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The Big Show / How Does Denver Market Heifer Show Work?
« on: January 19, 2014, 08:56:04 PM »
I can't figure it out from the rule book.

1.  Am I correct that Grand Market Heifer shows against Grand Market Steer?
2.  Rule book says they now have breeds for steers, but doesn't mention heifers.  Am I correct that they have separate classes for heifers?  Guessing they don 't hsve enough heifers to make breeds?
3.  Is my understanding that this is terminal show for steers and heifers correct?  Meaning you can't bring them home even if they don't "make the sale"?
4.  How many steers/heifers make the sale?

We've never been to the National Western.  Hate like heck to buy a steer for a terminal show that I couldn't bring home to FW if we didn't git it done.  However, the market heifer deal intrigues me becsuse 1.  We don't have it here and 2.  I'm loaded down with heifers that just might work next year.

Houston just put out a notice that Zilmax cannot be used this year.  Optaflexx is still acceptable.  I figured we would still be able to use our existing supplies of Zilmax.

I have a soft spot for the Fort Worth Zoo.  My kids loved it when they were little and I used to get a kick out of seeing the steers each year in the middle of summer.

Link to Fort Worth Star Telegram about this year's crop.


The Big Show / Admission of Defeat
« on: December 21, 2012, 02:04:12 PM »
Well, I've got to decide on a new profile picture.

The cow in my current profile photo (a 2005 model Troy x Maine) had to hit the road a couple of weeks ago.  She developed something of an attitude after a she was 4 or 5 and became no longer worth the trouble.  I think she was about 7.  Never did have the great one I thought she would.  She only stuck to AI twice over the course of her life and I've got one replacement heifer out of Monopoly to show for her.  Never did have an AI-bred steer.  This year she didn't stick, calved in November, and a coyote got her calf after it was 2-3 days old.

None of my working crew, including Zane, missed her one bit last weekend.

After she had her first calf, I was convinced she would be the one that raised me a Houston champion.  I really wouldn't have taken $10K for her at that time.  I wound up taking $900 for her at the sale barn and was glad to get it.

Further evidence that (1) you never know by their looks which ones will produce good ones for you and (2) troublemakers just aren't worth the trouble.

The Big Show / Ken Burns Documentary on The Dust Bowl
« on: November 18, 2012, 08:36:23 PM »
Didnt realize it, but it has begun airing tonight.  It is a topic I've always found fascinating and this documentary is outstanding so far.

The Big Show / Heard a New Gripe About Obama Last Night
« on: October 09, 2012, 11:28:10 AM »
After the calves were fed and turned out, after football practice, and as we were finishing up dinner, I heard my 8th grader ask my wife if he could start taking his lunch to school.  She asks him why - has the food gotten bad?  Well, Conner began to outline his complaints.  Keep in mind this is a rapidly growing 13 year old boy who plays football, is about 5-8", 170 lbs and is eating us out of house and home.

1.  He has the last lunch period - some of the items are sold out.
2.  But most importantly - the school has had to get rid of some items from the menu.  The tipping point yesterday was that instead of french fries with his hamburger they gave him carrot sticks.  My son is the next thing to a carnivore - he doesn't do vegetables.  When he complained to the lunch ladies, they apparently told him the menus had changed because "Mrs. Obama changed the school lunch menus."  He came home infuriated and wanted to know "Why do schools have to do what Mrs. Obama says - we didn't elect her!"

I almost fell out of my chair laughing.  You can get by with a lot as a politician, but you are messing the fabric of America if you replace french fries with carrot sticks.

I thought I'd get to this quicker, but I've been real busy for the last week and honestly it's taken a little while to sink in.  Most of yo uon here already figured out my son won Grand Champion in Ring B (4th Overall in Ring A) at the BBB in Waco last week.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, it's the biggest prospect steer show in Texas (and probably the country - or at least it used to be).  It have been held in Texas since the early 1980s.  I went to my first Belt Buckle Bonanza in 1987.  For years I watched the Priesmeyer's, the Wise's, the Rash's, and other families win it - really with a sense of awe for a very long time - because it is so hard to get calves that look like that.  And you'd watch Bobby Maddox, Mark Copus, and others that are just masters at what they to help get those calves into the ring. 

Overwhelmed is quite the understatement for my reaction when I watched the judge pick our steer for Grand in Ring B.  Apparently it was quite noticeable based on the commentary from Chris Terembes on the Livestock World TV video.  I know I didn't say anything but I really don't remember what I did other than turn and walk away from the ring.  Everyone tells me the arena just got dead silent - most of the people there these days don't really know us.  You just don't win this show unless you are tied to one of the big operations.  But we did.

