Young people who are connoisseurs of cattle, perfectionists of pigs, obsessed with sheep, giddy about goats or crazy for chickens might be hard to pick out the perfect present for this holiday season, especially if you aren't familiar with the stock show world. If asked, they may even tell you, don't get me anything, get something for the animals!
Don't worry, we are here to help. There are some great gift ideas out there for the stock show kid in your life that they are sure to love that can be put under the tree this year (and no, they do not consume any feed). Check out our short list for some ideas!
For Any Stock Show Kid: Number Holders
Every show kid aims to be named as number one in class with their animals when they go to a show, but before then exhibitors are commonly given number cards made of paper or cardboard for their entries to be worn while in the ring. These numbers help show officials to identify each exhibitor and other times allow for judges to match up EPDs or weights with their respective animals in the class.
Perhaps the most common, Weaver Leather Livestock offers a simple number harness (center/second photo) made of black fabric that is worn over the chest and back and secured at the sides. They can be purchased from online retailers such as Weaver Leather Livestock itself or even Amazon, or in stores with livestock supplies, for as low as $9.00, plus shipping. Harness number holders can also often be found emblazoned with glitter and 4-H and FFA emblems as well.
Number holders are also available in other styles. Another common style is the pocket show number holder (left/first photo). Made of leather with a sturdy clip, commonly with bling, beads and gemstones for the ladies and plain leather for the gentlemen, these can be placed in the back pocket to hold number cards. A little more expensive, these fabulous inventions can also be purchased from retailers such as Rod's Western Living or today's old faithful, Amazon. Other beautiful number holders are also available to hook onto belts (right/third photo) and can be ordered handmade from the Livestock Leather Company for $60.00, customized just for your exhibitor.
For Any Stock Show Kid: Show Entry Fees
We hope this one is pretty self explanatory. Animals, and all of their feeds, supplements, medications, vet bills and grooming supplies are expensive, and that's not even including taking them to a show! Show entry fees can be as cheap as $5-$10.00 per animal, and can go upwards of $20-$25.00 for some shows, especially when you get into cattle and swine. Don't forget your showmanship entry fee, too, because that is often an additional $10-$15.00 on top of the animal's!
Many youth use their premiums from other shows, money earned from selling off other animals or work part-time jobs or on others' farms to pay for showing their animals. Any showman would love to have help with this expense, especially if they are or would like to save for something else, such as college, a car or other expenses.
You could even wrap a flyer or entry form in a box for a present to open!
for Any Stock Show Kid: Laundry Bag
Clothes, clothes, clothes! It may seem like your show kid changes clothes as much as they are feeding their animals, because, well, they probably are. Clothes for the morning chores, clothes for school, clothes for the afternoon/evening chores, pajamas and perhaps more almost every day and don't forget show clothes and official dress.
No one wants to smell stinky barn clothes, or wear the shirt the steer slobbered on again before it is washed, so why not a laundry bag for at home or on the go! Luckily, there's lots of options out there. If you're looking for something simple and inexpensive, Amazon to the rescue. They carry plenty of options, from the handy backpack design (first/left photo), to the cutesy turquoise "wash me" (third/bottom photo) and many more, delivered right to your door.
Other retailers, such as Walmart and Bed Bath and Beyond offer options that can shipped or bought locally. Looking for something a bit fancier, personalized or perhaps stock show themed? The Stock Show Boutique has got you covered (second/center photo), offering a wide variety of colors, patterns and animal silhouettes that can be personalized for your show kid.
For Any Stock Show Kid: New Belt
Every show kid's dream is to walk out of the ring with a buckle, or perhaps more than one. These spectacular accomplishments deserve to be shown off! For buckles both old and new, what better way for your show kid to do that than with a brand new belt?
Plenty of options to showcase one's personal style are out there for both girls and guys. Any guy is sure to love a plain, classic leather belt, like those shown here from Shepler's Western Wear trimmed with metal (first/left photo) or others available from many retailers. Ladies love their bling, and bling belts of all sizes, shapes and colors are out there, such as the black and silver option shown here from Boot Barn (third/right photo) and many other styles available from many retailers.
Perhaps your show kid would like one personalized? That can be arranged! Many leather craftsmen and outfitters offer personalized leather belts (second/center photo) with names, icons, themes and more, such as Gavere Leather and many sellers on Etsy. Looking to stay local? Western wear stores, Tractor Supply or Rural King or perhaps a merchant at a local flea market commonly offer plenty of styles!
For Any Stock Show Kid: Gift Card to Feed/Supply/Show Supply Store
We hope that this one is pretty self-explanatory, too. Animals, and all that they require, are expensive. If one is going to show them, there's show entry fees, and all the supplies needed to care for them as well, from the basics like feed and shampoos, to grooming products, new equipment, supplements and more. It adds up.
As mentioned above, many youth use their premiums from other shows, money earned from selling off other animals or work part-time jobs or on others' farms to pay for showing their animals. Any showman would love to have help with these expenses, especially if they are saving for something else.
Online or in-store, ask your show kid where they like to shop for thing for their livestock projects or perhaps you already know. They may enjoy shopping there for their animals more than shopping at the mall or online for themselves! Many shops will also supply you with a physical card or e-gift card to print out that you can wrap to put under the tree.
For the Cattle Kid: Custom Halter
Cattle are unique in the fact that they are the only species shown on a halter, and the halter is perhaps the most essential supply in one's showbox to show these magnificent beasts. Generally, there's the barn/trailer halter, usually made of nylon or fabric, used to tie the animal in the trailer or in the barn, and then there's the show halter, usually made of leather or a heavy duty material, a nicer one used when in the show ring.
