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July 23, 2012

Third Times A Charm!

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!

The kids have several opportunities at our fair to have their calves in the ring - Market Steer Show, Showmanship and The Steer Show -
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 -

to weigh in at 1041 - 9 pounds shy!  Back to the stall we head praying that he will drink more water - luckily he was thirsty after he got away from the middle on the way back and ran in circles around the show ring trying to avoid getting caught - so he sucks down a couple of more gallons of water, we mosey past the wash rack (water on the outside has to weigh something right?) for a good rinsing (don't want to be dirty going across the scales for the third time) and we walk the hundred foot to the scales - all I am thinking is "I wonder how long it takes for water to make its way thru a steer before he pee's all the water weight out" when I suddenly catch out of the corner of my eye his tail going up in the air about 25 feet from the scales - it was like slow motion - I yell "NOOOO" grasp his tail and smash it against his rear end so that no "weight" can escape him - I am hollering at Lou to walk faster - luckily there is no line at the scales she leads him right onto the scale as I am following "closely" behind they close the head gate and any "weight" that he is now relieving himself of is on the scales with him - and we have a winner - 1055 -they open the head gate and this circus makes it exit!

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?


  1. I love this. Too often the people in my county forget that it is about the kid and not winning & this would never be allowed. You have some awesome 4-H families at your fair.

  2. LOVE THIS STORY and I am having a better understanding of it every day. Just finished up our fair tonight, and I am ready to spend one day inside....even though my yard could stand to be mowed.mowed.

  3. What a story I am glad it had a happy ending

  4. Too funny!! Just the picture of you holding that cow's tail down so he didn't pee out his weight!! Hahahahahaha!!

  5. It wasn't a pee she was trying to suppress.