The Kids Just Get Younger and Younger

Kansas Junior Livestock Exhibitors Look So . . . Little

All my life, everyone has told me that the older you get, the younger the kids you come in contact with look.

I was thinking maybe I was escaping because my grandchildren (whom I have to admit I see almost every day) appear to be growing at a normal pace. I even find myself now and then saying "I'll be glad when he/she can....."

But tonight I attended the annual Kansas Junior Livestock Show and I realized that these kids are so, well....young.

The exhibitor of the Grand Champion Steer, Taylor Crumbaker of Beloit, was 14 years old and an 8th grader. The reserve grand champion exhibitor, Shilo Schakke, was a 12-year-old 7th grader. They were poised, confident and proud of the years they have been showing.

I felt old.

But I also felt proud.

Every time I get a little down, thinking that maybe this country is going downhill and can't be rescued, it does my heart good to hang around the kids who participate in 4-H and FFA and events like the KJLS.

Before the Auction of Champions, we got a chance to learn a little about the dozen kids this year who are getting scholarships sponsored by the show -- $19,000 worth of them.

Yeah, they looked young. But, they too, were poised and confident and proud. They want to become farmers, veterinarians and animal scientists.

Whatever they -- and their tinier junior counterparts -- become, they already are something something special, wonderful, vital and important. They are the FUTURE of this country.

I may be an old fogie who knows nothing, but somehow, when I talk to them, I get the feeling that we might be just pretty darn OK.

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