To sum up my summer with BioZyme® Inc. I would use three words: engage, inspire and educate. From traveling across the country to being in the office in St. Joseph, Missouri, I was constantly engaging, inspiring and being inspired, educating and being educated. I left my mark in Des Moines, Louisville and Texarkana by teaching potential about products and inspiring and engaging with youth of all ages and experience levels. I motivated Gelbvieh and Hereford families to engage with others, live like nothing can stop or limit you from chasing your dreams and to not be afraid to learn and grow from other’s knowledge. I not only experienced my summer with BioZyme by those three words, I also go about my life living those three words: engage, inspire, and educate. I am going to take you through the summary of my summer with BioZyme and give you three pieces of advice on how to be successful in the livestock industry and in life in general.
The definition of engagement according to Webster dictionary is, “an arrangement to meet or be present at a specified time.” Engagement can simply be asking a question about someone’s life, animal or family. But engagement can be so much more. As you grow up within this amazing industry, you are going to meet many talented people who are older, younger, bigger and smaller than yourselves. I challenge you to maximize your engagement potential and simply start out by asking an individual what his or her name is and then engage with them until you relate to them or you find one similar passion. Engagement by itself can work wonders, but engagement with people who share the same passion is simply incredible. You never know who you are going to meet and when. That individual who you made an effort to get to know and engage with may end up being your boss someday or quite possibly your new best friend. The livestock industry gives you so much opportunity to engage with others, especially at summer events. You have individuals from all over the United States meeting at one specified location who have one similar passion; livestock. I challenge you to not be a one-question engager, be a two or three. You never know where it will lead.
The definition of inspire according to Webster dictionary is, “to move, motivate, or guide by divine influence.” Everyone has role models; those role models inspire you to be the best version of yourself. They inspire you to simply be better each day. There are so many inspiring young individuals out in this world, especially within the agricultural field. As I traveled across state lines, I met inspiring individuals every day, but there is one young boy I will never forget. It was a typical Saturday morning. I was in the barn with the tunes cranked rinsing my heifers. It was show day! I finished rinsing my calf and it was now time to finish loading the trailer. I loaded everything up and double checked, triple checked even, that I had everything before our departure. We were finally Wyoming bound, first show back out since the Iowa Beef Expo. I was so excited to be back in the ring! We pull into the fairgrounds, back into our designated spot and start unloading. As I was unloading I noticed this adorable, young boy with a huge smile on his face. It was the most contagious smile I have ever seen. I knew the moment I smiled back at him he was an incredible young man. Alec was cruising around the Wyoming fair in a motorized wheelchair not letting his limitations affect him in any way, shape or form. Little did I know this brave boy was going to show. As I was getting my heifer ready all I could think about was Alec. I could only imagine the amount of work Alec Gotto and his family put in to have such faith and trust in his steer. The passion in Alec’s eyes was truly moving. I wish Alec knew how many hundreds of individuals he inspired on Saturday, July 9, when he didn’t let anything stop him. I stuck around for senior showmanship, and junior showmanship was right before senior. Alec took his beautiful steer back in the ring. I was standing toward the entrance of the ring scratching my steer as I watched Alec’s father send him into the ring. As I watched the judge go from child to child I just watched Alec in awe. He was so calm, cool and collected the whole time. He even circled his steer around because he wasn’t content with how his steer was set up. After a few questions and observation, the judge got on the intercom and said, “and now I will go choose your champion junior showman.” Bless his heart; he took five steps and pointed right at Alec. My eyes filled with tears. I will forever be grateful for Alec reminding me to live each day to the fullest and to not let anything stop me from chasing my dreams. I had the opportunity to catch up with Alec and his family at Angus Junior Nationals, and as I talked with Alec about his livestock he had this year, the passion in his eyes for this industry was still out of this world. Alec reminds me why I am so grateful to be a part of such an incredible industry. My second challenge for you is to get inspired. Live like Alec. Don’t let anything stop you from chasing your dreams, not only in the cattle industry but in everyday life.
My last key to success is to educate and be educated. Everyone has knowledge, whether it is knowledge about cattle, knowledge about pigs, knowledge about sheep or goats or knowledge about life. My last challenge for you is to not be afraid to listen and be educated by other individuals and grow your knowledge. Listen to stories and experiences from others and learn from them. One of my favorite quotes I was told was on my flight back from my interview with BioZyme when Jackie Lackey, Director of Strategic Marketing, said to me, “surround yourself with people who are better than you to better you.”
If you surround yourself with people who are better then you, you will not only grow from their knowledge and engagement but you will better yourself, better the people you then engage with, the people who you inspire and the people you choose to educate. I grew immensely during my internship with BioZyme Inc. I grew not only as a person, but I grew my knowledge, I grew friendships, I grew another family. Thank you to everyone who has made my summer one which I will never forget.