Thanks, Dad

Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of getting chores done, pens cleaned and all of the other daily tasks that come about on a farm completed, it’s easy to forget to show appreciation to one of the people who helps keep things going — our livestock dads.  In honor of Father’s Day, we asked a few people what they were thankful their dads’ helped them learn, using livestock as the tool to make them into great people.  Check out their thoughts below.

Dad, thank you for…

Teaching me responsibility:

Dalton with his dad, Travis

“Learning from my dad how to show livestock and properly care for them has not only taught me responsibility, but also to always give it my all and be the very best I can be. Spending time with my dad at shows and in the barn is something that I always look forward to.” 

-Dalton Shanks; Colfax, IA


“A life lesson that my dad taught me well was to always be responsible for your possessions, whether that be livestock, a car, or a cell phone. One of my favorite stories of one of these lessons involves me getting my first cell phone. Upon getting my first vehicle, like most teenagers, I was gone from sun up to sun down working on the farm or running around with my buddies. My dad decided I needed a cell phone so he could keep tabs on me. Off to the Verizon store we went, where I picked out my favorite flip phone and the appropriate texting plan to keep up with my friends. Once we got to the checkout counter and the cashier totaled everything up, my dad looked at me and said I hope you brought your checkbook because this will be your deal. Once I realized it was going to be my money paying for this thing, I didn’t need the flip phone or all the text messages and instead opted for a little more basic and responsible choice. The moral of this story and many others with my dad is that if you need or want something bad enough you better assume responsibility for paying and caring for it…you definitely find out how bad you want it. (Start playing Rolling Stones “You can’t always get what you want”)”

-Mike Doran; Ames, IA

Teaching me patience:

“My dad is a pretty intense person, but whenever he is around animals, he is always very calm.  I found this interesting and inquired as to how he could do that.  He told me that an important thing to do when working with animals is to make sure your heart rate never exceeds that of the animal.  Kinda corny, but I always found that to be a good piece of advice, whether working with livestock or other people, never let your heart rate exceed that of those around you.”

-Drew Mogler; Lester, IA

“My dad… he is my patient teacher with anything I want to venture.  And he has helped me develop my passion with livestock.  He is always there to share my stories with and he is one of the best for supporting my hobbies and what I love to do.”

-Kale Boysen; Morning Sun, IA

“Raising hogs together with my dad is something I have always enjoyed. No question, I would not be where I am today, nor would I have the enthusiasm for the swine industry if it hadn’t been for Dad. The great part was he recognized how much I enjoyed it, and cultivated it at a young age. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be stationed on a bucket for hours to watch a farrowing sow while he tended to other things, or to be the one to open bags of feed for him as he finished chores. While work ethic was an obvious benefit to having grown up on a livestock farm, I believe an even bigger lesson was gained from having grown up around Dad, that lesson being learning to have patience. A concept that I didn’t fully understand initially, but I distinctly remember one of my first times sorting market hogs with him where he explained having patience with the hogs will make the job go faster. This made no sense to me, I thought the idea was to move and sort  hogs as quick as possible, and be done with it. Well I took the advice he gave me, and sure enough he was right. It was at that point I realized that having patience was valuable skill for animal husbandry, and as I have grown older, I have learned it is a necessity in many scenarios outside of just loading hogs for market. The expression, “all good things take time” is true in more cases than not, and on this Father’s Day I am thankful for all the skills that Dad taught me on the farm, many of which have shaped me and gotten me where I am today.”

-Matt Romoser; Keota, IA

Teaching me how to be a good sport:

“For teaching me how to win humbly and lose gracefully.”

-Tyler Frasher; Anamosa, IA

“At a young age, I was taught to always walk out of the ring with a smile on your face and shake the judges hand, no matter if you were first or last. I am so grateful I was raised in the livestock industry that taught me so many life lessons that benefit me not only in the show ring, but also in my career path.”

-Lexi Delaney; DeWitt, IA

Giving me opportunities:

Shari's dad, Steve, with her three kids

Shari's husband, Jarrod, with their son, Caeden

“I will forever be grateful to my dad growing up for pushing my sisters and I out into the swine industry to stand on our own two feet. He constantly asked us to make the phone calls to breeders, to sign ourselves up for every possible learning opportunity and contest, to register our own litters and eventually to be able to take ourselves to a show. Not only did we learn responsibility and hard work in the show ring but he also taught us at home that the hogs required countless hours of work and that if we wanted to compete in the ring, the work must be done at home first. Now that I have my own kids my appreciation for the hours of patience it must have taken him to teach us to do things on our own has grown tremendously. Traveling to hog shows all over the country with 3 girls couldn’t have always been easy! My husband is such a great balancer for our family in and out of the show ring. He teaches our kids daily about the swine industry as a whole and is such a great example of the many leadership opportunities there are to be involved and make a difference. I cannot express how important it is for our kids to see how hard he works every day and strive to be like daddy. Whether he is dragging the kids with him to take pigs to the sale barn or they are home helping me clean the barn out, our kids are learning an invaluable passion for the world of ag. Jarrod teaches us all the value of working together and always reminds us of the importance of laughter in the barn.”

-Shari Sell-Bakker; Dike, IA

“I want to thank my dad for giving me the opportunity to show pigs.  He is very encouraging about getting involved in the industry and introducing me to people within it.  I thank him for pushing me hard in the show ring and in the swine industry.”

-Toni Chicos; Alden, MN

Believing in me:

“Thanks for being patient with me while I learned, but most importantly, for believing in me and helping me chase my dreams.”

-Laura Yoder; Kalona, IA

“I’m thankful my dad taught me that keeping your faith will always lead you to success, even if that’s not a banner.”

-Maddie Harken; Pleasantville, IA

Teaching me about hard work:

“I’m thankful our dad teaches us that there is a time to play and a time to work.”

-Cash Voegele; Lennox, SD

“Thanks for always jamming out and dancing with me in the barn, but still working hard to get the job done.”

-Mollie McCulloh; DeWitt, IA

Tucker with his dad, Matt

Giving selflessly: 

“Spending hours driving thousands of miles all around the US.  And for being my #1 fan, supporter and coach both inside and outside of the show ring.”

-Bella Boyer; Maquon, IL

“I’d like to thank my dad for working so hard so that we can do the things we love.”

-Tucker Rohrig-Sloth; Orient, IA


So, to the dads out there, thank you.  We know we don’t say it quite as often as we should, but the sacrifices you make daily and the lessons you teach us along the way do not go unnoticed.


Happy Father’s Day!




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