Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Enjoying Nature on the Farm

This is a picture that I took in our barn where we store hay.  She let me crawl up on the bales and take multiple pictures of her without even moving. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget and was Blessed to experience.  It was so quiet outside that day and Dad and I walked to the barn to take the pictures so that the truck didn't pack down the hay.  We were doing this to get pictures for Mom because she couldn't come to the farm that day.  There were a couple of times that I thought she was going to come out of the nest for sure, but she didn't move.  We plan to return in a few days to see if there are any babies that we can see and/or hear.  We will keep you updated.

While I was walking in the field Saturday night to check cows, I saw Clara Bell again.  She is not growing much, but she is still moving around and staying with the herd and that is more than I ever thought possible when I found her the morning she was born.  Thank you, God for allowing me to save and raise this precious animal.  I know that may seem odd to some of you, but I feel that God entrusts me to care for and protect as many of his creatures as I can on the farm.  While this means saving some, it also means selling or slaughtering some so that the ground is not over-grazed.  This is necessary for the quality of life for the ones that we keep.

Not sure you understand?  Ask a farmer if you can work side by side with them for the day or visit their farm to see what they do on a daily basis.  It may open your eyes to why we do things the way that we do them.  For me, it has been learning from a lifetime of living and/or working on our family farm.  I had to learn the positive lessons along with the not so positive ones.  I will never be able to repay my parents, Kermit and Ruth Shroyer,  for all of the lessons I have learned.  Learning to take care of the land and the animals was taught (not always so patiently) while we worked along side them.  These lessons still continue today as my family is slowing taking over the farm operations so that they can relax and enjoy the retirement that they so richly deserve.  Thank Mom and Dad for all of the lessons, both on and off of the farm.

Learning from my parents, I have taught my children as they have worked along side my husband and I on the farm since they were old enough to safely participate the task that we were doing that day.  Yes, we have all had injuries that have occurred in the farm, but you can get injured walking down the sidewalk or playing on a playground.  We do everything to keep everyone safe, but accidents do happen and we are working with animals that have a mind of their own.  The other factor to consider is that even if the animals do not mean to hurt us, as big as they are, stepping on your foot with their hoof hurts!

Remember to enjoy nature and your family whenever you get the opportunity!

Until next time,  remember.......Beef, It's What's for Dinner!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Country Life is Not Always Easy

The fun part of country life includes things like the quiet, listening to nature, seeing stars and being with the family.  There are parts that are not as enjoyable.  One of these is putting up small square bales of hay.  We put these up once a year for the show season and for calving season when cows are shut in the barn as they are close to calving.  This requires us to put these bales on the truck and/or trailer before they get wet from rain or dew and then unload and stack them at the barn.  This is normally not too difficult for our family, but there are circumstances this year that will make this more challenging.  We will pull together and get it done.  We just will not get done as quickly.  It is perseverance that will get us through and leaning on each other so that no one over does it.  There are defiantly times when it pays to slow down.

Until next time,  remember.......Beef, It's What's for Dinner!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Two of Four Generations in the Show Ring on the Same Day!

Toby (Fourth Generation)
Alan (Third Generation) Grandpa (First Generation) sitting in chair outside of ring proudly watching Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren in the ring.

Ashley (Third Generation) Grandma (First Generation) in the background proudly taking pictures of her Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren in the ring.  She also took pictures of me (Second Generation) proudly helping my Children and Grandchildren prepare for the show ring.

Jarren (Fourth Generation)

Tama (Fourth Generation)

This was the day that the Grandchildren had been preparing for during the last six months.  All of the work they done leading their calves, brushing them, feeding them, washing them, drying them and clipping them was about to pay off in the ring!

At 5:30 AM my alarm went off.  I got up and got Ashley, Mike and Jeff up.   We then got all four of the others up so that we could load the trailer before the downpours showing on radar got to us.  Surprisingly, all of the kids got up the first time they were told (this would have never happened a few short months ago). While they were all getting ready, I was packing sandwich items in a cooler for our lunches and loading this stuff in the car.  When everyone was up, dressed and all of their show clothes were in my car it was time to go.  Mike and Jeff took the Alan, Toby, Jarren and Tama to load the trailer.  Ashley and I left for the show so that we could get spots in the barn since the forecast called for rain most of the day.  At 6:15 AM the trailer pulled in and it was time to unload and set up the stall.  Everyone worked together and it only took us 20 minutes to unload trailer and set up stall area!  I was so proud of all of them.

Now it was time to feed the heifers and see if they needed washed.  Due to the rain, we decided that the spots that needed washing could be done in the barn with a bucket of soapy water and a brush.  This kept all of us in out of the lightening.  They then brushed their calves after they had been dried with the blower.  The Grandchildren then got to enjoy some down time while they ate breakfast and kept an eye on their heifers.  All of the sudden a heifer (not ours this time) slipped out of her halter and out of the barn.  You heard the words, "Loose calf!"  All of us that have been showing for years jump up and run out and help get her back in the barn where she can be haltered.  We then talked to the Grandchildren about how important it is to help others that are having trouble with animals because at some point you WILL need their help, too.      

The kids all enjoyed their day and got some great experience!  Alan even won his showmanship class!  We were proud of all them.  It was nice to have all four generations of the family spending the day together and enjoying themselves.  We also enjoyed visits from Jerry and Jill Zvacek and Susan.  Thank you all for coming to support those that were showing.  Your support means more to all of us than words can say.  I was a VERY proud Mom and Grandma that day.  To see how much the Grandchildren had grown in the responsibility and respect and how much my Children were helping them grow made me tear up when I thought about it that night.

Until next time,  remember.......Beef, It's What's for Dinner!