The cows are loaded, the trailer is busting at the seems and we are headed south to Louisville, Kentucky. This week we will be showing at the North American International Livestock Expo.
Louisville means something different for everyone. It is a national show where people and cows gather from all over the country. For some, it is the biggest show they attend and for others it is the start of something new.
For us, Louisville means the start of show season. It is the debut for many of our cows, which brings a different level of excitement. The first time a cow stands before a judge, you get a pretty good idea of whether its going to be a good year of just another year.
Last week was busy making final preparations and some last minute unplanned preparations....like replacing the brakes on the trailer.
Blast is becoming the yo-yo bull.
Born here on our farm, sold, bought back, sold again, and now he is home again.
We love this bull...but four mature bulls on our small farm is just too much...so Blast was the one that always had to go.
With cooler weather comes shorter days and longer nights. It also means doing chores in the dark, especially now that we are spending late nights in the barn getting cows ready for the fall show season.
The older Daniel gets, the more light he wants. The brighter the better!
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I do have my limits. Daniel is more than welcome to that LED ultra bright blue light in the barn, garage and basement, but I get the soft warm light in the house.
As usual, summer goes way too fast. Isaac and Walker are both back in school and we are starting to adjust to a more normal routine.
Because...nothing is routine around here in the summer...except for routine chaos.
I always think summer is busy...but I have no idea what happened to this summer.
Walker was the main farm hand this summer because everyone else was working full-time jobs off the farm.
To be quite honest... there hasn't been a whole lot going on with the herd this summer.
Which is how we want it to be.
Two weeks ago today, we ended our ten day run at the fairs. We started at the Knox County Fair and ended and the Ohio State Fair.
This year was different for us. Yes, some of the different was because of Covid changes, but most of the different was because we were all too aware that this was our first last.
This was Isaac's last year at the Knox County Fair and the last day of the Ohio State Fair marked his last "kid" activity before heading off to college.
There were a lot of kids that spent this year soaking up their "lasts", so there weren't many "no's" coming from us.
This weekend will mark the final time that Isaac moves animals into the Knox County Fair as a 4-H member.
Not so long ago, he was a nine year old arriving at the county fair for the very first time.
Oh, how things have changed since then.
It has now been two weeks since we started our journey out to Duncan, Oklahoma for the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association and Miniature Hereford Youth Foundation Miniature Hereford Junior Nationals.
We arrived to humid mid-nineties temperatures, but fortunately, the hottest days ended up being the day we unloaded and the day we loaded. The rest of the week was just about the best weather we could have asked for. It was still hot, but a couple of cloudy and rainy days helped to keep the temperatures and humidity bearable. Besides, the show ring and contest areas were all air conditioned, so if the heat got to be too much, we had plenty of places to escape. We did keep an eye on the radar (because we do have a kid terrified of tornadoes), but the few night time storms were fairly mild and most of the red cells stayed just outside our radars.
You know you had a good time when after 10 days no one in the family is ready to go home. Not only were we not ready to go home...but we were all ready to head right back to Oklahoma as soon as we did get home.
We all agreed, this was the best Junior Nationals and best cattle show we have ever been to. It was just plain fun!
Early Saturday morning we loaded the cows on the trailer and set off for Duncan, Oklahoma for the Miniature Hereford Junior Nationals sponsored by the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association and the Miniature Hereford Youth Foundation.
The 2020 Miniature Hereford Junior Nationals was cancelled due to Covid, so it is good to be headed back to the show ring.
It was going to be a long trip...and really hot, so at the last minute, we decided to hang over Saturday night in Buffalo, Missouri.
One of the great things about showing cattle is all the people you meet along the way. Two years ago, when we were in Oklahoma for the Junior Nationals, we met a family from Missouri, and it has been great to meet back up and grow our friendship. They graciously agreed to lend us some pasture space to keep our cattle overnight.
A couple of weeks ago, Isaac graduated from high school.
As parents of our first high school graduate, it has been a little strange walking through the emotions. To be honest, I have done much better than I ever expected. He has helped to prepare us for this transition as much as we have helped him.
Isaac's senior year was not typical of most seniors. He attended a very small private school and this year he ended up being the only senior. A graduation ceremony of one is a little awkward. The school also experienced a tragedy when their administrator passed away unexpectedly a few months ago and they finished the year without their leader. We knew we were going to throw an epic celebration for Isaac, so we asked the school if we could just combine the graduation ceremony and the party all into one at our house since this was such an unusual year. They graciously agreed and it was a perfect celebration of Isaac...and he didn't have to give a valedictorian speech!
May is beef month and what better way to celebrate than by entertaining with beef?
With the attacks on the cattle industry, it is more important than ever to promote our products and who doesn't want to eat a good meal?
Entertaining is a great opportunity to promote beef awareness, support local farmers and ranchers and feed your guests such good tasting beef that they will never even think about trying any of that fake beef.
Beef may be the main course, but the beef can also be the main event.
This weekend we had the privilege of hosting a graduation party. Isaac graduated this weekend, so technically that was the main event...but the beef brisket fresh off the smoker was what everyone was really talking about.
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.