Thursday, November 28, 2013

No days off, but always thankful.

Coming home this holiday season, it is nice to take a break from school, relax and embrace some time at home with the family. However, when I come home, the term relax is used loosely. One thing is certain: on a farm, there are no days off. But, we are always thankful.

Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks for the loved ones in our lives, the blessings we have been granted and the opportunities we have in America. But through the years, I think this holiday is used loosely as well. I can remember when Black Friday deals were strictly on the Friday following Thanksgiving, when no stores were open on this day, and when Christmas music and advertisements did not begin until after our turkey bellies had subsided. What has happened in recent years? I think it comes down to greed and a lack of appreciation for why we get this day off work: to be thankful.

Just like some of the store workers, law enforcement officers, journalists and other public employees who still work on holidays, farmers do as well. But amid the labor and work we endure, I think those in the rural community are the most appreciative of the day because they continue to give.

Tonight, I helped dad with livestock chores. We fed the cattle and goats their grain and hay.
Dad pours the mixed feed into the feed bunk for the
cattle every morning and evening. They are also fed
organically grown hay.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Time and change will surely show

It is hard to comprehend how fast time goes by sometimes. We take for granted many things in our lives and lose touch of some that have served as the foundation for our development. This past week reopened my eyes that yes, time moves very quickly.

Smirnoff (yes, he is named Smirnoff) and his family
are off to a new home.

No More Alpacas. 

I said it. I am officially out of the alpaca business. My two males and two females were sold to a farmer in Indiana. It has not hit me quite yet, as I am still in Columbus for our last few weeks of school, but when I go home and cannot see these beautiful creatures, it will be different.

Since my 16th birthday, I have owned alpacas. Now, 21 years old and preparing to enter the professional world, I knew I could not keep the alpacas -- due to uncertainty of my location and future. After graduation and some years down the road, time and change will surely show if I can get involved with the livestock industry once more. Fingers crossed!

Last Football Game.

Panorama of the Skull Session in St. John's Arena.

This group of amazing senior girls at our last home game --
in AA seats of course. 
This weekend was my last Ohio State football game as a student. From attending Skull Session to singing Carmen Ohio in the Shoe brought a fast realization that my senior year is halfway complete. It is crazy to think that I attended my first OSU football game four years ago. As we celebrate #BeatMichigan week, I also remember attending my first Ohio State v. (that state up north) game. I never claimed to be an avid Buckeye fan, but have grown to have much pride and spirit for my team. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

6 Roles in 6 Years

***UPDATE 11/26/13: New article added to completed articles from convention. See bottom of post.

Just like a large portion of youth involved in agriculture, FFA played a large role in my leadership development and passion for the industry. This past week was the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo and as I was recollecting on the fun I have had in the FFA, I discovered that for the past six years, I have attending national convention. And in each of those years, I have had a different role as to why I was there!

2008 - First National Convention Experience

This was my first time traveling to Indianapolis with some members of the Otsego FFA Chapter.

2009 - Competing in general livestock evaluation contest

Through high school, I was active in livestock evaluation and our team won the state FFA contest to advance to the national contest held at convention! This was an amazing experience and even though we were 11th overall (and I was 22nd individually), we learned a lot and had a fun time judging. 

2010 - National FFA Band