The Calving Season

After several weeks of much excitement we wrapped up show season but started three more seasons of life, Spring, speech season, and calving season! With our herd growing substantially with every year that passes C3 is getting better at predicting and perfecting our genetics. While my dad and I were in the city for OYE, mom stayed home to watch over several mothers that were taking their sweet time and multiple days past their due date. What a surprise it was to come home to a Hereford Heifer that will have the privilege of being carted around by myself for next years winter show string! Though we’re still waiting on plenty of cows to drop a calf Spring has hit us like a truck today as it is our first day in the 90 degree weather. Corduroy truly does keep you hot in the summer and cold in the winter, speech season is living proof as we started out weeks ago standing by the fire place and are about to wrap up season sweating bullets. Wishing everyone lots of luck for the upcoming CDE & Public Speaking contests!

– Agvocate in Action, KC.

The Greatest Show

Oklahoma Youth Expo, the largest youth show in the world and my favorite show of the year. After a busy week of running around the capitol as a House of Representatives Page, I then had an even busier week at the Oklahoma City Fair grounds exhibiting one Hereford heifer. OYE is the premier livestock show and is the one show that it’s almost guaranteed to see all of your closest hog, sheep, goat, and cattle friends! This year our stalls were filled with love and lots of snacks! In attendance were my parents, grandparents, and brother as well as another Skiatook showman, Sheridan, accompanied by her parents and twin little sisters. After a season of great success compared to previous years I was just more than happy to be walking in the ring surrounded by all of my friends and family! Heifer Onnakee (out of Market Index & full sib to Olivia) is now at her peak laying in the luscious green pastures and patiently waiting for her first born coming any day now! I can’t say it enough how blessed and thankful I am for all the opportunities given, awards won, and friendships made over the course of this show season, my biggest congratulations to all OYE Winners!

-Agvocate in action, KC

The Capitol

101 State Representatives, 20 pages, 6 days, 1 purpose, service. This year it has been a goal of mine to keep service over self and to be given this opportunity to serve Oklahoma State Legislature was a dream. The real dream to me is my future, to continue a life with agriculture not just for myself, but for the millions of agriculturalists around the world. It is a goal that by lobbying to state and national officials that the voice of farmers, manufactures, botanist, harvesters, ranchers, and millions of other agricultural based jobs can be heard and helped. Though being a page sounds insignificant the work we did helped Representatives stay at peace with the long hours conducted, helped take a load off of all assistants, and helped further the passion of young minds that will some day become Representatives and Government Officials as well. Now you know me, and you know there’s not a single place I go that I don’t run into a lover of all things FFA. While at the State Capitol I ran into Previous Texas State FFA Officer Taylor Shackelford, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation Coordinator, and OCA Director of Marketing & Sponsorship. He expressed to me the love for his job, and even bigger love of cattle & FFA. Though he was a lifelong Texas FFA member there is one thing all members have in common, our love for this organization and our love for service.

-Agvocate in Action, KC.

Preparation Season

Oklahoma Youth Expo is just around the corner ladies and gentleman, as showman from around the state have been finishing up their county shows the excitement is building for the upcoming OYE. However, My excitement is still going strong after the thrill of coming home from the Tulsa County Livestock Show last Thursday with the Reserve Grand Champion Heifer. C3 has been extremely blessed this show season and we’re beyond ecstatic to take our Hereford Heifer “Markie” to her last show before she is due to calve in May. OYE is the premier livestock event in the State of Oklahoma, friends from different towns have been counting down the days until we all get to meet again for some friendly competition and make new memories. As preparation for the show has been underway the Tulsa Area was hit with some snow over the weekend and threw a kink in anyone’s plan to wash, load tack, or in my case, even make it out of the driveway! The bad weather waits for no one, especially not a farm. Hay still had to be put out every day so mom, dad, and I bundled up and did what we had to, to make sure all the pastures and pens had water, feed, and a fresh round bale every day. The weather has started to warm, just like the hearts of every parent of an ag kid, including my own, who can’t wait to see us succeed at the fast approaching OYE.

