This time of year brings back good memories from years gone by. Some of my favorite memories are from when my parents raised a few Club Calves. I remember weaning the chosen calves that would become 4-H and FFA projects. There is something exciting about the new show calf crop and the potential they hold.
When I was little my job was to put flakes of hay down in the bunks. Dad would spread grain over the hay and we would stand back and watch the calves eat. While watching the calves we would talk about school, homework and cattle.
Sister and I spent many crisp fall days helping to break calves. As kids we sat with the calves to make sure they did not hurt themselves the first few times we tied them up. At the time, we did not enjoy sitting outside watching calves. As teenagers it was fun to work together as a family to break, wash and clip calves. In the morning we started out with a dirty calf we liked. By evening we had a clean, clipped, pretty calf to sell.
Of course, Sister and I had our personal favorites. Some we got to show and some we didn’t.
These pictures are of the show barn we worked out of the last few years of our 4-H and FFA careers. I took them when J and I were visiting last May. Before we moved into this show barn we spent many hours pulling the bowed walls in, moving dirt and building the lean-to. We kept the barn cool with a single fan and a natural breeze.
It was not fancy, but it worked. Sister and I had class winners, division winners, Jackpot Show Champions, County Fair Champions, Showmanship Winners and a Reserve Grand Steer at the Nebraska State Fair all fitted in this barn.
Today the old show barn has been converted to a sheep barn. Mom keeps her ram in here and uses the barn to house sheep families in the spring.
Fall will always remind me of working with my family breaking calves, and the excitement of new beginnings.