THE PURPLE CIRCLE symbolizes the upper echelon in the show arena. Attention is focused on producers and show persons of championship cattle, hogs, sheep and goats: hence the "Purple" in our title. The "Circle" in our title proclaims the unity and solidarity that livestock people share as we aim for excellence in our enterprises.
"Livestock people" encompass a broad spectrum of ages. Parents and children, leaders and youth, experienced and inexperienced assume a purpose and a role in selecting, caring for, and showing livestock. In the era of everyone "doing his or her own thing" the 4-H, FFA and open class show arena are some of the last bastions of family solidarity. We are confident that The Purple Circle will exert a positive influence in strengthening the family circle.
The Purple Circle will serve as a showcase and a public arena from which people from coast to coast can acknowledge winners from other areas of the country. The Purple Circle will attend national and regional livestock shows, state fairs and other shows as time permits, striving to keep you informed of news and trends in show circuits and helping you to become better acquainted with your colleagues in the livestock realm.
We welcome comments and suggestions from our readers and strive for excellence and the distinction of being in the "purple circle" of livestock publications and educational tools.
To many, success is determined by materialistic or worldly items that are quick to gratify, but can often fade as time begins to elapse. Due to advanced media in our modern society, the idea of success being based upon social status or mere achievement is at an all-time high. Society constantly suggests that in order to be successful we must perform. But to others, success is measured by more eternal blessings, such as family, quality friendships, and the justification of our existence by our savior Jesus Christ. At eighteen years of age I confidently believe that success is measured by the latter, and I am forever thankful to the stock show industry for giving me a true understanding of this concept.
On July 5, 1995, I was born to John and Sherri Merrill. As life would have it, my parents were presented with quite a few challenges from the moment I was born. Upon my birth, the doctors discovered that I had a cleft lip and palate. I underwent the first of eight reconstructive surgeries at only twelve weeks old. Due to this minor birth defect, my parents were forced to make numerous decisions with my best interest in mind, and I believe those early times definitely equipped them with the ability to guide me through future challenges with great confidence. Through their strong faith and perseverance, God was able to guide a couple in their early twenties and their newborn son through some pretty treacherous times. Although I was faced with this minor challenge, I have always been able to participate in activities that I love, and showing cattle ranks first on that list.
My first memory of the show steer industry dates back to age four. At this time my dad was selling show cattle. Some of my fondest memories consist of my dad loading me and my Boston Terrier “Little Bit” into the truck before making the three hour drive to Burkburnett to pick up steers from Copus Cattle Company. As I reflect upon those times, they are still some of the most treasured memories of my young life. I can remember the pure excitement I felt when we got home with a new load of sale cattle. I enjoyed being around the cattle, and being around the cattle meant being with my dad, which is what I enjoyed most. During the sale season, I would have my mom wake me up as early as possible, so I could get to the barn just as early as anyone else. She would usually make sure I ate breakfast before getting in my golf cart and making the four-hundred yard voyage to the barn. It was then, at such a young age, that I received the foundational work ethic necessary to be competitive in the show ring. I continued helping my dad at the barn and the next few years flew by, the opportunity for me to show at my first major steer show was quickly approaching.