Karina Jones is a real-life ranch wife in the Nebraska Sandhills and one of the most highly sought-after speakers in the cattle industry nationwide!
If you want to teach the virtues of humility, courage, and independent thinking to a child, have them compete in a dirt arena.
Our kids compete in both the livestock show arena and the rodeo arena. While they seem worlds apart, the principles they teach are so very much the same! Because it has been a few days since the yesteryear of my youth, I think as adults we don’t give enough credit to the mere courage it takes for these kids to enter an arena all on their own. Whether they are headed in to that arena on the back of a horse to run a barrel pattern or rope a calf, that takes a lot of courage.
Mom and dad can’t ride on the back of the saddle and make the critical decisions at that competitive rate of speed. That is all between the kid and the horse. Same thing when a child enters the show arena with livestock. There is an amount of courage that is needed and then there is decision making that the kiddo has to navigate. Where to set the steer up? Where to drive the pig in front of the judge? And oh good golly, if that judge asks questions that is another layer of critical thinking. Just so many great skills learned and sharpened.
But the one that is hardly ever mentioned, HUMILITY! If you want to humble a nation of children, have them compete in an arena. No matter how much sweat equity you put into your project and practicing, as we say in our rig, “it will be what it will be.” There will be tears, there will be heartache, but how you handle those losses will shape your future as a champion!
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Karina ranches with her husband, Marty, and 3 daughters near Broken Bow, NE. She grew up in western NE, with roots also in southwest SD. The cattle industry and raising kids is her passion.
Watching the cattle industry go the path that it has gone, she could no longer sit quietly at home checking cows, fixing fence, and doing all the everyday tasks wondering when some else was going to make it all better. As she became more active and outspoken on industry issues, she was asked to join the R-CALF USA staff in September 2020 as the Checkoff Petition Campaign manager. That position transcended into her current role as full time Field Director for R-CALF USA.
You can hear her almost every Friday on Your Ag Network’s Hot Barn Report that is broadcast on 60 radio stations with coverage in 9 states, where she deep dives into cattle industry issues and highlights R-CALF’s work on industry reforms. Listen to Ranch Raised on a Your Ag Network hometown station or www.youragnetwork.com where she talks about her daily life on the ranch.