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Offline CPL

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2007, 07:44:44 PM »
I don't see a problem with the professionals being at open shows, etc. But isn't the whole  point of a junior show to be the junior with the animal? Some of these kids who have mommy and daddy doing most if not all the work at home and then show day comes around and they get a purple ribbon. I don't think thats the way it should work.

Open shows yes, junior shows no IMO.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 08:29:39 PM by CPL »

Offline Jeff_Schroeder

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2007, 07:54:29 PM »
Point taken, I've changed it to darn.  It's no excuse but I've been around too many cowboys today and we have a different discourse than what is acceptable in polite company.  ;)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 07:56:30 PM by JSchroeder »

Offline Jeff_Schroeder

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2007, 07:58:24 PM »
Quote
In fact, might as well get rid of the age limit on the "kids", lets face it, some of the kids are only there due to the fact their PARENTS want to show, they just can't hack the "open shows", so they have their kid lead the calf.
I agree.  I've long thought that an open market steer show would eliminate half the B.S. that goes on in the junior shows due to parents living vicariously through their kids.

Offline TJ

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2007, 08:22:46 PM »
Banning steer jocks/professional fitters IMO doesn't hurt anyone but the bottom half of your classes, the kids that really do need the help. 

kinda like bush's no child left behind act.  all it is is a farce to not allow anyone to excel.  musical chairs and dodge ball are two of THE best tools of all time to teach kids that life isn't fair and what capitalism is all about.  course what we have now is a trophy just for participation.  think about that, we have to give kids trophies to just show up.  seriously, they are more mature than us adults are.

Here's another thought - the kids at the bottom, financially and advantagewise, do you think they could afford a good fitter?  How would you level that playing field? I can envision the "creme of the crop" kids hiring the best and the regular kids not being able to afford to hire anyone. 

You make some very good points.

I've actually seen kids at the bottom who couldn't afford fitters, etc.  But most of those kids usually either raise a calf or buy it at a sale barn... they often don't have proper grooming equipment either & have to borrow equipment from others.  Nobody would ban grooming equipment because some kids can afford it & I just can't see banning pro-fitters because a few can't afford them.  Anyway, most of those kids either become pro's themselves or they quickly drop out all together.

You are also correct that it wont always level the playing field, but if they can hire a pro fitter even once per year, they can learn a whole lot!!  Besides, anybody can easily hire an awful good fitter for a couple hundred dollars per day + expenses if they are not obligated to someone else & I know plenty who are cheaper than that, especially if all they do is clip & fit.  For that matter, you can hire an awful good fitter, have them keep the cattle at their place for 45-60 days, do daily hair care, trim hooves, have them fitted for the the show, etc., all for several hundred $$  per head.  In the world of show cattle, that is pennies, IMHO & if you can't afford a few hundred dollars for a fitter, you likely wont be able to afford showing cattle period.... especially in a world where it is not uncommon for people to spend $2,000 - $4,000 on a pretty good steer & where people spend a lot more than that on the elite level steers.          

IMHO, all disadvantaged kids like the ones that you are talking about can hope for is...

A. ...a real good calf to "fall into their lap"
B. ...learn to do it all themselves by observation
C. ...out work the other kids
D. ...become the best showperson they can become
E. ...stop showing & become good at something else

Anyway, the bottom line is that preventing pro-fitters from helping at a show is still is not going to prevent a pro-fitter from clipping calves before they leave for the show or prevent them from becoming an approved youth leader or whole lot of other unfair scenario's.  Show cattle isn't ever going to be perfectly fair, just like the cattle business isn't going to be perfectly fair, just like life isn't ever going to be perfectly fair.
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Romans 10:9-10... "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Offline DLD

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2007, 08:30:56 PM »
Lots of good points brought up so far.

Bottom line is that there is virtually nothing you can do to eliminate professionals (jocks, whatever you want to call 'em).

If you think that allowing only the exhibitors to touch the calves at the show solves it, then keep your blinders on and be happy. Those top end steers at Denver have been clipped and fitted by professionals (often in the yards) immediately before they go up on the hill. Same is gonna go for any other show with similiar rules. Years ago, Tulsa allowed only exhibitors to fit, but other exhibitors could help - that was pretty lucrative for the junior exhibitors that were good fitters.

Slick shear? The same "professionals" are standing in the win photos and picturing the winners in their ads as the hair shows.

I'm also in favor of letting anyone fit. The exhibitors that want to do it will learn  from the "pros" and they'll pass it on to the younger ones that want to in the same way. Young people that want help and want to learn will find a way. There are plenty of people that know how to fit that are willing to help anyone that truly wants to learn, if they'll only ask for help.




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Offline Jeff_Schroeder

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2007, 08:38:24 PM »
Quote
Nobody would ban grooming equipment because some kids can afford it & I just can't see banning pro-fitters because a few can't afford them.

Just to be clear, nobody is saying they are deterimental to shows because people can't afford them.  They're deterimental to the show ring because they do the work kids should be doing.

