The 2015-2016 Ohio Cattlemen's Association BEST season has officially begun. The first show was held in Lima, Ohio the weekend after Thanksgiving. The Heart of It All show is always one of our favorite shows. There is always the excitement of a new season and the anticipation of seeing all the new cows that you will be showing against for the season. It is a lot like the first day of school. You get to meet up with all your old friends and catch up on all that has been going on since the end of the last show season.
Even though this is our 3rd year of showing in the BEST, this is a year of firsts. The OCA has added a class for miniature cattle this year. While Rain and Six were the only two miniature heifers at the first show, we are glad that the OCA is taking a chance and encouraging others to come. They are taking the approach that if you build it, they will come. There was also one Miniature Hereford steer represented.
Although a part of us would almost rather be in the AOB class so that we have some competition, the other part of us is glad that we are winning each class, even if it is by default. We have heard "she is really nice for her size" so many times, that it tends to be discouraging. Being in our own class, it was nice to hear the judges really examine the attributes of the Miniature Herefords and not just talk about their size.
Rain is a Fall 2014 heifer and Six is a Spring 2015 heifer so they are in different classes. They each won their respective class and then Six went on to win overall in both rings.
It was fun to watch brother against brother in the ring. You could tell that they were both having fun and for once they weren't fighting. They both knew that Isaac and Six would win overall and they really didn't seem to care. They were just having fun.
Isaac was then able to represent the miniature breeds in the final drive. We know that we don't have a chance against the "big boys", but it is a great opportunity to showcase the breed and become more visible. The more that people see them, the more that people will want them.
The boys also competed in showmanship that evening and Walker was chosen to go into the finals for Beginner Showmanship. He didn't place, but it is still an honor to be chosen as one of the top 15.
The weekend was really good for Six. Since her first month with us was full of health issues, we did not have the opportunity to work with her much before we went to Louisville. It was very evident in the ring. At Lima, Six was is the ring 5 different times. By the end of the day, she was exhausted, but she was really starting to get the hang of things. She has a good head and is a quick learner. It will only get better from here on out.
One of the things that we love about the BEST program is the family atmosphere. I love this picture because you see all the parents in the background. These are all the moms and dads that have stood by their kid's side and helped them get to the ring. They stand proudly on the sidelines supporting them. As each kid is exiting the ring, you can see them scan the crowd for their parent, waiting with the halter and words of congratulations, encouragement and correction.
It was a weekend of fun times with friends...
We were once again reminded of how fortunate we are to live in Ohio and have an organization like the Ohio Cattlemen's Association and the BEST program. We have heard before that it is a program that is nationally recognized, but until you go to another state, you don't always realize how good you have it. One of the judges at the Hear of it All was from Missouri, and he mentioned that his two favorite places to judge are the Kansas Beef Expo and the OCA BEST program. I would say that that is a pretty good recommendation.
It takes a lot of organization and work to put on a show, and we are so thankful to everyone at the Ohio Cattlemen's Association and the Heart of it All for making it such an enjoyable weekend. It was a great way to start the season and we can't wait until the next show.
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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.