A Year of Growth
At times it feels like time is standing still, but other times it feels like the world is spinning around us.
As we look back at the past year, it seems much like any other year.
Wake up, tackle the to-do list, repeat.
But if we really stop to look at where we were a year ago, things have changed a lot. I would summarize the past year as a year of GROWTH.
Little by little, day by day the little changes have added up to significant changes.
Things have been a little quiet over here on the blog lately, but it is not because things have been quiet on the farm. It is quite the opposite. Life on the farm has been full steam ahead, so I have decided to focus on each day, give myself a little grace and step away from the blog when life is too much.
Walker spent many hours in the barn getting the cows ready for our trip to Louisville. Isaac is now working full time and completed his final college classes the week before NAILE. He is very relieved to have that chapter of his life behind him and now be able to fully focus on the farm.
This year, Walker bore the brunt of working with the animals as Daniel and I spent our evenings ironing out the details of the show and all the behind the scenes details that have to happen to make a show happen.
We took Lucy, Autumn and Colt with us to Louisville.
It's More Than Just the Show Ring
We spent ten straight days at the fair. First at the Knox County Fair and then we moved straight into the Ohio State Fair.
Did we eat a lot of fair food? Yes...but not as much as you would think. After this many years, the lure of the fair food just doesn't have as much appeal as it used to. We each usually have at least one splurge, but this year I think my only splurge was ice cream.
Walker and Isaac have always loved showing at the fairs, but the last several years, the real draw of the fair is time with their friends.
This was Isaac's first year not to be a participant, but he made sure to come home to join in on some of the fun.
Too say we were all exhausted at the end of those 10 days is an understatement. Colt is even too tired to eat...but he only spent 2 days at the fair.
He's Gone Big
Walker is going big!
The Knox County Fair starts this weekend and Walker is taking a big steer this year.
Don't worry...he hasn't abandoned the mini's....he is taking Lucy along as well.
Early last Monday morning we returned from the Miniature Hereford Junior Nationals.
The theme this year was "Return of the Minis" because we were once again in Duncan, Oklahoma. The Stephens County Expo Center is absolutely perfect for this event and we all fell in love with the town of Duncan last year. It was so nice to return to familiar territory and really get to know the people of Duncan. The town embraced the Miniature Hereford families and rolled out the welcome mat for us.
Two Weeks of Summer
The calendar does not say that it is officially summer just yet, but we consider the start of summer when the kids are out of school.
College life is requiring Isaac to continue school through the summer, but Walker has been out of school for two weeks now. Being done with homework and school projects has been a relief, but it has been replaced with all the necessities of summer on the farm.
Walker started a full-time job with a landscaping company, which also means that he is getting some over time in as well. Four farmers with 4 full-time jobs is certainly changing things around here.
Buy Hay or Bale Hay
Whether you are strictly a grass-fed operation or you feed grain, part of your animal's diet consists of grass and hay.
Pastures provide the supply of grass through the summer months and grass growing season, but fresh grass is not an option throughout the winter months. Hay is used during the winter months to provide full or partial nutrition to your animals.
We spend much of our summer managing our rotational grazing system as well as baling hay to store for the winter months.
Each farm and situation is unique, but one important item to consider is whether it makes sense for you to bale your own hay or if is better to buy your hay supply.
There are many factors that go into this decision and what is right for you might not be what is right for the farm down the road.
A good mineral program is essential to the health of your cattle. Just like your own body, when your vitamin and mineral intake is out of balance, your overall health can be affected.
Many cattle feeds have additional minerals added to provide a more balanced nutritional package. However, with grass and hay fed herds, a good mineral program is essential. Even if you are feeding or supplementing with grain that has added minerals, it is still very important to feed additional minerals.
Offering free choice minerals to your herd allows them to intake when and how much their body is craving.
Minerals are found in the ground, which in turn are absorbed in the grass, but if your ground does not contain sufficient amounts of minerals, these will not be available in the foliage to your animals.
When the Timing is Right
Life is full of seasons...
Seasons of busy...
Seasons of rest...
Seasons of waiting....
Seasons of change....
And lots of seasons in between.
The last year has been a season of waiting, planning and hoping. We have had dreams and plans, but there were lots of moving parts that needed to align in order for us to be able to fulfill our wants and dreams.
The biggest moving part was the right timing. The right time for us, the right time for others and the manpower (Isaac and Walker) to do everything we want to do.
2022 Ohio Beef Expo
Last week we attended the Ohio Beef Expo.
We are learning how fortunate we are to be a part of one of the best beef expos in the country. This was the Ohio Beef Expo's 34th year and it gets bigger and better with each year. With over 850 youth cattle, to the sale barn packed with cattle waiting to sell, to breeders from Ohio and all over the country, it is an opportunity to network with breeders, shop for all things cattle related and even add cattle to your farm.
The highlight for us is the Miniature Hereford show and sale.
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.