Showing sheep is not a skill and passion that everyone has the drive for, but when it comes to 5th grader Marshal, he has us all beat. It all started with his great grandfather in California and continued on with his grandfather, his uncle, and mother in Oregon. They brought their love of showing with them when they came to Tennessee, and the legacy and knowledge have been passed down to Marshal; this makes him the 4th generation in the Hull family to be raising and competitively showing sheep.
He is currently starting his second year in the 4-H program, but he has been showing for five years now.
His enthusiasm for his sheep started at such a young age, that his skill level and knowledge surpass those of people much older. His hard work and drive have been rightfully awarded countless times, most recently being that of winning Grand Champion Market Lamb and 4th Overall Market Lamb at the State Livestock Expo. Other awards include Grand Champion Commercial Ewe, Reserve Grand Champion Commercial Ewe, Champion Explorer Market Type Showman, and Champion Breeding Sheep Type Showman.
All of his accomplishments have come partially on behalf of the tremendous support and encouragement he has received along the way. A couple of the people who have highly influenced, educated, and supported Marshal is his Aunt and Uncle, Justin and Brittany Hull. They have always been there to guide him, give him moral support, and lend a helping hand when it comes to coaching and feeding. Having such a strong support system has only motivated and shaped Marshal into becoming the skilled young man he is today.
Being apart of the 4-H program, as well as raising livestock, teaches many valuable life lessons. Tending to animals is not an easy task. Along with this role comes tremendous responsibly and focus. “Marshal has multiple lambs that rely on him for everything,” noted his mom, Heather Hull. “Feeding, watering, cleaning pens, grooming, and everyday care. These animals are treated like professional athletes and require a lot of time and devotion.” It is clear to those watching from the sidelines how much effort is put into showing and raising livestock. However, it is often forgotten that caring for animals is not a part-time job. You can’t just put them away when the show is over. Most of the work is done behind the scenes, which makes the rewards so much more appreciated.
When it comes to competition of any sort, losing is always a possibility, even for the greatest. “Marshal does not always win, that’s for sure. Participating in these competitions has definitely taught him to win graciously and lose gracefully.”
In addition to showing sheep, the Hull family puts on a local lamb jackpot show called Nash Bash. This allows for Marshal to experience the other side of shows, from planning to going out in the community finding sponsorships. “This show is dedicated strictly to the youth from all over,” Heather stated. Nash Bash is held at the Wilson County Fairgrounds the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. So far, they’ve had 8 different states represented.
An important lesson that we can all take away from Marshal, is that community and support from friends, family, and organizations can greatly impact kids’ lives for the better. Having opportunities, like raising and showing livestock, can open so many doors for our youth, and can be instrumental in shaping the type of person and citizen they grow up to be. Having children like Marshal, who are hard-working, driven, and responsible, can, in turn, be a blessing to a community. Marshal has not only been an example to his peers, but to those who have been blessed to hear his story.