Monday, December 10, 2012

Friends or Foe...

The new cattle show season has started.  And I don't know if it's me or just those around me, but there is a lot of mud slinging going on.  I know there always is.  Everyone thinks there calf is the best and want that sought after blue ribbon and of course that purple banner.  But there is a lot of things that people are doing and saying that is truly a sad testament as to what the show cattle business is becoming.

People are spending ridiculous amount of money on calves just to beat the farm down the road.
And for what?  A steer that you are going to feed for a year and then put on a trailer to be butchered.
A heifer that you are going to make so fat that when it comes time to breed her that she won't cycle.
And for what a ribbon that cost .98 cents or a banner that costs $15.00

I understand that some of you have ten year members and you want them to have their best year.
But when you treat your family and friends like the enemy.  What are you really accomplishing?
And as far as those people that are supposed to be your friends until there is a deal to be made.
Well, you see their true colors when it all comes down to writing that check.

My husband and I have had many conversations about all of this.  And we agree and disagree .
Our goal is to have quality heifers for the show ring.  And when that year is over they have to be the cow they were born to be.  They need to be able to breed, calve, milk and have a good disposition.  And if they can't do that then they have no place here.  Because once they leave the show ring and are put in a pasture the other cows don't care how many ribbons they won or how great they looked clipped out.

Don't get me wrong, I love when our heifers surprise us and do better than what we thought they would do.  But what I love most is spending time with my husband and kids being with cattle.  I love seeing all of our "show cattle family" that we don't always get to see.  I love that we take a weaned calf that is scared to death and make it our child's best friend in a years time.  That our children learn how to feed and care for a living creature.  And how they are bred and why we breed them certain ways.  That sometimes no matter all their hard work that even if they don't get that blue ribbon.  That we are proud of their accomplishments and that we worked as a family. And that this animal they have bonded with, can walk better than most dogs. And will one day be a cow in our herd that will produce a foundation of cattle for our farm. 
 A farm that one day will belong to them.

I've always said how much I love showing cattle.  And I truly do.  But if our children told us they didn't want to anymore, I would be fine with that too.  I love picking out cattle for our herd. Wether that be from cattle we raise or at a sale.  Getting them from that weaned staged to breedable age, then deciding how to breed them.  And the best part is calving them! And seeing those heifers becoming cows with calves on their sides.  There is nothing better that going to the barn and seeing a calf all wet and wobbly. Or successfully helping bring a calf into the world.

So next time your mad because a judge had a different opinion than you that day.
Or your writing that check to out do the farm down the road.
Remember this is an animal that one day will not be so pretty and have a job to do.
Will she be able to be that show calf you want and then one day be the cow she's supposed to be.
Will you back stab your friends just it the name of selling cattle?
Or just to walk out of the barn with that inexpensive ribbon or banner?
Or will you be an example of what a true cattlemen is?


Buttons said...

We have never shown cattle it sounds like fun for the kids but sometimes competition brings out the worst in people a sad reality in every part of life. Have ten calves right now:) Busy busy Hug B

Dawson Cattle Company said...

Sadly it does.. but there is still those that truely love it and are nice as could be..I can't wait to see the baby pictures!

The Coolidges said...

Great post! We see the same thing in the sheep barns and it is so sad the extent people will go to just to beat the other. Most people know each other & are friends, but when it comes to getting first or getting supreme, they pull out the big guns and take no prisoners!