Another B.E.S.T. season is in the books, and as we look back, we are always amazed at how far we have come. Each year we learn more about cows, farming, clipping, showing, other people and most importantly ourselves.
1. Never put the fans away
The Ohio motto is...if you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes and it will change. We had another strange winter this year. We went from bone chilling cold to not wearing coats all in one week.
Not only did it confuse us, but it sent the cows into a tail spin. One day they were growing hair in the cold weather and the next day they were shedding it all off in the heat. It was a constant struggle and we needed the fans as much as we needed the heaters this winter
2. Chocolate chip cookies are better than brownies
As you can imagine, with a whole host of teenagers, we can consume an enormous amount of food in one weekend. No matter how much food we take, it always seems to barely be enough. I think all of our kids have learned how to graze (maybe it's from being around the cows so much). They would much rather grab a cookie or a bag of chips and forget the healthy stuff.
If there are chocolate chip cookies and brownies side by side, they always choose chocolate chip cookies. They only dive into the brownies when the cookies are gone.
3. Sometimes you make the wrong decision...
And sell the wrong cow. We only have so much room and so much money. We could go down through each cow in our herd and come up with a reason to sell and a reason to keep it. But, at some point we have to sell cows. We did a lot of second guessing this year, but we can't go back. And...it is never a bad decision to make someone else happy.
4. Kids are more capable than we realize
Daniel is a perfectionist and has a really hard time giving up control of the clippers. There were some show days we had 4 animals to get into the ring at the same time. Daniel quickly learned that he can't do it all himself. He called in the help, but...sometimes the help was busy with their own animals. One day we were in a panic and still had 2 more cows to go. I grabbed a can of Natural Hold and handed another one to Walker. Daniel doesn't trust the kids to work on the cows on show day, but he was out of options. Walker and I pulled legs so that Daniel and the others could follow behind with the clippers. Guess what? Walker is really good at pulling legs. He might just be as good as his Dad (but Dad will probably never admit that).
5. Sometimes the judges will surprise you
Most times you know who the judge is before the show. That doesn't usually mean much to us, but a lot of people know who the judge is and what they like. This year we had Ryan Rash as one of our judges.
Ryan is very unique.
However, he is by far, the best judge we have ever had. We never expected a judge with a photographic memory. He was amazing and talked about each animal with his back to all the cows. He knew which cow came next and was spot on in his evaluations. You never knew what he was going to say next and he kept us in stitches. We all had a blast that weekend.
We started this amazing show journey in 2012 with our local county fair. We had our first win in 2013 and that picture is proudly displayed on our mantel. We don't ever want to forget our humble beginnings and how ignorant we were back then.
Each year we learn more and more. We didn't have the luxury of growing up in the industry and have a lot we still need to learn, but we are enjoying every step of this journey. Each year we build on our knowledge and experience, and maybe someday we will be able to say we know what we are doing.
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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.