Like many other stock show essentials, there are plenty of styles to choose from for halters. Plain halters can be purchased at just about any shop that sells cattle show products, but there are some fancier versions available online to suit both guys and girls (heifers/cows and steers/bulls, we mean). The Turquoise Heifer Customs offers nylon halters made of your choice of colors with a leather noseband that can be customized with names, monograms, icons and more at great prices (top/left photo).
More solid options include these durable, custom leather halters made by seller McCormackLeatherwork on Etsy (second/middle photo) that can be customized with names, numbers and icons, and these solid colored, heavy duty halters sold online by Uniquely Equine (third/right photo), that can be mongrammed with your show kid's or even their animal's initials!
For the Swine Kid: Show Whip Cover
Pigs are dirty, both by the stereotype and by what every hog showman knows. Though a show kid may try their hardest to keep their pigs clean in the show barn, dirt, mud, manure and more are always there, and no one wants to have their show whip get dirty. Luckily, there's a solution: a show whip cover.
Whether your show kid is into plain or blinged-out style, or perhaps is just looking for something to keep their whip's handle clean, there's a few choices out there. Sullivan Supply's Stock Show U offers a simple black padded whip cover with their logo (first/left photo), for the low price of just $4.95. Show Stopper Equipment Online also offers a simple plain black version for just $4.75 (third/right photo). Know someone who's good at sewing? Perhaps they can make your show kid one handmade with love in any color or style!
Looking for something a little more shiny or, "blinged out?" Look no further! Plenty of blinged out options are also available, as whole whips or as handle attachments to add to your show kid's lucky whip. Show Stopper Equipment offers some, along with seller SassyGirlsX3 on Etsy offers beautiful bling whips with crystals (second/center photo) in both swirl and stripe patterns.
For the Sheep Kid: Clipper Blades
Baa baa show sheep, do you have any wool? (Or hair?) Yep, yes they do, and often it is something that comes off either for the season or to go into the show ring, sheared off with a pair of trusty clippers. Or two, if your show kid is serious about fitting. Taken care of, the clippers can last a long time, but unfortunately, the blades can dull all too quick. Thankfully, blades are easy to buy, and make a great gift.
Clipper blades generally are sold by according to the brand and make of the clippers. Common brands and some of their makes include Oster (Showmaster, Shearmaster and PowerPro), Andis (Excel, Xperience, Progress and Xpedition), Premier (4000) and Wahl/Lister (Star and Legend). Common blades can often be found in stores such as Tractor Supply, and most can be ordered online through shops such as Sullivan Supply, ValleyVet and Jeffers Pet and shipped to your door. Ask your show kid what their or their group's clippers need.
Have some dull blades laying around? Sharpening services are also available both often locally and by mail. (Or if you are really looking for a big gift, how about a new set of clippers?)
For the Goat Kid: Custom Show Chain
Goats aren't shown with halters, they are shown with collars! Like with many other essentials of livestock showing, they are available in plenty of sizes, shapes and colors to suit the animal's needs and your show kid's style.
Plain show collars or "chains" for goats can often be found at feed and supply stores, and often, collars for dogs also can be used as well, found at pet supply stores. Plenty of options are also out there specifically for goats, too. Weaver Leather Livestock offers a show chain with a leather handle with customizable snaps that can be attached to add some style. They can be purchased on Weaver's website or even from Amazon!
Etsy can also be your friend once again for these, with sellers offering many different varieties and colors of show collars. Etsy seller TiffanysBraidedTack offers show chains with nylon rope handles made of almost any color (first/left photo) for just $25.00, and Etsy seller TexasCordCreations offers show chains with handles made of paracord (third/right photo) in a variety of colors as well for under $20.00.
For the Poultry Kid: Standard of Perfection
The Standard of Perfection is just that for poultry: the standard of showing exhibition poultry. It is a book that contains representations of a "perfect" bird for each sex of each breed and variety of chicken, duck, goose and turkey that showmen should strive to exhibit. The "American Standard of Perfection" is published by the American Poultry Association and contains large and Bantam chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys, while the "Bantam Standard" is published by the American Bantam Association and contains solely Bantam chickens.
Both are available for purchase from their respective organizations and other sellers. The American Standard of Perfection can be purchased for $59.00 from the American Poultry Association, and the Bantam Standard can be purchased for $30.00 in standard and pocket sized versions from the American Bantam Association. Both can also be purchased from other sellers online, such as Stromburg's Chickens and McMurrary Hatchery. Used versions can also often be found online.
Honorable Mention: Anything from the 4-H Mall, Shop FFA or Sullivan Supply
T-shirts, stationary, keychains, beanies, hoodies, jewelry, tumbler cups, stuffed mascots, belt buckles and more await from the 4-H Mall or Shop FFA, branded with 4-H and FFA emblems and slogans, perfect for your show kid to represent their organization with proceeds from purchases going back to help the organization! Mentioned previously, Sullivan Supply is one stop shopping for all of your livestock show supplies, from combs and clippers to blankets, grooming products, show sticks and more, shipped right to your door.
To all of the gift-givers out there, we hope that this list can help make shopping for the show kid in your life a bit easier! Youth, did we miss anything? Is there anything related to livestock that that you would love to see underneath the tree this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!
By Abby Marion
Originally from Volusia County, Fla. Marion is a senior at the University of Florida majoring in agricultural communications. Though her judging days are over, she stays involved in the livestock industry as a college student. She currently works as a freelance agricultural communicator and hopes for a career in the agriculture industry.