Many years ago, as a member of Class II of the Holstein Foundation’s Young Dairy Leaders Institute, we were challenged to set goals. Once we had a list written down, we were expected to say our goals out loud.
Coyne katie
Editor / Progressive Dairy – Canada
Coyne also owns and operates Mill Wheel Dairy Show Clinics. She can be reached by email.

This exercise has stuck with me for many years because when we say our goals out loud, we are held accountable for how well we do with achieving those goals.

In 2019, make a chart of your goals for fitting, showmanship and your dairy project for the year. Post it in the barn, in your room, on the refrigerator or all three. Ask others to hold you accountable for what you have written down so when you feel like giving up, they will support you.

Here is an example of a goal chart for 2019 (see below). You can use this goal chart, you can make your own following this format or, if you are creative, go ahead and make a really great one to hang up for all to see. Have a conversation around the dinner table about your goals. Challenge your family and ask them what they would like to achieve in 2019. You can make a goal chart in your 4-H club or FFA chapter, and members can check off goals as they complete them.

You may also want to add a timeline for checking small goals off on your way to big goals. For example, when looking at your clipping goal, you may want to have clipped 10 practice animals on your farm by April 1. Adding a number and a date helps motivate you to get it done.


The most important measure of achieving a goal is what you learned from it. While your goal is to win your class, there are many life skills you can learn while achieving that goal.

  • You will learn responsibility while feeding, caring for and training your animal. There is no way to win showmanship if your parents do all the work for you, so you’ll learn winning and losing is up to you.

  • You’ll learn sportsmanship.

  • You’ll become a leader among your peers as you work toward a goal.

  • You’ll meet new people and have new experiences that will come in handy in the future.

  • Regardless of the placing you take in a showmanship class, when you set goals and work to achieve them, you win.

Have a great 2019 in the show ring.  end mark

Katie Coyne

Example Goal Chart for 2019