Whew! What a week it has been! And I am even happy to share that I have been cheating on my horse loving friends, and have been involved in the cattle industry the past few weeks. Not only had I been putting hours in at the stable, but have also been lending a helping hand at the school farm preparing for the annual Journagen Ranch Sale. Some of my weekly duties there had included walking bulls, building sale pens, tidying up the shop and sheds, and building and tearing down the sale ring. Prior to the sale that occurred this past Saturday, a show was help on Friday night that was open to any past sale purchases, or their offspring. I happened to work at the school farm just before the show and was able to help our advisors son ready his heifer for the show.
The process of readying a calf for a show is much different than a horse, although there are several similarities. The first step we took was to rinse her and wash the heifer, this is done with an Aloe Advantage shampoo, and her tail is dipped in conditioner. She is then tied up to dry, using brushes to knock the excess water off in the same manner as a sweat scraper. Ok, now this is where we really differ….cattle are blown out prior to a show going against the hair to get the hair to stand up and make the cow look fuller. After this is done, they are then “fit” or clipped.
Pictured above is Parker and his beloved show heifer known as Addie. Not only did Parker have a pit crew to help him ready his heifer for the show, he also gained a cheering section, whether he knew it or not. 🙂 The pair won their class and were called back for the Grand Drive, there in which he ended up in the top 5.
Now that the day of the sale had finally came, the day before and the day of the sale were very long days for the crew. Several helping hands from the department, the ranch, and students banded together to make the sale a running success. The cattle had been at the school farm for a few weeks prior to the sale to settle in and be prepared. The night before the sale prior to the sale, the cattle were sorted into sale pens where potential buyers could walk through and take a look at them. After everyone that wanted to that night had a chance to study the cattle, the cattle were then turned back out to their pens or the night. Then, bright and early the next morning, the same process started again. The Journagen Sale is done by sale videos, which means plenty of preparation. The cattle are videoed prior to the sale, which plays on a live feed during the sale as opposed to bringing the cattle into the sale ring. This is why having the cattle available to viewing is so important. There is also an online bidding that can happen now during the sale as well, so both live bidders and online bidders have a chance to take the winning bid. I am pleased to announce that the sale was a tremendous success! Just over $480,000 worth of cattle were sold, breaking all previous sale highs by over $2,000. Now, that’s something to really be proud of! This in tandem with school beef being carried at local Hyvee stores, means that Missouri State’s beef program has gained a lot of special attention.
To wrap up a busy weekend, I was able to relax and do homework all day Sunday to get all caught up in my classes. Ok, you know that I am just kidding. What fun would that be? That only happens when I am sick haha! Sunday, I was back at the barn doing chores…..and…..drum roll please….we broke ground on the first lean to that we are planning on putting up this fall before winter! Even though I am super busy and I get overwhelmed from time to time, I don’t know what else I would do or if I would have it any other way. Stay tuned for my next post, where I spill the beans regarding yet another iron I have in the fire.