Show Season is Here

By Colton Barton, NALJA Director

For a lot of us in the industry, May is the busiest time of year. We’re wrapping up calving season, getting those spring calving cows bred back, doing ET work, or starting to get the show cattle back on their daily routine to prepare for this summer. I can tell you that all of these things are going on at once at our place, but busy is good and this is my favorite time of the year! There’s just something about watching a group of cows graze while you think about the best way to AI them for next year to make the best calves you can.

As we start to near the summertime, that means that shows are also approaching fast! Whether it’s your state show, regional show or junior nationals, I’m sure you’re getting your cattle back in the barn and working hard to get them hairy and looking right for this summer. The summers can get pretty steamy here in central Texas, so we do our best to make sure our JR national cattle stay cool and comfortable during the day, even if that means rinsing them twice a day.

Hopefully, we both have the same plans July 3-8, and have Grand Island, Nebraska set as our destination! I can personally say Junior Nationals is an extremely fun week every summer, and your junior board has brought in new ideas and planning to make this year’s NJLSC the best yet! At 6 weeks away, the 2021 National Junior Limousin Show & Congress will be here before we know it. Be sure to keep up the hard work with your show cattle, and we hope to see all of our Limousin family at The American Showdown!

Was Life Ever “Normal?”

By Riley Smith, NALJA Director

Hello again everybody! I know some of you may be reading this from the feed truck, the tractor, or maybe even chute side as we enter spring breeding season! This is always an exciting, yet stressful time of year for me. While I try to finish the school year out strong, a large majority of my time seems to be spent thinking about how a certain cow’s calf will look if bred to a particular sire. In a few short weeks, school will be out for summer, and many of us will begin gearing up for the summer shows. I can’t wait to see you all in Grand Island, NE for NJLSC. I know each of you will be bringing the heat in terms of quality cattle, and I can promise you the junior board will match that quality with great activities and comradery throughout the week.

During the beginning parts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I think we all had a chance to slow down. Honestly, I had kind of forgotten what a full schedule had looked like up until a couple of weeks ago. Events would be postponed or spread apart, and many were not available to attend in-person, so we all stayed home. But lately, life has been speeding back up. While I am so thankful for things opening back up, I feel like I spend half of my days needing to relearn how to use a calendar, and the other half trying to figure out how I am going to fit into the “going out” clothes that I stopped wearing over a year ago!

As time keeps passing by, I hear folks daily say, “Gosh! I can’t wait for life to just get back to normal already!” At the beginning parts of the pandemic I totally agreed, but as I have had some time to reflect and think back to pre-COVID-19, I really begin to wonder. Was life as we know it ever actually normal? I mean, think about it. Yesterday, the weaned calves found the hole in the fence, today a water line busted and the feed truck had a flat, and tomorrow who knows what could happen on the farm or ranch! To me, asking for normality is almost like asking for an easy way out. Instead I believe we should all persevere and work towards a better tomorrow, rather than long for an easier day that we may have had in the past. If we don’t focus on the road ahead, we may get caught looking in the rear view mirror and miss the S-curve that is right in front of us!

An all time favorite quote of mine is, “You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with.” I think this is so relevant to the world we live in today. You can choose to surround yourself with positive or negative, hard-working or lazy, and faithful or unfaithful people. Just know that in the end, you will become what you surround yourself with! SO, be wise my friends.

Proverbs 13:20 – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of a fool will suffer harm.

Utilizing the Uncertainty

Written by: Lindsey Gulotta, Ex Officio

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and had the opportunity to spend some extra time with family members near and far, whether that be virtually or in person. Although this past year hasn’t been anything close to normal, I hope the holiday season brings you more appreciation than usual. For my family, we fortunately were able to celebrate Thanksgiving similarly to the way we have in years past, and hope to be able to do the same for Christmas.

One thing I realized during our Thanksgiving celebrations, is that we were more conversational, in the moment, and a little more kind. This could have been a coincidence, but I think it has a lot to do with the uncertainty of this year.

Uncertainty seems to be the word to describe 2020, but you can look at that word with hopelessness or as an opportunity to reach out of your comfort zone, put forth a little more effort, or even just have an extra appreciation for the small things. Of course, a few things have become inconvenient due to the circumstances, but we were never guaranteed convenience. This past year has shown me, and I’m sure many others, to not sweat the little things and to be appreciative of what we still do have. There are so many uncertainties that have made me want to try something new, or do a little extra, because we do not know what comes next.

