Our Spotlight ambassador is Livestock Ambassador Ashley Richardson. This is her journey in her own words.
Ever since I was little, livestock has been a huge part of my life. I can remember my parents were just counting down the days until I was old enough to start showing. For my family showing has always been a whole family activity, no matter whether we were just working in the barn on a Sunday evening or we were at a show, we all were involved and helped with whatever was being done. My family and I have been lucky enough to be as successful as we have been. Ever since I started showing market lambs 8 years ago, my mom has always told me before I go into the ring at any major, to just remember our goal is just to make the “pull” and everything else after that is icing on the cake. Although we haven’t made the “pull” every year at every major, we have been lucky to have had several “icing on the cake” moments. The biggest highlight of my showing career was at the 2014 San Antonio Livestock Expo. where I was grateful to win the Middle Weight Finewool Cross class and go on to win a scholarship. I know this kind of success won’t happen every year, but it sure is a great goal to strive for.
Throughout my years showing I have learned many lessons, and not just the obvious lessons of hard work and responsibility. I have also learned how to keep my calm through pressure situation, win and lose gracefully, and always put forth my best effort. One of the most important things I have learned is to just keep reaching for your dreams even when things don’t go your way. You can practice and prepare all you want but in the end you can’t control the outcome in the ring, but what you can control is from the moment you step foot in the arena till the moment you step out is giving it everything you got.
The Livestock Ambassador program has allowed me to go out and educate and advocate for an industry the supports our world in the way it does. Being able to help younger showman learn how to exhibited their animals properly, and teaching others about the importance of agriculture and how it impacts our world every day is one of my favorite things to do. I have come to realize that my passion for Ag isn’t just for showing sheep, but also advocating for one of the most important industries in the world. Being in the ambassador program has exposed me to many different career routes within the agricultural industry. If it weren’t for showing and the Livestock Ambassador program I would not be where I am today.