Best of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on all the many moments that have happened. It is hard to believe all of it fits into one year. Busy is an understatement, but I am so grateful for every moment…

Along with teaching at two colleges and holding communication contracts for several companies, I’ve been able to  photograph more than ever before this year.

A spur of the moment photo shoot turned into some of my proudest pictures to date. These sheep in fog pictures went on to win three contests and are going to hang in my future office.

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It wasn’t all animal and farm pictures, though. I was able to take pictures of some very dear people. From the engagement of Brooks and Jennifer…dsc_0774

To Jennifer’s bridal portraits a few months later…

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I was so excited to photograph some amazing college seniors like Alec who graduated from UMO with a agri-business degree. He is now in the middle of an MBA at Methodist and will start a new job in the beginning of the year! Where did my little brother go?

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There were also several NCSU graduates like Cary…

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And Bradley…

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Garrett also graduated with his master’s degree after spending countless hours crunching numbers and writing a thesis. He didn’t walk the stage, but that’s alright…18156656_1861747867172347_6783422891837931030_o

I’m still just as proud and was able to go back to campus to take engagement pictures of his roommate Colin and his fiance Mallory.

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I also was able to capture some real cuties…

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And real beauties…

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As well as some amazing people…

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A new favorite subject to photograph has been bling…

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My favorite bling of all, though, is my own…

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One of the biggest moments of 2017 was when Garrett asked me to be his wife at Bear Island after a kayak trip…

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Oh what an adventure that kayaking trip turned out to be (read the full story here). Wedding planning has been in full-force and we can’t wait for our next adventure after May 19, 2018 when we are married! 2017 held more adventures then a sparkly kayaking trip.

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An adventure to Vegas and the Grand Canyon with Garrett’s family was, well, grand…

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A less desert adventure came when the Linton clan visited Virginia Beach. Views, lighthouses, and waves made for an amazing vacation…

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Of course, there was also the annual Kerr Lake trip too. It was paradise.

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An adventure to South Carolina to visit Kayla turned into a weekend of sweet surprises from my maid of honor…

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Adventures in Atlanta with friends to celebrate Kena and William’s wedding was ever so much fun…

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I went to a total of 8 weddings this year. It is that season in life, and it is so wonderful to see those I love find forever love.

It wasn’t all warm weather and blissful weddings, though. There were some bitterly cold days this winter. My caption on Instagram of this pic said “I’m not made for the cold” Little did I know, I’d be moving to Nebraska a little over a year later where the temperature is currently -17 at night. Be careful what you say.

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Feeding livestock was an everyday affair–snow, rain, or shine. It was certainly worth it to see my boys rewarded for their hard work, well and fun…

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Isaac won Reserve Champion Market Hog at the Wayne County Show and Sale…

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Another big win came at the NC State Fair when our sheep Georgette won Grand Champion Supreme Ewe, NC Born and Bred Champion, and Champion Fleece. Georgette was born and raised on our farm.

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Each of the boys won grand or reserve champion sheep showman too, and Isaac bought Astrid, his prized sheep…

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Speaking of new animals, Callie Cat was rescued and has become my joy. She may be spoiled–complete with 9 collars.

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Hellos are always much more enjoyable than good-byes. After traveling over half the country, I dropped Garrett off in Nebraska to attend PhD school at UNL. Distance hasn’t been easy, but so worth it…

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I feel as if there are a thousand and one moments I should include here. However, this post is already long, and I can’t justify 365 days worth of reports. I will leave you with two final photos that show the love that I have been surrounded with this year, and the love that will forever surround me in future years.

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The State Fair is More than Fried Food and Rides for Me

For many people, the NC State Fair is about fried food, rides, and giant pumpkins, but for me it is so much more. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting fried cheese, bacon pimento cheese hushpuppies, and blooming onions. I always ride the Ferris wheel and bumper cars, and always take a peak at the giant pumpkins.

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BUT…that’s not why I go to the fair.

