Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What I Love About Small Towns

I would like to share a certain song with you guys that just recently came out. The country singer Dean Brody sings the song, "People Know You By Your First Name."

I believe that this song really gathers the essence of a small town such as mine. My whole life I have not really liked the living in a small town because people "knew what you did last night." But that has just taught me to be even more cautious of my actions.

The things that I do love about a small town is that you do know people, such as I graduate on Saturday and I know just about every fellow students name that I am graduating. My grad is going to mean so much more since I have been growing up with the majority of these kids since we were in diapers.

The majority of the things Dean Brody states in this song is what I feel and love about my small town Claresholm. It also is the bases for the reasons I want to raise my children in a small town also.

Hope you enjoy the music video as much as I did! 

Sunday, 19 June 2011

To The Best Dad In The World

Everyone has that person in their life that has had a humougous impact on their life. Well mine is my Dad. And what better way to tell you guys about this amazing person, but on the national day to honor all fathers in the world!

Building the deck!
I like to think my dad is a little different :) And the main reason for this is he is an immigrant. My dad was born and raised in the small European country of Switzerland. He grew up always dreaming of the wide open spaces of Canada. A story that we once heard from my dads sister, was in Elementary school he told his French teacher that he does not need to learn how to speak French, because when he gets older he is going to Canada to raise cattle, and cattle don't understand French!

When my dad was finished Grade 9, he attended "Farmer School" (those are his words!) A major aspect of this is they apprentice into farms in different locations of Switzerland. His first year he ended up at a mans farm who's sister lived in Canada! Well once he finished his second year of apprenticeship can you guess where he went...thats right to the amazing country of Canada. He arrived to a small town called Claresholm, and worked for Hans Ulrich of Ulrich Hereford Ranch. Within no time he had gotten to know the middle daughter quite well...and as you all have probably guessed that is my mother!
Only Herefords Will Ever Do For My Dad!

Since then my dad has never been back to Switzerland, with the exception to visit as often as he can. He has also became a major part of Ulrich Hereford Ranch. In 2002 we split the farm where my uncle continued as Ulrich Hereford Ranch, and we developed in Lilybrook Hereford Ranch. My dad loves ranching and cattle, this shows in the amount of work and dedication he puts into our ranch.

My dad was always the figure in my life that I lived up too. He is by far the hardest working man I know, and one day I hope I can have that much drive towards my occupation. Also when I was in my early teens I was down right set on the fact that I hated cattle, ranching, and living in the country. At the time they never said anything and just let me continue to have my thoughts about our lifestyle. But as the years progressed, I became to be more involved and really feel in love with the experience. Without my dad being the role model that he is, I probably would have never changed my mind.

On My Sisters Grad
All I can say is thank god that my dad came to Canada. I want to thank him also for being the best dad in the world!

P.S. Dad I know your going to read this!  I Love You!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

So Many Bittersweet Moments In So Little Time

Wow these past few weeks have been both on the intense level but also the sad side!

Last Tuesday I attended and participated in my last Achievement Day ever. Like I said in one of my very first post 4-H is a program that has changed my life for the good. Since the program has made such an impact on my life I have really been dreading moving on. But that day as I had been talking to many different people about 4-H being over for me, the response I received was "Ya we will miss you, but you are also going to move onto bigger and better things in life. You will always come back and visit also!" With those words I realized that they are right, 4-H will always be a huge part of my life, but by moving on I am making room for other just as exciting things!
My beautiful Heifer and Myself!

It also made it easier to leave 4-H because I had one hell of a day! In the female show both my 2 year old and Mature Cow received Reserve Champion. And then I received Reserve Champion Breeders Herd. I also finished the female show off with winning the Willow Creek District Showman! In the afternoon we had the steer show, and my steer placed 3rd overall in Seniors. And as a pair we placed 2nd in Grooming and 1st in Showmanship. My last time in the 4-H ring was for Steer Showmanship for the District, and I won Reserve Champion. It was a fantastic day!

Reserve Champion Breeders Herd
Not only on the showing end did we do good, but I sold my steer for a very good price. At this time though I would like to tell you guys a little about my steer! As many people have pointed out he is black this year...something that would have never been thought of. But I would also like to point out the fact that he has a white head, no other breed would give a white head other than a Hereford...meaning he is just as much Hereford as Angus! I have always wanted to try having a Baldie as a steer, and this year was my last possible chance. I got quite attached to my steer, so selling his a bit on the difficult side. But I received $1.80 (a really good price compared to my club) for his 1257lbs of sale weight!
My steer <3

Following Achievement Day I have been busy finishing up my record books for my heifer and steer. It is a very tedious job, but something I take great pride and effort in. I have also been wrapping up school, I have now bypassed my last day of high school ever, and have completed my English Diploma. I now just have Pure Math on Thursday. High School like 4-H is something that I am moving on from, to bigger and better things!

It's been a great past few weeks!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Just One More Day!

Well tomorrow is the big day...Achievement Day!! This is the day that all 4-Hers have been working towards since November when we first weighed in our steers. These past few days, I have been prepping like none other also!

On Saturday we held our annual 4-H Bar-B, which is held at Claresholm Sobeys. The meat that we sell in the Bar-B-Q is from one of the clubs carcass steers. There was a 16% chance that beef was my home raised Hereford carcass steer! As soon as we got home we tied up all the females and steers that would be going to Achievement Day. I then started clipping. It is not advised to clip your cattle two days before the show, but since the girls were with bull I really had no other choice.By the end of the day yesterday, I had all my females clipped and had developed a sunburn. (I now look like a lobster!!)
Daniel tried clipping a little too!

