Till We Meet Again

As I jumped up in the truck on Saturday morning to help my dad do chores, I was a little taken a back when he suddenly said, “Well you can tell your getting older and getting some age on you.” Kinda puzzled by this comment I replied, ” What do you mean dad?”. He said, “Well your show heifers are starting to show some age around here.” As we pulled into the farm that we keep cows that need extra feed before going to market I realized the reasons for his comments. In the pen were two of my show heifers from when I was about 13 years old. It was pretty obvious that their best days were behind them.

One of the heifers in the "pen" is Luella who was featured on the cover of Prairie Farmer when I was 13 and wrote about my experience at the IL State Fair.

One of the heifers in the “pen” is Luella who was featured on the cover of Prairie Farmer when I was 13 and wrote about my experience at the IL State Fair.

No matter how old I get, losing a show heifer or a favorite animal will never get any easier for me. It is just something about that special bond between a person and their livestock that grips my heart strings in a special way. The countless hours in the barn getting ready, standing in the chute and make-up ring, and then the time in ring just makes the bond grow and grow. The heifer develops a trust in you to care for her, and lead her into the right direction. In turn she listen and obeys what you want her to do while in the ring. Now, I am not going to lie there a few heifers I have shown who have tried my patience and their extra personality was by no means appreciated and may have gotten a few come to Jesus meetings, but in the end we had an unbreakable bond between us. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the circle of life and how things work, but it still leaves a little mark on my heart.

Another one of these show heifers was Pearl, who was in all of my senior pictures and is the only cow/calf pair my dad ever allowed me to exhibit as a junior.

Another one of these show heifers was Pearl, who was in all of my senior pictures and is the only cow/calf pair my dad ever allowed me to exhibit as a junior.

Some may say it is just because I am a sissy girl, but it has nothing to do with it. Rather, it is how much we care for our animals. They are a part of our family like a dog or cat might be in yours. We care for them 365 days a year, 24/7 and because of that they become pets. Each one has a different personality. I was just a lucky girl to have over 200 pets at any given time. You will notice my dad didn’t want to out right tell me the unfortunate news about my show heifers because he too hates to see them go. Especially when it is a herd bull that was a past show bull. That’s my daddy’s favorite thing to show is yearling and two year old bulls and the hardest for him to let go.

But enough of my sob story. My girls have lived a long life, and I get by hoping there is show heifer/cow heaven. So here is to my show heifers past and those soon to pass a tribute to each of you. 

 

The Beauty of Life

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go the Beef Facility at the University of Illinois campus to work on some promotional media for the college. While I was there I had the opportunity to take some snap shots of the spring cow/calf pairs who were just recently brought to pasture. There is nothing more beautiful to me than watching healthy cows and baby calves roaming in lush green grass. (No matter what color they are) If I was able I probably could have stayed out there all day long roaming around. It makes me miss home. 

From the time I could walk and before, I was all about cows. Visitors would be impressed as they toured the farm and 5-year old Emily could tell them the name of every cow in the pasture and sometimes part of the pedigree. Whenever dad couldn’t find me he would have to start searching in the pasture to see which baby calf I was trying to tame, or which cow pie I was putting my pink rubber boot footprint in. I guess what I am trying to say is that sitting out in the pasture and just watching cows graze and babies calves frolic about is one of life’s little beauties that is worth taking the time out of your day to pause and enjoy. So many times so many things are overlooked in our busy days and we blow on to the next thing. It’s when I have the opportunity to stand, sit or lay out in the pasture surrounded by healthy cows and baby calves that I remember the beauty of life and beauty of the earth in the small things. To help show what I am talking about here are some snapshots I took yesterday… Enjoy 🙂

Curious Babies

Fencepost View

Funny Faces

Hide and Seek