I go to the fair to drive and nervously back trailers in the heart of Raleigh. I go to help my brothers wash pigs, watch them compete against hoards of others in the ring, and coach them along the way. I go to fluff and trim goats. I go to the fair to walk sheep in the ring, pick straw from their fleece, and to see if we’ve improved from last year. I go to compete for the blue ribbons and champion titles. I go to take a thousand photos, to see friends, and spend 6 days in a barn. I go to the fair to spend time with my family and make memories. I go for the livestock experience.

I look at the NC State Fair through a different lens than many who walk through the gates. It isn’t just a place to find entertainment or unique food. It is a place where both heartache and joy has taken place. It is a place where I have run around with so much adrenaline and energy, but also been utterly exhausted. It is a place where I have learned lessons. The NC State Fair is a place that holds a special place in my heart. This year was no different.

NC State Fair 2017 Recap

While there was a great deal that took place over the course of the fair, I just want to give you the highlights. The first day, Mom, the boys and I went to check pigs in. All went smoothly. We headed back home to pick Dad up and head once more to Raleigh to stay in a hotel. We had a super early morning and didn’t want to deal with Raleigh traffic the next morning. Although an early morning awaited, I was to have a late night.

You see, Garrett was arriving on a flight at midnight! I hadn’t seen him since I left him in Nebraska back in August. I was so excited! I am ashamed to say, that I dozed off and was 15 minutes late picking him up from the airport. It all worked out, and I was reunited with my fiance!! Fair wouldn’t quite be the same without him.

The next morning did indeed dawn bright and early, but I was too excited to be tired. Today was the pig show!! My boys did an amazing job showing Arnold and Schwarzenegger. Both pigs were in the top 10 and Isaac received a super showman pin. I may have teared up a bit.

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On Saturday, I returned once more to the fair, this time alone. I arrived in time to walk Garrett’s little red pig in the sale ring. Goodness do I miss driving a pig in a ring.

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My primary reason for coming back to the fair wasn’t to walk a pig, though.  I was set to photograph and video the Sale of Champions. I love auctions, livestock, and the fair, so being able to capture it all with my camera, is such a joy! Alec was also recognized as a scholarship recipient.

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The next day of the fair was to be on Monday. We loaded 4 little goats on the trailer during such a rainy day. Because all the goats were born within a couple of weeks of each other, they were all the same size and in the same class. Sadly, we only had 2 Linton boys, but 4 goats. They couldn’t very well show 2 at a time. Thankfully, we had friends in the barn who helped us out! Mom, Dad, and the boys went home, while I stayed in town to spend time with Garrett. He would fly out the next day.

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Wednesday arrived. We loaded 12 sheep (all of which had been washed and clipped). Because there were so many, we had to take the big trailer which is always more nerve-wracking to drive. I take that back. It is fine to drive but scary to back. I’m happy to say, though that I was able to back it perfectly! With the sheep penned and the trailer backed, we were ready for the next day.

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Another early morning greeted us. Today the entire family was able to be at the fair together. Showmanship was up first. Isaac and Gideon went head to head in juniors. Gid came out on top, which worked out well. Isaac beat Gideon in pigs. Alec received reserve champion senior plus showman despite an irritable sheep. We were off to a phenomenal start!

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Costume class followed showmanship. Isaac dressed up in a red, white and blue theme to highlight wool in America. Gideon showed off tools of the trade to raise sheep. There were so many cute costumes!

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With 12 sheep, we were in and out of the ring constantly. All of our girls did well, and I was even able to show during the open show.

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Isaac was extra proud of his Astrid sheep. He bought her with his own money earlier in the year, and she ended up winning her class! The face says it all!

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Interestingly, Alec ended up with the best sheep–Georgette. Last year, I did not like Georgette. She placed behind all our other sheep, and just wasn’t my favorite. This year, here fleece was gorgeous, and the judge agreed. She won her class and went on to compete in the champion drive along with two other of our ewes–Astrid and Evelyn.

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I held my breath as the judge looked over all the blue ribbon sheep. And then…she shook Alec’s hand.

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Georgette won Supreme Champion Junior Ewe and Got to Be NC Grand Champion Junior Ewe. I may have screamed a bit.

