Thursday, December 29, 2011

Being 5231 in 2012

Oh man am I ever excited for 2012. Sadly when it comes to this blog 2011 was not a stellar performance in content and especially in regularity. Several things contributed to this but rather than crying like a child and making excuses I am going to rededicate myself to getting back to a better blog with better regularity. I know we are in the time of New Years resolutions and I could make a long list and then feel crappy about my failures by mid February or sooner. I am instead going to make myself a list of 100 “options” for the New Year and then feel tremendously successful if I achieve a 10% success rate. I have some newly found energy and focus and it is other people in agriculture that I have to thank.

There are so many great “agvocates” out there that do so much in telling our story. What is truly amazing to me is how they do it on such a regular basis and do such an incredible job of it. Many of them find the time to actually post DAILY! I figure I have a minimum of 3 posts a month just taking time to direct my readers to other bloggers and “agvocates”. There is a downside to these great people in the fact that the more of them I find the more I prefer reading them than I prefer sharing my own life. I will share some of these incredible people and their contributions as we make our way through 2012. Most of these people I have met through Twitter and if you have an account I would be glad to know and “follow”. My account there is!/TheDailyCowman

To help with this new focus and adventure I went out tonight and bought myself a new laptop. This desktop is getting old and slow and between my maintenance schedule of dumping coffee on the keyboard, blowing off the tower once a year and regular kicks from my boots it has developed a few issues. The new laptop uploaded pictures in about 30 seconds tonight that I have been trying to upload on the desktop for months. I just feel that a blog post is so much more interesting if I can post a picture from my daily life when I post.

These days I am working to get as many cows to cornstalks so they can feed themselves and not be fed expensive hay. Lots of hotwire fence building, panel moving and cow hauling rule the day as we fast approach spring calving. Dakota has been home this week for Christmas vacation and having her help makes the day so much more fun and productive. As this young lady approaches her 15th birthday she has become an integral part of getting things done around here, I am very proud and thankful for your help Gus. Between her help and her mother going dutifully off to work everyday to earn money to feed us it makes my addiction to chasing cows much easier to indulge in.

One thing you will notice on this blog as we charge into 2012 is that some posts will be much more abbreviated. Some nights it might just be a few sentences or a picture or two but to see that I only did 6 more posts in ALL of 2011 than I did in January of 2010 makes me want to try much harder. I thank all of you that have supported my efforts and as always I am a big boy and any input you have will be gladly taken as to how I could improve.

I tend to relate just about everything in life to mother cows, sometimes that is not always a good thing but you would be surprised how much cows imitate life. One of the things a good mother beef cow does is raise a good sized calf, while rebreeding and preparing herself for the following year. I am going to do all I can to emulate cow #5231B. This little cow has at times been a bit of a challenge because of her attitude but because of her amazing ability continues to stay here on the ranch. Today’s picture is her with her massive steer calf #0231W born in February 2011, clear back in September 2011. This big boy is now being fed out and will provide nutritious, healthy and wholesome protein for a hungry world. His momma will be bringing another stellar child into this world soon I have no doubt.

I also need to shout out a Happy Birthday to a very special lady that turned 21 today. Chelsey, our summer intern is enjoying a few drinks tonight and they are very well deserved. Happy Birthday kiddo!

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Eastern cottontail rabbit aka Sylvilagus floridanus.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Awesome industry

Hey there! Does anyone remember me? The guy that used to blog now and again. *Sighs* life has a tremendous way of being very ironic when it comes to blogging. The "busier" life is the more I see in a day that seems to be blog worthy. The busier life is the less I feel like blogging about it at the end of the day.

Last year about this time I did a blog post entitled "Beef counts and time flies" Tonight I am going to mostly focus on how far the beef counts program has come in a little over a year.
What is beefcounts ? Long story short, cash and animal donations are taken and matched at a 50% level by a beef processor here in our state . The money generated is then used to purchase high quality beef roasts to help serve hungry families in conjunction with Second Harvest . There are also Washington beef industry organizations as sponsors including the Washington Cattlemen's Association WCA of which I just began my second year as President, (yea I know people vote really weird sometimes) Anyway, it is a great program and the links will show you how you can help.

So as this year progressed we once again talked about "rollover" auctions that could help raise money for beefcounts. This is a very worthy program but I debated if I could really stand the donation of a $700-800 animal. I went to my Franklin County Cattlemens Association and asked them if they would be willing to go "half". Tom, a fellow cattleman and friend of mine quickly made a motion that the county association buy my calf outright and then donate it to beefcounts. I quickly thanked him for his generosity but said going half would be as much as I hoped or would ask for. Tom then proceeded to tell me it was his motion and that it was to buy the calf at market price and reimburse me and then donate the calf to beefcounts and I should just shut up he politely suggested. Our county cattleman's association is made up of the best people I have ever known. Hard working, honest, good neighbors and very generous. They voted unanimously to buy the calf.

So this was last month and Dakota and I chose calf 1000W a solid black steer calf as the calf to be donated. As we approached this evenings auction we have had quite a story. Our Washington State Beef Commission, asked if Dakota and I would do a radio spot to promote beefcounts. I was all for it because for whatever reason I feel so much more intelligent, sexy and fit on radio as compared to television. So we got a scrip, Dakota and I practiced like crazy for 10 minutes and then did the radio spot at the end of last month. Radio is amazing these days as they can crop and edit so quickly and Dakota and I only did two takes to get the spot done. Overall I was very happy with the spot although I feel my voice is a bit flat. I was really impressed with Dakota though and the final product was acceptable, you can hear it here.....ARRRGGGGGHHHHH, so I cant save a mp3 file as a video and I dont have time to convert the ad tonight. So you will have to wait until a later date for the radio ad, sorry. Here is a picture that is running with the ads. UGHHHHHH........

So tonight at Toppenish Livestock auction calf 1000W entered the ring, he was sold numerous times and the Washington Beef industry raised over $32000 for beefcounts. AgriBeef will match that donation by 50% and with other donations I am sure we will clear $50000 to help feed hungry families in our state. For the month with other county and member donations we have raised very near $70000 for this cause.

I am so proud to be part of this industry, and I thank all of you that donated. I will not soon forget and now I can actually say i sold a weaned calf for over $30000 and it will be true!

Todays picture is one of Dakota and I that has ran with the beefcounts ads. If you read this and would like to make a tax deductible donation it would be very appreciated.