Sunday, July 29, 2012

Little Sis, The Cow Whisperer

Poor Bear.  If ever there was a time she DISLIKED VERY MUCH being the youngest, it has been this summer.  She has just been chomping at the bit to jump in to 4-H.  Enrolling in Cloverbuds allowed her to take two projects, baskets and photography, but she wanted to do so much more.  At the top of the list were geology and showing cattle.

I hate to say this, but I have said it before; this girl could show an elephant.  She is just a natural with animals, and for better or worse, has very little fear around them.  It just broke her heart to work so hard helping Tink all summer take care of Jerry and LadyBug, feeding, watering, walking, and washing them, and then not get to show them in the ring.  Telling her that she will have her ten years very soon just didn't cut it.  She loves these critters.

And maybe my all-time favorite picture:

Poor little buck-a-roo.  If she can just find a little patience, the world will be her oyster.  Hang in there Little Bear.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tink and Her 4-H Calves: Final Results

Well we survived!  Whew!
*Blogger's Warning:  1.) This post is picture HEAVY and 2.) I cannot figure out how to get rid of my highlighted text without totally using up the last of my daily allotted brain cells.  Sorry!

I'm telling you, there were a few moments along the way that I wasn't so sure, but as every week passed Tink and her calves, LadyBug the heifer, and Jerry the steer, made improvements.

We couldn't have done it the week of the fair without the help of a very special family who leased LadyBug to us and allowed us to buy Jerry from them.  The Achen family owns The Benton Dairy, one of two large dairies in our county.  They are such a great family, and their two youngest go to school with Tink and Bear, so this made it even easier to work with them!

You have already met one of the family members, Annie, from my last post, but there are more members to meet!

Miss Christy helped with a Cloverbud excursion to The Benton Dairy, came out with Annie to help Tink learn how to set up each calf to show,  and fine-tuned the grooming of both calves.

Mr. Nicholas also helped out at the Cloverbud event, taught the girls and a friend how to bed down the calves,and showed them how to wash the cows properly.

These girls were very serious about getting Jerry's tail C.L.E.A.N!

How did Tink do?  Well......
First she showed Miss LadyBug.  She earned a blue in her class and Reserve Champion Heifer!

Then she went out for Jr. Showmanship.  She knew all her parts!  Wooo!  But the young man who won is Mr. Jack Achen, and he has a little more experience working with cattle than Tink right now.  Great Job Jack!

Now it's Jerry's turn, and he won Champion Dairy Steer*  (He was the only one in his class, BUT he is still a darned good looking steer!)

Because he won his category, he and Tink were called back in for the Grand Champion Drive!  I about had a heart attack.  You see, both calf and child have seen big cows from THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE, but neither one of them had actually been on the SAME side of the fence with the big boys!  It's like sending your teenage driver out on the interstate in a VW Bug to drive with all the semi's.  They both did fine. Whew!


Since everyone. including me, survived this round, she went out for Jr. Showmanship in the beef category.  She did not win, but each time in the ring was really a win because she gained experience.!

So here they are all the next day. :-)

 Done right?  Momma can breathe a sigh of relief right?  NOPE!  We have one more event to make Momma cringe just a bit........THE BATTLE OF THE BARNS!

She had a blast and did not get hurt.  Woo!   I so need to learn to lighten up, but it's a whole different world when it's your child out there.  Bill Cosby once said in one of his funny monologues about his children, "I brought you in to this world!  I can take you out and make another one just like you!"  Well, I'm not making any more, so I do tend to cringe just a bit when my girls are in new situations where there is a potential for getting hurt.  Yes, I know.  They make pills for this, and I have them for just such moments!

Ok, Now I'm done.....for now.....I have a few philosophical questions for you mothers out there, but I will save them for a later blog.  Hope you will forgive a mother's indulgence with all the photos.  You only have one first year of 4-H ;-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Working with Royalty

Do you know who this lady is????

To us around the fair, she is just Annie.  Her family shows dairy cows, and this year she branched out to show sheep.  She can run a skid steer and a variety of power tools.

Annie and her family took my Tink and the rest of us under their wing as we entered our first year of 4-H showing a dairy heifer and steer.  Now yes, Tall Guy did grow up on a dairy, and yes, he did show at the fair, BUT that was a ....uhm.... few years ago, and things have changed.

(I still haven't found the show halters he swears are in this house somewhere..... I'll save that search story for another post!)

So Annie and her family worked very hard with Tink, and Bear because she is soaking up all this cow stuff like a big ol' sponge.

As you look through my "Wordless Wednesday" pics, would you like to know who Annie really is????

As of last night, she our new 2012 Indiana Dairy Princess!  

That's right!  With this being the Year of the Dairy Cow, I bet our Miss Annie and Buttercup are going to be the best of friends at the Indiana State Fair!


You don't know who Buttercup is?

Click Here to learn more about Buttercup and activities at the Indiana State Fair.

Now let's see Annie at work and play:

Working with local elementary kids to teach them about dairy products

Coming out to our farm with her sister, Chrsity, to give Tink a few pointers on how to walk and show a steer and a heifer.  It IS different!

Prepping cows at the fair before show time:

Yes, she gave Tink AND Bear the shears so they could shear Ladybug for the very first time!  This girl is one brave lady! I don't think I have even let Bear have the scissors unsupervised after I found her cutting her hair twice!  I think that was at least a year ago if not longer!  Guess I need to lighten up a bit????

Showing one of her calves in the Dairy Show

Winning Dairy Showmanship (thanks Jenn for the pic!)

Dang!  I missed taking pictures during the sheep show!  I was pulling my shift in the 4-H food booth!

But, Annie's win in the Dairy Showmanship allowed her to compete in Supreme Showmanship.  She did not win, but she did a great job with all the animals.

Then we had fun the last night with the traditional Battle of the Barns!

 While her family and friends cheered her on!

 Congratulations Annie!  You and your family are such a great asset to our community, and we cannot wait to see how bright your star is going to shine.