I understand this year has been nothing short of a trial, but I challenge you to think about what you still have, and how you can use this time to become a better individual. This past year has brought about a lot of challenges, but it has also allowed us to take a step back and re-evaluate what is truly important in our lives. I wish nothing but the best for you and your families this holiday season, and hope you all stay healthy!

Changing Things Up

Written by: Shelby Hubbard, Secretary

Wow, what a relief it is to finally see some things getting back to normal. The fall majors are underway, and the competition certainly wasn’t lacking at American Royal, and I’m sure the quality will follow suit at NAILE and the inaugural Cattleman’s Congress. It is crazy to think that we are already planning and fundraising for 2021 Junior Nationals. Your NALJA board is working diligently to make this year the best one yet. We all know that a junior national is not possible without generous support from numerous people. There are a few opportunities that you can participate in!

With all of the new things we’ve experienced in 2020, the NALJA board wasn’t afraid of trying something different this year. The credit sale fundraiser is just that, and it is unique in being an opportunity for both juniors and breeders. Juniors have the opportunity to purchase a credit towards some of the best programs in the breed, and producers should see the positive in potentially attracting new customers. Contact any of the board members, or NALF staff with any questions.

We are changing things up with our Corner Post fundraiser as well. Whether you are a junior, Limousin breeder, or commercial producer, you can benefit from this fundraiser. You can purchase a raffle ticket for $250 and have the chance to win a Lim-Flex heifer, and with the female comes a year of free insurance and a flush. Think of the many sales you have gone to, where you have watched high quality cattle be sold for an expensive price. I have been involved in this breed and industry as a whole for a while, and I am sure I have never seen a heifer sold or bought one for just $250. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to grow your herd, and support Limousin juniors at the same time! See any NALJA Board member to purchase a ticket!

See you all down the road!

ILC Visits Fillmore Ranch and Olympic Training Center

Written by: Megan Marion

IMG_0878The attendees had another early morning as they boarded the bus and headed south to Fillmore Ranch. Immediately when everyone arrived they jumped on the buses and gave a quick tour and talked about their ranch. Fillmore Ranch has been in Boone, Colorado for 101 years. They used to raise Charolais until 2002, when they bought their first registered Limousin heifers. They decided the Limousin breed was the best fit for what they were trying to do. On their ranch they have around 400 head of cattle. They sell about 80 bulls each year, and around 80% of the bulls they sell go to buyers within a 200 to 300-mile radius. They also discussed the struggles of living in a dry area and what steps they take to keep their operation running successfully.  After they talked about their ranch, we had a delicious lunch and hopped back on the bus and headed to the Olympic Training Center.

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The Olympic Training Center was astonishing. After enjoying a 15-minute video about the training center, we set off on our tour. We visited the Ted Stevens Sport Services Center, Aquatics Center, the wrestling gym, as well as the shooting center. It was a very interesting tour to see not only the facilities, but athletes in training as well. We headed back to the hotel, and the attendees had a free night to enjoy the night as they wished!

ILC Technical Session Day

Written by: Megan Marion

IMG_7661Today started off in the beautiful Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs with a technical session. At 9:00 a.m. Hannah Garrett, a territorial manager for GeneSeek Operations welcomed everyone and started off the technical session. We also heard from Butch Whitman, a consulting nutritionist for MoorMan’s, ADM Alliance Nutrition, and Westfeeds, and Dr. Tonya Amen, a geneticist for NALF. Brett Spader, the CEO for National Center of Beef Excellence was the moderator for the panel discussion. The three panelists were, Kenny Stauffer, director of beef sales for GeneSeek Operations, Brian Bertelsen, V.P. of field operations for U.S. Premium Beef, and Mark Anderson, the executive director for the North American Limousin Foundation. The panel discussed the success of Certified Angus Beef and branded beef products in the U.S. and potential opportunities for Limousin cattle.  After the panel discussion, everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by the hotel, and that afternoon the attendees headed to Spruce Mountain Ranch for dinner.

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Spruce Mountain Ranch was an excellent setting for a beautiful dinner. Everyone img_0865.jpgenjoyed walking around the ranch and admiring the gorgeous scenery. Once the delicious dinner was served and everyone had eaten, we welcomed out first guest speaker, Rick Pfortmiller to start speaking. Rick is a beef genomics territory manager for Neogen Geneseek. We also listened to Twig Marston, a member of the beef technical services team covering Kansas and Nebraska. It was a beautiful evening, and we even sang happy birthday to Mark Anderson to finish off the night! We would like to thank all of the speakers that attended today!

