Showing posts from 2013

University of Tennessee Block & Bridle: Rock Top Classic

A few weeks ago was the yearly Rocky Top Classic Cattle Show.  This year it was back at the Brehm Animal Science Building at UT.  The last time they had it there I was in the fourth grade.  They have been remodeling it for, I don't know, SIX years!  Everyone was hyped up about the heated show barn and the warm water.   The barn where we were tied out was cold and the show ring was hot.   So it was a day of extreme temperatures for the cattle and the people!  My mind didn't stay on the temperature situation for long because on this day, my youngest sister, Elli-Ruth would walk into the show ring leading a heifer by herself for the first time.

 She has shown since she was a little one, but always with me and always with a rather large heifer.   This year we have a heifer that's just her size.  I got up around three am to feed and iron her show clothes, BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD.  I woke her up around five. No little kid wants to get up that early but stock show kids aren…

Women Were Made to Farm

Recently, Dairy Carrie wrote a post about why we women (married women, which I am not) say "I am the farmer's wife"  instead of considering themselves farmers.  I thought a lot about her post and wondered why it is so hard for some women to identify themselves as farmers.  I personally consider myself a farmer and hope that I will continue to do so when I get married.  I also started thinking about the different make ups of man and woman and made  a list of why women might make even better farmers than men!  Please men, don't take my list to heart.  You still need to keep farming, because I will be looking for one of you "farmers" to marry in the future, but this post is about empowering the women!
Hips- they don't lie
   I don't know how many times I have carried hay, feed, or a calf propped on my hip.  I hold gates open, move things when my hands are full, keep a cow off of me. and many more things with them.  When I use my hips I feel empowered!!…

Off to see the Stock Barn

The wonderful stock barn of Athens!
A couple weeks ago we sold some heifers to a neighbor.  When my Pop was loading them, one got way from him.  I think I was at school on that day, so I was no help!   This Tuesday we were going to take her to the guy who bought her.  We also needed to take two old show heifers and CRAZY calf off too.
  It was a rather simple process.  The cows went to the barn quite easily and separated out nicely, so I have no exhilarating story! Except when we got to the stock barn!!!
  Poppa has started letting me pull his truck up while he gives them his name and address.  The last time I did fine.  Poppa has a Ford straight shift and the reverse is up beside first gear.   While trying to not get in reverse I hit third.  I killed it.  I finally got it into first and drove it half way home, according to Pop! 
Just another day in the life with Farmer Madison! Don't kill it!!!

Side Note- Sorry, I have not been posting!  All my fault.  I say I am too busy, but…

That Time of Year

Yes, it's almost Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It also a time for a huge livestock event the North American International Livestock Expo.  According to their website it is the, "world's largest all-breed, purebred livestock exposition".    Each year we try to start packing early, but this year and,  well every year, I end up waiting to pack the trailer until the last minute.  It has been warm in Tennessee up until TODAY.   The forecasters say we may even get a snow flurry this evening.  So, instead of packing last week or the week before while it was warm I donned my coveralls, vest, scarves, gloves, hat, warm socks and begrudgingly went to the barn to pack the trailer. Sometimes we are huge procrastinators.  I haven't blogged much the last few weeks because I have been getting the heifers ready to go.  We want them to look their absolute best on show day.   This year my Dad made us two aluminum half chutes to take with us, because they are light weight and easy t…

Behind the Scenes!


Veteran's Day

Yesterday was Veteran's Day.  On our way to school my mom brought up a very good point; Why do we close schools to celebrate a single person but not close schools on Veterans day?   I know that post offices and other government offices are closed, but why not schools?  She had a point!  My grandfather's are veterans so this hit close to home.  I won an essay contest  a few years ago about homeless Veterans and their plight and ever since doing the research for that project I have always been curious about the lives of all Veterans.  Today, I was doing a search on Veterans and Farming (since this is a farming blog) and I found a blog post titled "From War Veteran to Farmer".  I really love this post.   I have known all my life that growing up on a farm is the best way to grow up.  I feel the peace and calm when I walk outside each day.  I am in awe of nature so it was really no surprise to find out that many Veterans also find solace in farming and working the earth…

4-H Banquet

Recently we had our County 4-H Banquet.   It is a time to recognize all the county 4-H'ers for their years accomplishments.   4-H means a lot to me.  Most of the time when kids go into High School they seem to split their time between 4-H and FFA .  Unfortunately and Fortunately I am homeschooled.   This is fortunate because I get to travel around the Country networking with BEEF folks, I get to work on the farm almost full time, I get to spend lots of time with my family, and I have time to extensively study and pursue areas of interest to me.  Unfortunate, because I don't get to enjoy programs like FFA.  Since FFA is federally funded they do not allow homeschoolers or private schoolers to participate.  My mom called their office one day and they explained the whole thing.   She talked to the FFA folks for thirty minutes and gave them statistics on how many homeschoolers there are in the US.  They were sympathetic, but unable to do anything about it.
  Every year, I watch my…

Time to Eat


To the Auction We Go

Tuesday was the big day!  We usually take our calves to the stock barn to sell twice a year.  We take  calves that are  between 7 and 8 months old.  The fun part about all of this is getting the cattle moved from the field to the barn to be loaded into the trailer.   We knew this was going to be a time consuming operation so in true family farm fashion the whole family, except for my mother who was cleaning the kitchen, came out and helped.  I unloaded the trailer and  turned off the fan and the radio that I leave on for the show cattle to enjoy. I didn't want the young calves to be stressed by the noise.  My pop backed the trailer to the barn and we were ready to rock and roll!   Dad, Ashton (my 15 year old sister), Pop and I all walked to the field.  Actually, Pop drove the 4-wheeler.  The calves are used to Pop and his 4 wheeler because he drives it to the field twice a day to check the cows.   If there is one thing I've learned over the years, it is that my Pop has a sp…

Bulls & Babies



Thursday, October 17th,  I hitched a ride with Jennifer Houston of East Tennessee Livestock Center  and we traveled to a social media workshop being held by the Tennessee Beef Industry Council (TBIC).  The TBIC had a fun day planned out with three speakers.  Lauren Chase, Ryan Goodman, both of Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA),  and Pamela Bartholomew from Pick TN Products,  were there to teach us about using social media to advocate for our cattle and/or our farms.   Everyone was excited to get started learning about Twitter, Facebook, Webpages, Pinterest and other social media apps.  We started the day by gaining a general understanding about why we should use social media and how it can impact our farm, and the typical consumers perspective of agriculture in general.   Then one thing that I took away from this portion of the day is that I am always doing something on my farm and it is probably of interest to those who are not familiar with how farms work.   I should be tellin…

New Grass!!