Saturday, June 29, 2019

Photos of the Week

Here are a few photos I snapped over the past few days that can help tell the story of what's been happening on the farm.

Monday morning we "worked" a group of 65 Holstein heifers and Angus-crossed calves. We ear tagged those that didn't yet have one and gave them their vaccination booster shots before moving them to a new pasture.

I didn't go looking for a beautiful sunset on Monday evening, but I found one while my son and I were trying to get a couple of loose steers back into their pasture. The milking herd gathered along the east side of their pasture to check out all the commotion and provided us with this photo opportunity.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

One of my favorite speeches

Following up on my post about former Milk Mustache Contest winners, I'm gonna treat y'all to a little more nostalgia.

Delivering a speech at an agricultural
conference in Kansas, 2010.
I've had the opportunity to give quite a few speeches over the years. The first I remember was in my sixth-grade English class, and by the time my high school days were over I would go on to represent my school in the Public Speaking Contest at the Alabama Beta Club Convention and deliver the valedictory address at my class's graduation ceremony. My college speeches ranged from the ridiculous (a tongue-in-cheek defense of professional wrestling) to the sublime (on the importance of self-sacrifice), and I've given more speeches at agricultural meetings and conferences in the past 15+ years than I can even begin to remember.

Thirteen years after speaking at my own graduation, I was invited to deliver the commencement address to Lamar County High School's Class of 2010. Getting up and speaking in front of agricultural acquaintances and total strangers was old hat by then, but the idea of speaking with the eyes of my hometown upon me really made me nervous. That's what also made it special. And for a little over eleven minutes that May evening I tried to impart some useful, practical advice to the forty-some-odd graduates seated before me in a way that would make my former teachers and fellow citizens proud.

The address I gave that evening is certainly not going to show up when you search for "Best Commencement Speeches" on Google. Heck, it's not even the best speech I've ever written or delivered. But the occasion made it one of my favorites, and there are a few truths sprinkled in there that I still need to remind myself of from time to time. Hopefully you will find a few pearls of wisdom you can use, too, if you choose to give it a listen. 

Checking in on former Milk Mustache Contest winners

Once upon a time I would promote a kids' Milk Mustache Contest as a way for our farm to celebrate June Dairy Month. From the best of my recollection, it started around 2006 and ran through 2014. I was curious about what these former winners are up to now, so I reached out to as many of their parents as I had contact information for. Several were gracious enough to share an update I could use for a "Then and Now" promotion, and I have been sharing those across various social media accounts throughout the month.

With Dairy Month now drawing near its end, I've decided to post all of those updates here in one place. My thanks to all the kids (and parents) who participated in this project, as well as everyone who took part in our Milk Mustache Contests over the years.