Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buying a BBQ- the priceless part

Last summer I had thought about getting a new BBQ or for our American friends a grill.  The time never seemed to workout so we got by with the one that we had.  This spring when the weather warmed up we were back to BBQ time.  I love my food cooked on a BBQ, as it is usually fast, involves meat and means less dishes to wash.   All positives as far as I am concerned.  I started to look around and then the flyers started coming with all the sales.  There just seemed to be too many choices.  My cousin has one that I really liked (she often invites us for BBQ's.......I mean she calls and says they are wanting to have steak and will I come over to cook and I can eat and bring Rob too.)

So I called to see what brand her's was.  It was instantly crossed off the list as I was not spending $1200 on a BBQ.  Last weekend Stacy and I did some scouting around and I had narrowed it down to 2.  The following day I was back in town to make my purchase.  It cost a lot less than $1200, was on sale and is now on my deck waiting for the rain to stop so I can use it.  Your probably all wondering about the priceless part.  That would be the $25 that I paid to take the assembled model out of their lovely display. 

 $25 is priceless to me and a marrige saver not having to wait or to help my husband try and put it together.  I'll start practicing with it soon and it will be well broke in, just in time for the Annual High Country BBQ following the Drayton Valley Livestock Show on June 12.  All our cattle friends are invited to drop by.  Now I just have to work on a few other outdoor assecories.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Visitor From Down Under

In February we had the opportunity to host Clare Bruggeman from South Australia. Clare is the first recipient of the Matthew George Young Stockman award.

She is spending several months touring farms and ranches across Canada. We were the first farm visit for her. Once Clare returns to Australia she will be asked to give a presentation on the management practices of beef herds in Canada.

It is always interesting to hear how others manage their operations. Although we may live on the other side of the world we often find that many of our challenges are the same. Whether it is drought, market conditions, consumer awareness or the high costs of production. We really enjoyed our week with Clare and are looking forward to visiting her stud when we travel to Australia in September for the World Simmental Congress.
During her week with us she wanted to experience what a Canadian lifestyle was really like. Now that took a bit of thinking.

What really is Canadian?

We decided to start with beverages first. Nothing like a Caesar. The next night was Pumpkin Pie. She is the first Australia visitor that liked this as a dessert not a vegetable.
Crystal requested Pumpkin Pie for her 25th Birthday

Of course there were Canadian Beef steaks. We also had to try Perogies, Pancakes and Maple Syrup along with bacon. I defiantly think this was a better breakfast than her toast and Vegemite. During the week we also took her to a Hutterite colony, a smaller dairy farm, the local auction market, learned about chuckwagon racing and to one of the largest Simmental bull sales in Canada.  We hope that she enjoyed her time with us and look forward to visitng the land down under this fall.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Perfect Year

2010 has gotten off to an interesting start. Our calving season went very well. The decisions that we make last spring look very promising to start with. The calves stayed healthy and are growing well. Breeding season is almost half over and seems to be keeping us busy. The farmer that we have been purchasing our feed from has decided to make some changes, so that has brought changes for our operation. We have been anticipating the forecasted rain for this week. My silent prayers were for 40 hours of rain, not sure we even got 40 minutes of light drizzle. So this morning when I came across this blog entry of Crystal's I was reminded of why we do what we do. It's our passion. A rancher / farmer never has a perfect year......but that is what we are always striving for. The picture book of Paul Mobley's  is a good reminder of where we come from and why we do what we do. I'm glad he took the time to help us show the world our side of the story. This is a favorite quote of mine 'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a life.' ...Maya Angelou I am so thankful that Rob, Crystal, Stacy and I have been able to make a life through raising livestock. Now as our children have become adults, we still have a connection.
Calgary Stampede Jr. Show 2006

Drayton Valley Sr. Showman 2005
 Our farm keeps us in daily contact. It is a passion that we all share. Each of us brings a different skill and together we are striving for that perfect year. I hope that each of you come closer than ever to your perfect farming year.

Monday, April 19, 2010

National Volunteer Week

This week is National Volunteer Week.  Now you may be wondering what this has to do with Agriculture, but there are so many activities that take Volunteers to run.  Just think of all the work that is done in your area by Volunteers.  When our girls were showing we were often on the working committee or would just lend a hand on the day of the actual event.  Recently Rob has served as the President of the Alberta Simmental Association and I am helping with our local Agriculture Society's Livestock Show. Volunteering has always been in our family.  Crystal and Stacy were both on the Executive of the Jr. Simmental Board and Stacy served as the National President.  They took part in 4-H through all levels.  There is always a need for a Volunteer, whether it is for an hour at an event or playing a larger role, all Volunteers are appreciated.  Maybe one of these organizations in your area could benfit from a few hours of your time
  • Agriculture Society's
  • 4-H Clubs
  • Livestock Shows
  • Ag Service Boards
  • Rodeo Clubs
  • Beef Producers - Agriculture Advocates
  • Breed Associations
If you know a Volunteer in your area, make sure that you thank them this week.  By the efforts they put into their organization they are helping to keep the Agriculture world active.  Here is a poem to salute them.

Ode To A Volunteer

Many will be shocked to find
When the day of judgement nears
That there's a special place in
Heaven set aside for volunteers.

Furnished with big recliners,
Satin couches and footstools
Where there's no committee chair
No group leaders or carpools.

Telephone lists will be outlawed
But a finger snap will bring
Cool drinks and gourmet dinners,
And rare treats fit for a king.

You ask,
Who'll serve the privileged few
And work for all they're worth?
Why, those who reaped benefits
And not once volunteered on earth.

Here are a few of the Agriculture Associations that we have Volunteered

  • 4-H - Local, District, Regional and Provincial Committees

  • Breton & Drayton Valley Ag Society's

  • Young Canadian Simmental Program

  • Alberta Simmental Association

  • Canadian Simmental Association - Foundation Auction

  • World Simmental Congress - 2006