-Agvocate in Action, KC.

The Sickness

The sniffles have now come and gone just like National FFA Week. Though sickness came at in inconvenient time there was still much celebrating to take place during the best week of the year! It is always an honor to serve not only our Ag teachers, and chapter, but Skiatook Public Schools Administration and faculty by providing lunch hosted at the Ag Building. Our chapter also got to participate in the week long dress up day contests such as camo day, blue and gold day, and dress like an ag teacher day, Each bringing in more excitement than the previous. Though National FFA Week brought sickness and bad weather it also brought the Sperry Invitational Show and the Hereford and I took home Grand Champion. As I am still reflecting on last week I can’t help but feel anything but blessings radiate on my friends and family, chapter, and myself. FFA has given me the necessary skills to succeed in life and some of the greatest friendships and opportunities that I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with excitement about.

-Agvocate in Action, KC

The Show

Champion Heifer, Champion Steer, and Champion Senior Showman, the clean sweep and one of the highest goals for my 2019. With many shows behind me and many ahead of me I knew the Skiatook Local Show was my only chance, the last go round with the steer. As Friday night came my nerves filled me to the top, I don’t know if I was more excited or scared but I can tell you I felt every emotion on February 1st. Hogs showed first, then sheep, third was goats, and cattle rounded out the night. After the last goat class went in I knew I needed to sit down, take that final breath and moment in prayer then grab my comb & stick and grab the heifer. It felt like I was waiting in the holding ring for a lifetime but when the ringsman motioned to me to walk in my heart sank to the bottom of my body. My calf wouldn’t budge from the front gate. I knew showmanship starts the second you walk in the ring and my emotions were getting the best of me. Already flustered I yanked on the chain and she still wouldn’t move. My dad whispered from the side of the ring “kc calm down, just walk” so I did what he said and took a step, after that my Hereford Heifer, Marky and I moved as one. As the Show progressed my nerves eased and my hard earned success not only doubled, but tripled. By the end of the night I had achieved my goal of a clean sweep with the biggest smile on my face. For as big as I was cheesin’, I can guarantee my dads smile was even bigger, he is the owner of my biggest hugs received, and most proud high fives!

-Agvocate in Action, KC

The Cold

We have been holding average temperatures in the mid 30’s for the last few weeks and the Tulsa Area finally got a light dusting of snow last week. Not enough to build a snow man but definitely enough to cover the ground then melt into the earth within hours. Tuesday night was the annual Skiatook FFA Invitation show with a new record of 76 calves in attendance. After competing in the Hereford division Callie Mosley and I were able to take home Grand and Reserve Champion Hereford Heifers and our families couldn’t be more proud of us! Some of our greatest friends came to support while students from the Broken Arrow, Collinsville, Owasso, Dewey, and Skiatook Areas competed for Grand Champion Heifer, Steer, and Showman. Judge Corbin Cowles is a family friend who recently was named a National Livestock Judging Champion and we couldn’t be happier than to welcome him at our show. This morning the windchill was 14 degrees and our calves appreciated the fresh bales of hay as they broke the panels letting them into the barn and our newly stacked hay is now scattered along the ground. Just to clarify, dad wasn’t too happy. There is a possibility I left the gate open, but between you and I let’s just blame it on the cows! Our chapter is now getting ready for the Invitational Sheep and Swine show as well as the Local Show competing against our own chapter members. The cold weather and the amount of time being spent in the show barn preparing for different species on their way has resulted in wearing coveralls to school every day! My teachers think I look pretty stylish, especially my ag instructor who decided to twin with me!

