Friday, July 26, 2019

Summer Thoughts

The local county fairs have come to an end as well as the month of July. To me these past two months have gone by in a blink of an eye and before I know it I will be back at a school desk doing assignments. Trust me, I am not excited for school to start back up. With that, June and July have been some crazy months and they have lead me to think of a lot of things. So here are a couple random summer thoughts from the Holdgrafer Farm.

First off, we had one of the wettest springs ever on record according to my meteorologist family. I can remember them all spring telling me it needs to dry up so we can finish getting the crops in. Well now it is too dry and our lawns are drying up and need rain. However we have had some good weather to make some amazing second cutting hay this past week and I have not had to cut our lawn in awhile.

Secondly, in reference to my brother’s impulsive purchase of bred heifers this spring, I never realized how labor intensive it is having cows and calves. I figured once calving season was over we would just put them in a pasture and not worry about them too much. Man was I wrong! We checked flood gates all spring, continue to check pasture fences and feed them daily. The hot weather and flies have caused a few watery eyes, so we have ran them through the chute and put in new fly tags. It has been one thing after another, with these cows. I can also count on one hand how many weeks the boys are still home to check their own cows and then once they leave for college again, Luke and I are back to doing cow chores all by ourselves.

All in all, these past two months have really flown by and for the most part they have been some amazing months. It was another memorable county fair with a couple of our projects selected for the state fair in August. I hope your summer is going great, your fences are tight, your alfalfa is thick, and your summer has been one to remember! ~Kesley Holdgrafer

Fair Time: The Best Time of the Year

Is it just me or does it feel like summer is cruising by really fast? It seems like yesterday I was just getting ready for the last day of school and now here we are in the middle of July. Our busy softball and baseball seasons are nearing the end which means fair time is only a few short days away. Most farm families feel many different emotions around fair time. Some are excited for it to start, and others, mostly parents, are ready for it to be over. And of course, the last minute exhibitors are freaking out. You guessed it, that last example is the definition of me this week. I am a huge procrastinator and you are crazy if you really think I have any projects completed and ready for the fair just yet. I keep telling my parents that I work better under pressure! I can easily count on one hand the number of times my calf has been on a halter. Every year the fair seems to sneak up on me.

When attending the fair, you get to see a ton of really neat things from indoor projects to every shape and type of livestock being shown. What you don’t see however is the stuff that happens behind the scenes. When you walk into the 4-H indoor project building you will see a bunch of amazing things that took a lot of time and effort to create. However little do you know that there is also a project with the paint still drying, a write-up that goes with the project that was written the morning of judging, and of course a couple of random pictures because the exhibitor was scrambling for a project last minute and photography is one of the quickest categories. While at the fair you will probably walk through the barns of all the different animals and you might come across some bucket bottle calves. Most of them are probably super tame and cute. However, there is always at least one that has only really been on the halter a couple of times and the calf had its very first bath just the day before. I know this for a fact because that calf would be mine.

All in all, fair time really is one of the best times of the year. Everyone looks forward to it, even if they are last minute like me. I like to think that the rush of it all is actually the most fun and that extra shot of adrenaline is the feeling of not knowing if you will have everything done on time or delivered intact. The ‘please don’t touch” sign on my indoor project is because the paint is still drying.

If any other family is like mine then fair week is a crazy busy week, but we still look forward to it every year. I wish everyone the best of luck and hope you have a wonderful time at the fair! It isn’t about the ribbons, trophies, or plaques, it’s the memories, friendships, and fun that last a lifetime. ~ Kesley Holdgrafer