We had a great week last week. We normally haul into Benton Franklin Fair in the morning, but this year it was a little different and everyone had times. So we did not leave until the afternoon. Toni was able to get some work done in the morning. Anna and Kaine washed their steers in the morning. We have a had a few sick calves, I got the ones that were still out in and doctored them before we left. We hit the road and met up with the cousins for our short trip down to the BF Fair, we let uncle Joe take the lead as he had the longer trailer so needed to find the right path. There were lots of people, but the cattle all came off the trailer great. This was Monica’s first show, she has only been halter broke 3 weeks and she was scared but solid. We got the cattle settled in, steers weighed in and had tacos with the 4H group. The campers were still parked way out, so lots of walking.
Tuesday was market, Anna was showing FFA, and she showed first. Her and Cupid were Reserve Champion in market. This is Anna’s first year showing FFA and she did great. The coolest part is that Cupid is a calf she raised out of her cow, so a bred and owned calf. It is always awesome to win, but to win with a calf you raised out of your own cow is even cooler. Jaxsen and Kaine were in the light weight class, Jaxsen won his class and got to come back, Kaine was third. Jaxsen has been showing Dagger all summer but had never won a market class with him before so he was stoked. He promised Dagger a churo if he did well. Why Jaxsen would think his steer would want a churo is anyone’s guess. Kade and Ady also won their classes and got to come back. Ady was Reserve Champion 4H. All of the kids did a great job.
Wednesday was showmanship and then open cattle. FFA was first again, Anna was Grand Champion and got to go to the round robin. My boy Kelten was Reserve Champion Senior. Kaine made it back to the championship round in Intermediate, Kade’s steer, Clark, did not like the pigs and was next to them. So he did not do great in showmanship and was middle of the class. Two members of our 4H group were Grand and Reserve in Showmanship for intermediate, Kassandra and Adrian. Jaxsen, Natalie and another member of our 4H group, Emmet, all made it back to the championship round in Jrs. Natalie was grand and Emmet Reserve, all of the kids showed great. As Jaxsen left the show ring, he commented on how great the 4-H club had done overall and how excited he was to be part of it. This is a really great comment coming from a kid that we had to drag to the showring at the beginning of the year. His showing and attitude have improved 100% this year. Ady and Julian also did a great job, their steers just were not working with them.
Then we had PeeWees and the kids all showed their heifers. We also had some good friends bring their kids in to show as well, so we had a full pee wee class. We had a quick lunch break and then open cattle. Kasen’s heifer, Peanut Butter, was grand champion Hereford heifer. Anna’s heifer, Belle Star (or 6 like we all call her) was Grand Champion Angus heifer and overall heifer. Kade’s heifer Vixen was Grand Champion AOB heifer. Jay’s bull, who Toni wants to steal, was Grand Champion Hereford bull and Supreme Champion Bull. Toni told Joe he looked bad and that Joe should just give the bull to her. We convinced her that Joe will probably just let her borrow him so she can stop trying to convince him his favorite bull isn’t any good. It wasn’t working anyway. (I have not gotten to the Open cattle pics yet, I am currently half way through the peewees).
Thursday we let the kids sleep in and the parents fed the steers, heifers and bulls. Then everyone came out and washed after breakfast. Then the kids went on rides, and Anna and Natalie went and learned how to show the other animals to get ready for the round robin. Thursday night was the round robin. Kaine was standing there in boots, and the horse department needed a person to stand in, so he got nominated. But, little did he know he was going to have to go around and show each animal with the horse people. So he got a participation ribbon. Delanie Shattuck, another Connell FFA member, won the FFA division, we were all happy for her. Natalie and Anna were exceptional. They didn’t win but we couldn’t have been prouder of them if we tried. Per their tradition, Anna and Toni went and got dinner after round robin. On round robin right we eat chicken sandwiches because we usually have someone we are helping/cheering for, which neither of those two like very well. After the round robin, the kids all tried to go on rides with their bracelets one last time but the lines were so long that after waiting 40 minutes they didn’t get to go on any rides. They did however, play lots and lots of laser tag because the set up was super cool. Kaine and Kade say that they are the best. Probably in their own minds they are.
Friday was the sale, the champions sell first, so in our group Anna and Ady. Burns Family Estates and Corwin Ford bought their steers, thank you to both. Then the pigs sell on one side and the sheep, steers and goats on the other, in that order. All of the kids’ steers sold great, it was a great sale with tremendous support from our wonderful community. Watts Construction bought Kade’s steer for the third year in a row, Mr. Watts says Kade raises tasty animals. We also found out this year that the Watts are related to some of our friends, it was a small world moment. Our good friends at Farmers Electric bought Kaines, Rhodes Heating and Air bought Jaxsens, Ray Poland and Sons bought Julians and Koncrete Construction bought Natalie’s. Thank you to all of the buyers and a big thank you to the community that came out and supported all of these kids. It was wonderful to be part of such a successful event. Even though numbers were down in animals, numbers were very high in price.
Saturday was another dead day. The kids played games, Anna’s friend Kassidy came down and her, Kassidy and Edie hung out. Traci sold Anna’s ride bracelet, since Anna did not want to go on rides, and let all of the other kids go on one more ride with it. The guys came down that night and we all went to the rodeo. Per the norm, we saw great friends, met some interesting people, and had a great time at the rodeo. Afterwards, the kids and I went to bed, and everyone else stayed up until about 3 to load steers. It is always entertaining to load steers when everyone is lacking sleep. The steers loaded great and it was bittersweet to see them go.
Sunday, we got up at 6, packed up stuff, and went home and took a nap. We got back up in the afternoon and started working again. Even though Ben and Kicker were doing our chores, we needed to do a walk through on all of the horses, get pictures of specific ones, do our chores, and figure out how much we can get done in the one week we are home before the next two back-to-back fairs. BF Fair is a marathon fair and is so exhausting and hard on a person’s feet that it makes it hard to be enthusiastic about the next two. A great Teddy Roosevelt quote- “Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.” But I don’t think he was talking about our feet!