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We have come so close to Supreme Champion several times, and it finally happened. What made it even more special was we raised Georgette on our farm. She was Countryview Farm genetics. It didn’t stop there, though. In the open show, Georgette also won Supreme Champion Fleece, and our new ram, Church, won champion medium/fine white ram.

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It was such a good show!

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We celebrated by eating our favorite fair foods, walking around, and riding some rides.

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I found my bacon pimento cheese hushpuppies, Dad and Alec snagged them a blooming onion and Isaac and mom grabbed a funnel cake.

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Gid discovered a new favorite –Poutine (fries covered with cheese curds and gravy). This gravy loving boy was in heaven.

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And with that, the 2017 NC State Fair ended for the Lintons. We loaded up and headed home. For us, the fair is about family, livestock, friends, and some food. See you next year!!

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Taylor Glover|Senior Session

When it comes to livestock, there are very few that are as passionate as Taylor. She loves it! She keeps the roads packed with hog and cattle circuit shows during the fall, and can be found in the barns in between the shows. I’ve known Taylor for many years, and I’ve watched her passion grow. She is so fun to watch in the ring. She is also fun to photograph in the show ring. Speaking of which, that is where I am used to taking pictures of her at.

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While I love capturing her do her thing, I was beyond excited when she asked me to do her senior pictures…with her pig and heifers. Ya’ll, this photographer was squealing with delight. My livestock heart was so, so happy. Without further delay, here is Taylor’s senior session. A beautiful girl and her livestock.

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Livestock Lesson–What Picking Out a Show Pig Teaches a Kid

Once again, there are pigs in the building…or barn that is. We picked up two gilts from See Farms, and are so excited. I mean just look at that face!

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Picking out livestock is always a learning experience. As the boys have gotten older, I have tried to give them more responsibilities with their show animals. So, this year, I decided to give them a little more freedom in picking out their show pigs. I had already picked the two I thought were the best, but I told them they could look around and see if there was something they liked better.

They’d stare at the pen full of pigs, and discuss between themselves what they thought. Then, they’d point out one to me. I always ask them why. Why that one? Shrugged shoulders and “I don’t knows” are not an option. They also know that the pigs color or cute factor doesn’t qualify as a solid reason either. After they give me their reasons, I’ll say what I think. They also made sure to get Garrett and Dr. See’s opinion as well. We would all point out different pros and cons to the various pigs.

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After much deliberation, they decided to go with the two pigs I had originally picked out, but they had reasons for picking them now too.dsc_0922

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When we got home, they asked me questions about the good and bad parts of their pigs. I love that they are asking questions, and growing in their skills, knowledge, and responsibilities. They are doing more chores than ever, and make an effort to research about their projects.

They haven’t mastered it all yet, but I love how they are always looking to learn more. Showing livestock isn’t just about the ribbons; it’s about the lessons. Even if they don’t judge livestock in the future, they have learned to analyze a situation, reasearch, ask questions, and seek advice. And, that I think is more important than picking a good pig to win (although we are confident that we picked some good ones).

Most livestock lessons don’t happen in the ring. They happen beforehand…in the barns and homes of the stock show families. Those lessons made me into who I am today, and they continue to impact kids all over.

I can’t wait to see what lessons they boys will learn with their new pigs–Violet and Chickadee.

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Mary Dunn & Alan Johnson||Prom 2016

I was so excited when Mary asked me to help her get ready for her prom (I’ve secretly been dying to get my hands on her gorgeous locks) and take pictures. This girl is my neighbor and like a little sister. I’ve watched her grow into a beautiful young lady who is accomplished and stays super busy with 4-H, livestock, school, and the community. Accompanying Mary to her prom was fellow showman, Alan. My first memory of Alan was him as probably a cloverbud asking a ton of livestock questions. Today, he’s mentoring the cloverbuds.

I couldn’t be more proud of either of these two, and was so glad I got to have a part in their evening!

Although there was rain, with rain comes rainbows, and that is exactly what we got. I hope ya’ll enjoy these!

