Well...we made it through last week.
I am pretty sure I looked like a zombie walking around the office on Monday...but I was there.
We are pretty much caught up on sleep and even had the rare opportunity to not wake up to an alarm on Saturday morning.
The laundry is all done, the trailer is unpacked, the cows have been released from quarantine and are enjoying the beautiful sunshine out in the pastures.
I think life is back to normal.
photo courtesy of Linde's Livestock Photography
I may sound like a broken record, but the Ohio Beef Expo really is our favorite show of the year. We pack a lot of activities into a few short days, but we always come home with a lot of great memories.
This year was no different.
After 6 years (can you believe it?) we pretty much have the same routine.
But, for everything that is the same, there is always so much that is different.
Since we only live an hour away, Daniel always brings the tack down to set up on Wednesday night. He picks up the boys at Grandma's house, just a few miles from the fairgrounds, and then I usually join up with all of them after work.
I was lucky this year...I had to work late getting some last minute things done before my vacation days, so by the time I got there, everything was done!
We made it home pretty early Wednesday night, ate a quick dinner, packed the cooler and made sure everyone's clothes were clean, ironed and ready to go for the rest of the week. Then it was off to bed because we knew it was the last good night of sleep we would have for a while.
photo courtesy of Walker Wiley
We were up bright and early Thursday morning to load the cows onto the trailer and make our way down to the fairgrounds.
We spent the day washing the cows and getting them ready for a final clipping.
We perused the trade show and Daniel finally bought the new double blower cart he has been wanting all year.
All the other breeders rolled in and we had some down time to catch up and spend some quality time together.
It was a relaxed and enjoyable day.
And then there was Friday.
The alarm went off a 3:00 a.m.
Yep...the middle of the night.
They got everyone fed, washed, dried and ready for the fitters.
They had to have everyone lined up and ready for the show ring by 7:45 a.m.
This is why we pay fitters...there is much less early morning yelling.
It was a very cold morning...the day was supposed to warm up pretty nice...but none of us were prepared for the early cold.
We may not be able to make a lot of friends on our own...but we sure made a lot of friends when we pulled out the heater...
It's show time!
A friend of ours was a first time Ohio Beef Expo exhibitor. He wasn't comfortable taking his cow into the ring, so Isaac helped him out with showing his heifer.
This little heifer ended up winning her division.
Next up was Jewel and Ribbon in the same class.
Ribbon was feeling her Wheaties that morning, but he finally got her to set up.
She is normally so calm...it must have been too early in the morning for her too.
Ribbon placed first in the class and Jewel placed 2nd.
Ribbon ended up with Reserve Division Champion.
***spoiler alert...the heifer that won this division went on to win Grand Champion Heifer***
The other heifer is really nice. We competed against her in Louisville, and her mom is the one that beat Rain in Louisville several years ago.
We will meet again in November at Louisville...maybe we will beat her next time.
Next up was Apollo in the bull classes.
Nick showed Apollo for us.
Apollo placed third in his class.
It was a tough class, but he is still young.
Saturday afternoon Walker participated in junior showmanship.
He went into Expo in 14th place and the top 10 receive awards at the banquet. If he placed in the top 10 at Expo, he would have a good chance of being in the top 10 for the season.
As much as we didn't want to tear ourselves away from the sale barn to get him ready for showmanship, we knew that Walker had to try and give it his all.
Walker did a great job, especially when there were 3 loose cows just across that white fence, but he didn't get pulled.
He was a little disappointed, but he was done for the day and I think he was relieved that he could relax and go find his friends again.
Sunday was all about waiting.
There were 950 cows in the junior show. They run one ring for heifers and one ring for steers. They do an amazing job keeping everything running quickly and smoothly.
However, I don't care what you do...it takes FOREVER to get 950 cows through the show ring.
We waited...and waited...and waited....
We started to get the cows ready....
And then the judge sped up.
We made it to the ring just in time.
This was the final show of the season and it was great to see the numbers of Miniature Herefords grow this year. The boys in this ring have become true friends.
Isaac won the miniature division and secured his place at the top for the season's points.
Ribbon also won first place in Best of the Buckeye.
It was a good week and a good season.
By the middle of February we are always burnt out and extremely tired from the winter show season, but finishing the season on a high note always makes it worthwhile.
We had to wait about another hour and half for the final drive.
We were tired and Ribbon was just DONE!
But, it is a great honor to be in the final drive, and we are always proud to represent the Miniature Hereford breed and showcase them to the cattle world.
Isaac and Walker love to show.
They love this cattle life and the show circuit.
They are good at what they do.
Even if their cows don't succeed in the ring, they are great showmen and make our family and our farm proud.
Show day is the culmination of day after day of hard work, doing the tough stuff when no one is looking, and never giving up.
This year we were proud to show animals that were all born on our farm.
Now we are home and calving has begun.
We are anxious to see what new calves we will have for the next show season.
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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.