Thursday, June 23, 2011

Texas Polled Hereford Association All-Star Sale

Hereford girls, Hereford girls... Tell me what's better than that?! NOTHING!
The All-Star Cattle Sale is put on by the Texas Polled Hereford Association. Luckily I was able to make it to this sale, but regretfully I couldn't attend the Tennessee River Music, Inc. Sale because it was during my graduation. It was sad not to attend their sale, but I am now happy to say how close I am to Texas A&M University! The All-Star Sale is jam packed with queen and sweetheart interviews, chili cook-offs, dessert tasting, and of course the sale! As soon as I arrived at the Shocke residence in Sherman, Texas, my Texas Polled Hereford friends greeted me with joy. First of started the queens contest. We had the most talent and beautiful girls come in and out of the intense interviews. Miss Keely Hamman and I decided to hang out with the girls in the waiting room; we enjoyed the fact that we were not stressing out about being interviewed since we are both past state queens. It was wonderful! All of the queen and sweetheart candidate's interviews went very well! Once the stressful interviews had ceased it was time to eat! The chili was amazing as well as dessert, but I would like to add that eating chili is NOT the easiest thing to do in an all white outfit! I stayed clean though. That night after we ate, we announced the results of queen and sweetheart. Our lovely Texas Polled Hereford Queen, Keely Hamman, announced as I crowned them with their new sash and banner. The newly crowned queen was the lucky Miss Sarah Smith with the princess Miss Tracy Brent. We also crowned three sweethearts who were Morgan Dobbs, Ruth Ann Kettler, and Molly Booth. All of the wonderful ladies will do an excellent job representing the Texas Polled Hereford Association this next year. Congratulations! Once we knew who all of our royalty were, we announced the winners of the best desserts and chilis. It was fun just to 'hang out' with everyone.
From left to right: Ruth Ann Kettler, Molly Booth, Tracey Brent, Sarah Smith, and Me!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Star Lake Cattle Ranch Sale

Oklahoma was the next place I went! I traveled longs hours to reach the destination of Stillwater, Oklahoma at the Star Lake Cattle Ranch. This was my first time to make it to this sale, and it was definitely worth it! Friday night was full of meeting and greeting with plenty of Hereford breeders and buyers. We had a delicious steak dinner as I sat with some old Texas friends and new ones that I made. They auctioned off numerous embryos at the dinner that night. Some were sold at the dinner and some online. All of the embryos being sold online made me think of how far technology has come. I mean really, there’s more opportunity for others to get what they desire even if they are unable to attend the function. I find it fascinating!

After dinner, the party really started! The band was blaring “Benny and the Jets,” as well as, plenty of other (in my terms) ‘old school’ songs. Sadly, the night had to come to an end although people still stayed out rather late. I could hear their voices echoing all of the songs from our RV that we took to the sale.

I had a full day ahead of me on Saturday. There were 200 lots of cattle to sale! That’s a lot just in case you didn’t know. This is a picture of Mrs. Susan Rader and I. She is from my area of deep East Texas and has always been so supportive of me. Saturday morning was all about being the highest bidder, and boy, oh boy, there were definitely some high bids! The first lot in the ring was a sight to see, but it had the nasty scours! The heifer turned around as swiftly as it could and its manure spewed across the front row. Luckily, I had someone who gallantly stepped in front of me taking the main blow... thank you Mr. Joe Rickabaugh. I will forever be indebted to him for his chivalry to protect my bright white dress! My mom said it was just like a tractor pull...don't ever sit on the first row!

It was a very long day, but I could only stay for so long because I had an extremely long drive ahead of my family and I. So I said my said and heartfelt goodbyes and we went on our way home. It was great getting to spend my weekend with Blin Family as well as the Star Lake Cattle Ranch Crew. I always love getting to see Mrs. Kim Herman. She has been one of my biggest supporters throughout my race as queen. She is a past National Hereford Queen and gave me great advice and told me that she remembered the first time that she received her white boots. Thank you Mrs. Herman for being such an inspiration to me!

Thank you again Star Lake for an unforgettable trip and sale!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hats Off to Herefords!