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It takes a village

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Ya’ll looked wonderful! Thank you for letting me be a part in your lives today and all the other days too.

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You Have to be Brave to Raise Livestock

Two weeks ago was a tough week on the farm. We lost 3 animals in the span of 3 days, and that…. that was really hard.

I’ve been raising livestock for 13 years, and have had animals since the day I was born. And, throughout that time, there has been loss. It comes with the territory. Some of those losses have impacted me more than others, but no matter what animal it is, it never gets easier.

The other week we lost two goats- Tres and Nala, and our barn cat- Sassy. Tres was unexpected. She was fine one day, and gone the next.

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Nala, lost her battle to a raging infection, despite 3 visits to the vet, several antibiotics, and meds to control the fever.

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Sassy was 13 years old, and we knew his time was drawing near. He lived his last days as a house cat.

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Nala was the the third one to go, and at that point, I was ready to throw up my hands. It was entirely frustrating and emotional. You work so hard to keep these animals healthy. When they get sick, you do everything you can to make them better, and sometimes it isn’t good enough. When your best isn’t good enough, that can cut deep.

Nala went into premature labor. Not only that, but the baby was not in the proper position. After trying for 40 minutes to realign the baby, we decided that we couldn’t do it. We knew the baby was already dead, so we loaded Nala up to go to the vet. Those vets worked for more than an hour to deliver that fetus. Everyone was tired, especially Nala. She was registering a temperature of 105. The next few days was a series of banamine for the fever, antibiotics for the infection, oxytocin for a retained placenta, and more trips to the vet. We were hoping that it would clear up. We were hoping that we could try again for a baby next year, but it wasn’t meant to be. Nala was my best doe. I was the most excited for her baby. It would be her first and the first off our new buck. I put a lot of hopes and dreams into them, and it went up in smoke.

When you raise livestock, they have a purpose. It may be for breeding stock; it may be for showing; it may just be to go to market. Whatever the purpose, you put hopes into that animal. Sometimes you get your hopes up.

Losing an animal isn’t about the money spent at the vet. It isn’t about the money lost in the investment of the animal. It isn’t about having to dig a hole. It is about heart. I may not shed a tear for every animal that dies, but they all hit me. They all are a life, and that affects my heart. It doesn’t matter how many animals you have, or the scale of your farm.

I recently heard a story of a hog farm that had the PED virus. This virus caused 100% mortality in baby pigs. Although there are thousands of pigs in those barns, the farmers wept. Not because they were losing dollars, but because that life was gone, and that was devastating. The hope and potential of that animal was gone. Their best efforts weren’t always good enough.

After hearing that story and thinking of my week last week, one word came to mind-bravery. Raising animals takes bravery. You have to be brave to put hope and dreams into an animal that does not have a 100% guarantee. Even if it has a totally healthy life, the lifespan of animals is not the same as ours. You are choosing to love and care for a ticking time bomb. When that animal does pass away, it takes bravery to continue. You have to be brave to care for another animal.

When I was on the third day of losing an animal, I wanted to walk away. I didn’t want to put expectations or hopes into yet another animal that might not make it, but then… then I saw the other side of the spectrum. I saw little Pluto, only a week old, braving the cold weather to explore his world, and I smiled.

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Raising livestock is hard. It is frustrating. There are tears. There are also smiles, joy, and heart. Raising livestock takes bravery. In spite of loss, in spite of sadness, I choose bravery and to hope once more in an animal, because that is what it is all about.

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NC State Fair: Part 2–Goats

For 13 years, we have packed the trailer full of goats to take to the State Fair. In 2015, we maintained our habits, and packed the trailer with goats.Back in our hay day (no pun intended), Alec and I would have 12 goats between us at the fair. We have since downsized our goat herd, but always have something to bring. This year we brought 7 does. Unfortunately, we only showed 6 because Nala decided to lose too many teeth prematurely, making her ineligible to show. Does have to have a certain amount of baby teeth, indicating they are under 2 years of age to show. Nala was indeed under 2, but her teeth told another story. Oh well! She didn’t have to get a bath.

