Barn Talk, Edition II
By Cherie Rash Carrabba
According to the dictionary “gossip” is idle talk or rumor about the personal or private affairs of others. It is one of the oldest and most common means of sharing facts and views, but also has a reputation for the introduction of errors and variations into the information transmitted. It cannot be relied on to be accurate.”
Copied From Edition I. February 2012
I guess that this needs to be a monthly column, but some of the things that are repeated in the barns are so out in left field that I have a difficult time understanding how anyone could believe it, much less repeat it.
Before I could get home from the Belt Buckle Bonanza, Tracy Beadle called me. “I’ve got a question for you,” she said. “What?” I wanted to know.
“I had someone call me today, and they said that they heard you could buy points.” “You have got to be kidding,” I stated. “That is not right in any shape, form, or fashion, and you are talking to the mother of a child that lost the All-Around Steer Buckle by less than 80 points.”
“Well, this person told me that they were told that you didn’t even have to show an animal in order to win a buckle; you could just buy points,” Tracy added. I know that she heard me gasp on the other end of the line.
Tracy and I then started discussing how this could have ever gotten started, so I am going to give this my best shot. First of all, the TJLA had a raffle during 2012, and each member could sell up to 60 tickets. For each 20 tickets sold, the member could get 50 points or a maximum of 150 points for the year. We let all members sell raffle tickets. Tickets turned in by the end of March, 2012, counted on a member’s points for the 2011-2012 Awards Year. (That is the one that we had awards receptions for at the 2012 Belt Buckle Bonanza.) Those points were final at this year’s 2012 Houston Livestock Show.
If a member turned in raffle tickets between April 1 to May 4, we gave that member points on the current year of competition (the 2012-2013 TJLA Awards Year). The tickets cost $5.00 each, and there were eight great prizes associated with the raffle. Any member could sell them. They were available to copy out of The Showbox, and the maximum number of points that they could earn either time was 150 points. Those 150 points certainly did not earn anyone a buckle for a state wide race.
The raffle was a great success, and the young people who sold those tickets learned a lot about salesmanship while doing so. We had a retreat for the junior directors during the Bonanza, and I spent approximately 30 minutes talking to them about the fact that we are all salesman, it does not matter what our profession. My talk was meant to let them know that no matter what profession we choose, we still have to sell outselves and our product to one degree or another.
If you are a nurse, then you are a salesperson for the doctor for whom you work or the hospital or other medical facility that employees nurses. If you work in the banking field you work in sales every day. You sell your banking institution and its services to the bank’s customers. Everyone of us is a salesperson.
The people who are successful realize that their attitude, their efficiency, and the way that they relate to their customers is vitally important to the business in which they work. That is all part of sales.
Exhibiting in the TJLA helps a young person learn a lot about goal setting, problem solving, having a plan to reach goals, and it also encourages hard work. The raffle helped teach salesmanship, another tool vital for success.
The only other way that we felt could have caused the confusion was the Junior Director point program which gives a Junior Director points for various activities in the TJLA. This has nothing to do with the buckle and jacket races. This is for Junior Director Points. One activity is getting donations for the Belt Buckle Bonanza, the Year End awards and the Fall Classic. The Junior Directors have levels of accomplishment, and one of the ways that they can achieve these levels is through getting donations. Other ways include working at the Bonanza and the Fall Classic, writing an article about some TJLA activity and having it published in a local newspaper; conducting a clinic to help teach young exhibitors the basics of showmanship, feeding, and selection; another activity that comes to my mind is public speaking. A Junior Director can speak about the TJLA or some of its activities at a 4-H or FFA meeting and gain Junior Director Points. There may be other activities in the Junior Director Points program, but I know that the activities listed above are some of the ways that they earn points.
We have had some junior directors who were very successful in getting sponsors for the association. The sponsorship for the Bonanza’s Prospect Steer Show, Livestock Judging Contest and Heifer Show came through the work of Junior Directors. They earn points for getting those sponsorships, and my hat is off to them. It is a great service that they provide by taking some of this load off the office. That has nothing to do with earning points in TJLA competition.
If anyone tells you that you can buy points in TJLA competition, tell them they are full of hooey. Anytime that we have an activity where a member can earn points in a division of TJLA competition, that activity must be open to all members. One of the basic premises of the TJLA is that any show or other TJLA sanctioned activity has to be open to all members of the TJLA.
We have had surveys to fill out where the member received points for filling out the survey. We did one of those last winter. We award bonus points for members who attend TJLA CAMP, and we also award bonus points if they participate in certain activities during CAMP.
There will always be activities open to all members that allow a member who has extra initiative to earn bonus points. There will be more this year. I believe that extra effort should be awarded, and those people who are dedicated enough to fill out a survey, attend CAMP, or sell raffle tickets will be awarded points for doing so. That is part of the American way. Do you remember the old adages: “The early bird gets the worm.” “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Or “They can because they think they can.”
There are several ingredients in becoming a success at any field. Desire is one ingredient, a little luck is always nice, taking advantage of every opportunity is another; determination is a part of that formula, and, of course, hard work. I am proud of the fact that this association encourages many of those traits.
I have said many times that there may be individuals that are smarter than some of us; they may have better backgrounds than some of us; but there is absolutely no group of people who can outwork the people of the livestock community. They are the hardest working group of people I know, both in the ring, and out. And that is what makes this group of young people so successful. I am proud to count myself as one of you.
Since I have been running the TJLA, I have heard rumors as varied (and full of misinformation) so many times that when someone repeats something to me about the livestock business, I don’t pay much attention.