‘So God made a stock show kid’ | TSLN.com

‘So God made a stock show kid’

Shortly after Dodge Ram aired the commercial featuring a poem read by Paul Harvey, "So God Made A Farmer," during the Super Bowl in February, countless remakes popped up everywhere, featuring everything from ranchers, to 4-H moms, to stock show kids.

Calli Pritchard, a senior animal science and agricultural communications student at South Dakota State University, created her own version of the poem, playing up the kids and families who take part in livestock events across the country. And, whether it's the local county fair, a 4-H or FFA show, or champion drive at a national event, there are a few things these kids have in common. No matter what level or what arena, stock show kids work hard, feeding, training, washing and caring for their livestock on a daily basis. This bond brings countless friends and families together, and Pritchard thought it was something worth celebrating.

Pritchard, originally from Volga, SD, had an assignment in one of her classes to create a video of something that was important to her. So, she put the poem into action and created a video, which she posted on YouTube. With nearly 1,000 views already, the video is starting to gain traction.

"Showing livestock, mainly cattle, has been a part of my life since I joined 4-H in 1998," said Pritchard. "This being my first year not spending afternoons in the barn rinsing heifers will be a hard transition. Showing teaches kids responsibility, how import a hard work ethic is, as well as educates children on the industry between feeding, nutrition and animal husbandry."

No longer eligible to compete in junior shows because of age, Pritchard is now spending the summer as an intern from Certified Angus Beef (CAB), but that doesn't mean she won't always recall what showing livestock meant to her.

"Anyone who is involved with showing livestock knows what I mean when I say, 'show family.' Being an only child, my show family became incredibly important to me. The majority of my family lives in Illinois and is unable to attend shows. Traveling hours to show cattle is always a great trip, but seeing my show family is the best part. I have gained sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and even some grandparent figures through showing. Gaining a show family, I was able to better become involved with the industry and see how important agricultural is to me."

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Aside from the livestock, Pritchard wanted to highlight her show family — the people who make showing cattle, hogs and sheep a fun endeavor.

"What I love most about showing is the family I have gained," said Pritchard. "Yes, I love the competition of showing but its the people you see rolling into the fairgrounds with trailers that make the hard work and miles worth it. I am 22 years old and have troubles sleeping the night before a show and get butterflies when I roll into the fairgrounds with the truck and trailer. It's the best feeling in the world!"

This feeling is what Pritchard aimed to capture with her video, and the response has been great so far.

"The response to this video has been phenomenal," she added. "I was expecting my show family to view the video on YouTube and have its days of glory end there. The video has now been viewed by over 900 people! I can't believe it! I am blown away by the support I have received."

To view the video, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nb7Z-LR39w

Pritchard is also selling t-shirts in multiple sizes and colors with the phrase, "So God Made A Stock Show Kid," emblazed on the front. Each shirt is $20, and interested parties can contact Pritchard at ccpritchard22@hotmail.com to order.

"I am very lucky to be as involved as I am with our family's cattle operation," she said. "Showing cattle doesn't mean just grooming show heifers and traveling to shows. My parents and I spend hours looking over bull EPD's and discussing our AI plans for next year. Sitting with the family deciding what genetics we would like to see in our operation and anxiously awaiting calving season is an amazing experience, kind of like our own science experiment year after year."

"Overall, I enjoy every aspect of showing," she continued. "The hard work at home is always worth it, the competitive drive shows hard work truly pays off, and the people you get to experience this with is phenomenal. The best part by far for me, is turning into your spot and having the heifer stop perfectly set up, lifting their head and me getting my feet placed and making eye contact with the judge. A perfect stop is like making a touchdown!"

Pritchard's passion for the industry is certainly evident. As a former South Dakota Beef Ambassador and South Dakota Angus Queen, she event took her knowledge of beef when she competed in pageants.

"I was a contestant in Miss South Dakota and had the opportunity to compete with a platform of, 'Be BOLD and ZIP into a healthy lifestyle.' I promoted how important it is to have beef in your diet through the ZIP (zinc, iron and protein) and BOLD (Beef In An Optimal Lean Diet) programs. Competing with this platform was a little out of the ordinary, but I was extremely passionate about it. One of my biggest challenges was having a judge at Miss South Dakota who was an active PETA member. Tickled me pink to be able to promote my platform not only up until the pageant, but also in the interview room!"

Pritchard continues to promote beef as CAB's Events Marketing Intern, where she will help coordinate promotions and events on behalf of the beef brand. It's a stepping stone, she says, will lead to her future career in agriculture.

"My dream job is to be an advocate and a leader for the agricultural industry," she said. "I enjoy being involved with our cattle operation and taking everything I know to educate consumers. Whether I am working with consumers or creating a blog to discuss the latest news in agriculture, my dream job will combine working with cattle, beef producers, and consumers."

One of agriculture's shining stars is Calli Pritchard, and her YouTube video puts her passions in action for the world to see.

Editor’s note: The original “So God Made a Stock Show Kid” video was produced by Stockshow Confidential.