Because Alec had classes, only Isaac, Gideon, and I showed. Of course, Mom and Dad were there too. Our first order of business was to clean-up the girls. Everyone got baths, blow dryed, clipped, brushed, and polished. It takes several hours to do 6 goats. Can you imagine the time it used to take to do 12!

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DSC_0867Fitting involves a lot of detail from head to toe, and yes, even the butts. We get up close and personal!

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DSC_0853As you can see from these pictures, fitting is a team effort. Over the years, the boys have taken on more and more responsibility.  At first they couldn’t exactly wield the clippers. The goats would be a hack job. They have always brushed, washed, and blow-dryed though. Now, they are trimming hooves, clipping, and more. I love watching this progression! Before too long I can just supervise and sit back–not really. I like to be hands-on.

Show time rolled around and started with novice showmanship.My boys did so good in their classes, and were clearly the most handsome 🙂

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It was my last year in the ring with goats. I still don’t think that has registered. It will next year when I’m on the outside looking in. I got to show the smallest goats (poor planning) which were Miracle and Tres. Miracle was a terd outside of the ring, jumping and rearing up. I think she was mad that she had to be on a collar like all the other goats. Yes, Miracle, you are a goat. In the ring, she did great except for gnawing on my thumb the ENTIRE time. Hey, whatever makes her happy and stand still. Tres surprised us all and got 4th! I get super excited when anything we raise on our farm gets in top 5 of a class. I can also say, that she was a dream. Sure she was a little goat for me to show, but daggum if she did not stand there without moving and walked perfectly despite being worked with once.

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DSC_0998Clearly, I have the serial killer look down when showing. I promise I’m having loads of fun. I just like to concentrate.

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And, look who decided to show up.

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DSC_0976For those of you who know Garrett, you know he’s a pig guy. He is not fond of goats, but he came to cheer and help anyways. 🙂

All in all, it was a great day finished off with some spectacular fair food…again. If you ever want to see french fries disappear like a Houdini act, then you should watch us at 8 o’clock, still showing goats, wolf them down to tide us over. No worries, we later got fried pickles and jalapeno, pimento cheese, hush-puppies with sriracha sauce. Holy lanta!

Don’t forget, there is still one more part to the fair–sheep!

Almost Free Food, Frog Legs, and a Tractor Parade–All at the Got to Be NC Festival

I love when a few of my favorite things combine together to make a fun day. Last Saturday, my family and I went to the Got to Be NC Festival.

This event is held at the NC State Fairgrounds and hosts a ton of North Carolina vendors and products. There is a tractor parade, flea market, rides, and games. One of my favorite parts (actually it was the BEST part) was trying lots of food. One of the great things about the event is you can pay $2 for all-day access into a giant building filled with food vendors that are giving away all sorts of free food. FREE FOOD! After writing that, I’m realizing that the $2 negates the free part, but it is basically free and so very worth it. Even cooler was the fact that all of the food was NC based. There were peanuts, hot sauces, mints, wine, dips, Bright Leaf hot dogs, and so much more. My favorites had to be Cherry Orchard Food’s pretzel dip mixes (we got the buffalo bleu and chili, cheese, bacon flavors) and the pickled green beans and Bloody Mary mix by Bruce Julian. Of course, I could have stayed at the Bright leaf hotdog station forever, but I feel like that is a given. Gideon was in heaven with all of the hot sauce samples (the boy absolutely loves hot sauce and has never found one he couldn’t handle). Isaac was obsessed with Sunshine Energy drink. Thankfully, he didn’t get wound up off of the samples. All in all, the $2 was absolutely worth it!

hot saueI paid another $2 to try some very odd food. I ordered deep fried sweet tea. It was essentially a doughnut drenched in very syrupy tea. While it wasn’t bad, it was too sweet for me. Daddy ordered frog legs.dad frog Now, if you know me, you know I HATE frogs. I am utterly petrified of them, yet somehow, for some reason, I ate a bite of the frog legs. frog legs

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Obviously, I was thinking about what I just did…

I know. I may be going insane, but it wasn’t half bad until I actually thought about it. Then it wasn’t so good. I can cross it off my bucket list, though (not that it was really on it). Adding to the craziness, was our photo bomb guy. Do you recognize him?

anthHe is Anthony Anderson, an actor. He has played in movies like Transformers. He was at the festival, filming for a food show, and he totally photo bombed us! Too funny!

