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Show Day

Show days consist of early mornings, long hours and short fuses.  The opportunity to market your cattle and the possibility of bringing home a blue ribbon or maybe even a purple banner keeps most motivated, but the part I like the best is hanging out with close friends and making memories worth repeating.

Cattle are brought into the barn hours before they actually make it to the ring.  They are usually whisked to the wash rack, and then brought back to the stalls to be blown dry and have their hair worked.  Then they are watered, fed and given hay while they rest until brought into grooming chutes to be fit.  About 45 minutes to an hour before show time each animal is fitted using adhesive to build legs and tops.  Their hair is combed and oiled and then they are taken to the make-up area to wait there turn in the ring.  They show by age and once in the ring the judge places the animals in order based on his opinion on structural correctness, muscularity, femininity, body conformation and overall eye appeal.

Here is a glimpse of what happens on show day and all the excitement in the ring!

Behind the Scenes

As I am writing this I am sitting in a lawn chair with my feet propped up on a cooler.  I see cattle all around me in a variety of colors.  They have been freshly washed and blown dry until their hair is full of shine and fluff.  People are mingling with friends they only get to see a couple times a year.  Can you guess where I am?

A cattle show.  To be exact I am exhibiting Hereford and Charolais at the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo.  Located just minutes from downtown and a few miles from many subdivisions sits Kemper Arena, home to the American Royal.  People come from across the county to exhibit cattle, sheep goats and pigs…A hobby for many, but a marketing tool for most.

I would like to share with you a few video clips I have taken the last couple of days highlighting what goes on behind the scenes before show day.

Social Media Deficient

Yesterday might have been one of the longest days I have had in awhile.  We run a 350+ head cattle operation and yesterday was the day to work all the fall calvers, which is about 200 cows, and about half have already calved.  Now if you aren’t familiar with what it means to “work” cattle, let me briefly explain.  Working the cows means getting them all up in a corral and running them all through a chute to give them medicine to prevent internal and external parasites, as well as other vaccines to keep them healthy.  Calves have to be sorted off from cows and the whole process is very long and tiring.  We started when the sun came up and finally finished about 5 in the evening covered in “you know what” and sore from head to toe.  So, what does this have to do with anything?

Well when I got up this morning I found my iPhone and laptop were both dead.  This virtually never happens because I am always using them.  Then I started to realize that I didn’t touch either of these yesterday.  Living out in the middle of nowhere, I rely on the Internet to keep me up-to-date on everything going on locally and around the world.  I can’t believe I spent an entire day with no Facebook, Twitter, Fox News app or blog reading.  I had no idea what my friends did yesterday or if the cattle markets changed any.  I have to admit I am addicted to social media.  I have TweetDeck downloaded on my computer and use the app version on my phone, so I am constantly getting updates.  I wonder if I could survive if I had to go longer than a day without social media.  Could you?

A couple of years ago I would be able to answer yes without any hesitation.  Facebook was just a fun way to stay connected, but today social media has turned into a form of marketing, advertising and promotion we can all use free and easily.  Yes, I still use Facebook to stay connected with friends, but I use all forms of social media to promote my business (beef cattle) and find out what is happening in the world of agriculture.  It’s obvious it didn’t kill me to be deficient in social media for a day, but it might take me a couple of days to catch up on lots of missed reading.