Several weeks ago, Isaac had the opportunity to participate in the Ohio Cattlemen's Associations Young Cattlemen's Conference.
The Young Cattlemen's Conference is a three-day event for young cattlemen from across the state to come together to learn more about the beef industry and how they can make an impact.
Isaac was a little hesitant to go, but with a little coaxing, he signed up. It helped that he got to room with his cousin for the event and they always love getting the chance to spend time together.
It’s been a bit.
Our lives have changed a little since I was last on here.
Life can be really hard and we have been through a lot of those hard times and making some hard decisions, but we have seen first hand how God’s plan and timing is perfect.
The internet rarely shows all the struggles, and I’m not going to share all of our struggles today, because I want to focus on where God has brought us this year. He has been teaching and preparing us for many years, but we can see how God has used those times to prepare us for where we are today.
When I last left you, we were focusing on diversifying the farm and Isaac has just started buying goats. Those two Christmas goats quickly turned into 30 goats. He bought some bred does and of course they all kidded the week of the Ohio Beef Expo.
At times it feels like time is standing still, but other times it feels like the world is spinning around us.
As we look back at the past year, it seems much like any other year.
Wake up, tackle the to-do list, repeat.
But if we really stop to look at where we were a year ago, things have changed a lot. I would summarize the past year as a year of GROWTH.
Little by little, day by day the little changes have added up to significant changes.
Things have been a little quiet over here on the blog lately, but it is not because things have been quiet on the farm. It is quite the opposite. Life on the farm has been full steam ahead, so I have decided to focus on each day, give myself a little grace and step away from the blog when life is too much.
Walker spent many hours in the barn getting the cows ready for our trip to Louisville. Isaac is now working full time and completed his final college classes the week before NAILE. He is very relieved to have that chapter of his life behind him and now be able to fully focus on the farm.
This year, Walker bore the brunt of working with the animals as Daniel and I spent our evenings ironing out the details of the show and all the behind the scenes details that have to happen to make a show happen.
We took Lucy, Autumn and Colt with us to Louisville.
We spent ten straight days at the fair. First at the Knox County Fair and then we moved straight into the Ohio State Fair.
Did we eat a lot of fair food? Yes...but not as much as you would think. After this many years, the lure of the fair food just doesn't have as much appeal as it used to. We each usually have at least one splurge, but this year I think my only splurge was ice cream.
Walker and Isaac have always loved showing at the fairs, but the last several years, the real draw of the fair is time with their friends.
This was Isaac's first year not to be a participant, but he made sure to come home to join in on some of the fun.
Too say we were all exhausted at the end of those 10 days is an understatement. Colt is even too tired to eat...but he only spent 2 days at the fair.
Walker is going big!
The Knox County Fair starts this weekend and Walker is taking a big steer this year.
Don't worry...he hasn't abandoned the mini's....he is taking Lucy along as well.
Early last Monday morning we returned from the Miniature Hereford Junior Nationals.
The theme this year was "Return of the Minis" because we were once again in Duncan, Oklahoma. The Stephens County Expo Center is absolutely perfect for this event and we all fell in love with the town of Duncan last year. It was so nice to return to familiar territory and really get to know the people of Duncan. The town embraced the Miniature Hereford families and rolled out the welcome mat for us.
The calendar does not say that it is officially summer just yet, but we consider the start of summer when the kids are out of school.
College life is requiring Isaac to continue school through the summer, but Walker has been out of school for two weeks now. Being done with homework and school projects has been a relief, but it has been replaced with all the necessities of summer on the farm.
Walker started a full-time job with a landscaping company, which also means that he is getting some over time in as well. Four farmers with 4 full-time jobs is certainly changing things around here.
Whether you are strictly a grass-fed operation or you feed grain, part of your animal's diet consists of grass and hay.
Pastures provide the supply of grass through the summer months and grass growing season, but fresh grass is not an option throughout the winter months. Hay is used during the winter months to provide full or partial nutrition to your animals.
We spend much of our summer managing our rotational grazing system as well as baling hay to store for the winter months.
Each farm and situation is unique, but one important item to consider is whether it makes sense for you to bale your own hay or if is better to buy your hay supply.
There are many factors that go into this decision and what is right for you might not be what is right for the farm down the road.
A good mineral program is essential to the health of your cattle. Just like your own body, when your vitamin and mineral intake is out of balance, your overall health can be affected.
Many cattle feeds have additional minerals added to provide a more balanced nutritional package. However, with grass and hay fed herds, a good mineral program is essential. Even if you are feeding or supplementing with grain that has added minerals, it is still very important to feed additional minerals.
Offering free choice minerals to your herd allows them to intake when and how much their body is craving.
Minerals are found in the ground, which in turn are absorbed in the grass, but if your ground does not contain sufficient amounts of minerals, these will not be available in the foliage to your animals.
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.