Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tennessee Cattlemen's Association

This weekend was the yearly cattlemen convention for Tennessee.  It was held in the Music Road Hotel Convention center and the turnout was great!  The event was fantastic!  There were meetings, speakers, youth events and a Trade Show!  Ohh, yeah and plenty of good food.   I went to the convention Friday and Saturday.  Friday, I specifically went for a Cattlewomen meeting.  We haven't really had much of a Cattlewomen Association over the past few years so this was a chance to get it started back.
The team who thought they didn't have it in them and went because we knew it would be fun

 Saturday was when all the youth events were going to be held.  About a week ago, I got word we had enough people in my county to get together a BEEF quiz bowl team.  We don't really have an official team that practices a lot like other counties.  When a contest comes around we basically call around and drag people out of their fields or barns to come have fun!  Of course we would like to win, but we do it mostly for fun!  I received the questions from the ag teacher at the high school a couple of days before we competed, but I didn't look over them.   I find if I stress out over something,  I do worse.  At the contest I found out that no one else prepared either.  Being in the cattle setting all the time paid off for us all.  We used the knowledge that we acquire and apply everyday on our farms.  We ended up placing reserve which is fantastic because we beat teams that practiced a whole lot.  
  The entire convention was fantastic and it was wonderful to see folks I don't see often!   I can't wait until the next big thing..... The National Convention in Nashville!

We faced off against Lincoln County, you can tell we were there for fun.

Jennifer Houston and I - She is from my county and one of my favorite TN Cattlewomen!

Folks from the TN Beef Council!

Dr. Schrick- Univeristy of Tennessee Animal Science Department Head, Megan Mills, Madison Martin, Lexy Littreal,
Jacob Lay, and Shane Williams- Ag Credit Athens,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Adventures with Elli the Fearless

Farmer Madison and Elli the Fearless begin the day.

It started out like any other day. My mom telling me to take Elli outside so she could get rid of her energy.  She has to be supervised because she is extremely adventurous and not scared of anything.  Like any other day, I had farm work to do. So... Elli ended up "playing" at the barn.  We began our Adventures with a
four-wheeler ride to check the cows.  It was cold!!  Elli was holding me from behind and the ground was rough.  She told me "Madi, if I fly off this four wheeler your phone and your knife go too!!" Basically all the things that are important to me! So, I slowed down.  During our routine check we had a surprise.  Dreamie, a show heifer from 2011, had a big surprise waiting for us!  She had a little (big for a first calf) 70 lb heifer waiting on us to tag! Dreamie was the very first animal that I bred artificially.  Success!!! I not only got her bred on the first try but I also got a heifer!  Elli got out a loved on the calf and Dreamie came RUNNING back, big floppy ears going, mooing like crazy and Elli stood there. Told you, she is fearless! Once Dreamie was back with her calf, we left to go put new mineral tubs out for the cows.

      Next on our long to-do list was getting this very rambunctious steer out of one field into the one where he belonged, with his mother! I was getting him out for two reasons: he was annoying and he needed his mothers milk! I had tried before when I was alone but he basically would run circles around me.  This time I had help! Elli the Fearless. He was in a field with 5 bigger heifers.  One of them was red.  Elli took quite the liking to the red heifer and named her Valentine.  When we got to the spot to start driving them to the barn Elli and I split up.  Elli was in charge of keeping them moving and I had to keep them together! One of the heifers is a monster, once she turned and Elli kept walking and said with bundles of confidence "GO to the barn".  They obeyed Elli the Fearless! Then there was an unexpected turn.  The calf we needed to get up ran circles around us both.  He ran straight at Elli and big sister mode kicked in.  I darted to her but she stood her ground making him turn away from her! That silly thing got away..... Again.   On the agenda next was a vet visit.  We had an older cow get down.  He was there to address the situation.  She ended up getting an IV.  When the vet left I still had chores to do, but Elli had other intentions.  She had to see to her restaurant.  The Hay restaurant!   While Elli was waitressing I was unloading feed.   I tried to persuade her to help by telling her she could use my knife! She wants one badly.

