It’s no secret that I love agriculture, and my roots always will be planted deeply in the country, no matter where life takes me in the future.

To me, grabbing a pair of jeans and pulling on a pair of “cowgirl” boots before heading out to run some errand or hit the town is fashionable attire, no matter how many looks or comments I may receive informing me otherwise.

Some of my greatest memories and achievements so far in life can be attributed to my involvement in youth organizations with a strong tie to the agriculture industry, including FFA, 4-H and the Soil and Water Conservation Youth Board of Johnson County.

Although I may have been the only girl or the only student, for that matter, in my senior speech class who gave their demonstration speech on how to properly dock lambs’ tails and castrate baby rams, I was and always will be proud of how I was raised and thankful to my parents for instilling in me at an early age the importance of farming and agriculture.

Recently, I have been on the road quite a bit for work, traveling to different county fairs around the state to meet and watch Hoosier 4-H members in action.

From Wabash to Shelbyville and many other fair visits in between, I have met several incredible 4-H members that are all united by their passion for agriculture, whether it’s through showing livestock with their family or working on efforts to promote 4-H to their fellow peers.

Last week, I was able to attend my home fair in Johnson County, where I was a 10-year 4-H member. While at the fair, trying not to melt, I had the chance to follow a brother-and-sister duo, who are in their third year of 4-H and probably would live in the beef barn with their steers if their mom let them.

I will admit that I always have been nervous around steers and even during my years in 4-H would avoid the cattle barn at all costs, partly because I showed pigs and sheep, but also because cattle can get spooked extremely easily and when a 1,300-pound beef steer has decided he has had enough showing, he’s had enough.

Needless to say, I am pretty positive I spent more time last week in the cattle barn and the side of the show arena where the market steer and heifer shows are than I ever did during my entire 4-H career combined, but it was worth it.

I enjoyed every minute I spent with the young beef experts, as they explained to me all the hard work and long hours that go into showing cattle at the fair and that the project really starts the moment they purchase their show cattle, which this past year was the previous November.

However, as impressed as I was with both siblings’ knowledge of their steers and the beef industry, in general, what really knocked me off my feet was watching this pair in the show ring.

For some reason, their steers decided that a trip to the county fair was cause for a celebration and to act ornery whenever it was their turn to be shown.

Naturally, my first response when I saw this was to run away and go hang out somewhere safe, maybe with the rabbits, especially when I noticed another steer getting a bit frisky, but I didn’t, and the cause for concern quickly left my mind when I saw how both the brother and sister, even though they are fairly petite in size, hung on to their steers and kept with them.

Their efforts paid off because even though one of the siblings did get his foot stepped on twice, they ended the fair week with several first- and second-place ribbons.