Monday, May 27, 2013

Twitter Party

I, on a whim, participated in my first ever twitter party!  The party was #ZTagsStayIn hosted in part by American National CattleWomen and Z Tags.  It was to start at 8 ET.  The party was about telling your tips on tagging your cattle and if you used the Z Tags one- piece applicator tag how easy it is.  Z Tags was also giving away six twenty-five dollar gift cards for the best answer.  It was the end of the contest and I got a notification...I had won the LAST gift card!  I was so excited! I'm still excited, I can't bring myself to spend it!  Thank you ZTags!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Taking Pride in Tomorrow's Leaders

The Tennessee Cattlemens Association started a "Spotlight" for juniors in their monthly issue!  This month I was picked to be the "Spotlight"!  The article is above.  I am so lucky to be a part of an organization that takes pride in their youth.  I love my Tennessee Cattlemen and CattleWomen! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Cloud Nine

I am still on cloud nine from our Knoxville Junior Spring Cattle Show (KJSC) and it happened over three weeks ago! KJSC is a two-day event of skill-a-thon, showmanship, and Cattle Showing.  We got there on Friday.  The folks over the show decided that this year we would do showmanship and skill-a-thon on the day we arrive instead of the second day.  Upon arriving, I realized how hectic the show was going to be, but it definitely exceeding my expectations on that front.   Right when we got there we had to get on the ball with unloading our trailer and getting my showmanship heifer bathed and dried.  As usual, they called us to do skill-a-thon right while I was in the middle of drying my heifer.  I knew if I didn’t go immediately I wouldn’t go at all so, I told my friend to finish drying my heifer.

…….Two hours later. I am still in skill-a-thon! The show is fixing to begin and I am dirty, don’t know whether or not my heifer is ready, have no idea where my show halter, show harness (holds my exhibitor number) or show stick is!  Basically, I am behind.  I send a text to my friend up in the barn and he just tells me to HURRY!  Now, I am worried to the max!  With that in mind and the show beginning to my right, all the exhibitors, in the skill-a-thon, get in gear and we all finish right in the nick of time!  In the barn the chaos is upon us!  Kids are running in the bathroom dirty and coming out in clean show clothes!  I however didn’t have time to go all the way to the restroom so I changed in the cattle trailer, as did some of my friends.  Show kids clean up nice! 

Over the intercom I heard them announcing the judge’s short biography.  “Show time” I thought to myself.  I found all my show ring things, grabbed my heifer, and headed to the ring.  There were going to be FOUR heats! That means that we were going to stand down in the make-up area (outside the ring) for a long time! I was in the second heat.  I went in and did my thing and along with 4 others got called back to the championship class.  During my time outside the ring, I got advice and tips on how I did in  my heat so I could improve it in the championship class. 

….30 minutes later. Show time!  There were about 20 of us in the championship class.  The judge worked us longer than normal because we were all developed and put together showman.  He put me in the most difficult situations. I tried to handled them wonderfully though.  After having us show other people's heifers he finally pulled us up into a lineup style line and the ribbon girls gave us our ribbons. I noticed that from where I was standing in the lineup I should get a 6th place ribbon.  What did I do wrong? Was I to aggressive? Was I to shiny? Did I smile to much? Did I miss his look? What did I do wrong?  Once everyone got their ribbons he talked the showmanship over.  In his reasons he said, he never took his eyes off one particular showman.  He said he noticed them from the moment they walked in, they were very put together, their heifer was always setup, and they were always paying attention.  He put his mic down and examined the lineup one more time, came over, took his hat off, and shook MY hand!!!!!!!!!!!  I HAD WON SENIOR SHOWMANSHIP, and I was only a sophomore!   I couldn’t stop smiling, I still can’t!  What a great way to start off the day!

Saturday show......Nothing can really compete with winning.  So on this day I thought, "Why not do some more!"  Today I would be showing my heifers and they would be judged on themselves.  My first spin in the ring was with Friendly my commercial heifer. She walked away with a class winner and Champion bred and owned.  My next ring time was with my Simmi’s: Dreamy, Danni (Batman) and Savy.  Batman and Dreamy won their classes. Savy got second (she is a late bloomer).  Batman also won Champion Simmental Heifer.  During the day I also got to show a Limousine for a friend.   She had the Grand and I had the Reserve!  That summed up the show.  Before leaving we sheared my heifers bald, packed up, and left.  It was a great day! To make it better it was my Pop’s birthday!  Winning on your birthday with the animals you bought and raised must feel great! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Different Perspective

Words.  To use words you must know words.  Words don't come until we are at least one year old. For some people like Temple Grandin they came at three and a half.  Temple thinks differently than us. She thinks in pictures.  Why, because she has autism. Although some told her mother she would be plagued by autism.  Her mother looked on the bright side. She never gave up on Temple. During a summer at her aunt's ranch she developed a great interest in cattle.  With the persuasion and push Temple went on to get her PhD in Animal Science.  She has put her best foot forward in her, so far, 35-year career to make a difference in handling. She teaches many different level classes at Colorado state which I want to attend just to take her course. I know I would love her as a teacher because I heard her talk this past April and realized the intelligence and love she possesses for the cattle. At her talk I bought one of many books she has written.  Living on a working beef farm I am always looking for a more efficient way to handle my cattle and the book,  "HUMANE Livestock Handling" is helping me to do so.  Many others are also buying her books and putting her plans into action which in return is giving us higher quality meat and more of it. The cattle are much happier, because the facilities Temple designs cater to the needs of the cattle and their ways of processing pictures. One thing I love about Temple is she doesn't care what critics think.  She just wants the animals to be healthy, happy, and taste good!  Which I know all is the goal of all farmers and ranchers. It was such an honor to meet Temple Grandin!   My life and the life have cattle have truly been enriched.

Temple Grandin and Madison April 2013 Knoxville Convention Center