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Offline Telos

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2007, 07:48:11 AM »

In recent years we have seen, partly because of media attention, cheating in many different kinds of competitions and sports. From the Tour De France to race car competitions,  people tend to become oblivious to ethical practices when "winning"  becomes the main objective. It's like an addictive drug.

I just hope "livestock showers" who practice a lifestyle of unethical behavior can learn something from their actions.There needs to be more pressure on people who thinks it OK to cheat and beat out a first time 9 year old 4-H kid and think they have really accomplished a great feat. Maybe, if we make them feel more "shameful" and let the "media" get a hold of their actions, to let all to know, it might make them think differently?

Junior livestock showing is one heck of a program and we must continually work to make these competitions fair and keep everyone on an even playing field.

P.S. This is to all the "big shots" who cheat. I hope you get caught so you can learn one of life's basic lessons.

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Offline *GOCALVES!!!

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2007, 11:27:05 AM »

In recent years we have seen, partly because of media attention, cheating in many different kinds of competitions and sports. From the Tour De France to race car competitions,  people tend to become oblivious to ethical practices when "winning"  becomes the main objective. It's like an addictive drug.

I just hope "livestock showers" who practice a lifestyle of unethical behavior can learn something from their actions.There needs to be more pressure on people who thinks it OK to cheat and beat out a first time 9 year old 4-H kid and think they have really accomplished a great feat. Maybe, if we make them feel more "shameful" and let the "media" get a hold of their actions, to let all to know, it might make them think differently?

Junior livestock showing is one heck of a program and we must continually work to make these competitions fair and keep everyone on an even playing field.

P.S. This is to all the "big shots" who cheat. I hope you get caught so you can learn one of life's basic lessons.



Nice Take, Telos. I hope it stops before we let it get started.  (cow)

Offline calfman

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2007, 11:50:19 AM »
I think my buddy has become a "hotshot." He's not cheating, but he's so competitive and serious, it takes the fun out the show.

 (:))

Offline brahmergirl

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2007, 05:09:20 PM »
It's sickening. It happens though, to each is their own!  We learned that lesson through market hogs.  Just as big of a game as any other market animal.  Very disheartening for kids when they "honestly" raise their livestock and lose to dishonesty.  I had to have that same talk to my 11 year old just this last year in the hogs.  We didn't feed ours anything that we would be scared of eating ourselves. 

Our friends on the other hand had 10 head of hogs that they showed.  They took all of theirs to the local livestock auction the next day, I asked how many they were going to keep to butcher and was told none.  They put too much in their feed for them to eat but it was ok for someone innocently to buy at the auction to butcher and risk their health on.  I lost a lot of respect for those "friends".  The kid that won the fair that we were at, his dad put tons and tons of various powders on his feed morning, noon and night.  We watched and learned.  Nothing in it's original container, all unlabeled containers.  We knew where he bought his stock as that is where we bought ours also, same litter of pigs even.  When his son won $1,300 for his pig and my son didn't he was of course upset.  We talked about genetics and just the way each individual animal turns out.  Then we talked about how our pig was $150 and his was $800 out of the same litter, at the same auction within 5 minutes of each other.  Then we talked about the price of feed, the price of all those additives and we figured up with pen and paper how much we made off of ours vs how much they made off of theirs.  they went in the hole, and my son had money in his pocket.  He made $900 off of his and his was just breed champion not overall champion however he came out about $500 ahead due to grinding our own feed and having our own rations made, no additives. 