After the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, I had a very nice little break before scholarships and sales hit me full throttle! The first sale that I was able to attend was the annual 'Hats Off to Herefords Sale' in Morgan, Texas held on W4 Ranch. Regretfully, I was unable to make it to the Larson Polled Hereford Sale in Clifton, Texas do to a death. This was very disappointing to me as they were so kind as to invite me to the sale personally and take care of any accommodations I needed. Although I was unable to make it to Larson’s Sale, it made me even more excited to see my Hereford family at our sale in Morgan, Texas. Coincidentally, I had an Area FFA interview on the same day! How convenient, right? But luckily I have parents that are so involved and help make sure that I can try and attend every possible event because this was a $16,000 scholarship on the line!
I switched times with another FFA student so I could be the absolute FIRST person in the interview room. My mother and I had a 5 hour drive ahead of us in order to make it to the sale, so we were definitely trying to find any possible way to make the interview go as quick and early as possible. Once the interview was over we headed straight to Morgan, Texas with no stops in mind! By the way, I made it to State! Five hours later the wonderful white suburban got us to what we “thought” was W4 Ranch, oh but we were sadly mistaken! We drove around and only saw land, land, and MORE land! We finally decided, about 10 minutes later, that we should probably turn around and ask for some directions because we obviously had no clue where we were at. When we stopped by a gas station little girls selling cookies and brownies for cheerleading oohed and awed at my sash and crown while asking me tons of questions while my mother got directions to W4 Ranch. When we arrived at W4 Ranch I was greeted by all of my lovely Hereford family. Too bad I wasn’t there for the full sale, but at least I made it! After the sale concluded, everyone stayed around and talked about life and how close it was for school to end. I even got to take pictures with Mr. Walker and a couple on the ranch. It was beautiful out in Morgan, Texas; I could have packed up and moved right that second! The neatest thing was that even after the sale Mr. Walker let the people that were staying fish on his lake. It was so beautiful outside and a great way to spend time with my Hereford family!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where oh where did my white skirt go?!

Shortly after the Northeast Texas Hereford Association Annual Sale, the Houston Livestock Show had finally arrived! To be honest this is one of my favorite shows because besides the horrible humidity of South Texas, it’s not absolutely freezing cold weather. It’s actually quite pleasant and the timing of the show is impeccable! It’s always been during my Spring Break, but I actually don’t know any other way that I would want to spend my break than at the show. People started to pile in on Wednesday throughout the early morning and late that night. This is the type of show where people come and wait in line all the night long because the stall assignments are first come first served. Once everyone was set up in their stalls, the fun had begun! I walked around visiting with all of my old friends that I had not seen in a while and we laughed at all of the old stories we shared and caught each other up on new ones. We had our annual meeting on Saturday to discuss the activities for our Texas State Show and to determine which committees each officer and director were on.
Sunday was show day! It’s always no fun at all having to wait until the last day of the show to show, but they obviously saved the best breed for last! I got to the barns bright and early to take care of my heifer and as soon as I was done I went to the show ring to make sure all of the awards were set up for the show. Our Texas Hereford Sweetheart, Ashley Cline, was going to be in charge of the awards for the first division in the show seeing as I was in the second class. Luckily we had a Hereford native as our judge, Mr. Blake Bloomburg; it’s always nice to have someone I know to work with in the show ring. This year, I showed for my very last time in the Houston show ring with the green shavings… it was kind of bittersweet. But after my class and division were done, I headed straight to grab all of my queen belongings and go change. As I’m in the restroom I start to get my clothes out, and yes it’s the still the winter outfit so I had many layers, but I couldn’t seem to find my skirt! Get this… I had packed three of my white blazers and NO skirt! I mean how on earth could I forget my skirt?! It was 9 A.M. and the vendors were definitely not open yet. What was I going to do? All of the sudden I just broke down. I was literally crying in the corner of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo restroom sitting on top of my pink suitcase under my flower printed hanging bag next to my crown box. I was crying to my sadly saying, “I can’t be queen! What is everyone going to think?! …. I’m such a horrible person!” Now my mother, on the other hand, is the calm one in this situation, which is definitely a change in roles for the two if us. Mom told me to stay where I was and not to leave because she was going to find me a skirt. In my mind I thought, “How on earth are you going to find a WHITE skirt at a stock show when all of the vendors are closed?” But of course I just kept my mouth shut and nodded my head. Shortly after my mom left me all alone in the restroom I was still sulking and my student ag teacher came in. She told me mom sent her to stay with me so people didn’t think I was the weirdest person alive sitting with my queen wardrobe (besides my skirt) in the bathroom. My student teacher, Casey Page, was trying to comfort me as I cried and then I received a phone call from my mom, well super-mom, because she had miraculously found me a white skirt! Can you believe it?! I mean all of the stores were closed. Suddenly the tears vanished and a huge smile came onto my face. Casey Page and I started doing a happy dance in the restroom; this was definitely a moment for my happy dance regardless of the fact that I was in my turtleneck, blazer, tall white socks, and my slip. It was a great moment! I told Casey that she had definitely experienced a one of a kind thing that not many student teachers go through. How many student teachers have to go and sit with a student that is bawling her eyes out in the restroom because she forgot her white skirt in order to do her National Hereford Queen duties? Not many… or any! I definitely couldn’t have sat through that excruciating moment without her with me! When my mom came running back into the restroom she had the puffiest ruffled white skirt that I had ever seen, but I was wearing that thing regardless of the style. As super-mom helped me into my skirt we didn’t realize it was an EXTRA-LARGE!!! Thank goodness for safety pins! Once I was finally in my outfit, I did the queenliest fast walk that anybody had ever seen. I got into the show ring right when the Grand Drive had started for Hereford heifers. Yeah, I was little late but no big deal I still had the Polled Hereford show still to go next. Of course when all of my friends saw me they had to take pictures and giggle with me over what I had just gone though. But no big deal, I can take it.

