Another Young County Junior Livestock Show [YCJLS] has come and gone, and I have to say - as I seemed to say each year - these Olney and Newcastle kids really make me so proud of all their hard work, dedication and intelligence.
I suppose I say it each year because it is the truth and maybe not everyone knows just how difficult it is for these youth to compete in the stock show each year.
Not all, but many may just see youth smartly dressed in their country finest of boots, fancy jeans, cowboy hats and, for some, big shiny buckles.
What many don’t see are the countless hours in all manner of weather, night and day, tending, training, grooming their animals or welding, fabricating and building ag projects in preparation for those few days each year to shine as an FFA, 4H or private club member.
Besides all the endless hours of preparing for the YCJLS, students also must keep up with all their studying, school assignments, homework and other projects going on and must maintain certain educational standards and community service to be able to have the chance to represent and compete in school extracurricular activities. While this seems like a heavy load, it does not end there.
Most students are also involved in sports like basketball, which include hours of work outs, practice and long drive to games.
They get home from those games sometimes very late only to get up really early for another activity, such as competing in University Interscholastic League, which is a scholastic competition that, again, takes hours upon hours of studying and extra work.
Many just see children and teens in cute outfits for a few hours in an arena. I see the future of this great nation and feel pride in my heart and security of the future knowing these will be tomorrow’s leaders.
If no one else tells them, be the one to tell them how proud of them you are for their hard work and dedication. Scream a little louder at games and have a little more patience when you see one having a bad day.
Remember the extreme pressure and all the hard work they put in each week. They deserve our love, support, patience and adoration.
This is Will B saying, see ya next year at the YCJLS with my boots on and a smile.