Offline TJ

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2007, 08:46:59 PM »
I must admit that I have been on both sides of the fence on this topic. Bottom line...The junior program has become an immensely competitive sport. It is the folks with the most resources (money, professional associates, etc.) along with all the hard work that usually go out and become competitive.

My concern is for the kids that feel defeated and become disenchanted because they do not have these resources. Sometimes it almost seems like a High School varsity football player has to go up against a professional NFL player and I'm not  sure that is a good thing.

I do not think it is always children competing against other children. Sometimes it children competing against grown adults, and that bother me a bit.





Glad that you mentioned football & feeling disenchanted/defeated, because even in the world of HS varsity football, it isn't always a level playing field...  

Private schools often recruit players, while most public schools aren't supposed to.  Of course, the private ones aren't supposed to either, but... sometimes parents get offered jobs, etc.

Some schools are able to hire better coaches than other schools.  

Some schools have larger athletic budgets & they have bigger weight rooms, better practice fields, etc.  

Some schools send all their kids to camps.  Others can not afford to do that.  

Some players take steriods & do other "illegal" things to create an advantage.  

If you think that showring judges are biased, well HS refs can be biased too.  

Some schools even hire outside "consultants", often college coaches, to help develop schemes, plays, etc.  Some schools don't have the contacts or $ to do that.

As you can see, right or wrong, HS sports & youth show cattle projects have a whole lot in common.  Neither is 100% fair.  Both leave kids feeling disenchanted & defeated.  Both have problems with cheating & illegal activities & those things SHOULD NOT be tolerrated at all, if someone is caught.  However, banning fitters is a lot like banning summer camps for football players... it wont solve a thing, IMHO.  Some HS football players will become disenchanted & give up.  But that doesn't mean that they wont find something else that they are very good at.  Not everyone can be a successful football player & not everyone can be a successful show person, but everybody can be good at something.  If winning or competing is all that matters to a person, then that person needs to find a niche where they can be competitive. 

IMHO, you can keep fitters from touching the calves at a show, but you will never stop them from being involved, at least somewhat.  IMHO, banning them will not help & it may actually hurt some kids by preventing kids from learning fitting skills & therefore can actually increase the number of kids who become disenchanted.  And IMHO, nothing will disenchant a kid more than a kid who works their butt off with a calf all year long, but then shows up for the show, does a butcher clip/fit job on the calf & then gets burried because they don't have the skills to clip/fit... while another kid rarely works with their calf, but they can fit & they had a pro-fitter clip the calf a few days before the show & that kid wins the show.           

If you really want to help & you don't want to slick sheer, then hire a pro-fitter to put on a clinic in your area & teach the kids how to do it themselves.  At least that way you will be helping those kids who are at a disadvantage.  But, don't ban fitters... trust me, it wont help.     

« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 09:40:21 PM by TJ »
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Offline TJ

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2007, 09:19:33 PM »
Quote
Nobody would ban grooming equipment because some kids can afford it & I just can't see banning pro-fitters because a few can't afford them.

Just to be clear, nobody is saying they are deterimental to shows because people can't afford them.  They're deterimental to the show ring because they do the work kids should be doing.

You are correct that kids should be working & doing as much work as they are capable to do.  But, let's be honest...  many 1st year, 4th graders, may actually "outwork" everyone else, but they just don't have the "fitting skills" to compete with an 18 year old who has been showing all their life & who is a 4H member, because they didn't join the  FFA.  Also, just because a kid fits their own steer or has a family member help them or a youth leader help them at the show, doesn't mean that did anything at home.  Who is to say that the family member or youth leader isn't a pro-fitter?  Who is to say that a pro-fitter didn't clip before they left for the show?  Who is to say that their parents didn't feed & groom the calves at home?  You see, just by banning pro-fitters at the show, you still aren't making the kids work.  As Shortyjock mentioned, with enough work at home, you can basically blow & go & beat a lot of calves that are fitted.  But who is to say that the kids are doing all that work at home?   

IMHO, like everything else it all boils down to the parents.  If the parents instill a strong work ethic in their kids, the kids will work.  If the parents teach the kids not to cheat, the chances are very great that the kids will not cheat.  However, if the parents want to hire it all done... as much as possible will be done BEFORE the calf ever attends a show & at home is where shows are won or lost, IMHO.  Banning a pro-fitter will not prevent that stuff from happening at home or make a kid work any harder.  I'm sorry, but it is true.       

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Romans 10:9-10... "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Offline rmbcows

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2007, 09:42:20 PM »

WHO's the new picture of, what bull?
[/quote]


OH Breeder....  That's just a pic of our old herd bull.   He's no longer with us and I sure miss him... raised alot of good calves out of the old boy.  Thank goodness we still have lots of daughters!

Offline TJ

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2007, 09:56:57 PM »
Lots of good points brought up so far.

Bottom line is that there is virtually nothing you can do to eliminate professionals (jocks, whatever you want to call 'em).

If you think that allowing only the exhibitors to touch the calves at the show solves it, then keep your blinders on and be happy. Those top end steers at Denver have been clipped and fitted by professionals (often in the yards) immediately before they go up on the hill. Same is gonna go for any other show with similiar rules. Years ago, Tulsa allowed only exhibitors to fit, but other exhibitors could help - that was pretty lucrative for the junior exhibitors that were good fitters.

