my daily life on a cattle farm, my love of agriculture, and stories behind my photos

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Halter Breaking Heifers

Anyone that knows me knows that I love cattle and every aspect that involves raising and managing them. On December 18th, Dad and I picked out six of our top replacement heifers to halter. Every year, we halter break half of our replacement heifers. I truly look forward to this annual task! Morning feedings, evening feedings, and leading heifers bring back a lot of good memories from my childhood and days in 4-H. Standing in the barn, I can imagine my Grandpa Stevens saying, "Nice heifers!", as he said every year. Tears of joy come to my eyes thinking about it.

Dad and I halter break our heifers in case we need to assist them in calving. This way they will be use to us and a halter. Our work with the heifers establishes trust that is so very important. It may seem like a lot of work, but it has paid off for us immensely over the years. It is priceless insurance. And, it is a lot safer for everyone when the heifers are halter broken.

Over the years, I have learned there is a system to halter breaking. We do so in a calm, quiet manner that they remain relatively calm too. Within a few minutes of being haltered, our heifers were relaxed and eating the hay and corn in front of them. On the fifth day of being on halter, I started leading the heifers in the barn. They did such an amazing job! It was like they had already been halter broken. And of course, we have those times when the heifers feel frisky and like to bounce a foot or two off the ground :) After ten days, I slipped off their halters and turned them back into the feedlot with the rest of the calves. It was fun watching them run and kick once they were off halter. Now walking through the lot to check calves, those who were haltered seek me out for attention.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Through the Camera Lens

Quite often, my thoughts and feelings are conveyed through the photos I capture. Photographs are truly worth more than words. They have deeper meaning. To me, a photograph is not just the sun setting on a corn field, not just a tractor stirring up dust in the field, not just cows grazing. I see more. When I snap a picture, I see through the camera lens: faith, family, tradition, strength, hard work, pride, love, and even hope.

Often times, you may find me with my camera, as I never know when I will be inspired by what I see or spot a great idea for a photo. Even on my jogs in the country, I search for inspiration for my next photo. In the spring, I cannot help but notice the warm, yellow-orange sun beaming down on the shiny, green rows of corn or my dad in the tractor making his way across the field. Harvest is another time of inspiration. One fall while waiting on my dad to fill the grain wagon for me to haul into the bin site to unload, I took time to discover the environment around me. Lying on my stomach in the middle of a grassed waterway, I patiently waited to take that perfect picture of a Monarch butterfly on top of a red clover blossom. I am sure it was a crazy site to see from the cab of the combine! My dad was probably wondering what his daughter was up to again! The outcome of the photos was exactly what I had hoped. Several Monarchs fluttering, almost melodically, throughout the waterway inspired me to take pictures of the free spirited and wonderfully beautiful insects. These sites start a thought process...thoughts that I want to capture in photographs to share with others.

Agriculture is what I know, love and appreciate, and I want to share my love of agriculture through my photographs.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For the Love of Agriculture

What an exciting opportunity! I am looking forward to sharing my daily life on a cattle farm, my love of agriculture, and stories behind my photos on my blog! 

It has become increasingly important to educate our friends, neighbors and consumers about agriculture. As many know, agriculture is a passion of mine. It is a significant part of my life. For the love of agriculture, I decided to create a blog to share my story. My posts will be from the heart about an industry that I care deeply about.

Enjoy :)