Thursday, July 26, 2012

County Fair Fun

Well....JM's first county fair was a big success!  He had a great time showing his cattle, and brought home a few blue ribbons as reward for all of his hard work.

Tuesday was cattle show day at the O'Brien County Fair.  We were at the fairgrounds by 6:00 a.m. to wash the calves and start getting them ready for the show.  We blew them dry, brushed, combed, groomed and made them look their best to go in front of the judge.  

Allie was the first one to go into the ring.  JM did a great job of showing her.  They received 3rd in the class honors and a blue ribbon.  She is a calf out of our own cows and has the best personality.  Allie and JM have gotten very close.  She just loves to have him near her.  JM was just beaming coming out of the ring with a blue ribbon.  

The two steers, Charlie and Mikey, did great in the ring as well.  Charlie also received 3rd in his class honors and a blue ribbon.  Charlie got to go into the ring a second time for beef of merit as well.  He was one of the top ten cattle in the fair for rate of gain.  Mikey was 4th in his class and also received a blue ribbon.  JM was on Cloud 9!

During the beef show, JM received his award for his Pen of Four project.  He fed 4 of our home raised calves throughout the year and had the highest rate of gain over the other participants.  His calves gained an average of 4.6 lbs per day.  He had to keep track of the feed that was fed to them and also take care of their  pen and health. The project was also judged on the grade of the meat.  All four of JM's calves were in the top six for yield and grade by the packer.  JM received Grand Champion honors for this project.  

Today was the most difficult day of the fair.  JM had to say goodbye to Charlie and Mikey since they were going to be sold on the fair auction.  The whole family shed some tears, but JM had a really hard time letting go of them.  He has put a lot of hard work into feeding, caring, washing, grooming and breaking them to lead.  It is amazing how quickly they become part of the family.  We will miss them!!

JM had a wonderful first year fair experience.  Allie came home with us from the fair.  She will go to a couple more shows yet this summer, and hopefully, she will go back to the fair next year with her calf.  We can't wait for next year.  We met some great new friends and learned a lot along the way.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

County Fair Time

Our County Fair is beginning this weekend, and this is the first year that JM will be showing his cattle as a project for 4-H.  He is very excited to participate!  We have been preparing for this event for months.   JM has been feeding, watering, washing, leading and grooming these calves.  He is quite anxious to show off his hard work!

JM and Allie
JM has two market steers and a breeding heifer that he will be shown.  The market steers will most likely get sold at the end of the fair.  This will be a very sad day for our family since we have become quite attached to them.  They become a part of your family when you spend hours with them every single day!  Our breeding heifer, Allie, will come back home after the fair and hopefully go back to the fair next year as a cow/calf pair.

Allie has become quite close to JM.  She started out the project as a market heifer, but we decided that maybe she would make a great cow since she has such a wonderful personality.

Tonight, we made our way to the fairgrounds and put bedding in our stalls to prepare for the arrival of Charlie, Mikey and Allie to the fair tomorrow morning.

We are using straw bales to give the calves a comfortable bed to lay on in the barns at the fairgrounds.

JM could hardly go to sleep tonight since he is SO excited to have his first fair experience.  He loves working with his calves.  We can't wait to watch JM proudly walk his calves into the ring.  The cattle show is on Tuesday, and it is supposed to be over 100 degrees here that day.  Usually, the day of the cattle show brings some rain to our area, and we are praying that this year is no exception.  We really need the rain and would gladly have to deal with the mud!