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!
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.
I am finishing up my Master’s in Ag Communications and am taking a Social Media in Public Relations class. Hence the creation of this blog. This week’s assignment required us to post photos to a photo-sharing site and then link them to our blog. The day after the assignment the vet came to cosmetically dehorn a few of our show and sale heifers. I thought what a perfect opportunity to share what we do on the farm and how safe and routine this process was. Below you will find the step-by step procedures our vet took in cosmetically dehorn a heifer.