1. Where are you from?
Small town on the Navajo Reservation called “ Tohatchi”
2. Share the story about your first stock show project?
My First project was two market lambs. They grew to be so big that 8 year old me would always let go and get frustrated. They were the starting point of my stock show career. I am forever thankful for those two market lambs that gave me the open door into the stock show industry. They came from my grandfather's herd; they weren't the best in the barn, but I worked them day in and day out.
Summer mornings were spent watching “Stock Show Confidential," where the host Terry Jordan Taught me, “Anyone can have a Grand Champion in their barn, but not everyone can show." Showmanship then became the main goal I was after. I began to love showmanship at a young age with my first projects. I learned if you can't out spend your competition, then you must out show them. My favorite memory from my first project was going to my first show and competing, then watching the big kids from the stand and I promised one day I would be just like them.
3. Since then, what have you accomplished in the stock show world?
When I look back down the road, 10 years of being in the ring has taught me many lessons. Some lessons I learned quickly, and some took a while to pick up on.
My biggest accomplishment I take pride in isn't the buckles, banners, or checks I’ve pulled but the hope I have given to young Native American Youth within the Navajo Nation. Livestock showing is a rare discipline on the Navajo Reservation. I have challenged myself to compete at various levels of shows ranging from Navajo Nation Regional Shows, County Fair, New Mexico State Fair, and Arizona Nationals. I want to show the youth on my Navajo Reservation that its possible for people of our kind to pave their way into the stock show industry. I have competed in a variety of states such as New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arizona.
Many animals have walked through my barn. I’ve had some champions, class winners, and some animals that didn’t grow out to see the ring. As I got better and better my barn grew bigger and bigger. I have had the pleasure to hang banners from every barn that I have competed in.
Each species taught me something. Steers taught me grit and work ethic; hair doesn't grow itself especially when you have a white hair. Hogs taught me consistency and hogs also taught me how to be a fierce competitor, when that gate opens its game on. Lambs taught me determination and dedication; lambs aren't something that comes easy when you’re 6’1. Goats taught me patience, especially when they stand 3ft tall with attitudes like they are 8ft tall.
I have always told my parents I am going to go out with a bang! This season was nothing short of that goal. I hauled to my county fair with intentions of finally capturing the Grand Champion Steer title. I walked away from my county fair this year with the Champion Crossbred Market Hog, Overall Grand Champion Market Hog, Champion Senior Hog Showman, Champion Overall Hog Showman, Champion Senior Lamb Showman, Champion
Overall Lamb Showman, Grand Champion Market Steer, Champion Senior Steer Showman, Champion Overall Steer Showman, and Reserve Champion Overall Round Robin.
I was very fortunate to make history as the first Native American to Win Lamb Showmanship, Hog Showmanship, and Steer showmanship at the county fair. I was also fortunate to be the first Native American to win Grand Champion Market Hog and Grand Champion Market Steer in the same year.
In closing, my last county fair was one for the books with all the success that came with it, but I hold more value in the relationships I have created with families of the younger showmen I have mentored. My biggest platform is reaching Native American Youth in agriculture in and out of the show ring. As a younger showman I didn’t get help from the older showmen. I want to be the older showman every younger kid looks up to. I have mentored many kids and I have helped them reach the backdrop, the smile on their faces when they get that handshake is priceless.
I have found a passion in working with youth in ag, I look forward to seeking a degree in Ag Extension Education and Ag Business with a minor in animal nutrition. I am proud to be the older showman that 8-year-old me looked up to and watched ringside.
An important lesson I have learned is don't forget where you come from and who got you there. The stock show industry has blessed me with many opportunities, I can't express how thankful I am. I plan on getting my degree, returning to my reservation, and giving back to my people through educating native American youth in agriculture.
Advice to up-and-coming showmen would be don't be afraid to let your light shine. Always remember to ask questions and be a sponge. Soak in all you can. Be a humble winner and a gracious loser. Never look down on another showman unless you're helping them get back up. When you hang that last halter and close that last gate all the buckles, banners, trophies, and ribbons will tarnish and fade. Cherish the memories made, friendships created, and the lessons you’ve learned.
My favorite verse when I am in the barn is 1st Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Dally Lane Carlisle