The things I am willing to do or more appropriately not willing to let a calf do so this pair could go in the show ring one more time during the county fair!
Weigh-in is first thing Monday morning of the fair - our calves usually have no problem making weight - calves have to weigh so much to be able to be in the 4-H auction and so much to show in the Market Steer Show on Monday evening but this year we had one we knew would be close for market steer which required weight is 1050 pounds!
So Monday morning as I am getting up "the Boss" (aka the oldest who now possess a drivers license and has previously informed me that she will be in charge of fair week so we can be professional because when I am in charge we are nothing but a circus - but I digress) informs me that I am not needed at weigh-in that she can handle everything I can just go back to bed! I tell her I will be bringing Cole in so that he can weigh his steer and heifer in himself since it is his first year, he should do his own and I want pics but that she and her sister may go on in and take care of theirs. Much to her credit she and the middle get in to the fairgrounds, get the cattle in from night ties and head to the scales with their 3 steers - 2 are just fine but the middles is too light only weighing in at 1010 - and let the circus begin! A frantic phone call to her father (because we don't need Mom) and he informs her that they need the calf to drink a whole 5 gallon bucket of water! Much to her dismay we have picky calves who do not like city water and won't drink unless we truck water in from home which she did not take that morning and so who else gets the job but this ringmaster - I throw my clothes on, grab the boy, fill some buckets and head into the fairgrounds! The calf immediately sucks down a whole 5 gallon bucket of water - Halleiuah - and back to the scales we go -
I tell this story for 2 reasons - it is hysterically funny and because I can't get across how appreciative I am to The Williams Family and all who work so hard to make 4-H about the kids - getting this calf to weigh 1050 wasn't about winning, it was about making sure that the kids get to be in the ring as much as possible and be proud of the hard work that took them all year to get to this point - I was fully aware this calf had no chance of winning a market steer show - he was a meat wagon no doubt but he was small framed and had just stopped putting on the pounds-but it was about Lou being able to walk in the ring one more time with a calf she had fed herself for almost a year, broke to lead herself and cared for daily - and isn't that truly what 4-H is about?