It was finally five o'clock. Feeding time.  Feeding required a lot of separating. During the day I let two baby heifers I am weaning, Gracie and her calf out into a lot to exercise.  Separating them back into their pens is easier said than done, but with Elli the Fearless it was possible!  Elli was supposed to get on the side of them and push them towards me.  She was standing in thick sticky mud.  She picked one foot up, set it down, picked up the other, set it down. And...then she was barefoot.  I was caught in this mud a couple weeks ago but it only took one of my boots.  It took BOTH of hers!!!! It was so funny,  however, I still had a lot of feeding to do so we couldn't leave the barn yet.  Her feet were covered in mud so while I finished my chores we wrapped her feet in feed sacks.  I was seriously close to letting her drive herself home on the Kabota,  but last time she drove she ran into a tree!!  I took her back home myself and when we walked in the door mom instinctively said, "Elli, get in the bath!".  Then she turned around and saw Elli's feet and we all burst out laughing.  Never a dull moment around here. What a great way to end the day!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

North American International Livestock Exposition- NAILE

Freedom Hall, the view form behind the announcers stand on the upper level
Freedom Hall, the view from the make up area on the upper level

Thursday November 14th, I started packing for our biggest cattle show.   My Pop and I left for the show the next morning at 8 am!  You see,  my procrastination is at its best when I need to pack!  We packed three trailers with equipment, feed, bedding, and tools on Tuesday.  They cattle left on Wednesday.  On Friday Pop and I left for Louisville, Kentucky where NAILE was held and where our cattle were.  It was a long drive, so during the trip I slept and occasionally did homework!   When we arrived, the work was waiting on me and I had to get busy!  This year we brought eight head (seven heifers and a bull)and they needed to be rinsed so we headed to the wash rack.  This year was the largest NAILE yet so the wash rack was full of cattle.  After returning from the wash rack we got the cattle dry and on a fed them. Then we had to go fix the beds in the barn.  The cattle are more or less on display while in the barn, so everything needs to look neat and put together.  It is like a contest to who can have the nicest beds.  Once we got the beds set up it was time to go exercise the cattle, water and put new bedding down.  When that was all finished it was time to go to the hotel.  It was really late each night when we got back from to hotel..
Claire, Batman, and Susie resting, between their show days, in tie outs 
Claire, the major cutie around our barn

Claire has some attitude

I took this picture from the trailer because it was pouring and I had to wait for more hands to take them into the barn

We were at NAILE for a week and it was exhausting, but all of our heifers finished towards the top of their classes.  My heifer, Batman, got second in both the junior and open show.  Claire got fourth out of seventeen, and Jess got third.
Elli, my youngest sister, is almost old enough to start showing through 4-H and Claire is going to be her first heifer

Samantha Robets, owner of Terry a Shorthorn Plus, is waiting to go back in for the open show

Terry showing her stuff outside the ring

  The entire time I was there I was either running around working, talking, eating, or sleeping! I also acquired the "Louisville Crud" , as it is fondly called while I was there.  It's a sickness that everyone gets at NAILE!  The triggers are dust, dirt, blowing fans, adhesives, and too many people in a confined space for ten days!  I got hit by the crud on Sunday.  I kept getting worse the whole time and ended up crashing between shows on Wednesday.  I spent most of Wednesday cuddled up with Batman in the beds!  
Ms. Miley, owned by Rebecca Oliver, had a long show day!

Claire and Jess both had a long day of doing next to nothing!
The Show is a hard one
Ms. Miley getting a bath

Batman also known as the weedeater, she puts her nose on something and makes a sound and it vibrates like a weedeater
Jess and Me in the ring

Jess kicking it back and relaxing

In the ring with Jess talking to past AJSA trustee Kyle Ruth

The Calvary came to fit Batman
Batman in the ring being shown by Laural Culp a Chi Breeder who stalled next to us....she knew the judge!

Batman and Laural again

Batman and me in the champion drive

Nitro the Bull

"Hey girl can i rest my leg?"

My favorite part of shows is the time I get to sit with my heifers

The underside of Batman
Yes, Bat I'll be your pillow
Nitro taking a snooze

Thursday I packed up all our stuff and we loaded it out that evening in the rain. No fun!

Tearing our stalls down.  Well, watching others work!

The last night in tie outs we made sure to bed them down real good

Friday we got released to go home!  We arrived home at five on the dot!
And there's no one

Mid way point and Claire is causing problems!