Our main point in being at the event was not food, believe it or not. My brother, Alec, and I both received NC State Fair Livestock scholarships along with 22 others and were invited to come to the shin dig for a ceremony. The scholarship is brand new, and was started with a change to the NC State Fair livestock sale. A percentage of the proceeds of the Sale of Champions goes to the scholarship fund. Awesome, huh? Alec and I were very honored to receive the scholarship and participate in the festivities. We met the NC Commissioner of Agriculture and got to ride in the tractor parade. Our families were able to ride in the parade too. It was perfect.

scholarshipIt was also a nice final hurrah. Garrett and his family (he and his sister also received the scholarship) were able to come to the festival. Garrett was leaving that day to drive to Illinois where he would be working as an intern all summer for Maschoff’s, a large hog company. I’m super proud of him, but it was bittersweet to see him go.

g and mI jokingly told him I was now single for the summer. No worries, I’ve only gone on one date so far. They were short, blonde and cute. Don’t you agree?

date night with boysThe rest of the day was spent walking around and enjoying everything.

paradetractor paradeag festboys and matag fest boys dadSo, there you go–a quick recap of some of the happenings around. I strongly recommend the Got to Be NC Festival and definitely the $2 entry to try all the NC based foods.

Giant Jenga and a Farm Visit

One of my favorite things to do is share agriculture with others (I’m sure it is in no way obvious), especially kids. This past week, we had a passel of kids come out and visit the farm, and it was a blast!

Mom’s 4-H club came out for their end of the year party. We had a ton of games for them to play like giant Jenga, lawn Twister, Kerplunk, giant tic-tac-toe, corn hole, washer toss, horseshoes, pick-up sticks, and even a fossil dig! We also set up an archery station and hay ride. While it was a lot of work making all of the games, it was also a lot of fun. We went through a ton of spray paint and hot glue. We also may or may not have used chainsaws, battled mosquitoes, and gotten sunburnt while preparing for the big day. It looked great in the end, if I do say so myself.

The games were ready, but we were inviting the group to a farm. It only makes sense to introduce them to a bit of farm life. We penned up a few of the more friendly animals and the babies for the kids (and parents) to interact with. Minus Dodger, all the animals behaved. Dodger was nice to the people, but he has jealousy issues and did not want to share the attention. Since he decided to be a bully to the other animals, I tied him up outside the pen beside me.

The day ended up being a great success. Some of the kids had never been on a farm before, so that was really special to have them experience farm life. I watched some kids walk into the pen, very hesitant and somewhat nervous, but by the end of the day, they were going in there and catching the goats all on their own. They cracked up at the goats nibbling their clothes and even fed the animals treats. Many questions were asked, and it was so fun to answer them. Garrett even brought pigs from his farm to let the kids see and touch. All in all, the kids were able to interact with a donkey, goats, sheep, and pigs.

I think it is so important to share agriculture and farm life with others. When only 2% of the population live on farms, many do not get to experience what it is like. Sure, they didn’t learn what it is like to shovel manure, give shots, or trim hooves, but they did get to have a hands-on experience with livestock and learn a bit too. To me, that is what it is all about. Take a look at some more pictures from the day, and if anyone wants to come back out, especially to learn the dirty side of farming, then come on!

petarch

twista

twister

sheep and abswing

archerytrampoline

petting mhorseshoes

abby pighay ride

10 Reasons Why Sponsoring a Youth Livestock Show is Worth the Money

1. These kids have great character.

This group of kids work hard for months, working with and caring for their animal. Many of them wake up early before school to feed and come home to work with their animal after school too. They work in the heat, rain, snow, and ice and deal with equipment malfunctions, sick animals, escape stock, and trying to get an animal to gain weight for the show. It isn’t easy and takes an incredible amount of dedication. If that isn’t enough, these kids love what they do! They have a passion for showing and that shines through. For our county’s spring show, the participants give up a whole spring break to show their animal, exhibiting their dedication.

