Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 - A Year in Review

Each New Years Eve we like to look back on the year and review it and also look forward to the year ahead.  Never do we imagine the way that things will play out. 2011 will be a year that we will never forget for a lot of reasons.  Lets have a look back.
January - We started the year with a cold snowy winter.  When all was said and done we would end up with over 7 feet of snow, and several weeks of -35C.
February - A sad month at High Country; we have to put our old faithful dog - Kurt down and ship Stacy's favorite cow - Ruffles.  Both were over 13 years of age.
March - We are almost done calving and very excited about the calves that we have.  Some out of new cows, new sires and our donors.
April - was a wet and cold month.  Cows were being bred and donors flushed with great results.  Rob decides to leave his job in the Oilfield and concentrate on our cattle and farm.
May - Crystal and Jon announced their engagement on May 28.  So very excited and happy for them.
June - A weekend trip to Iowa to meet the Blins and see where Crystal will make her new home.

July - A month spent painting fences and touring cattle herds.  Along with viewing a few junior shows. We meet Stacy's BF - Dan.  We have to put our herdsire Revolution down due to an injury.

August - A great trip to Vanderhoof and Williams Lake, BC to judge 2 4-H shows and the Angus Gold Show.  Met some great people and seen some very good cattle.  Williams Lake 4-H show has the only First Nations 4-H Club in Canada.  The leaders and members are doing a great job. We said goodbye to legendary photographer Walt Browarny.

September - Busy with getting ready for the fall shows and we have Crystal and Jon home for their engagement party.
October - We send Rob off to the Olds Fair where he claims Reserve Champion Female, while Stacy and I head to Chicago to help Crystal buy her wedding dress.

November - Filled with shows.  Reserve National Champion Bull, and all entries in the top 3 at each show.  Along with Dee being elected to the Canadian Simmental Association Board of Directors and her dad is inducted into the Canadian Simmental Association Hall of Fame.

December - RJY Rival 13Y brings $40,000 at the 17th Annual Checkers Sale.  Christmas and New Years is spent with family and friends.
There were babies born and weddings attended.  We are so blessed with the people that we have in our lives and the things that we get to do.  Thanks for reading our blog, keep coming back to see what 2012 holds.  We have so many great things to look forward too.  May 2012 be everything you hope it to be. Cheers - Rob and Dee.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Red is My Favorite - part 2

Yesterday I shared with you some of our favorite things that come in Red - Simmental cattle, Canadian mittens, scarfs and of course Red Red Wine.  But I forgot my newest favorite Red.  I never thought I would say this because of Toby Keith......but Red Solo Cup makes the list.

  I love this little tune and when I hear it, I think of a few things that he left out.  Like:
  •  Caesers at Agribtion with the Tableland Crew
  • Yukaflux at a cattle show
  • Red Red Wine at a cattle show
  • seems like beverages at almost any cattle function.
We haven't purchased JJB and CDY their wedding gift yet.  Maybe a set of Red Solo Cups would be a gift they'll never forget.

 "Red Solo Cup, let's fill you up.  Let's have a Party!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Red is my Favorite

Now this can mean a lot of different things to different people.  For Rob it would be one of his favorite colors of cattle.  To Crystal it might be her Red Canadian mittens, I know that Stacy probably has a favorite Red scarf but for me my favorite Red is wine!

My love of wine and red in particular came from my first visit to Australia.  We would spend our weekends touring different vineyards and spending sometime in the tasting rooms.  I highly recommend this as a weekend event.  I like to try different wines and though I would share a couple of my new favorites just in time for Christmas
 The first was given to me for my birthday by Stacy's BF.  They picked it because of the label and it was from Australia.  Not really the most scientific way to select a wine, but a very good choice none the less.  It is produced by Yalumba Winery - Australia's Oldest family owned winery.
Deep crimson purple in colour, the 2010 Y Series Shiraz Viognier has aromas that are both wild and exotic. Blueberries, violets and cherry ripe notes from the Shiraz are elevated by the subtle influence of Viognier, which brings an alluring Turkish delight character. The well rounded palate is medium to full bodied and shows Turkish delight and cherry ripe flavours that are in harmony with the silky tannins. This sells for about $18 / bottle.

Middle Sister Wines
These are a fun of wines.  The fun part is to take the personality quiz on their website and find out whichof their wines is for you.  I recently gifted "Rebel Red" to my friend Dawn on her 50th birthday. There really is a little Middle Sister in all of us.

the story
Did you know that birth order is commonly believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development? And that the middle sister has a greater chance of having a special wine named just for her? A sassy blend of our three favorite red varieties perfect for sipping before, during and after our favorite family meals. Some people are just born lucky. Now give me back my blouse.

what's in it?
38% Zinfandel, 34% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah, 2% mixed red varietals.
100% California grapes with 42% from the Lodi appellation.

smells like...
...ripe red and dark berry fruits like plum, blueberry and blackberry. Sassy dash of black and white pepper with a dollop of cro
me de cassis.

tastes like...
...a huge mouthful of ripe summer berries. The fruit goes on and on, ending in a luxurious finish.

yummy with...
Roasts, grilled meats, pizza, pasta, salmon, burgers, burritos, soups and sandwiches.

