How the West do it…

Yes, this will be my 3rd blog post in a week! Just don’t get use to it. Admittedly, I thoroughly enjoy being home because I have time to do this. It seems like every summer I’m running around and I have too much on my platter than I can take. But enough with the chit chat, something amazing happened today in Philip and I got to be there to capture it.
 
There was a cattle drive! I was able to contact a local rancher who stills drive his cattle from his pasture to the local sale barn. Now in MN, people don’t do that. I was smitten to be able to take pictures for our publication, which I think will be in this week’s issue!
 
So let me show you how the west do it…
 

There you have it folks!
Advertisements

County Fair…

It’s county fair time! I think I’m going to be going on my third year of not attending the Meeker County Fair, but don’t quote me. Meeker County is home for me and living on an agricultural operation, the local county fair was my favorite summer activity of all time. I was a proud 4-H member for 10 years and FFA member for 6 years.

I started showing cattle when I was in 3rd grade and several years later, I picked up another specie–sheep and then after that I showed hogs for a couple years. The only specie of animals that I didn’t show was dairy, chicken, rabbits, and goats–only because my mom freight over the thought of them on our operation.

Before I continue to ramble on, all I have to say is thank you to my big brother for instilling some hardcore work ethic into me. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if he would of just sat back and let me slack off on my projects.
Since I finally got that off my chest, I have created some amazing memories with my brother. Do you know how many hours youth put in a day working on their livestock projects? It’s a lot! They are up before the rooster crows to get them into the barn before the blazing heat strikes. After a nice bath and coat drying, they brush and brush and brush till their animal’s coat is nice and shiny. Now with lambs, its a different story because you have to give them a slick haircut and practice setting up their legs and making sure they brace. (Bracing helps them define their muscle conformation, which is a plus in market lambs.) You have the same concept with beef animals but you hold onto a halter and position their feet with a show stick.
This process is what my brother did very well. He made sure that I was out in the barn brushing my animals for at least an hour and that my animal was well cared for. Leading up to a cattle event, I cleaned the livestock trailer and we loaded up all the supplies–showbox, chute, fans, hair blower, hose, and chairs.
As I grew out of 4-H and FFA, my family and I have been blessed to mentor a couple of youth that lived in town and wanted an agriculture experience. They were able to try all species but down the road they found their niche.

This is Karin (aka, my little sister not by birth). Her and her brother were our first ones to join us on the farm!
It’s been a blessing to be able to watch these youth that you’ve mentored grow up. It reminds me when I first started and the first thing learned was patience. It takes time and hard work. (Key words that I wouldn’t of learned if it wasn’t for my brother.) And, the county fair is the place to showcase all the hard work that you have put in over the summer!
This year, we have to young girls showing pigs and I wish them the best of luck as I won’t be there to root them!

Alyssa

Autumn
(Photos taken their first year showing pigs in 4-H. I use to babysit them when they first moved out to the country. Their parents wanted them to be involved in something and enjoyed being out on our farm!)

Beefy Thoughts…

I’m a day off wishing you a Happy May is Beef Month, but I will settle for May 2! I can’t believe that its already May. Where did January through March go? It also means that Dustin and I are under two months away from tying the know. It’s crazy how time flies!

Speaking of how time flies, I still remember being crowned the 2005 Minnesota Simmental Queen and going into our local radio station to inform listeners about beef during May is Beef Month. That was only six years ago! Man, I feel ancient!

My mugshot!

I’m very passionate about the beef industry. At the age of 8 or 9, lets just say a long time ago, I was showing my first beef calf. I also remember the first time my parents and brother went to a cattle sale to purchase a heifer for our outfit. I stayed back with my grandparents and when my parents arrive, they told me they got a heifer and it was named after me–Sarah–even though she had an “h”, I was still thrilled!

My parents were very encouraging for my brother and I to be involved in agricultural activities–4-H, FFA, American Junior Simmental Association–but still let us take part in sporting activities through school. Let’s just say my brother and I found our niche at a young age–being in the cattle barn, halter breaking our calves, and traveling around the nation to participate in the AJSA classics.

My brother and I showing at our local county fair!

Another showing pictures, always waiting to enter our class!

Funny thought that I just remembered: My brother and I thought we would conquer haltering breaking calves without the assistance of our folks. Needless to say, we could of used their help. We are running around with the lasso, tripping over fence line, and getting stuck in sloppy manure and I think we only managed to catch one calf. We need like 3 or 4 calves to be halter broken!

Enough with my reminscing, beef will continue to be a key nutrient in my diet. This day is also a fine day to thank those cattle farmers and ranchers who raise high quality, nutritious beef for consumers to implement into their body systems. However, its just not only the cattle producers, but we need to give credit to feed manufactures to equipment dealerships, and feed marketers to assist in bringing beef to the dinner plates of consumers.

My hats off to everyone involved! This is very sentimental for me as well because my family for the past several years have been to sell beef from the farm to consumer around our area. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing we produced that meat, as well as the enjoyment our consumers receive while eating tasty, nutritious home raised beef.

On that note, over the last couple months, I have known my parents were selling all our cattle. Let me tell you, I have never been filled with so much emotion. Cattle has been my livelihood since I was young. But I understand their reasoning, it is going to be a benefit my parents since my brother resides about an hour away and I’m 8 hours away in a different state. The best part of this, all our cattle went to one of our amazing cattle friends who has been with us since we first started. Even though next May, we won’t have beef on our farm–May is Beef Month will always remain with me!

“Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner!” (The last line of my MN Simmental Queen candidate speech before being crowned!)