A group of stock show loving family members –3 girls, their mom, and a mentor.
Like many, the Ralls-Hickman family was not born into the stock show life style, rather there was a spark ignited that led to a lifelong passion. Kristine Ralls and her husband Pete have 6 kids – a blended family that looks similar to a modern day Brady Bunch. Kristine and her girls were originally a ‘horse family’ and traveled many miles on the Quarter Horse Circuit. They fell into the cattle business, and have never looked back. Below is an interview with Kristine – she relates back to experiences in the barn and raising girls into young women through cattle.
“Our first exposure to cattle was a 4-H market steer for Victoria our oldest. Unfortunately, we have always been city slickers so we have not had our own property to raise any livestock. We grew accustomed to boarding our horses and once we got that first steer we started boarding him. From there, our cattle story grew to 2 more sisters showing steers. We were fortunate to also build a friendship and add another family member with Dwight Heffner. Dwight has raised a couple national champions in the Herefords and has bred some of the best show cattle on the west coast. Dwight has allowed and leased pasture space and basically let us take over “the barn” for a cool room and working cattle daily. Because our family believes in hard work and doing the work ourselves for the past 10 years, the girls and I have traveled 20 minutes one way 2 times a day to take care of our show steers and heifers. As the girls have gotten older and moved on past the local steer shows we have continued to grow our herd and breed cattle.
The BIGGEST thing my girls have learned is diversity and life’s not fair. We’ve learned that hard work and dedication have to come from within and has to be satisfied by yourself, your family etc… not someone else’s opinion. We’ve learned pride and there is no better feeling than showing up to a show and people acknowledging how great your stock looks that the work that has gone into getting them to that point. (nutrition, rinsing two times daily, working showmanship, and of course how the girls are dressed) No joke, it’s a family motto “look good, feel good, show good”. Regardless of the outcome of the show, we’ve learned that the small details and the extra mile are what separate us from others. We’ve learned that first impressions make lasting impressions. We’ve learned to work together as a family and take pride in each other’s success. We’ve learned how to be humble, compassionate, composed, and confident.
Speaking of confidence, the confidence that my daughters have obtained and the presence they carry stems from the show ring and exhibiting cattle they are proud of. Every time one of my daughters led a steer or heifer into the ring, the amount of time that THEY put into that animal showed, and therefore they had their own feelings of pride and accomplishment.
They love to help others and share their passion and heart to other kids wanting to learn more and those that share the same desires the girls have.
Our oldest daughter also earned a full ride scholarship for livestock judging which alone is incredible, but the public speaking and knowledge that came from this is huge as well. “
Every stock show family is unique and the Ralls-Hickman family is no exception! How can you relate to their Live it. Love it. Lead it. lifestyle?