In our business, most people are looking for a quick fix – that next big thing to give them the competitive edge needed to win. While the effort is admirable, we have found the most success by keeping things simple, consistent and paying attention to every detail. You can outwork most and by using simple logic will achieve great things! The following are our top 5 keys to success:
- Find a Mentor:
A mentor provides more than just knowledge in your area of interest. A mentor can be there to answer tough questions, provide industry prospective and avoid roadblocks you may otherwise have to endure yourself. While mistakes are necessary to learn, we have to understand that the time we have for youth livestock projects is limited and those years go fast. Creating a loyal relationship with a mentor you trust has your best interest at heart can make the road to achieving goals faster and a lot more fun! You must remember there is no one way to select, feed or show livestock and the more you clutter your mind with varying opinions the more complicated things may become. More than anything, a great mentorship can become a relationship that extends far beyond the ring.
- Consistent Routine:
Routines are a must. Much like you and I, the more chaos and lack of predictability a pig encounters, the more likely they are to have a scattered pattern of behavior and appetite. While everyone’s schedule is different, it is important to set a routine that works best for you and stick to it throughout the duration of the feeding period. Sample schedules will follow in subsequent articles.
Many people want to know what this person or that person is doing to be so successful. The truth is, everyone has their own way of doing things. However, if you looked for commonalities in those who are successful – it would be preparation and attention to detail. Work hard and work smart. We will cover in more detail how showmanship, skin and hair, and the daily grind are a very important foundation for success.
- Basic Nutrition:
Good nutrition obviously plays a vital role in the success of your project. My dad always told me when I was young that there are highly intelligent nutritionists who formulate this feed – it’s not our job to make it more complicated. With that, I believe trusting good products and keeping things simple builds the most solid foundation. There are supplements that can eventually aid in finishing touches, but ensuring fresh feed and water is always available for your pig is imperative.
- Good Health:
One of the most difficult things to hear throughout the year is that a pig is off feed, coughing, or has some sort of illness. Providing a clean, dry environment for your animals along with fresh water is the easiest way to combat sickness. However, paying attention to your pig’s behavior and identifying problems early is good in maintaining a proactive approach to health.