Slick shear? The same "professionals" are standing in the win photos and picturing the winners in their ads as the hair shows.

I'm also in favor of letting anyone fit. The exhibitors that want to do it will learn  from the "pros" and they'll pass it on to the younger ones that want to in the same way. Young people that want help and want to learn will find a way. There are plenty of people that know how to fit that are willing to help anyone that truly wants to learn, if they'll only ask for help.






I agree 100%

 
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Romans 10:9-10... "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Offline Jeff_Schroeder

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2007, 09:59:31 PM »
Quote
But, let's be honest...  many 1st year, 4th graders, may actually "outwork" everyone else, but they just don't have the "fitting skills" to compete with an 18 year old who has been showing all their life & who is a 4H member, because they didn't join the  FFA

Why do you think that 4th grader should be able to step right in and compete with seniors in high school who have been fitting calves for a decade?

Offline OH Breeder

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2007, 10:05:28 PM »
I do get tired of people playing the disadvantage card. I was the youngest kid of 9 children. We DIDN'T have anything when I was a kid. ( I know cry me a river.... ;)) I took what came out of the barn that I have raised and broke. My parents are the age of most folks grandparents. If you want to compete you can, you just have to want it. MONEY or NOT. If you don't have any money, it doesnt cost anything to hitch a ride to a cattle show and spend time before the show starts and watch watch watch. I spent all summer working,so I could to buy my own show supplies etc. Lets face, there are some children that do not have it easy, but when I was them- it made me try harder. Bobby May use to sell at least two calves and still does in our county fair. Bobby and crew would come to the county fair and groom. Now, I never let that bother me, I just spent more time watching them and asking questions.
Life has been good to me. We have more advantages than I did as a kid. I spend most of my disposible income on the cattle." Like they say, we use to have money and now we show cattle." The cattle are a family project, who cares who is feeding and grooming, it takes a family to get it all done. The kids and I both help other exhibitors with our little knowledge when we can.

okay, I will step off my soap box.

ps,
they have a fitting clinic with a PROFESSIONAL fitter the first day of the fair for the kids of ALL ages. He works on both steers and heifers. Has the kids groom and judges them. They can then take that information and apply it that week to there own cattle.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 10:27:59 PM by OH Breeder »
Life is too short....don't sweat the small stuff.

Offline SD

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2007, 10:19:24 PM »
I do get tired of people playing the disadvantage card.

Amen!
Tact and Political Correctness were developed by those who lack the Testicular Fortitude to say what they really mean.

Offline TJ

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2007, 10:26:52 PM »
Quote
But, let's be honest...  many 1st year, 4th graders, may actually "outwork" everyone else, but they just don't have the "fitting skills" to compete with an 18 year old who has been showing all their life & who is a 4H member, because they didn't join the  FFA

Why do you think that 4th grader should be able to step right in and compete with seniors in high school who have been fitting calves for a decade?

I hate to answer a question with a question, but I think that your answer to my question will help me to better answer yours.

Why do you think that a 4th grader, who works like crazy at home, on thier own steer project, shouldn't be allowed to have any outside help on show day? 

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Romans 10:9-10... "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Offline shortyisqueen

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Re: Fitters, steer jocks and kids OH MY!
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2007, 11:00:55 PM »
I think someone else may have mentioned this already, but I think that motivation is the ONLY resource you need. If you have that, you can make everything else happen.  I can remember my first 'big show' where I was competing against the kids of the 'high rollers.'  I was so scared and was SURE  I was going to be last! (to this day, it is the most memorable second place I have ever received). It was easy to see there were some phenomenal cattle, and  I wanted mine to look like that. Any kid  who is serious about being involved in showing cattle and being competitive at it will see it  that way - there is no short cut to winning and if you can look up the line and see why those cattle are winning and yours are not, you've made a step in the right direction. The kids who are disenchanted to need to realize they have some work to do (its go big or go home). Competition breeds quality. As for the kids who have  a fitter - if they are interested, they will learn to do what the fitter is doing, and if they are not interested, they may win this show...but they probably won't win the next one - or even be at it as soon as they can convince their parents they are finished with showing.

Frankly, I've  had it up to there with the "rules" that try to 'even the playing field.' My brother and I used to fit as a team when we got our steers ready for  4-H.  His last year in 4-H, I didn't go in 4-H as I had gone away to college. I came back up for showday, and since I was still young enough to compete, I helped him fit his steer. The steer won, some 4-H parents threw a fuss, and my brother was disqualified for the grooming award because I helped him (and I was quote on quote 'a professional fitter.') Nevermind he spent every night in the barn working very hard on that steer and the steer would have won if he walked into the ring without any glue or that he helped get all my cattle ready for Agribition the fall before that (does that make him qualify as a 'professional' fitter too?) The only people I ever hear talk about 'leveling the playing field' are the people that are standing at the bottom of the line and  and don't want to do the work  it takes to get to the top.

 

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