With Christmas just around the corner, there is always that one person that I have trouble finding a gift for. The person that has everything and needs nothing.
I am a huge fan of leather. After all, leather is a product of the cattle industry. Leather stands up to the test of time and gets better with age.
I have compiled a list of hand made leather items that can be purchased from Etsy. I love Etsy, because...it is online (my favorite)… and it supports the cottage industries and craft makers.
Last week we were in Louisville, Kentucky for the 2019 North American International Livestock Expo.
Since I put the show program together, I knew that there were going to be an incredible set of cattle in the show ring. We didn't expect to do that well this year. We have good cattle, but there were some amazing cattle in the show ring. We took our two bulls, Smith and Wesson, and were hoping we might win something in the division and possibly in the pair of bulls, but that is all we could hope for.
The unexpected made it so much more fun.
Facebook and Instagram are full of picture perfect moments. Even life on the farm is usually beautiful and clean.
But is it really like that in real life?
Farms are working operations. We have messy stuff and piles of things that we may need some day. Broken pieces and parts that need to be thrown away...or when you live in the country...hauled to the dump. There isn't time to do it all, so something has to give. Usually, that pile stays until Spring.
I have a pretty amazing life. I love my family and this farm we live on, but I don't want you to think for one minute that my life is all picture perfect.
Today, there are some pretty pictures, but I also step back and turn around to show you what is on the other side. Cameras and photo editing can make things seem better than they really are.
Am I the last person on Earth to jump on the Amazon Prime bandwagon?
About this time last year, I realized that I was pretty much the only person who didn't have Amazon Prime.
To be honest...I thought it was pretty dumb. Why pay a fee to get my orders in 2 days, when I can get my order in 5 days if I meet the minimum order? Besides, how hard is it to find $25 worth of items you want to buy from Amazon?
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But then, my wonderful husband ordered a Christmas gift for me off of Amazon. He promptly told me I was not allowed to look at the Amazon account or open e-mails sent from Amazon (the trials of buying your spouse a gift).
He then went on to tell me that he got a free offer for Amazon Prime.
I asked him when the free offer expired? "I don't know...I didn't look at that part."
One of the best ways to promote your farm is to attend cattle shows. At cattle shows, the best of your herd is on display, both in the show ring and back at the stalls. Even if you don't win in the show ring, you have to opportunity to expose your farm and promote your animals.
We just want to be farmers, but what good is farming if we can't sell our products?
Whether you like it or not, you have to be in the marketing business.
There are several things you can do at the show to market your farm. Some cost some money and take a little pre-planning, and others are very cheap and easy.
Isaac and Walker have been busy shopping for hunting clothes. These growing boys realized that they have out grown all of their hunting gear. Since hunting season is here, they need to be sure they have all the camo they need.
Walker is at an awkward stage where most of the youth sizes are too small for him, but they skip the adult small sizes that would normally fit him. We have had to get a little creative to make sure he is hidden in the woods while still staying warm enough.
Walmart has been their go to store for hunting apparel. It fits the budget, but doesn't always afford the protection from the elements that we are looking for.
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We invest in good base layers.
It isn't very often that I have a Saturday at home with no plans or deadlines. This weekend, Daniel and the boys were off on a "boys trip" and I was home alone...which I always enjoy.
The cooler fall temperatures have finally arrived and I had to drag out a jacket to head to the barn for morning chores. It was such a cool, clear perfectly peaceful fall morning. I finished chores and then grabbed my camera.
It amused me that the calves aren't much different than my teens. Any time they can congregate together away from the watchful eyes of adults, they do.
Over the years, we have spent a lot of quality time together in the truck. We have logged miles and miles and miles travelling to and from cattle shows.
This weekend, Daniel and I left the boys at home (the advantages of having a teenage driver) and made an impromptu trip to Virginia.
No, it wasn't a romantic getaway...
We had cows to deliver.
As much as I like the destinations...I absolutely love the trip.
Some of our best memories are made in the cab of the truck.
We live within about 10 miles of four different school districts, but my kids don't attend any of those school districts.
Several weeks ago, a parent from one of those school districts called to ask us if we would be willing to participate in a fundraiser for their music boosters. They wanted to do cow pie bingo and needed a field and a cow to use and someone had mentioned our names.
Our kids may not attend this school district, but that just means we can help out all the school districts without having to worry about the school rivalries.
We were more than happy to help the Centerburg Music Boosters raise some money.
It is exciting to sell cows.
Sometimes it takes years to get that sale. Whether it is because it has taken years to build your herd to the point where you have enough to sell, or if it is waiting on that cow to have her heifer.
The cattle industry isn't something that creates overnight success. It is a long, hard process. So, when you do finally get that sale, it is really exciting. Plus, your bank account is usually looking pretty grim by this point.
However, just because you have a check in hand and the cow has been loaded on the trailer doesn't mean your work is done.
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.