Last time I highlighted the results of the Ohio Beef Expo. We won Grand Champion Bull and Reserve Grand Champion Heifer. While winning was certainly the highlight of our week, we enjoyed each and every moment of the preparation and the experience.
(Please ignore the disaster that we call a garage)
The Beef Expo is our biggest show of the year, and we don't just load the cattle on the trailer and arrive at the show. There are months and months of planning, halter breaking and preparation for this show. The weekend before the show was consumed with washing, clipping and fitting.
We were so thankful to have the help of Anthony and Nick this year.
Daniel did a number on his back the week before the show. We were in a panic knowing what had to be accomplished and having a man completely down. Mitchell is a powerhouse of solid muscle and does not do well around strangers. Daniel immediately knew that there was no way that he could handle Mitchell in any way, let alone show him in the ring.
Anthony is a big, bad former college wrestler and we knew that he had the strength to handle an ornery bull. We asked Anthony to show Mitchell for us at the show. Anthony and Mitchell came to an understanding and formed a very close bond the week before the show. Anthony is a great showman and it really paid off in the ring. He even got a compliment from the judge about how well he showed.
Daniel hauled all of the gear in Wednesday night since our trailer is not big enough to hold the cows and all the equipment.
The boys skipped school on Thursday and Friday to be at the show with us. Don't worry...they got all of their assignments done in the barn.
Only slightly distracted by all the commotion...
Thursday was consumed with moving in and fine tuning the cows. We had hoped to have very little touch up work to do and be able to relax and visit with folks. Things never go as planned. I think there was a cow in the grooming chute the entire day.
Friday turned into a crazy day. Mitchell decided to quit eating and drinking as soon as we got to the fairgrounds. We were as stressed as he was. We worked so hard for 18 months to grow an awesome bull and then on show day he looks like crap because he is stressed and won't eat. Finally, right before the show, we got him to eat and drink enough to fill in his sunken sides. He still had lost a lot of weight, but he was much improved.
We had 4 cows to get ready all at the same time for the show. This is when all the planning an preparation really paid off. We had recruited quite a team to help us get ready. Show day is very stressful, and we were able to spread the stress out a little bit.
It all comes down to the ring....one man's opinion on one particular day.
Isaac and Walker showed Rain and Royal in the Summer Junior Heifer class. Rain was Reserve Division Champion and Royal was 5th in the class.
(He gets the tongue thing from his grandma)
Walker has shown Annabelle in the BEST program all winter. Isaac is actually half owner of Annabelle, so he wanted to show her at least one time this year. Isaac did a great job showing Annabelle even though she was fired up and would not stand still. They got second in their class and then went on to win Reserve Champion Female.
Of course we were excited to have Mitchell win Grand Champion Bull. I think one of the most exciting parts of this experience was to see all of our friends become personally involved in this experience and share in the win with us. It was a team effort and it was a great joy to share the win with our team. Anthony worked his tail off to help us get ready for this show. He told us that in the show ring, his arm was shaking from holding up Mitchell's head. Anthony took a personal interest in us and Mitchell and he shared in the excitement with us as well.
Friday night we had a pizza celebration with all of the Miniature Hereford breeders. It was a great time to relax, joke and share in a celebration of what we all had accomplished.
Anthony could not get over how encouraging and supportive the entire group was. We are all very competitive, but at the end of the day, we are a family that is supportive of each other.
Saturday was the display day. The barn was packed all day and we talked to so many people. It is really one of our favorite parts of the show.
Isaac and Walker participated in the team judging contest with one of their cousins. Their team came in 11th place. Not too shabby for a bunch of kids who had no idea what they were doing.
We did allow Anthony to take a 5 minute nap. We knew he needed the rest before we had to load the trailer and then wheel the rest of our tack down to the other barn for the BEST show.
The boys were supposed to show in showmanship on Saturday afternoon, but we scratched them from the competition. By that point we were all exhausted and we only had an hour to get the cows washed and ready for the show. Some times enough is enough.
Besides...we knew we had to be up at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday for the BEST show.
The Ohio Beef Expo is always such a great experience. This year we noticed an increased interest in the Miniature Herefords. I helped to pass out the awards at the show, so I was on the back side of the show ring. It was incredible to look up and see the stands completely full.
The competition was really stiff this year. The quality of the animals has really improved and I think people are really starting to take notice of the Miniature Hereford breed. We have a great class of people and an incredible class of cows.
So now....the wheels are turning as we figure out how we are going to get to Louisville this year.
When a judge is about to name a grand champion, he always likes to add suspense. Typically, the judge will say a little about each cow and give a little reasoning behind his decision. He then announces that he will go out and pick the champion. He will wander around to make everyone a little more nervous, and then he will slap the winning animal on the butt.
At the 2015 Ohio Beef Expo last week, we all watched with knots in our stomachs as.....
Yes, our very own 4 WILEY MOUNTAIN MITCHELL won Grand Champion Bull!
I can't even begin to tell you how excited we are. I am so glad that Nick took this video for us. I have watched it a hundred times and it still doesn't feel real.
We also won Reserve Grand Champion Female with Annabelle (JW'S FANTASIA).
We want to especially thank Anthony, who showed Mitchell for us, Nick and Aaron and his crew who helped us fit and get everyone ready for the show. This was a group effort and we couldn't have done it without all of them.
I will be back later to fill you in on more details of the Beef Expo.
We had a great time and are still pinching ourselves!
One week from tonight we will be moving in to the Ohio Beef Expo.
There are supposed to be about 30 head of Miniature Herefords at this show.
We have been working cows, working hair, clipping and rearranging schedules all in preparation.
There is so much left to do...but we can't wait.
The Miniature Hereford show is on Friday, March 20th at 2:00 p.m. The cows will all be on display in the sale barn from Thursday afternoon until Saturday at noon. For a complete schedule, visit the Ohio Beef Expo.
Stop by and see us. We always love to show off our cows!
The boys had a snow day recently.
Mom got home and found some evidence on the camera.
Daisy in strictly an outside dog.
She is smelly and filthy. A true farm dog.
When it is really, really cold outside, we will occasionally let her in to sit on the rug for a few minutes.
A few minutes...and on the rug ONLY!
Now you see what I mean by "evidence."
Of course he isn't running in the house.
Someone needs to fill them in...
Mama always finds out!
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.