It's really sad the message that we try to send to kids today.  It's too bad that it can't be like how the article said it was for that guy back in the 70s.  Its just too political and commercial.    We show Brahman's and can't compete around here with black cattle, it's a fact.  So that is why we show at Tulsa.  It is the closest breed show around for my son to compete in in an open show.  We went a few years ago and he had two head that he took, a bull and a heifer.  That was plenty for our first year.  He showed against the industry's best, 50+ year old men and still did great!  He left feeling a little down that he didn't get first place but we talked about that again.  We went back this year and the man that won wasn't there.  He hauled about 30+ head down there, he had been disqualified from the breed association for various reasons.  It was then that my son realized how cheating gets you no where.  It was good for him to see that at such a young age.  It will hopefully stick with him for the rest of his life. 
« Last Edit: February 17, 2007, 05:13:34 PM by brahmergirl »
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Offline red

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2007, 05:13:22 PM »
Good job of raising a very knowledgable & honest son brahmergirl! Kids need to learn by example & explaining & taking the time w/ them is all worth it!!


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Offline Show Heifer

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2007, 07:04:59 PM »
This is about the only subject that can raise my bloodpressure INSTANTLY. I HATE CHEATERS. The only thing worse than the kid that cheats is all the adults that either let them, or tell them it is ok because "everyone else is doing it." This just grabs my goat! ???
Most, and maybe all, of those lamb exhibitors were allowed to show again because in the words of the NWSS "the kids have been humiliated enought. They have learned the lesson." WHAT? You have to be kidding. These people don't have any humility. They have no remorse. They were not upset that they cheated, they were upset because they GOT CAUGHT. They should have been banned from showing EVERYWHERE, and then prosecuted for animal abuse, food tampering, and falsifying a document.  I have NO sympathy for anyone involved.   >:(

Now for my "off the wall, but well thought out" rememdy: Either follow AND ENFORCE the rules that are in the books, OR GET RID OF ALL THE RULES and make it a free for all. That way, at least the playing field is even. If you want to feed drugs, go for it. If you want to abuse your animals by needling them, by all means do it. But at least EVERYONE has that opportunity.  I think if all the rules were removed and the playing ground was level, all the cheaters would complain because someone "cheated" better than they did.  Grip and moan.
If you don't like that option, then enforce the rules. BAN THOSE THEY GET CAUGHT. BAN THE "SHOW JOCKS" THAT ARE INVOLVED FROM THE GROUNDS.  I am sick and tired of show officals looking the other way.  I am sick and tired of adults looking the other way. And I am REALLY sick and tired of "experts" telling kids it is ok to "stretch" the rules because everyone is doing it. NO IT IS NOT OK.  And it is not ok to sit by and let it happen. I don't care how much crap I have to take. I WILL NOT TOLERATE IT. (Sorry, I will get off my broom now!!)

But really, it is so sad that something so fun when I was growing up has turned into a cut throat business for 40 year old 4-H'ers. Wanna be's and Has beens. When I showed it was a fun family thing. And I have nothing but fond memories of it (ok, maybe a few rough lessons, but I still enjoyed it!)

My fingers hurt I have been typing so hard, so I will stop. But I do want to congratulate Bramahagirl (SP) on her lesson she taught her child. My hats off to you! And hats off to all the hard working families that show honestly regardless of winning or losing! (clapping)
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Offline genes

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2007, 08:53:58 PM »
Another pat on the back here for Brahmergirl, for explaining everythign to your son and heeading him in the right direction.  I especially like that you did a cost comparison...it can really help squash that "win at all costs" attitude if you make it clear that you aren't going to pay for it for him  :D  I mean I know raising a show animal isn't supposed to be as cheap as raising a regular one, but it doesn't ahve to be as expensive as some people make it.


Overall, I think maybe there is less big cheating in Canada (at least at the basic 4-H level...I haven't shown in others so it's hard to say), because we don't have the huge sale dollars or jackpots that some of your shows do.  Most of what I see is just parents who fit instead of the kids.  I'm sure other stuff probably goes on that we can't see, but at the same time, I would probably say it is a minority. 
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Offline AAOK