I didn't raise the calf, we bought him.  From my original county agent that got me started showing steers in 1985. At the time, I showed pigs.  My dad had recently died and she saw something in me and knew I needed a strong male influence.  So she basically got me adopted by a family from hometown that literally hauled me around the world showing steers.  She's an OSU grad and has a little known, but remarkable record for handling steers that win down here.  I don't think any of her stepdaughters ever had a steer that wasn't a breed champion (I think exclusively Shorthorns)  in the 90s. They didn't show very long, but I know there were two and probably three.  Then she helped another family with Herefords that I don't know how many times they had Champion Herefords or Polleds in the last 90s early 2000s.  I've always stayed in touch with her and she called me last winter and told me she had raised a good one.  So we had enough sense to buy him.

My boys really like taking care of their calves and showing and are now big enough to do most of the work at home themselves.  My 10 year old mixes their feed more carefully than I ever would.  I'll go two or three weeks at a time without touching them.  My 13 year old son - Conner - who showed this calf really deserved this.  He's done pretty well in the past, but has had some spectacular, "character-building" failures in the ring.  Three years ago in Fort Worth, his steer had gotten mean on us at the end and wound up running over him in the ring.  The officials wouldn't let me get him out till the rodeo doctors checked him out.  Quite embarrassing.  In Houston one year, he had a yellow steer he had actually won some shows with.  But the calf got too heavy.  The judge pulled him real quick in his class, but once he pulled a few more and realized how big we were, he kicked my son completely out of the ring.  Conner was heartbroken.  That was a long ride home.  Last year, we screwed around and missed his class at Fort Worth with a very good Hereford steer.  As a result, he took that calf to San Antonio.   He let his little brother show his good black steer.  Little brother got 4th, Conner was one spot out of the sale.  At Houston, little brother placed with his calf again, big brother didn't.  He never did anything but be happy for his little brother.  Little brother also beat him for Reserve Grand at our county show last year.

So, on top of everything else, you can imagine how proud I was for him getting rewarded after a run of tough luck.  But as many of you know, the pride in the win doesn't last very long - its the people that do.  I hope someone from Stock Martin's family reads this.  That kid has been taught right about winning and losing and walks the walk.  He needs a big pat on the back for that.  Stock won Ring A, but got reserve behind us in Ring B.  He was amazingly nice and congratulatory to my son.  He went way out of his way to congratulate my son and talk to him afterwards.  I'll root for that kid in every champion drive I see him in the future, and there'll be plenty of them.  People like Billy Rash, Ryan Rash, Bobby Maddox, and others that have known me for a long time went out of their way to congratulate us and talk to my son.  I hope those folks realize how how big of an impact they make on a kid when they do that.  It makes them feel very special.  My lasting memory really will be how people treated us afterwards and how good that felt. 

The Belt Buckle Bonanza has gotten a real bad rap for being "political" and I think that and the economy has caused its numbers to dwindle from its heydey.  I always figured it wasn't intentional, but the same groups of folks do usually win it.  The fact we pulled it off proves that if you've got one good enough, you can do well at it. 

It's real easy to get a little jaded about showing cattle sometimes.  I try real hard to avoid that, but you can't help it sometimes on "down" days.  I'm glad the "tarnish" got rubbed off of the program in my family's eyes and I hope the rest of you that love it as much as we do will get to have this same kind of experience someday.  It's pretty cool when you tell your son if he tries hard enough for long enough that  he can do anything - and then get to see that happen for him in a big way.

The Big Show / Bought a New Angus Bull Today
« on: June 18, 2012, 09:17:34 PM »
Actually, we've bought several over the last 6-7 months, but we did get a new one today I was able to get a photo of tonight.

This fella is about a solid frame 5, maybe a tad bit bigger, but built as deep and heavily muscled as a typical Ohlde type bull.  He's about 3.5 and bought him from a good friend that raised him and used him on his own cows for a couple of seasons.  He's out of Sitz Great Day and a cow with 6807 and EXT in her background.  I saw his first calves and really liked them and pounced on the opportunity to get him bought this morning.

Our biggest problem in our herd is we've lost some of our milking ability - not from use of show steer sires but just from keeping too many generations of crossbred cows.  In addition to buying some more Angus females, we're going back to Angus bulls on our higher % Angus cows to take them back to what others are calling Angus+ cattle (7/8 or better Angus).  Other bulls we've bought recently include a really nice OCC Jupiter son and an OCC Prestige son (both raised by Limestone). 

The Big Show / 2013 Texas Major Steer Judges
« on: May 08, 2012, 11:51:24 AM »
In case those who care haven't already heard:

Fort Worth Dr. Mark Johnson, Stillwater
San Antonio Scott Griner Virginia Tech
Houston Mark Hogue

Any experience with them?

