Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Records Are Meant to Be Broken

It is that time of year! We are in the midst of the county fair season. Most people look forward to their county fair to enjoy carnival rides, concerts, lemon shake-ups, or exhibiting their projects. My brothers and I, however, anticipated nothing more than my county’s Supreme Showmanship contest. Being the youngest sibling, I sat ringside watching my brothers dominate the showring. Both of my brothers acquired two county Supreme Showman titles meaning I had big shoes to fill.

I looked forward to the day when I could compete in the Supreme Showman contest just like my brothers did. As a fifth-year 4-H member, I secured a spot in the round-robin tournament representing the sheep barn while my brother, Hayden, represented the beef barn. Naturally, the sibling rivalry emerged stronger than ever. After spending every night that week working with fellow 4-H’ers to become more knowledgeable and a better showman, it was finally show day. Before the competition began, Hayden and I wished each other the best of luck and focused on the tasks that lay ahead. That year, I was named Newton County’s Supreme Showman. I had not only beaten my brother, but I started on my own journey. I developed one goal: beat my brothers’ record of two Supreme Showmanship titles. Throughout the past nine years of my 4-H career, I have acquired five Supreme Showmanship titles breaking not only my brothers’ records but my county’s record.

As a ten-year 4-H member, I have the opportunity to strive for another win. But I have come to a realization. I was motivated to set my goal so high because of the people who supported me. My brothers are my biggest supporters and coaches. As I near my end as a livestock exhibitor, I look to the younger members. I reflect on the example I am setting for them. As much as I enjoy achieving, I love watching others succeed.

The Newton County Supreme Showmanship record is five consecutive titles in a row. I set that record not only for myself but for generations to come. I understand this is a difficult record to beat, however, it is not impossible. I hope, one day, someone beats that record. After all, records are meant to be broken.

Break records,

Stephanie Berenda, Northern Region Vice President