While I clipped, Daniel and my boyfriend, Mac, snared a couple gophers (look at the end of the twine)
Today I did not attend the wonderful world of school, instead I washed all my cattle. Sadly though they went right back in the field, and I have already seen that my one cow has mud up half her back leg...lovely! Either way though it will make the work load a bit easier tomorrow.
Washing my heifer

The plan is to rise bright and early, load everything, and head to town! I will keep you posted on how my last Achievement Day goes!

Farewell for now

P.S. Since we had a couple really nice days this weekend I got to do something I have always wanted to do! I took pictures in my grad dress with my's a sneak peek!

Friday, 3 June 2011

My Little Red Wagon

As I said in one of my first blog, I have a fantastic younger brother! Daniel is nine this year, so he is in his first year of 4-H. One of the aspects of 4-H is that you care for your animal, that means feeding it twice a day. Daniel feeds in the morning, and I feed in the evenings.

But the big question, how does a little 70 pound nine year old carry two four gallon pails full of ration? ...He doesn't!

This is our shed where the ration is kept. The type of ration we feed is much like the 4-H ration, but instead it is made for our Bulls that we sell. But it works just as well on the steers.

Apparently Daniel enjoys to play in the ration with the shovel!
To get the ration into the pails he shovels it.
He then loads it onto his very trusty red wagon.
Off they go, down the alley way, to the pen of 4-H steers.
And last but most important, giving the steers their meal!

My brother has turned out to be a fantastic 4-Her this year! He hardly ever whines about having to work with the steers, and is doing a fantastic job with his steer. I am really excited to watch Daniel change in these upcoming 4-H years as he builds his life skills, and evolves into a young man. I bet Daniel is also looking forward to the day when he gets big enough that he doesn't have to use the little red wagon any longer!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A Beautiful Day

I was fortunate enough to have both a day off work and a gorgeous afternoon! So, I took it all to my advantage and with the help of the siblings, we tied up a pile of cattle.

Daniel combing his heifer
My 4-H  Achievement Day is slowly looming. Sadly around Easter time we didn't have time to tie up our young calves like we usually do. As a result I'm a bit behind schedule. Luckily I have a very loving father and sister and they went and rounded up my cows from the field. I was a little hesitant, because the cows haven't been with the bulls very long and it can be stressful tying them and their calves up, and then showing them. This can then result in them aborting. But it is my last year of 4-H, so I figure I better go out with a BANG!
Combing out some shit-tags

It is amazing to watch how fast a small calf catches on to things compared to a mature cow. My brother received a 2 year old cow this year, since he has rather crappy luck with both his cows and calves on the staying alive part. We plan to take her to Bonanza, so we are working on halter breaking. Today was the 2nd time my calf was tied up, and by the end he was walking on the halter great! Compared to my brothers cow, who we don't even dare to walk yet. She needs a bit more post time!

In the next few days I plan to work with my cattle quite a bit. As a couple are not quite ready to make a trip to town, temperamental wise. Plus I need to do a bit more clipping and work with a show stick! Stay tuned for more information on the prep for Achievement Day!


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Home At Last!

Well after galloping around in the beautiful state of California, I have now found my way back home to a nice cold and rainy Canada! But I at this point I want to tell you guys a little bit about my trip!

We left on the 17th at a lovely time of four in the morning! Being travel smart though I did not fall asleep prior to leaving, so every moving piece of machinery with and engine that I rode in that day I slept! It sure made the trip to California go by fast. Right away when we arrived we went to Newport Beach. Sadly it was a bit on the chilly and windy side, but it was still warmer than Canada! So we stripped into our bathing suits and went in the water!

Right after that we made our way to our hotel, quickly changed and headed to a Dodgers Game. The Dodgers were playing Milwaukee. If you ever attend a Dodgers game, I recommend getting a Dodger may be a hot-dog, but its a 100% BEEF hot-dog!

The following morning we went searching for the native animal of that area...whales/dolphins. But all we seen were some big, fat, smelly sea lions laying on a buoy. If anyone is heading down to California in the next year I have a pass to go whale watching for free! The rest of the day was spent in the Hollywood/Beverly Hills area where we were constantly searching for celebs amount the fancy cars and high end stores. We also visited the La Brie Tar Pits, where animals from the past emerge from the tar and they are able to dig up the remainders of the past. It was really interesting to see the size of a Mammoth. That evening we attended the Medieval Times. I got my farm animal intake that night, as there was lots of horses. There were six different knights who were all competing in medieval times activities, such as jousting and sword fighting. We were on the red knights team...he won!!

Finally what we had been waiting for came! We spent the next three days smiling, laughing and screaming at the, "Happiest Place on Earth." The first two days though we had to play a concert in Disneyland one day and then California Adventure another. We all thought that was OK, because if it weren't for my amazing band teacher we would have never been able to go. We played very well both concerts!

The following two days involved a day at Universal Studies and then half a day in Disneyland and then the flight home! Overall I would say my favorite ride was by far the Hollywood Tower of Terror in California Adventures and Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland. What is your favorite ride?

It was a fantastic trip that will make my Grade 12 year even more memorable. I did learn something about the Anaheim/Disneyland area. Before Walt Disney purchased the land where Disneyland sits, it was covered oranges. Oranges are California's main source of agriculture, but now a days as cities are expanding much like here the agricultural land is being destroyed.

Hope your May Long weekend was just as fun as mine!
xoxo Michelle