An Exciting Night at our County Holstein Show

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Another exciting year at our County Holstein Show for our family

Once a year local farmers in our county and neighbouring counties get together to compete at our County Holstein Show. This show brings together dairy farmers with a common goal of promoting their livestock genetics and their cattle they are proud of and gives us all the opportunity to showcase some of our best cows and calves and have a friendly competition with each other.

Each year we spend lots of time preparing our animals and getting everything looking their best to take them to compete at the show. Before the show there is lots of work that happens with each of the animals going to compete to make sure that they lead well and are looking their best to go to the cow show.

This year we took five animals to the show, three cows and two calves. We were happy with our results at this year’s show – our calves were both first in their class and two of our cows placed first and one cow placed fourth.

The highlight of the night for me was seeing the excitement in all of the kids faces that showed in the peewee showmanship class, this class is for kids that are eight and under. The peewee class gives young farm kids the chance to work with a calf and show it in the ring, this is a great way to get them interested in the dairy industry and showing at a young age and hopefully will help to inspire our next generation of dairy farmers! Our daughter had so much fun showing her calf and we were so proud of her!

I cherish the memories we are making with our kids by getting them involved in the dairy industry and showing. Both my husband and I have fond memories of going to cow shows as we were growing up and we have many lifelong friends we have made through showing cattle and through being in 4H.

Showing for us isn’t just about winning red ribbons (although it’s a pretty nice bonus when that happens!) and marketing our cattle, but it is also about the lessons our kids can learn and the friendships we make and strong dairy community that it connects us to.

Our kids are so lucky to have cousins close in age that are their very best friends that share the same love and excitement for cows and farming as we do. My heart is bursting with pride at how amazing these two girls did at showing! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them. These girls are setting a great example for their two little brothers who were watching them and will be showing alongside them next year.

We were lucky to have many family and friends attend the show to support us – it really is one of our favourite family events of the year!

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Lucas LOVES cow shows and special time with his Grandpa. He will be so excited to show his own calf next year like his big sister!

What Family Farming Means To Me

27_57304_fullI am excited to share about our family farm! I grew up on a dairy farm and have always had a passion for animals and agriculture. From a very young age I always knew I wanted dairy farming to be a part of my life.

I loved growing up on a farm, with the opportunity to explore nature, the outdoors and learn so much about how food is made and where it comes from. My love of Agriculture lead me to be very involved in 4H and showing dairy cattle, I showed my first calf in a pre-4H show when I was just 4 or 5. I couldn’t be happier to see how much my kids LOVE growing up on our farm and helping their Daddy with tasks around the farm.

My 4 year-old daughter is already excitedly preparing for our upcoming county Holstein show where she will show her calf Firecracker. She and her older cousin have showed their calves the last three years at our show and they have so much fun doing it and I love seeing the passion and love of cattle being sparked in them at such a young age.

My husband is the fourth generation of dairy farmers on our farm here in Southwestern Ontario. Him and his Dad both work full-time on our farm managing both the dairy cows and the field work. We milk just over 50 cows, and have heifers (young-cattle that has not yet had their first calf!), calves and dry cows (cows that are not currently lactating). The cows are housed in a free-stall facility, which means they are in loose-housing, they can walk around to the feed-bunk, water-trough, or other areas within the barn as they wish.

On our farm, we also grow crops. The primary crops we grow are corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa (hay). The majority of the crops we grow are used for feeding the cows and some of the crops are used to sell to the local elevator.

We are lucky to be a close-knit family and as we raise our children here on the farm they are so blessed to have their Nana and Grandpa living just one pasture field away from us. Their cousins (my sister-in-law’s family) live five-minutes away and are often here too, joining my kids in their adventures on the farm.

I love the lifestyle that we are lucky to live here on our farm. During my summers off, we are able to go out and ride in the tractor as their Daddy is working in the field, or help out at milking time, or just go searching for new baby kittens from our loving barn cats. Farm-life really does bring our entire family closer together and I love seeing the excitement in our kids eyes as they learn so much around the farm.

Luke 9 months, pt. 3-3

Our youngest child, my son, who is now one and a half (just 9 months old in this picture), is such a little farmboy. He loves nothing more than being in the barn, mooing at the cows, “helping” with little tasks in the barn, and his favourite activity of all is riding in the tractor!

 

As I look towards the future of our family farm I hope that someday one or both of our children have the passion and knowledge and love of cattle that my husband has, it would be amazing to watch our farm flourish as the fifth-generation of farmers in our family take over!

Have you ever visited a dairy farm? Do you know where your milk and dairy products come from? Did you know that there are MANY dairy farm families just like ours producing the dairy products you buy in your local grocery store?