Denver 2013 is officially in the books for the Hereford breed. There are many things that can be said about the National Western, both negative and positive but I’m going to stick with the positive. So in no order here are my favorite things about this years National Western.
The National Sale –
This year the National Hereford Sale “Mile High Night” was held in the arena where all the shows take place. It was AWESOME! The crowd was gigantic and the cattle were really good. Seeing Mr. Eddie Sims start the introductions for the sale all alone on top of the auction block in front of all those people was a moment I will never forget. Mr. Sims is a man who has done it all, at least twice, and to see him kick off that sale beaming with such pride was very special. It is a good reminder that no matter what you have done there is nothing that can keep you from doing even greater things in the future.
Friends Both New & Old-
Anyone who raises purebred cattle will tell you the same thing “It’s a people business” and that is one of the many things I love about raising Hereford cattle. I was able to hang out with friends from years past a reminisce about old times while making the times we will talk about down the road. Crystal and I also got to celebrate with friends after their big win and while celebrating the present we still looked to the future. I got to meet two cattleman who have left an immediate impression upon me. On is PJ Budler whom I had been introduced to in the past but for the first time got to know. PJ and his wife Koula have recently moved to Fort Worth from South Africa, it is PJ’s dream to market Hereford cattle on a global scale, and he will. There are some people that have a drive that will enable them to be successful at whatever they want and I feel the Budler’s are prime examples of that. Check out herefordbreeder.net for an insight into some of PJ’s work. The other cattleman I am very happy I had the chance to meet is Jason McDonald of Whispering Pine Farms. I had inquired about a bull on their website before Denver and had went down to look at him in the yards and got to meet Jason. You might have noticed Whispering Pine’s buying a lot of good cattle the past few years as I had and I was intrigued to meet then man behind the farm. I was very happy to find out what a nice guy Jason was, the Hereford breed is full of great people and he is one of them. The future is bright with Whispering Pines and I can’t wait to go and visit their farm. I met my wife at the National Western and she has been my greatest blessing, I hope that someone found theirs this year as well.
I had a blast being able to kick back and watch the shows this year. Even though I get the feeling it may be one of my last just watching from the sidelines. The pen show was fun to watch with fellow Iowan and one of the first people to purchase a heifer from me, Bill Goehring being one of the three men on the judging panel. The cattle down in the yards were good and as I said in a previous post the management practices are always wildly different. If as producers we can achieve a common ground on how much condition these cattle should carry I think we would all be better off. But hell fat sells, the same guy that complains about fat bulls before the sale won’t buy one if he is too skinny. As far as the judging on the hill goes, some thought it was good, others bad, I guess I can see it both ways but that leads me to my last point.
Hampton & His Son-
I don’t care what you think about the way Hampton placed the cattle and judged the show, him having his son out in the ring with him for a large portion of the female show was awesome. It reminds us why we do this. My dad and grandpa got me into showing cattle because they wanted me to grow-up with a sense of responsibility and pride in a completed project that I did not have before then. They also wanted to be able to spend time with me and the time that I have spent with my family at cattle shows and sales are most of my favorite memories. Just imagine the gift that Hampton has given his son, he got to evaluate cattle with his dad at the National Western Freaking Stock Show before he can even think about shaving! Man that is cool, I don’t care who you are! I haven’t even had the opportunity to show in the Open Show in Denver and that young man was able to look at the best Herefords in the world right along side his father. I hope that when Crystal & I decide to have a child we can make memories like that.
I know that some of you would have liked some more posts during the Stock Show and I feel like I have let you down but will do better next year. As I have known for quite sometime now my dad has some very big shoes to fill and sometimes I come up short the first try. So now I am part of team #dobetter. All in all it was a great Denver with many people asking about Symphony, it really means a lot to get so many great compliments from people who have done it.