Recently, I had a great time attending The Exposition in Des Moines, Iowa! While there, I had the opportunity to watch the show and speak with some great showmen and their families from around the country. As many of you may know, showing at large national shows can be a difficult task requiring the entire family's team effort. The journey to the ring can include many steps such as preparation, packing, traveling and of course showing. I know the time and effort it takes to plan and get ready for shows like this, and I know I wouldn't have been able to execute these plans without the help of my family, especially my mom.
Being in the show industry all my life, I've noticed all the behind-the-scenes work moms do for their kids. While at The Exposition, I took advantage of the chance to talk to many show moms and get a perspective of their experiences.
Show Mom Favorites
Even though moms put so much effort into attending these shows, they still find many aspects they enjoy with their kids that make all the hard work worth it. When asked what they enjoy most about attending shows with their kids, they gave some interesting answers.
Whitney from Illinois says she loves to experience the friendships her kids make. She explained that most shows in Illinois don't contain much free time, but she's grateful for larger shows such as The Exposition that allow extra time for her kids to socialize and build lifelong friendships.
Laurene from South Dakota is not only a show mom, but she's also a show grandma, giving her a unique perspective. She says her most enjoyable moments at shows are family time to work together like a team. She says, “Everyone has their jobs. It’s a team effort.”
Show Mom Must-Haves
We all know that there are many things we cannot live without when at a show, and our moms are always there to take care of us and pack the essentials. When speaking to these moms, I was curious about what their must-haves are when packing for shows. They each gave very similar answers.
The first items mentioned, arguably most important, were snacks. Most of the moms pack a tub full containing foods like Cheez-Its, Rice Krispies Treats and chips. When my family travels to shows, we never leave the house without Hi-Chews!
Another must-have is plenty of drinks! The moms explained they always keep cold drinks to keep everyone happy and hydrated. Capri Sun and Gatorade are among the most popular drinks in the cooler.
The last essential items mentioned were of course to not forget the pigs!
Show Moms, Why They Do It
With all the other choices families have to spend their nights and weekends, these families still choose to devote their time to showing pigs. I asked these moms simply why they do it and I was very pleased with their answers!
Tara from Iowa said, “We decided this is what we do as a family. It’s been a great thing for us to raise our kids in. We meet lots of wonderful people.” She also explained that the older kids have a great influence on the younger kids. Watching the older kids and seeing their success and how they handle adversity, can speak volumes to younger kids and teaches them many great skills.
Whitney from Illinois mentioned that she and her husband grew up in the agriculture industry and think it’s a great thing to raise their kids in. She said it teaches kids responsibility, and how to be respectful and well-rounded. She says, “It teaches them life lessons, whether they win or lose, and good sportsmanship.”
I enjoyed my time at The Exposition 2023 and getting the opportunity to hear from these moms about their thoughts and experiences. This brings to light all the effort and compassion they have in helping ensure their kids are successful in the ring!
Until next time,