (and probably will be reminded all the time by your advisor and friends) about the events where you put yourself out there and did something weird! Take advantage of every opportunity and have fun because when it’s all said and done, you’re gonna miss this.

 

Your advisors will always help you.

Our FFA advisors are pretty much like our second parents. They are always there for us and always have our backs. They do so much for us, and don’t get paid nearly enough for it. They help us with contests, applications, and so much more. They take us all over the country, and never complain one time about it. They somehow make those long car rides the most memorable and fun. Whether it is bringing up that state officer that you have a crush on, or dancing and singing along to the weirdest songs, every car ride is more fun than the last. My advisor is my biggest role model and is the reason I want to become an ag educator myself. We will never be able to thank our advisors enough for all they do.
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I’m Sarah! I’m a senior in high school! I grew up in Oklahoma, but moved to Kansas the middle of my sophomore year. I have been in 4-H, and I’m very active in FFA. I am currently serving as my chapters treasurer. I show pigs. When I graduate, I plan to attend Oklahoma State or K-State and major in Ag Education! Fun fact, I love llamas! 
State: Kansas

 

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Famous People Who Were In Ag And Still Support It

Entertainment

  • Trace Adkins: Singer-FFA
  • Tim McGraw: Singer-FFA
  • Brantley Gilbert: Singer-FFA
  • Taylor Swift: Singer-FFA
  • Tom Wopat: Actor-FFA
  • Jim Davis: Creator of Garfield-FFA
  • Julia Roberts: Actor-4H
  • Roy Rogers: Singer/Actor-4H

Government

  • Jimmy Carter: Former U.S. president-FFA
  • Sam Brownback: Governor of KS/U.S senetor-FFA
  • Conrad Burns: U.S. Senator-4H
  • Rosalynn Carter: Former First Lady-4H

Sports

  • Jordan Gross: Pro Football-FFA
  • Richard “Tuff” Hedemen: Pro Bull Rider-FFA
  • Bo Jackson: Pro Football/Baseball player-FFA
  • Reeves: Basketball player-FFA
  • Kent Benson: NBA player-4H

 

All of these people were in the association listed next to them. They all strongly support ag!

 

 

 

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Life Lessons Learned at a Stock Show

Growing up showing livestock was probably one of the best things that ever happened in my life. Being at a stock show prepared me for my future, and taught me that the lessons learned would carry along with me for the rest of my life.  

Here are some of the ways that showing livestock teaches you life lessons: 

  • Practice makes you better. Stock shows are never won in the arena, they are won the months before the show preparing. “It’s not always about winning, but learning.”
  • You aren’t always going to get things right the first time. When your animal gets out of line at a stock show, you get it back in line. You can sit around and do nothing, or you can do everything to change your situation.
  • Sometimes things go wrong. Animals have a mind of their own, and learning how to manage them in tough times will help you learn how to handle stress with confidence.
  • Confidence is key. While showing a one ton animal, I learned  that my confidence was the key to success. I wanted to show everyone all of my hard work, and my confidence helped me do that.
  • To many their animals were always the best in their mind. The judge didn’t always see it that way. I learned that criticism can help you improve.
  • When showmanship comes up, you learn the smallest details can make a difference. The judge is looking for one person who presented their animal the best. In life, you have to learn how to present yourself, to get the job of your dreams.
  • Always be on your toes. When the judge comes up and asks you a question about your animal, it’s best to be prepared. It also comes in handy when a runaway animal comes your way. 
  • How to handle competition. When you apply for a job chances are there will be plenty of competition. Competition will help you work harder to achieve your goals.
  • You can’t always win. In life you will learn that you won’t always get everything you want.
  • Showing livestock helped me find my calling in life. I knew that as soon as I graduated from high school I was going to go to college and get a degree in agriculture. I would then use that degree and the vast amount of knowledge about the agriculture industry to give agriculturists a voice, and to help them find their own.
  • At many state fairs, there are often many people who have no agricultural background walking around the barns. It was such a great experience to teach them some agricultural knowledge. Whether that be the difference between a heifer of steer, or why showing livestock was important. In life not everyone is going to agree with you or understand why you do the things you do. This is especially true for those in the agriculture industry, showing livestock helped me learn how to communicate to the general public about the importance of agriculture.

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10 reasons why show animals make great best friends

1)When you need a listening ear your favorite show animal is always there to listen.

2)Your show animals always finds a way to make you mad and make you laugh in the same action.

