Monday, October 21, 2013

Judge-Free Zone....NOT!

Well I'm gonna admit it, I spent most of last week riding the struggle bus!

Not only did my car break down, but I missed classes all day. You know what we did in my classes got 15 points extra credit for just attending, test review, and a quiz....wop wop wop. 
But all of that is beside the point, because I just participated in my LAST livestock judging contest ever, at the Big Fresno Fair. 

So this is the second time I've been to this contest and boy, was this trip much different. Gone was the start of the Tripod, a night tailgating, and being stress beyond belief during contest. Added was a 12 hour drive spent reading, a pep talk for a team who wasn't even nervous, and placing top 10. 
Last year, driving to Fresno was a nerve wreaking, exciting time. We were chatting it up in the back seat, alone, away from everyone....talking about how excited we were for the next day. Then after a day spent judging and some sideways glances at a certain livestock handler, we tailgated with Kelli's friends. Met some interesting people and drove home the next morning.

This year I was solo in my reasons sets. Yay me! After giving my last set on Commercial Ewes, I gave my placings to Dan and waited for officials. It was a bitter sweet moment as I realized how terrible I had done. We spent the night bonding and discovering whole new sides to each other. We finally drove home Sunday, only to pass another school van filled with Art students...we entertained ourselves for a hot minute trying to get their attention.

I just realized that no matter how good I've done at a contest or how short my judging season was, I still will never forget the opportunities I had, the people I met, and the memories I made. There are few times in my life where I have laughed as hard, smiled as much, or genuinely had fun as I did on judging trips. 

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