The Showbox was created in 1979 when the precursor of the TJLA was created. The first issue, which was a 4 page printed newsletter was published in March of 1979. For three years, The Showbox was produced on the kitchen table of Billy and Cherie Rash’s home.
It is the oldest livestock show publication in the country and has been in continual existence for the past 38 years.
The Showbox is not a regional publication. It is a National publication which covers livestock shows and state fairs held throughout the country.
Its editorial emphasis is junior exhibitors, but the publication publishes the results of the National Open Livestock Shows as well as news from America’s breed associations.
If You Can Dream and You Can Believe it, You can Become It.
Each month The Showbox publishes a motivational article aimed at junior livestock exhibitors. Publisher Cherie Bright talks about the importance of setting goals as well as steps that will help a person reach his or her goals. Her articles encourage personal development and developing the discipline to achieve any goal that a person might have for herself or himself.
Those articles encourage young people to continue to work toward their goals in spite of setbacks or obstacles that come to every person trying to achieve excellence.
An avid student of great motivational authors such as Normal Vincent Peale, Earl Nightingale, Dale Carnegie, Ed Foreman, William James, Og Mandino, Steven Covey and Charles Swindoll and others, Cherie says that she believes that after a devotional and prayer, the most important thing anyone can do when they awaken in the morning is to read or listen to something inspirational.
“I was fortunate growing up in that my step-father, a football coach and athletic director, was also a student of many of the same writers that I continue to study.
He had a huge sign in his field house that said: ‘Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.’ He was a great athlete, a great coach and a great human being,” she noted. “He encouraged me to read How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie as well as Earl Nightingale’s The Strangest Secret when I was in high school. After having a taste of great inspirational reading, I was hooked. I have been a motivational “junkie” ever since,” Mrs. Bright said.
“I learned something very early in life,” she said. “My step-father always told me that ‘Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you are absolutely right.” That lesson has remained with me my entire life, and I try to transmit that idea to young people. It is absolutely true. A person can do anything that they believe they can do. I don’t think we tell young people that enough, but we make it a point to do that every month in The Showbox.”
Advice for Show Managers
With Sand in My Shoes..
In addition Mrs. Bright writes a monthly column for show managers. The articles, which are aimed at the managers of the TJLA’s sanctioned shows, have impacted an audience far beyond Texas’ TJLA shows. She discusses the importance of planning, ideas on gaining greater attendance and other facets of show management. “Since I have, at one time or another, done every single task that a show manager faces wrong at least once, I know a lot about what not-to-do.”
Advice for Parents of Livestock Exhibitors
Making The Wheels Go Round
Anther monthly feature is “Making The Wheels Go Round” an article whose intended audience is the parent of a junior livestock exhibitor. “We have a lot of green horns who come into this organization. I personally know how that feels. No one knew as little about livestock or livestock shows when I first became involved with them. I had no prior experience at livestock shows, and people were nice enough to help educate me. I hope that we can help the ‘inexperienced parent’ before they make some of the mistakes that I did. We write a lot of things about entering shows, preparations before you leave for the show, when you arrive at the show, and while you are there.”
Coverage of All National Livestock Shows and State Fairs
The Showbox publishes the results of the National Open Livestock Shows, all the State Fairs, the National Junior Heifer Shows, as well as news from America’s breed associations. In addition it publishes the results of several jackpot shows that have become institutions unto themselves. Many of those shows take place in Texas and many take place throughout the country.
Educational Articles for Junior Exhibitors
The Showbox has always published articles to help junior livestock exhibitors. The article Livestock 101 is a monthly feature which emphasizes some area of expertise that junior exhibitors need. The articles vary as to species each month, and they cover everything from selection to showmanship.
In addition Cherie Bright frequently writes articles for juniors ranging from ethical behavior to dressing correctly when one exhibits.
And Other Things….
Every month Cherie Bright writes a feature article. The topics range from political opinions, to the struggle to stay fit, to a pet peeve. She has long entertained readers of The Showbox with her exploits and the exploits of her family. A woman who can laugh easily at herself and with others, she believes that laughter is necessary to all human beings if they plan on enjoying their lives instead of just living them.
She says that the nicest thing that someone can tell her is: “The first thing I do every month is read your articles.”
“It isn’t just the fact that they are being nice but it gives me motivation to continue writing about some serious topics and some very funny things that happen to all of us,” she said.