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2007, 12:15:06 PM »
I tend to take a different point of view.  Our family was pretty Hot & Heavy into Showing Cattle (Junior Shows) for 10 years.  As luck would have it, our two daughters had a completely worthless Ag Ed instructor, so Showing became our Family Hobby, to learn, practice and develop on our own.  Our first two years (before the intense 10 years) were local and County only, which introduced us to the less than ethical standards of many.  We noticed one particular family which was hated by all, because they always won.  We were informed of all their cheating, and it was explained to us they were the cause most of the other cheaters.  Our family became well acquainted with "The Cheating Family", stalled with them, and began attending the State Shows together.  It didn't take us long to realize "The Cheaters" didn't cheat; they just had better calves, worked harder, and WON!  We followed their example, started attending the National Shows, and also became "Cheaters" at the Local, County, and State level.  Our friends, "The Cheaters", children were older than ours, and they soon retired from the ring.  We were suddenly the biggest "Cheaters" in the area, not just our County. 

I had a wonderful mentor with Seedstock selection when trying to get started raising Show Calves.  Three years, and $11,000 later, the girls were exhibiting  Bred and Owned heifers, which were very competitive.  This is about the time our family operation received the award,  "Supreme Cheaters".  We steadily improved our breeding, feeding, grooming, and fitting through the next several years, and "Cheated" our way to the top, winning at both the State and National levels. 

Now here is my point:  We never cheated!  Cheating was going on all around us; all the time.  It's not just in the Livestock Show industry, it's everywhere; sports, business, politics, etc.  Our girls learned extremely valuable Life Lessons from us, their parents. 
1. If you are successful, those you defeat will accuse you of wrong doings.
2. Cheaters  often win, but always at a cost to their integrty.
3. Pay attention to your own actions.  Many will watch what you do.  Some will imitate. You can be a positive influence.
4. Let the Cheaters cheat.  They will always be around, no matter what the consequences may be.  ;)   
     

Offline red

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2007, 12:29:35 PM »
Excellant post AAOK, you're denfintley A OK in my book. It is funny, when reading some of the other boards how qucikly people jump in & start complaining that kid A won because he cheated. They rant & rave about how this person could win so many shows. I always wonder if they took the amount of time they spent complaining & put it to working w/ their animals how much better they might do? I'm sure that if you looked at the really sucessful people & calculated the amount of time spent working w/ their calves to the normal, it would be far greater. Remember, I'm saying the average.
Granted, there always going to be those that cheat. That is something that has been around since the dawn of time. There will always be those that win that cheat. But there is also a great number of hard working families & kids that go by the rules, enjoy what they are doing & truly give 110%.
Great comments & feedback by all!

Red
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but most succeed because they are determined to."
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Offline brahmergirl

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2007, 12:52:24 PM »
I think there is a fine line between defining "cheaters".  I think there are "cheaters" and then I think there are "envied".  I notice that at our fair.  Yes, we have the ones that always win but their parents own a feed store, they spend a ton of money on their animals, can afford to buy the best feed for their critters but I don't think that that suggests they cheat.  I callthem the "envied". 

Then there are the true cheaters and I think that's what most people are talking about.  The switching of ear tags, the chemicals given, all the way to switching breed papers, you name it, that is "cheaters".  I think more people can read between the lines of these two types of people and mostly some "cheaters" get the bum name because that is the only negative thing disgruntled families can say about them.  They can't say their stock is bad, they can't say their kids show bad, they can't say anything wrong with the cattle or kids, so then you have to cheat right?  You MUST be a cheater then!  they literally can't find anything that they've done wrong so in order to feel justified they label them as cheaters!  They're upset that their kids animals didn't win and so they must try to make them look bad any way they can.   Instead of being able to accept and congratulate (good sportsmanship?) they must try to lash out to satisfy their own feelings of let down. 

Am I right?  It's sad people get the bum wrap for cheating when they don't but it's sad the people that do, don't get more of what they deserve.  Nascar this weekend was  a GREAT example of that. 