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ILC Takes On Cheyenne Frontier Days

Written by: Megan Marion

IMG_0842What a wonderful day at Cheyenne! The weather was perfect and so was the rodeo. Before the rodeo started, attendees were able to walk around in the old frontier town, look around in shops, as well as explore the Indian Village. Everyone was very excited once the rodeo kicked off, especially those who were first experiencing a rodeo. They were celebrating Military Monday in Cheyenne and they kicked off the rodeo with an amazing tribute to our military. They started off with steer wresting, bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, team roping, barrel racing and the very eventful wild horse race to finish off the event!

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Once we left Cheyenne, we headed to the Anheuser-Busch Factory in Fort Collins and enjoyed a tour, a delicious dinner, and of course beer! The factory in Fort Collins opened in 1988 and produces many types of the Anheuser-Busch products. After a very eventful day, the attendees headed to Colorado Springs to get a good night’s sleep before the technical session in the morning!

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Full day for ILC Attendees

Written by: Megan Marion

IMG_0784The International Limousin Conference Attendees woke up bright and early to eat breakfast and jump on the buses to head to Ochsner Limousin. The Ochsner family welcomed everyone and discussed a little about their cattle history and how they got started in the Limousin breed. On their ranch, they have around 125 cows, and approximately 60 percent of their herd is Lim-Flex. After their welcome, the attendees had the opportunity to see three different sectors of IMG_0788their operation. They showed us their show cattle sector, cow-calf and bull sector, as well as their Tenderlean Beef portion of their operation. We then jumped back on the bus and arrived at Five Rivers.

The Five Rivers staff shuffled everyone inside for a short presentation about their operation before heading out to look at the cattle. Five Rivers is the largest cattle feeder in the world. The feedlot we visited in Kersey, Colorado has a capacity of 98,000 head. We’d like to thank the Five Rivers staff for an amazing and educational tour of their operation.img_0791.jpg

img_0806.jpgFollowing the tour of Five Rivers, we headed to 70 Ranch for a delicious lunch provided by CSU. They then gave a presentation their Subsurface Irrigation Efficiency Project, discussing new technology, water efficiency, and conservation. After a quick tour, the attendees headed to Greeley Hat Works.

The attendees were impressed with Greeley Hat Works as soon as they walked into the building. The employees discussed their history as well as their process on how they custom make each hat to fit a certain individual. After a quick tour, the attendees had the privilege to listen to a live band, Terra Bella from Nashville, while they enjoyed some drinks and chatted with each other. Greeley Hat Works also made a generous offer that every hat they sold during our tour they would donate 20% to the North American Limousin Junior Association! Then they jumped on the bus to head to the final stop of the day, Platte River Fort.

The Platte River Fort was a beautiful destination to end the day. While waiting for dinner to be served, everyone enjoyed their drinks, listened to music, as well as played some fun yard games. Dinner wasn’t served like any normal dinner. Colorado State University served us six different types of steak to taste and would ask us questions to see which ones were the most flavorful, tender, and was the favorite. Everyone enjoyed discussing their likes and dislikes for their steaks, as well as the wonderful dinner they provided.

After a long day, everyone headed back to the hotel for a good nights sleep before heading to Cheyenne tomorrow for the Cheyenne Frontier Days!

 

ILC Visits Magness Land and Cattle

fullsizeoutput_202aAfter visiting Estes Park this morning, the ILC attendees had the opportunity to tour Magness Land and Cattle in Platteville, Colorado. Right off of the tour bus, the attendees were welcomed with snacks and drinks for a short social period where they had the opportunity to enjoy their drinks and talk with Magness employees.IMG_0757

Magness runs about 120 Lim-Flex and commercial cows on the one location we toured. They market approximately 300 commercial bulls as well as their purebred sales each year. Following the tour of their operation, everyone gathered at the show barn for extra questions and discussion. We would like to thank the Magness crew for giving an excellent tour of their operation.

 

Unconventional Show Box Item

I’m sure you are starting to get things ready for junior nationals, as well as making sure everything is in your show box. We always make sure that there are the necessities, but what is something that you always keep in your show box that may be unconventional? We asked the Junior Board what an unconventional item that they must put in their show box before leaving for a show…

Ethan must always have hot sauce.

Callie always keeps 70% alcohol in her show box.

Randa always has a snack bag.

Dominic keep playing cards in his show box.

Aaron never forgets to put deodorant in his show box.

Katie always keeps makeup wipes.

Hannah has a laptop to work on homework or to watch Netflix.

Brooke keeps a roll of wire to put up panels and such.

What is an unconventional item that you always keep in your show box?