Monday, April 30, 2012

Reaching the end of the semester...bittersweet!

Usually, I cannot wait until the end of the semester. I even count down the days until the end on some semesters, especially the stressful ones! Today marked the end of the semester for teaching my first class. This semester I taught the livestock evaluation class at MSU and I loved every minute of it. We had a GREAT time and I think the students had as much fun as I did. (I hope they really did and I am not turning into the crazy professor that thinks everyone loves my class when it's terrible!) My favorite and most rewarding part of the semester was exposing the students to what I am so passionate about. It was neat to watch them progress throughout the semester and by the end they all had well developed opinions and reasons of their own as to why classes should be placed a certain way! When they reached the point in the semester when they would argue with me over placings, I knew I was doing something right! I am so proud of each of them in all that they accomplished. I will never forget some of them on the first day I made (yes, some of them took more "pushing" than others!) them give their first set of reasons. Some of them were terrified but by the end of the semester they had all gained confidence and it was no big deal. It will be neat to see where each of them go and what they do after graduation. I will miss them next semester but hope I get a new group of students that will as much fun as they were!

Our eval. class visiting with Dr. Davis from Little Creek Farms on one of our "field trips"!

Judging heifers at the MSU Beef Unit!

Friday, April 27, 2012

An afternoon on the farm...

I love going out to the Beef Unit at MSU when I need an afternoon out of the office. It's the perfect get-away and just far enough from campus and town. Sometimes Katie and I will take little ventures out there to check on the heifers and calves...
Today, my Aunt Mert stopped by to visit since she was passing through Mississippi. It was so nice to have a visitor for the day. We went on a tour around campus and Starkville, and then we ventured out to South Farm so I could show her all the cattle. Aunt Mert has spent her life around agriculture so we share the same appreciation for it! I brought my camera along today and here are some of the shots I captured.  It was a nice reminder that I need to do this more's like free therapy!

This is one of my favorites...

Where's Waldo?

There he is!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nothing better than a little R&R!

This past weekend Katie and I, along with two of our fellow graduate students, headed to the beach in Biloxi, MS! We made a pit stop on the way to put on a Beef Cattle Boot Camp in Poplarville, MS at the White Sands MSU Experiment Station. Katie and I led the discussions on Heifer Development and Trouble Shooting Beef Cattle Reproduction topics while our partners in crime talked about Calf Care, Vaccinations, and various other topics! We left at 4am on Friday in order to arrive and set-up in Poplarville before the Boot Camp started at 9am. Needless to say, by the time we set out for the beach at 3:30pm we were worn out! We had a great time though, ate some really good sea food, met some great beef cattle producers at the Boot Camp, and enjoyed every moment of our rest and relaxation on the beach! Katie and I spent most of our time reading and napping, it was much deserved and enjoyed!
My book of choice!

It might have been a little chilly...

we didn't mind though! A few towels and blankets and we were beyond happy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Beef Cattle Boot Camp

Today was the annual Beef Cattle Boot Camp at Mississippi State. It was a gorgeous day out - about 80 degrees and sunny! We met out at the beef unit this morning with producers from across the state and covered a variety of topics from vaccinations to trouble shooting various reproductive problems producers may encounter. It was a blast and definitely better than being cooped up in the office today. The camp was very much "hands on" and producers were able to practice tubing a bottle calf, giving injections, inserting a CIDR, and taking blood samples from a vain in the tail.
Here's a pic of a little girl who let us borrow her calf for a day...