It was a blast as usual to work in the ring with my Hereford royalty girls. This was the last show I got to work with them. Very sad day but now the girls are on to the next chapter in their lives which I know will be great! Overall the show was definitely a success; we even had a Hereford win Supreme Champion! Congratulations Rope Stewart! Although the start of my day was much more stressful than usual, I know that I can always count on my family and friends to turn my day around! In the picture below I am accompanied by Miss Keely Hamman who definitely made my day ten times better chuckling over my skirt mishap! I just wanted to give you a picture of the FULL and oh so lovely queen attire I had on for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Northeast Texas Hereford Association Annual Sale

Deep East Texas where the pine trees grow in Mount Pleasant, Texas is where the Northeast Texas Hereford Association Annual Sale was located… which is basically my hometown! Not many Hereford events occur anywhere near to where I live, so this was a nice and delightful little change. This sale is full of old breeder and new breeders from all over Texas. We all had a scrumptious lunch and socialized for a while before the sale began. I even got to meet a couple of breeders from the East Texas area that I surprisingly didn’t know. Before the sale started the auctioneer did the normal introductions of special guests and ring assistants and I was called forward. The Northeast Texas Hereford Association donated money to my queen travels and wardrobe. It was very, very kind of them to do such a thing and appreciated! After the introductions were given the sale had begun; buyers were bidding and I was sitting while smiling! The sale was a success and I enjoyed spending time with my East Texas natives on March 12th. It’s always a great time!

Why hello there Cowtown!

Wow…what a past couple of months it has been! From being crazy busy completing scholarship applications and preparing to graduate, it’s all finally over! I can breathe!! Regretfully I haven’t had the time to just sit down and share my past queen travels. I can’t believe I’ve been so unbelievably busy since January but now I want to share everything I’ve gone through as queen.

After Denver I excitingly got to come to the stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas to the Southwestern Exposition Livestock Show. As crazy as it is, this show is where my family decided that the Hereford breed was what we were going to show, so this show is very near and dear to my family’s heart! First off was the Fort Worth Junior Livestock Show. It was filled with seeing old friends, working sifts, meetings, and of course working in the show ring. I had the honor of working with ALL of Texas’s royalty, which is no small number. The show went by quickly and successfully for all of the winners. It was a blast getting to spend time with all of the juniors from the Texas Hereford/Polled Hereford Associations and my friends that show other breeds as well, but I was anxious for the Fort Worth Open Show to come at me in full throttle!

This is a picture with the sponsors of the Grand and Reserve Champion for the Hereford show. They have sponsored this prize for many years and it has become a tradition with their family.

This is a picture of my older and younger sisters, Audrey and Ilissa, and my ag teacher Mrs. Sue Witt. Mrs. Witt has been one of my biggest supporters in just about ANYTHING that I have done!

Less than a week later, the Fort Worth Open Show had arrived! I was surrounded by some of the greatest Hereford breeders in our nation, what a weekend this was going to be! I left directly after school on Friday with my mother and little sister, Audrey, to head up to the stockyards of Fort Worth. Once we arrived in Fort Worth I was greeted by my older sister, Ilissa, and my best friend Brittany. I normally bring a friend every year to the open show, especially my best friends that show Angus, Mollie and Brittany. They have seen the fun side of the Hereford breed and I hope they love it as much as I do. Brittany didn’t know the unbelievably hectic weekend she had ahead of her as being the queen’s assistant, but I will add she did a fantastic job and was very, very helpful with…. EVERYTHING! Saturday morning was full of pen shows and meetings and the night was meetings and socials. At the shows, Anderson Bean had helped create a pair of custom made boots for the grand and reserve champions. It was a pretty nifty gift! The picture beneath this is of my little sister, Audrey, my best friend Brittany, and I with the custom made boots that was a prize. The meetings and socials were a ton of fun; I loved having the time to just sit down and talk with people and not being in a rush. This social was especially special for me, seeing as my father was the Texas Hereford President this year! On Sunday we had our pen show, annual sale, and another social. It was a very hectic day with everyone running back and forth to different locations. There is one thing I would like to share about the pen show… as I was giving an award for first place in a class to an older couple, the wife started jumping up and down screaming with joy, but later in the show they won Grand Champion in the pen show! The wife not only jumped with joy again but started crying with pure happiness. That moment that I was able to share with them completely warmed my heart. It made my whole weekend more enjoyable than ever! I have the picture of the couple beneath this:

Monday was the BIG show day! It was full of prizes and royalty and people of the Hereford association. Overall being National Queen at the Fort Worth Open Show was a lot more than I expected it to be. There were so many outfit changes and many distances walked in my lovely white boots, but I couldn’t have done any of it without my family, Brittany, and my Hereford friends that weekend!

This picture is of my family and friends that are basically my family for the Fort Worth Open Show weekend! Left to right: My mother, Alise, Ashley (my sister's best friend), Ilissa (my sister), ME, Brittany (my best friend), my father, Scott, and my little sister Audrey!