3)Your show animals can’t walk away from you when you annoy them…okay totally kidding but if you think about it it’s kinda true.

4)Your animals love you even on the days that you have an attitude.

5)When you’re upset your animals don’t ask questions they just console you.

6)They make great pillows and they don’t complain about it.

7)Any time you are stressed hanging with your animals is a great way to de-stress.

8)When you are listening to music in the barn and you’re singing at the top of your lungs they don’t tell  you to be quiet.

9)Your animals are not afraid to use you has a chew toy and a pillow at the same time.

10)The bond you have with your animals is unbreakable no matter what happens.

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IMG_1547Montana lehman

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A Senior Ag Kid Looking Back, a Freshman Looking Forward

It’s that time. The time you’ve dreaded for years, the time where you hang the jacket up, move from FFA member to Alumni. The time where the showman walks in the ring for the last time and an era comes to an end. You’ve made memories that will last a lifetime. If you’re like me, you’ve picked up a nickname and some friends to go along with OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe countless hours and miles traveled. Earning state and national titles, along with flying on a plane for the first time. That blue corduroy weighs an extra couple pounds from all the pins and awards on the inside and the pockets are filled with random notes and the filling from hand warmers when one exploded in your jacket while you were judging at nationals. You’ve earned a reputation in the ring for being one of the best showman and whether you know it or not people all across the state know who you are and they are watching you when you show.  Maybe you started at eight years old like I did or when you got into high school decided to get involved, but it isn’t the amount of time that determines the amount of passion you have.  That passion and drive doesn’t go away you just have to use it differently now because you aren’t competing anymore. That doesn’t mean you are completely done though trust me, you never will be.

Maybe this isn’t you yet, maybe this is your beginning. Don’t worry we’ve all been there. Your first show animal is one that you will never forget. There’s going to be a lot of firsts in the beginning, but I can promise you that you won’t be in it alone.  I had a tremendous amount of help in the beginning to get me started and you can expect the same. Just know your first 4-H or FFA meeting is the first of many more to come. You are going to meet some of your best friends and make memories that you will talk about for years to come. It’s a crazy ride that has its ups and downs but you aren’t going to want to trade it for anything.

Whether you are coming to an end of your show career or you’re just beginning your FFA Career there’s a lot of emotions with it all. The happiness and the excitement of it all and the pride you feel. The tears when you hang the jacket up or when you sell your first steer, it can all be a little overwhelming so here’s some advice for both sides.

For the Senior looking back:

It is crazy to think but you truly are done with competing in FFA and the show ring. With that said you are never completely done. You’ve spent all this time learning and getting better, picking up little tricks along the way; don’t let it end with you. Find the little kid in IMG_0445 (2)the barn or the newcomer and teach them. Give them a mentor to look up to! I would be willing to bet that you had at least one when you were younger and now it’s your turn to fill that role. Show them how to shear a lamb or your showmanship tricks. Then stand at the fence and watch them, those memories of you going in the first time are going to flood back to you. As they get better you will feel this sense of pride, but the best part is the smile on their face when they’ve won for the first time. Be their stock show coach and their biggest fan so you can give back to an industry that has helped you grow as an individual.  It’s absolutely priceless and it will make you feel a lot better about being your showing career being over. Stay in touch with the friends you’ve made through FFA they are some of the most loyal and trusting friends you will ever have. You will never forget the FFA Creed you had to memorize or the 4-H Pledge you said your first meeting, twenty years down the road you will still know the words. Most importantly make sure you thank your FFA Advisors, 4-H leaders and the adults in the barn that have made you into the young adult you are today. Let’s face it without them you wouldn’t be half the person you are today without their knowledge, guidance and friendships you’ve been privileged with.

For the Freshman looking forward:

Get ready for the memories to be made and the stories to tell. Everything is going to be new to you and that’s ok! We all have to start somewhere, but we did it with the help of those around us. Ask for help, spend a day with someone whose been showing for a while and I guarantee they would love to help you anyway they can. At first you aren’t going to 20160123_162836go in and win every showmanship class or judging contest in FFA.
There are going to be times that things won’t go as planned and contests won’t be won but those are the moments you will learn the most. Winning is always what we strive for, but you will find in losing the drive to become better. Become close with your advisors and leaders in your community they can help you and push you to be the best. Most importantly cherish the memories and friends you will make along the way. These are times that can’t be replaced and one day when you’re looking back you will miss it all, so enjoy it now.

-Karly Hanson

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