Archive for March, 2012

My Idea of a Spring Break

Where do I begin… This week I spent all of my time working at home. While most college students spent their spring break on a beach, I spent my moving cows and working with my show cattle. Of course, I would much rather do that than do the same thing for 5 days. Sure one day would be great, but I am perfectly fine where I am!

It also rained A LOT this week. Everything that was dirt and easy to walk on, soon became knee deep mud and we had numerous puddles.

This week was pretty laid back, however in a way, it was busy and it really flew by. My sister, who is a freshman in high school this year, was scheduled to have 4 softball games this week and they all got rained out except for 4 innings on Monday. So I booked my evenings with other things. We started our pig adventure on Thursday. We went to Thompson, Mo and picked out a couple potential show prospects. We all became pretty excited for pig showing season!

Saturday was our big day of working cows. I wish I had some pictures to show you, but I left my phone in the truck. I figured this was a wise decision considering I was on my horse, getting cows up, and messing around in the mud. I also lost my boot a couple of times in the mud, but I recovered. We rallied up cow calf pairs and moved them closer to make it more convenient. This is so the cows can be artificially inseminated this spring so they can have another calf crop.

This coming weekend, we are kind of switching gears from the mud to a cattle show. This is not quite as “messy”. Or however you may take it. We are traveling to Nevada, Mo and it should be an exciting time as always!

I wouldn’t change my spring break for anything. I had fun spending time with my friends and family, working in the mud, and riding my horse! Maybe some time in the next three years I will travel to the beach on a spring break, but until then I will continue to live the farm life.

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Perseverance

Our busy, stressful, and exhausting weekend is over. On Friday, we had a show crew and a bull crew. One gang took the show calves to Columbia and got everything set up and settled in to prepare for Saturday. The other gang went to the sale barn and got bulls ready all day. I was on the bull crew. We got there mid morning and started feeding, cleaning pens, and then we started cleaning up the bulls to sell. It seemed like all of them had about two pounds of sand on their backs. Before we knew it, it was 6 o’clock and it was sale time! This was not only a sale, but proof that hard work, commitment, and perseverance can pay off towards many involved.

Soon after the sale was over we went straight to Columbia because our weekend had just started. We didn’t get much sleep that night. When I woke up, my hair was still damp from my shower about 4 hours ago. We had shown cattle all day Saturday and we were proud of what we had accomplished by the time we left Boone County Fairgrounds. Our show crew had the Champion Hereford heifer, Champion Chianina, also 5th overall heifer, and a class winner.

Sunday was steer day and that was much more relaxing, considering we only had two. The Shorthorn plus was 2nd in his class and his showman won Champion Jr. Showmanship! The other steer was Champion Maine Tainer and 4th overall steer. By Sunday evening, the Murphy/Loges show crew was tuckered out. We had a long successful weekend, and I know I wouldn’t have changed any of it for anything!

This is my spring break and I am home for a good, solid six days! For the past couple days I’ve been able to feed cows, do some odd ended tasks, and not have to go to class. While at college, sometimes my brain feels like it may just fry up due to homework, not having my family and friends from home, and just missing the plain old farm life.  I am enjoying my time being at home for a while with my friends and family because before you know it I will be south of 50 highway.

Just A Weekend at Home

This past weekend I was able to travel back to the central part of Missouri.  It wasn’t because I had a cattle show, a wedding, or like I had too. It was because I wanted too.  It seems like for the past month or so every time I have been home it was because we had a cattle show, or we had one coming up.

This weekend I was just able to do some dirty work… ok I washed my show cattle once!  The winter time is my favorite time of the year when working with cattle. However, this “winter” is somewhat of an exception considering it only snowed once. You may call me lame, but I enjoy feeding hay in the pastures and just being around them when I don’t have to worry about 100 degree weather.  My show cattle don’t have to be rinsed constantly and be under fans just about 24/7 either.

For quite some time now, we have been getting ready for an annual bull sale. It’s almost here!…  The first step in this process is picking out the better bulls to start getting ready. We brought them up closer to us and started halter breaking them. After we thought they could handle the wash rack, we started washing them and then clipped the bulls. These boys are filthy, mainly DUSTY, when they get their first bath. The wash rack is usually somewhat white (haha), but when we get done with the bull sale, it is just about black.

When the bulls have been tamed, washed, and clipped, it is now picture time.  A vast majority of the bulls are pictured so they can be put in the sale catalog. Then before you know it, it is sale day. Sometimes it is not fast enough, but it is all worth it in the end!

This coming weekend, not only do we have a bull sale, but we have a cattle show in Columbia. This is the MU Block and Bridle’s annual show. This past weekend and week has been and is being spent getting bulls and show calves ready for their events. Once again, this couldn’t be pulled off without the great team we have!

It’s That Time of the Season

It’s that time of the season again, and I don’t mean winter or soon to be spring. It’s cattle showing season! This is our busiest, most tiring, exhilarating, and many more adjectives to say about this time of the year, but that will do for now.

From about January until May we are in full throttle cattle mode. Then we get into pig season, but that is a whole different topic we may talk about later. We attend cattle shows about every other weekend or so and sometimes back to back weekends.

Preparing for a cattle show is also a job within itself. Since I have become a college student last fall, I am guilty of not being able to help out as much as I would like too. I guess you could say I try to make it up at the shows. Getting your cattle looking to the best of their ability starts at home, and not to mention the actual attitude part of a show animal can be quite difficult to tame down sometimes.

We like to say we have rituals when we go to shows. On Friday night we get everything set up and get our cattle settled in. Then we have to grab something to eat before we go to the hotel. We never book a hotel without an indoor pool… of course! Friday nights are usually late and we have to save all of our energy up to swim on Saturday after the show. We show all day Saturday, (wash, blow, fit, breakdown, wash, blow…again). Then it’s eat and swim time. On Sundays we basically repeat Saturday except go home instead of swim.

When we go to a cattle show it’s not about how good you do, but the memories and fun you have with what you’re doing and who you are enjoying and spending it with. [but winning is also way fun too. :)]  Everyone has their own show family and I have to say mine’s pretty first-class! Everyone is there to help each other out and do whatever they can to make things work smoothly.

This may be the most exhausting and tiresome time of the year, but we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it. We like our rituals, the good attitudes of our show cattle, our families, and of course the whole season!