Posted By: Jesse Williams
Every month since we’ve moved back to Hanna has been full of cows, cows and more cows. And there is certainly nothing I love more! But this month focused around cows in a different way for us. Instead of centering life around our herd this month, we took several opportunities to learn about other peoples’ herds! We went to two international renowned livestock shows and had an absolute blast meeting new people, talking purebreds and commercial cattle and learning about the latest breeding trends.
Farm Fair International
As a trained member of Beef Advocacy Canada I had the opportunity to volunteer at their booth at Farm Fair International in Edmonton, as well as Canadian Western Agribition in Regina this month. This was my first trip to Farm Fair, but it certainly won’t be my last. Farm Fair runs for 5 days at the beginning of November each year, showcasing the top of the top in purebred cattle, plus includes a great trade show full of unique western gifts, coincides with the ranch rodeo and of course, the Canadian Finals Rodeo!
To read more about my Farm Fair adventures check out these blogs: Blow Drying Cows & Farm Fair International and Why Every Rancher Should Experience Farm Fair International
As a brand ambassador for Northlands Clay and I received passes to the Friday night performance of the 43rd CFR. Since Clay rodeo-ed as a youngster we have a soft spot in our hearts for the cowboys & cowgirls competing. In fact, when Clay was 14 he qualified for the CFR as a professional steer rider (so cute, right?!) but then the CPRA decided not to include the steer riders in the CFR, but a Strathmore Stampede performance. Awe shucks, eh?
Canadian Western Agribition
This was my second trip to Agribition, but Clay’s first. I hadn’t been in 10 years since I won a Rotarian Club trip to Agribition in high school. While it was fun to experience Agribition again, it was extra special because my mom came along with us. She hadn’t been to Agribition since she helped my grandpa show cattle in 1988! The three of us met up with some of our Saskatchewan family members and had a blast checking out cattle, making wish lists and dreaming up ways to improve our own herds with new genetics.
More Cow Events
I also had the opportunity to attend two great annual livestock workshops that I highly recommend. First was Alberta Agriculture’s Cow-Calfenomics which is offered in multiple locations across our province during the month of November to share knowledge with cow calf producers that can improve the profitability of their operations. While they haven’t posted the 2016 presentations yet, you can check out the past presentations on their webpage. I highly recommend flipping through the slides. They’re fantastic resources and perfect for perusing on a cold winter day. Check out Ropin’ the Web and their weekly Agri-News newsletters for upcoming events like these in your corner of the province.
The second cattle extension event I attended was Chinook Applied Research Association’s Annual Cattlemen’s Clinic. I was really impressed with the presenters this year. It was super interesting to hear an update on the latest Verified Beef Production Plus program. We are looking forward to upgrading our training for this improved program that verifies our beef production is sustainable, humane and up to industry standards. The beef packing plant representative was also super popular. It is funny how there is such disconnect between the packer and the rancher, even though we heavily (sometimes exclusively) rely on each other. But that’s a topic for another time…
Filling the Freezer
The beautiful November weather allowed us to finish up the framing on our house, install all the windows and doors and even get going on the tin roof! Slowly but surely things are coming together and we couldn’t be happier. Below on the left is our home on November 1st and the right is our home the beginning of December.
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