Our Bethany won Grand Champion Bred and Owned Heifer at our Texas State Show and our Audrey won several first in class with her new younger heifers. Our newest show bull won Reserve Grand Champion Bull and we were all super proud of that accomplishment. As always we enjoyed great food and got to reconnect with friends. W4's Ranch once again cooked a chuck wagon style BBQ dinner for us all that is always a favorite of our family and both sets of lead advisor families the Chafin's and the Radde's and their great kids Logan and Ashley led a great 2012 State Show. I don't know if they do weddings...but my oldest says one day she wants them to do hers!
|2012 Bred and Owned Champion Texas Hereford State Show|
Following that five day show, we came home, regrouped and headed out to Grand Island, Nebraska. It sounds rather exotic, but corn, maize, and soy beans surround this nice little town where the Nebraska State Fair Grounds are housed. By far it was the cleanest, nicest, most well put together barns we have ever stayed eight days at. The town was just as nice, and the Nebraska host committee was outstanding with their hospitality table's daily snacks! With a great water park on the grounds and Hereford contest and shows days in the mix, Audrey had an especially grand time with her sweet friend Riggin, Devon, Savannah, McKenzie, Taylor and all the rowdy boys in our Texas association! Thank God for the exhibition halls and 'Big Ass Fans' (they are honestly called that - huge airplane propeller styled fans scattered throughout the stock barns). San Antonio, Tyler, and anyone town or state looking to build barns need to visit the Nebraska State Fair Grounds. Truly every detail was thought out down to the wash racks that doubled as tornado shelters...I told the girls to hold on the wall bars if we had one come along. :o)
This year I got the bright idea that we all would rent rv's and stay on the grounds. Just let me say, although it was a great idea, the time it spent to pack to stock our rented camper was the worst part. I forgot my pillow...forgot paper towels, and most of all missed my own motor home stocked with all my kitchen supplies and such. Even though I tried my best to bring most things in large utility boxes and pack enough towels for a family of four for the week,living out of the limited closet space, with large luggage all over the floor, Scott walking in with his boots on nightly, and the girls mostly sleeping on the make out coach or table due to how uncomfortable the beds were, was exhausting. The further north you get the later the sun sets, although we griped about this as we lay our heads down each night, we pretty much collapsed after our extra long days with no problem. I thank part of that to my new found love of whipped vodka and orange soft drinks...thanks to my ladies friends from Amarillo! I am what you call an 'immature drinker'...it needs to taste like Kool-aide and one will do me.
Most nights that week we cooked with our friends the West, the Venerables, and the Stephensons. To say we ate well was an understatement! The men had hauled all their cooking equipment, grills, fryers, and coolers in anticipation for cooking for a crowd each night. Scott brought up catfish for a Texas fish fry that was a huge hit! Jay West and Scott Venerable had precooked briskets and pork roast that we had one day for dinner that was a huge hit. Jay makes a mean Jay West Special and some darn good beans, and the 'Man Potatoes' I'll share with you later in this post. Jay cooks as much as I do and probably a little more. He is a hand in the kitchen and for sure at the cow shows. Jay, Scott V., and my Scott formed a new alliance called Scott.net....a little too much Miller Light with a Jay West Special or two helped these men get a little creative....hat's were made later in the week to publicize this new venture by Curtis Curry and Scott.net is almost born....almost being used liberally...
|So glad Paula and her husband, and Sherry and friend could join us!|
To say thank you to everyone is not enough to all the moms and dads who helped also serve each days lunch. Each day our mid-day meals were graciously provided by funds from our Texas Hereford/Polled Hereford Associations from both the auxiliary, junior and men's funds. Moms and dads chipped in to cook hot lunches, make Sam's runs, pick up an occasional pizza, and help me cook my 'Chicken Spaghetti for a Crowd' one day. Cooking for 140 people each day takes an enormous amount of planning as I know from past experience. Karen Smith and Susan Chachere did a fantastic job and all our families were well taken care of each day due to their efforts. Many thanks ladies!
Texas truly dominated team competitions this year with wins in the big Hereford Quiz Bowl, Team Fitting, Showmanship, and Scholarships. Our Bethany received the 'Golden Bull' Scholarship/Award at the Expo and we now can have it join our oldest daughter's Ilissa's on the game room mantel. To us it's the highest honor you can receive in our association, proving that your child put both time and effort toward their junior associations and the Hereford breed. We really appreciate Bethany's being honored and receiving this award. We are so very proud that both our daughters have received this scholarship!
|Bethany really enjoys showing her bull NH Cherokee...it's not her favorite thing!|
|The judge congratulating Audrey on her Bred and Owned Division Champion. He asked if she minded being named that...she told him that she didn't!|
Cattle wise, our week was a huge success both in and out of the show ring with Audrey and Bethany receiving a first, second and third in classes with their heifers and Audrey a division championship in the owned show allowing us to be a part of the Grand Champion Drive. At a junior nationals in any breed this is a real accomplishment and the highest win our ranch or family has ever received. I took a ton of pictures, because as Scott said this kind of win might not come around again or for a long, long time! Many thanks to the staff of the American Hereford Association, the American Hereford Women, NJHA Directors, Amy Cowan, Angie Denton and especially Diane Johnson for manning the Hereford Club so well. This new idea was a huge hit with breeders, parents, and guest as a way to both watch the show, have good appetizers, spirits, and catch up with friends! We are all in hopes this tradition sticks and is at every Junior National to come! Diane has a killer sweet smores dip I hope to share with you once she gets off her whirlwind tour of Canada!
|Bethany and Audrey with this year's National Hereford Queen Amanda Bacon. Bethany wanted to help with the National Queen's Tea that she started last year.|
|If you look closely her dad is in the background watching her show in his signature straw hat. |
He is her biggest show fan!
|Brittany and Bethany on stage for their award.|
|Molly and Bethany introducing Alyssa on stage for her retiring Texas FFA Officer speech.|
Thanks Jay and Stephanie for the great recipe!
|Our yearly Jr. National Hereford Expo picture.|
|All three girls together at the Texas FFA Convention backstage.|