The Big Show / Prayers for Mark Sneed
« on: March 16, 2012, 07:35:08 AM »
One of my Facebook friends just posted that he had a stroke and is in the hospital in Oklahoma.

I dont know him, but I appreciate his posts and know a lot of people think a lot of him.

The Big Show / What They Grew Up To Be
« on: February 07, 2012, 04:06:09 PM »
Walks Alone calf out of a Meyer GD. Photo at birth, weaning, and at our county show in mid Jan (weighed 1050 at that time).  He got a little coarser shouldered and shorter-necked than I expected.  Super thick and good, bodied but not really as big as I hoped.  He turned out on his front feet as a baby, but that never got worse at all.  He's not a ballerina, but he moves fine for what he is.

The Big Show / A Death in My Family + a Perfect Storm
« on: December 01, 2011, 04:12:31 PM »
Some of you have met my father in law before.  He passed away this afternoon from cancer.  His timing, as always, was impeccable.

I pulled CIDRs yesterday on 175 cows.

It is supposed to rain heavily the next two days while we breed.

We are goung to bury him in the pasture- the pasture where the cows are currently at waiting to be bred.  It will be so wet we cant move them after breeding.  So, it looks like we'll have 175 cows ar the graveside service.  I suspect he will be grinning down from heaven watching the spectacle.

The Big Show / Fall 2011 Calf Photos - Finally (Courtesy of ZNT)
« on: November 28, 2011, 10:08:37 AM »
It's been an extremely busy and hectic year around our place for a variety of reasons, but we (actually ZNT) finally got around to taking some calf photos when we had cows gathered up last Wednesday to start the synchronization process. 

Monopoly x Friction. 
This is the first calf that jumps out at you when you go in the pasture.  Huge bone, just a moose of a calf. 

My Turn x (Meyer son x Cunia too)
This is Zane's early pick.  This is his momma's second calf and with our lack of grass that has affected her milk a little, he's a little greener than the others.  Beautifully made calf.  Picture doesn't really do him justice.

Smilin Bob x Smithbilt GD
My wife's favorite.  Out of a really good, older cow. 

Troubador x (Yellowjacket x Cunia Too)
Out of a first calf heifer.  It's early, but probably the best Char-X calf I've ever raised.  Curious to see how he takes off when he gets on creep feed.

Monopoly x Meyer GD
Out of another one of our top 3-year old mommas.  I bet he gets better and better with age.

Heifer - Monopoly x Meyer GD
Wish she had a little more hair (bet you she's clean), but beautiful heifer calf that's just right in balance of maternal vs. muscle

Smilin Bob x (Cunia Too x Sim-Ang)
Love her.

We didn't get around to getting photos of several other good calves including some Walks Alone steers (in another pasture) and a really good Montego Bay x Golden Child heifer.

The Big Show / Shift in Texas Major Steer Show Schedules
« on: October 21, 2011, 03:33:24 PM »
I may be late in figuring this out, but Houston (I'm sure) and San Antonio (I think) have both shifted their steer shows one week later this year.

Fort Worth - Jan 30 - Feb 3
San Antonio - Jan 20 - 24
Houston - Mar 12 - 16

The Big Show / Any Experience with Conneally Freightliner??
« on: September 07, 2011, 04:24:46 PM »
We decided about a year ago to get involved with showing some purebred Angus heifers.  The breeder we are dealing with is local to us and has been in the Angus business a very long time.  Due to the drought this year, he was looking to unload his entire heifer calf crop and we bought them all.  We are showing a couple, but the primary purpose of this deal is get my sons in the registered Angus business. 

He is very interested in helping my sons out and has offerred us a very good deal on some embryos he's had banked - sire is Conneally Freightliner and dam is a really good EXT daughter. 

Does anyone have any experience with Freightliner that could tell me the good and bad about him?  I've heard the name but that's it.  We've already bought the embryos, I'm just curious what to expect.

As a side note, this is one of those deals that 4-H is all about, and one of the reasons you should try to deal with local breeders when possible.  He's getting older and just not able to mess with as much "stuff" as he used to.  This man doesn't have children and frankly is wanting to impart his knowledge on someone.  He watched my boys show at the county fair for a couple of years and watched them doing their own work and decided he liked them.  He approached us to come look at his cattle.  We did and bought a show heifer last year and did pretty well at Texas majors (4th at FW and 6th at Houston in big 30+ head classes).  This isn't "daddy's" deal, he deals directly with my young sons and they work their own deals with him and learn a lot in the process.  He questions them extensively about their project and comes to see them every couple of weeks. It's a lot of fun watching them learn from someone besides family.

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