success

These youngsters are filled with camaraderie for each other, and are always willing to chip in to help. They often exhibit excellent sportsmanship, congratulating each other on a job well done. They attend workshops before the show to learn more, and compile a record book of their efforts after the show. The show is not a one and done day deal. It take months, and these kids are willing to do it. If you want to see hard working, responsible, dedicated, passionate, kids who are all often friends, look no farther than livestock show participants.

2. Raising livestock is expensive

i use to have money

It doesn’t matter if you buy a cheap goat or the most expensive one on the farm, raising an animal is expensive. Feed, medication, and supplies all goes into costs. Feed on the cheap end is around 10 dollars a bag, but to raise the best show animal possible, you are looking at 15 and even 20 dollars a bag, and these bags may not even last a week, depending on the species of animal. If you are lucky enough to not have to buy any medication for your animal, there is still the costs of supplies such as clippers, halters, hog sticks, shampoo, brushes, and more. Those in the livestock joke that showing is not a money making business; however, getting close to breaking even would be nice.

3. The money goes to next year’s livestock project

For most, showing livestock is addictive. It is hard to do it just once, which brings up the matter of next year. Money received from the sale, often goes toward next year’s livestock project. Next year holds the hopes of bettering oneself and seeing friends from the previous year. Having the funds to invest in another livestock project is crucial, and even having a larger budget thanks to the sponsors of the sale holds the promise of being able to perform better in the next show.

4.Much of the money goes into a college fund

I cannot tell you how many show families I know, that their rule is any money made from the sale goes into a fund for college. After more than a decade of showing for some of these kids, they have a substantial fund to put towards college. The sale is more than money for a kid who shows a pig. The sale provides scholarships for the future education of youth. With rising tuition costs, this is major. Becoming a buyer in a livestock show and sale is often sponsoring a scholarship for a child’s college fund. It is literally adding to the piggy bank.

5. It teaches the kids financial and budgeting skills

As a part of a good livestock project, youth keep track of their expenses and what they make at the sale. For our sale, they must do a worksheet that tracks their outcome, income, and their profit or lack of profit. When I was little, I did not realize the extent of money that went into my livestock project until that worksheet was filled out. At that moment, I realized just how much finances went into showing livestock.

6.You will be appreciated forever

There are one of two ways that a child gets a buyer/sponsor. The first is if they personally ask an organization or individual to support them in the sale. The second way is to have someone in the sale crowd to bid on their animal. Either way, the excitement  and appreciation that accompanies the knowledge that someone is sponsoring you is profound–not just for the child but for the parent as well. While not every child gets the same amount of money, any amount is celebrated and appreciated. Don’t be surprised to receive a picture and thank you letter later from the child you sponsored.

thx

7. You don’t have to bring an animal home

Although giving money is often referred to as a buyer and the sale is run like any other auction with the words “SOLD!” stated, it does not mean that you take an animal home. The only thing you are taking home is the image of smiling child. The only one bringing animals home is the person bidding on support price.

8. It is crucial in helping to continue the program

A show’s success is often contingent on the individuals it comprises of. Parents, youth, and volunteers all take part in the program. Sponsoring the show and sale, helps support these individuals and the program and therefore allows it to continue for years to come. Show and Sales are often many decades old and are attended by generations of people. It is a tradition that would be tragic to die.

legacy (2)

9.You are impacting the next generation in a profound way

It goes beyond providing financial support to a child, by sponsoring, you are impacting that child at a much deeper level. They notice when someone bids on their animal. They know when they are being supported or when they aren’t. Believe me, they are grateful for that support. It provides encouragement and excitement along with finances for their endeavors.

10. Because there is nothing cuter than a kid at the end of a hog stick or show halter

Need I say more?

baby boys