Just know that you and your family practices the up and up and don't worry about anyone else! Let the one's who cheat get what they shall, as it will sooner or later catch up with them.  ;D
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Offline cowz

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2007, 09:53:36 AM »
I tend to take a different point of view.  Our family was pretty Hot & Heavy into Showing Cattle (Junior Shows) for 10 years.  As luck would have it, our two daughters had a completely worthless Ag Ed instructor, so Showing became our Family Hobby, to learn, practice and develop on our own.  Our first two years (before the intense 10 years) were local and County only, which introduced us to the less than ethical standards of many.  We noticed one particular family which was hated by all, because they always won.  We were informed of all their cheating, and it was explained to us they were the cause most of the other cheaters.  Our family became well acquainted with "The Cheating Family", stalled with them, and began attending the State Shows together.  It didn't take us long to realize "The Cheaters" didn't cheat; they just had better calves, worked harder, and WON!  We followed their example, started attending the National Shows, and also became "Cheaters" at the Local, County, and State level.  Our friends, "The Cheaters", children were older than ours, and they soon retired from the ring.  We were suddenly the biggest "Cheaters" in the area, not just our County. 

I had a wonderful mentor with Seedstock selection when trying to get started raising Show Calves.  Three years, and $11,000 later, the girls were exhibiting  Bred and Owned heifers, which were very competitive.  This is about the time our family operation received the award,  "Supreme Cheaters".  We steadily improved our breeding, feeding, grooming, and fitting through the next several years, and "Cheated" our way to the top, winning at both the State and National levels. 

Now here is my point:  We never cheated!  Cheating was going on all around us; all the time.  It's not just in the Livestock Show industry, it's everywhere; sports, business, politics, etc.  Our girls learned extremely valuable Life Lessons from us, their parents. 
1. If you are successful, those you defeat will accuse you of wrong doings.
2. Cheaters  often win, but always at a cost to their integrty.
3. Pay attention to your own actions.  Many will watch what you do.  Some will imitate. You can be a positive influence.
4. Let the Cheaters cheat.  They will always be around, no matter what the consequences may be.  ;)   
     

Great Post, AAOK!  Rings true for us, too.  When you develop an eye for whats good and develop a great feed and hair program, all the people around you would never attribute it to a good eye and hard work.  Once you start winning, you truly find out who your friends are.  They instantly think that 1. you cheat  2.  you mortgaged the farm and bought it.  What scares me right now is that a few fitters are ticked and I always worry what chicken stuff they will try to do under the cover of darkness at a show.  Paranoid, I know, but founded.
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Offline genes

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2007, 10:38:28 AM »
Thanks for the different point of view AAOK..just to make us think.  I have to admit, as someone who didn't end up in the top of my class too regularly, that after reading your post, I honestly did a self check to think if I had ever been that unfair.  I think maybe I've done the "envy" thing Brahmergirl mentioned, where  if I know someone paid a premium for their calf, I can say, 'well it's not so surprising it turned out that nice'.  Or maybe frustration in the cases where you do know someone has some of the best calves at the show, you don't see why Daddy has to fit them.  But if people are going to pass off everyone who wins as cheaters, they are only doing themselves a disservice. It's hard to sit around and whine and work at getting better at the same time.  I know that when someone shows up with a really nice steer or heifer, the first reaction is usually "wow...awesome", make sure to show Dad and my friends.  Then you start notice that they aren't just nice animals, they have that perfect hair, so I admit, I spy on thir chute a little, not to see if they cheat, but so I can figure out what products and techniques they are using.  I guess it worked....I can't say I ever got to show up with the great one, but my average ones' grooming sure got better..... (clapping)
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Offline chambero

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2007, 12:48:49 PM »
I've been around showing since the early 80s and seen (and admittedly done - or had them done for me) a few things that would be considered cheating now - even though they weren't against the rules early on.  I agree with everything AAOK said with a few additions:

1.  People gripe that showing isn't a "family" thing anymore, but then turn around and gripe that a parent is doing the work for the kid.  I will never criticize anyone that has parents and their children working together.  If the kid isn't doing "enough", it shows up.  I sat next to the fitter of a kid with a very expensive and good calf at the FW steer show a few weeks ago.  An obvious case of a kid and calf that didn't know one another.  I'll give a few signals now and then, but this fitter looked like a landing signal officer on an aircraft carrier trying to signal that kid where to place the feet - pretty much to no avail.  It was EXTREMELY humorous - and the kid got soundly thumped in class with an outstanding calf. 

