Saturday, October 16, 2010


It was announced on Thursday evening. "...And the winners of the 2010 Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award are....from Jefferson County..." I think he said our names then, but I didn't hear it. I just heard him start to say Jefferson, and I knew it was us. Tears filled my eyes, I put my hand over my mouth like I was Miss America or something, and I just leaned my head against the Farmer.

I could believe it and couldn't believe it all at once. It is one of those things that you hope will happen, you work incredibly hard for it to happen, but you just can't guarantee it will then when it happens, you are surprised, you are humbled, you are grateful.

People congratulated us, hugged us, told us we deserved it. We thanked them of course. But I sincerely knew that the couples we competed against were deserving too. The farm families around the country are also deserving. In my opinion, no one works harder than America's farmers and ranchers. So while our names were being called Thursday night, I couldn't help but think of all the names that weren't being called-- the fellow farm families who put food on our tables, just as we do.

We go on to the American Farm Bureau Federation National Conference in January to compete against all the other state winners. It will be an amazing display of a few thousand cowboy hats, Wrangler jeans, bedazzled purses, and a lot of farm talk. We will present our farm, our accomplishments, our goals, our contributions to the industry. Then a man will step up to the microphone and announce, "The winner of the 2011 American Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award goes to..."

As they say, somebody's gotta win, right?

To read the press release click here

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Time for Tony Tuesday

Saturday was shot day...the Farmer, who is petrified of needles, had to give Sweetums a shot in the hiney. I was wondering to myself if I should accompany him outside for moral support (Lord knows I wasn't going to offer to do the sticking! Been there, done that, got the T-shirt back in 2000...I guess I'll have to share that story one day)or if I should just stay inside, think happy thoughts, and pretend that I lived in the city and had a huge shopping spree planned for that afternoon at the mall that is 5 minutes from my house. That is my secret fantasy and what sometimes gets me through hard times.


The shot was given. Tony gave us the instructions to give her the shot on Saturday so she'd be in heat by Tuesday when he makes rounds. I was on heat watch yesterday, and I was happy to report to the farmer that there was some activity with #425. (Let's pretend Sweetums has a tag in her ear that has the number 425 written on it, OK?)

Work with me people!

Today is Tuesday and we have Tony confirmed for noon time. Since Sweetie has to be in the front half of the pasture when he gets here, I suggested to the farmer that we simply leave the situation as is after the morning milking. "As is" means that Sweetie is left up front (with Peanut the goat since he has taken to spending nights with her rather than his 2 annoying brothers and 1 rather cantankerous bull-calf)and Bit-Bit and the 2 goats are left in the back half of the pasture. "As is" would also therefore mean that Bit-bit would not enjoy his morning coffee until after Tony left, since he is separated from Mama... are you following me here?

Things were left "as is" for approximately 5 minutes.

Ever seen a nursing baby who wants to nurse be in the same room as his mother? The baby cries. The baby fusses. They do this until they are nursed. And there is no way around this.

I couldn't stand it. The mooing was incessant. And my windows are open today, so it was really loud and I just can't take mooing, my own baby crying, and 2 kids talking my ears off. The farmer was gone, so as I like to do, I took matters into my own incapable and accident-prone hands.

Never fear, Heidi lives here!

Heidi put food in Sweeties bin, which attracted her back to the milking stall which allowed me to open the gate, which allowed Bit-bit to run through, which allowed me to then close the gate, which allowed for all the animals to be in the front half of the pasture, which allows for Tony to be able to do his thang as quick as possible, which allows the farmer to not have to do this when he gets home, which allows me to be able to write a blog post that has turned a really short story into a really long one and to say, "I did it!" Ha!

This is one big baby! Kinda reminds me of when I saw a 3 year old kid nursing one time in a grocery store.

She still licks him and gives him a good bath...he is 7 months old and she seems to love him more and more :)