If you’ve ever shown a junior livestock project, there’s not doubt you’ve dreamt of the moment.

It’s the final drive. The judge makes his final remarks on the microphone and returns it to the announcer. You’re completely focused, yet you can feel the energy as the crowd goes silent. The judge takes one last look around the ring. He turns, looks you right in the eye, and extends his hand in congratulations. The crowd erupts in applause. You’ve won!

Over the years we’ve welcomed many families to The Hill and they’ve all had this same dream in mind. To see these moments come to life for our customers, at shows of any size, is one of our greatest pleasures.

While each and every project is worth the effort, and each and every family is worthy of the win, there remains little doubt that bringing this dream to life requires a certain amount of magic. The right pig, on the right day, in the right class, with the right judge. A good trip through the ring. A good look at the right time. Everything has to come together, but when those stars align, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of a hard-earned win. It’s no wonder so many chase this dream.

Still, in an age of participation trophies, winning, and the pursuit thereof, has rewards that reach far beyond the banner. Winning creates confidence. Confidence inspires boldness. Boldness encourages action. Action produces results and results matter. When these projects end, when there are no more pigs to drive, a young person who aspired to win will still hold the ability to produce results because they will have learned the process of achievement. They will have learned that nothing is given to them. They will have learned that if they want it, they have to Earn It!

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Earning it means doing the work behind the scenes. It means showing up when others won’t. It means giving 100 percent 100 percent of the time. It means putting in extraordinary effort so you might experience extraordinary results. This is the process of achievement. This is the process that produces results. Win or lose, the results of your effort will matter. Win or lose, you will know how to achieve, in the classroom, in job interviews, in the workforce, and in life.

When you ask yourself what you have to do to summon the magic that creates the winning moment, remember that magic can’t be created. It must be earned. You might have to wait and you will always have to work. Then, one day, it will appear, in the right moment, at the right time, and when it does you will know that you’ve earned it.

Earn It!