My theory is that for any calf that wins that kid has to spend "enough" time with it to show good enough.  If a calf won't show, something else is going to be close enough to beat it.  I know - I watched it happen to a very good calf that I sold last weekend.  The calf we sold was pretty easily the best.  I clipped him and helped as much during the year as I though appropriate.  But the young lady that owned him never did her part all year and it showed - dramatically in the ring.  I give the judge all the credit in the world for picking the girl's calf who actually knew how to show him for Grand and a very small boy who worked his tail off in the ring for Reserve.  Our calf was left standing and the point I had been trying to make to that family all year very painfully reinforced.

There are a lot of "nontraditional" families - divorced, etc. where the kids aren't able to do the "ideal" amount of work.  In my mind, they should be allowed to show just like someone else - they are just at a disadvantage.

2.  Rules vary a lot from show to show now and over time.  What is allowed at one show may not be at another.  It's not cheating by pumping 7UP into a steer at a prospect show unless the rules forbid it.  A whole lot of issues fall into this category.  For example, we can't apply any paint to any part of a calf at the Fort Worth steer show - including legs.  This practice is legal at every other "hair" show I know of. 

3.  Most of the things that people do to "artificially" enhance an animal really don't work.  If they did, the cattle industry would have gotten them legalized just like they did with growth implants, Optaflexx, etc.  You can't make a bad one good by giving him drugs or other "things".  I'm not saying it doesn't go on, but those things aren't what are beating people.  None of it does any good without the good eye, experience, and hard work that account for 99.999% of what it takes to make an animal good.

4.  Shows should enforce the rules they have.  They already have the necessary punitive measures in place.  We can spout off on this forum, but the shows have to live in the real world and deal with things like lawyers.  Most importantly, they have to deal with real kids.  Remember - showing isn't that important in the grand scheme of things.  If there is any doubt as to what happened, its not worth humiliating a minor publicly over it.  The potential for harm to the kid and to our PROGRAM isn't worth it.

Offline red

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2007, 01:02:01 PM »
Great post Chambero!!! (welcome)
I think a lot of us jump to quick decisions on winners & rules. Like you said, there are certain shows that give you more latitude then others. Good example is the BEST shows in Ohio where you can't paint anything. Then you can go to the AGR & paint to your hearts content. Some shows are trying to enforce a family member only policy of helping a kid fit. That gets interesting when you look sometimes at what makes up a family anymore.
I think in the long run, you know in your own heart & in your kids eyes when you cheat or bend the rules too much. It's you that is setting an example for your kids & the other youth around you.
If we could all have the same quality of animal & the same skills, it just wouldn't be fun anymore. I like competition & to win but I also like sleeping w/ a clear conscience.
Red
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Offline Show Heifer

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Re: Show ring ethics
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2007, 06:43:29 PM »
Believe it or not cheaters don't always win, and honest people don't always lose. It is that simple. :) 
But, it does cause a bit of concern when someone wins TOO much, such as the multiple year winner of the denver lamb show until he was caught last year. Did he cheat in years past? Who knows. That is the sad part. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. The suspicion will always be there.

Follow the rules of the show that your showing in. If it is legal, then do it. But if it isn't, then be prepared to be punished....that is, if someone is willing to enforce the rules.

But, I do agree, that people sure get upset when someone wins too much. I can not afford to pay huge money for a calf or lamb, BUT if someone else can, well, that is life. Sometimes it isn't fair, GET OVER IT!!  The sooner you learn that simple lesson, the more enjoyable your life will be. And I myself, am enjoying every day!!! :) ;D
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