– Agvocate in Action, KC

The Winter

Christmas has come and passed, we celebrated the brith of our Lord and Savior as well as new calves finally hitting the ground running. After some serious technical difficulties I fell out of touch with my blog, but now rising with so much more excitement, information, and memories to share with some of my closest peers, friends, and competition. Within the last month I attended the Advanced Leadership Development Conference listening to some of the most influential leadership speakers, interacting with FFA members from around the state, and spending quality time with my new found friends. The Skiatook FFA Chapter hosted our annual Christmas Party as well as Officer Bonding both filled with pajamas, classic Christmas movies, a big dinner, and the most important of all being surrounded with our FFA family. Now show season is upon us and some of our family members are still catching up on sleep after the Western National Stock-show in Denver, Colorado concluded this week. With Parker busy caught up in the college life and working with all kinds of show cattle in between dad has been pulling almost all the weight on the farm putting out the hay when it’s too cold for mom and I to get out or feeding late at night when we have school activities. Sickness struck our house causing a lack of will, and a loss of school. That being said I’ve had plenty of time to work on my speeches for the upcoming season. After grieving the loss of one of our herd starting cows yesterday I’m so excited to announce the birth of two new calves within the last few weeks. Two Hereford heifers who will grow up to be my last go round, my senior project, my last two FFA show calves! This weeks verse I have focused on happened to help shed light onto my feelings about all the upcoming events. “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” Psalm 126:3. These words speak life into me as I remember not to worry about the stress that is on it’s way concerning speech season, the competitions for CDE’s and show season. This also reminds me that I have many things to feel blessed about, thank you to my FFA family.

-Agvocate in Action, KC

The Giving of Thanks

We’ve had some big celebrations over the past couple of days, I celebrated my seventeenth birthday, my grandparents celebrated 60 years of marriage, and Thanksgiving Day was spent with family and lots of delicious food. Though catching up with family was great, Parker was home from college for the week and we had a long list of things to get done. As temperatures have been falling the fireplace has been waiting for us to utilize it and we had the perfect tree ready to be cut. An old pecan tree was starting to die and leaning on the fence, with cattle in the pasture and the risk of them getting out it was time to chop it down. Though we don’t live off the grid it is still important to have firewood to heat the house. That tree made a rick of wood which will last us about a third of the way through the winter. While sitting by the fire I heard the faint sound of a cat, I quickly ran to the door and to my surprise saw two kittens and their mother laying on our front porch. This birthday present benefits not only me but our farm. These cats will stay in the barn to scare off and get rid of small rodents. That night I cleaned out the barn making a small bed for the new cats and the boys stacked the fresh load of feed getting ready for the jackpot season rush to kick in. Now that the house is warm and filled with family and food, the barns are clean and racks filled with wood our Grandpa prayed over the Thanksgiving meal appreciating his wife of 60 years and his granddaughter of 17 years.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours

-Agvocate in Action, KC

The First Freeze

After a week of rain the cold came in just in time to freeze the mud and require hot hands for the Friday night football game, and a Saturday morning of working calves. Saturday morning we got up roughly 20 spring born calves to give them Bovi-Shield Gold, a vaccination preventing IBR/BVD/PI3. BVD is an up and coming disease finding it’s home in many herds causing symptoms such as low conception rates, still born, and aborted calves. Due to management practices we have been fortune enough here at C3 to never have a positive BVD test on an animal in our heard, but some ranches are not as lucky. Though only 4% of cow-calf herds in Oklahoma have a PI positive animal it is not something to take lightly. Oklahoma State Univeristy came out with a recent study saying it cost nearly $24 per head to have a routine yearly vaccination preventing this disease, how much is that $24 worth to you? After a full day of working calves we’re glad to wrap up this week with an OSU cowboy win, then traveling to the Oklahoma Hereford Association banquet in Ardmore, Oklahoma. As it is now the week of Thanksgiving we say Grace thanking The Lord for the safety of our herd and for the great success and friendship gained through the Hereford Industry over the years.

-Agvocate in Action, KC