Last week at the NJSA Junior Board retreat members of our Junior Board of Directors were able to reflect on some great people and memories in their life. Read the responses of Morgan Cox and Lexi Marek below!
Question: Who is your biggest role model?
A (Morgan Cox): My biggest role model is someone I spent my entire childhood with. She has been both my babysitter and my partner in crime. She may be 10 years older than I am, but we are like sisters born only a few minutes apart. I call Rikki Hege my sister and I look up to her in just about every aspect.
Rikki is a wonderful wife, a beautiful mother of 2, and the only awesome hairdresser I will ever let touch my hair. She is always showing me the woman I want to become in my spiritual journey, family life, and work life. I admire how hard working and driven she is to make her family first priority and balance two jobs along with spending time with valuable friends. As someone she can come to, I get to talk to her about the little things in life as well as tough decisions we sometimes have to face. One day, I want to have family as sweet and as strong as Rikki’s.
Her husband Cody is hard working and driven just like her. Their son Brody and daughter Andi are growing up just like their parents and it is so sweet. Brody calls me sissy and is my buddy in the pig barn. If he ever knew I went to a pig show without him, he wouldn’t be happy about it. It warms my heart to know his mommy didn’t have the chance to show livestock but he is growing up around it with his grandparents and his “sissy.” Those of us in the NJSA understand the value of supportive family, valuable friends, and making memories in the livestock world.
Rikki would help anyone in need no matter how inconvenient. She will adjust her schedule for any family or friend to be somewhere she didn’t quite plan to be. She is passionate about her work and driven to be the best woman she can be every day. Rikki Hege is my biggest role model and easily my best friend.
Question: What do you like most about showing pigs?
A (Lexi Marek): There is no question there are lots of reasons to show pigs. First off, it’s addicting. I find working with livestock relaxing yet challenging. Getting to the barn each day to walk, wash, and feed pigs takes dedication and hard work. And don’t forget about the great opportunity to bond with your family. Hours are spent riding in a truck and trailer, driving to the next livestock show. Those road trips come with laughs and maybe a few arguments, but also lots of memories. Traveling has its perks as well; who else can say they’ve drove a big truck. I’ve learned how read a map pretty well and when not to use the GPS so avoid a faulty shortcut. But I think most people would answer their favorite thing about showing pigs is the people you meet. Each person has a different story but we all have one thing in common, a passion for the industry. Knowing you have friends from all over the country is pretty awesome and knowing that if you ever need anything, your livestock friends will have your back. The ribbons will fade, the buckets will tarnish, but the memories you’ve made with your stock show friends will last a lifetime.