I have always felt very blessed in that I have grown up with great grandparents on my mom and my dad's side of the family. I have learned different things about life from all my grandparents. My mom's parents are farmers and so I learned a lot about farm life at their house. My dad's parents LOVE to camp, fish, and all other things "outdoors"! I always thought this was really cool growing up because we got to do things at Meemaw and Grandpa's house that we didn't get to do at home. The first time I went camping was at their house in the tree row...it wasn't out in the woods but we got to sleep in a real tent with sleeping bags! Meemaw knows how to cook most anything outdoors, which is pretty cool because I don't have a clue when it comes to that! The past week or so, they have been on a camping adventure going from Kansas to Mississippi. They drive a few hours and then stop at a camping site and spend the night and a couple of days fishing, hiking, bike riding, and are back on the road. This weekend they were in Mississippi and found a lake near Starkville. Yesterday, I went out to the lake with them and spent the day fishing. When I arrived, Meemaw had cooked lunch in the crock pot - we had a full meat and potato meal! After lunch, Meemaw and I went down to the water and fished. We had some worms but the fish didn't seem to pay any attention. There was an experienced fisherman (the nice boat, whole nine yards) nearby that seemed to be catching fish left and right. After awhile we finally hollered out to him and asked what he was using for bait. Apparently southern fish like live crickets, not worms! The nice man came up to us in his boat and gave us some crickets. After that it was game on! We caught several fish. I was pretty excited and wanted to have them for supper but Grandpa said they weren't big enough. Needless to say we didn't have fish for dinner but it was fun catching them!
After visiting the heifers and crew and Heartland, we drove a few more miles to the Rippe household! Boy was it fun to see some exciting kiddos awaiting my arrival - Nate was waiting at the end of the driveway on his bike and I raced him to the house. He is pretty fast on a bike and beat me! Nate greeted me with a big hug and then we went inside to find the rest of the family! The kids got me all caught up on the latest happenings with school show and tell, horse shows, calves, and even their pet frogs. They recently invested in some hens at a chicken sale and sent us home with 3 dozen eggs (boy were they yummy for the breakfast the next morning :) ). After catching up we ventured south towards the cattle pasture to look at the new baby calves and mamas. I always get excited about visiting the new calf crop...it's exciting to see how they all turn out and listen to everyones favorites! I took lots of pictures and then we went to town for some pizza before Mike and I headed back home.
It's always great to catch up with friends...especially the ones that are really special and you don't get to see very often. Then it's like the icing on the cake or the cherry on the sundae!
This is one of my favorites...
When you drive in the gate, the cows come running...here are some calves trailing behind!
Such a stud...
Nate is running and playing!
Ali is picking up wire out of the pasture...
Nate trying to pet the cow... he got awfully close!
My favorite little heifer :) It's up to Ali and Nate to give her a really neat name!
I wasn't lying when I said I took a lot of pictures... :)
This week I was able to take a much needed trip home to Kansas. It was a busy but fun filled week and time has flown by (it always go by faster than you would like it to)! On Saturday, the boy and I took a day trip to Nebraska to visit some favorite friends and the cows. The heifers are at Heartland Cattle Company in McCook, NE being developed, bred, and pampered (you think I am joking...they are some fat and happy heifers right now!). They are looking good and it was fun to go see them as well as visit my Heartland friends :)
I was being the cow whisperer to this lovely lady...I told her she had better get bred soon (no messing around)! :)
It was a rainy and dreary day but the temperature was nice!
The length of their tongues always amaze me...
They are so spoiled they think they are hungry...they are really just bored!
My Dad sent me an e-mail attachment this morning of our KLA News & Market Report.
In the report was a column about the number of cattle we have in our county back home. Haskell County is centered around agriculture. The county is comprised of many farms. We grow mainly corn, wheat, milo, soybeans, cotton, and some sunflowers. We also have lots of cattle on feed. This makes since because we have the feed resources and commodities available in our area. Here are the stats for our county...which I think is pretty cool (I might be a little biased though...)!
Largest cattle inventory in the state of Kansas: 415,000 head
Largest cattle on feed inventory: 235,000 head
Total cattle inventory in Kansas: 6.1 million (that's a lot of cows!)
I found this video while perusing around the Beef Magazine website this morning. I wish I would have found this when I was working on my seminar to present on Heifer Development! As a graduate student studying beef cattle production, I am always looking for ways to describe and explain different tools, like breeding soundness exams (BSE), to producers. There is something about older, experienced cattle veterinarians...they have a way of explaining certain topics and are able to bring it down to the simplest level. That is the reason why I like and appreciate the video about heifer breeding soundness exams (BSE). Buddy Faries, Jr., veterinarian with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, describes what a BSE is, what all it entails, and how they assign reproductive tract scores. He also provides practical information on how BSE's can be applied to a replacement heifer program and serve as a valuable selection tool.