If you have a favorite, please pass it on.  I'm always looking to try something new.  Cheers!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Comes Early

Wow what a weekend.  This past weekend was the 17th Annual Checkers Sale.  This sale has built a name for it's self as one of the top sales to purchase Simmentals genetics from.  This year in addition to the 60 lots of Red & Black Simmentals 25 top end Fullblood cattle were added.

We had 3 lots consigned - a herdsire prospect - RJY Rival 13Y, a Donor female - SS Ebony's Dreamdate S27 and a bred heifer - RJY Dream's Promdate 16X.

The sale started with Lot 2 - a herdsire prospect from Meadow Acres.  They purchased his dam from the sale in 2010 for $25,000.  A big investment.....that looked very good when the hammer came down at $83,000 for her first calf. Congratulations Kirsten and Dustin.

Lot 47 followed - our bull calf - he commanded $40,000 from Kopp Farms and the semen syndicate of Willow Creek, Barclay Smith, South Seven Simmentals, Hanna Simmentals and Bonchuk Simmentals.
Sale Time - Rival selling for $40,000
Thank you to this group of progressive breeders for their commitment to this young bull.
Continually throughout the afternoon females sold for top dollar.  The high selling bred for $18,000 and the high selling open heifer for $20,000. 

We are very excited to see what our females can do for their new owners.  Thank you to Scott Gosnier, Nebraska for purchasing Dreamdate and Bar L7, Calgary AB for their purchase of Promdate.

Dream Date 27S
Her new home is in Nebraska

Promdate is now owned by Bar L7
Not only was the sale fantastic, but we enjoyed seeing so many of our cattle friends, enjoying some Christmas cheer with them and all the laughs that we had over the weekend.  The people in the cattle industry are the best gift of all.  The sale averaged $8273 on 61 lots of Red and Black Simmentals and $7630 on 25 Fullblood lots.  Congratulations Simmentals breeders on the great cattle you are raising.  Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Little Girls Christmas List

This blog goes back a few years to December of 1997. We were consignors to the 4th Annual Checkers Sale in Red Deer. Rob and the girls had taken our animals down to the sale a few days a head of time and I was at home doing chores until sale day.

As I walked in to the sale barn, the girls came running to greet me. I thought they had missed me over the last few days. They really were just looking for information...... "Mom have your bought all of our Christmas presents?" I was actually a bit organized that year and was done my shopping. They were very disappointed to hear this. You see they had found a very special red baldy heifer calf.....GFP Gloss 12G. They proceeded to tell me that I could take all of the gifts back if they could just have "Gloss" and they would even share her. Crystal was 12 and Stacy 10.

As it turned out our consignments were in the sale order prior to Gloss. Rob & I decided that the girls could try and buy her, but they had to do the bidding. We sat with them for a few lots and asked if they could understand the prices they were selling for.. they had no idea. Gloss entered the ring and the bidding began. I think they just held their hand up the entire time! When all was said and done, they were the proud new owners of a red baldy heifer calf. We asked if they knew how much they had spent they replied, "Not more than $3000, because Dad didn't tell us to stop."

The girls enjoyed Gloss for 4 years and as they were soon looking at needing a college fund, they decided to sell Gloss in the 2001 Checkers sale. She was purchased by Kopp Farms for $7,500 and her bull calf brought $13,000. This cow has gone on to raise 7 more calves for the Kopp family. They also have a few daughters in their herd out of her.

It was a fun day back in 1997, seeing 2 little girls want a Simmental heifer more than anything else on their Christmas list. There enthusiasm for Simmental cattle and the agriculture industry in general has continued all these years. When we look back on the Checkers sales over the years we also see how the cattle that have gone through the ring have enhanced our own herd and the breed. Our family has a long history with this sale and it is a day each year that we look forward to.  Over the past 17 years the kids have grown, the cattle improved and the friendships made cherished.
CDY Fantasy 
Still in production at 17 yrs. old
Sold to Reanne Sanford
Sold to Rainalta
Sold to Huxley Colony
If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping there are some great choices on Saturday December 17, 2011 at the next Checkers Sale in Red Deer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


It seems like not matter what you talk about everyone has a favorite something.  Favorite coffee, way to spend a weekend, favorite relative and here at High Country we have our favorite cows.  If you have followed our blog for awhile you will know that Harmony and Fantasy were Crystal's favorites,

  Ruffles was the favorite for Stacy

and Rob just likes them all.  Although I think he is a bit partial to Elle and First Date
First Date

This weekend we are selling 2 of  my favorites, Dream Date and Prom Date

Dream Date
I've been banned from doing the sale cattle chores as every time I do, I tell Rob "Do you really think we should be selling Prom Date? 
Prom Date
She's going to make such a great cow?  How are we going to replace her?  This is where he tells me that we have a full sister to her in the herd and 3 additional daughters from Dream Date so all will be fine.

He must have been thinking yesterday that I might not be 100% convinced.  So he made a purchase at the Shades Sale in Manitoba.  MRL Miss 644Y - soon to be named MRL Obsession 644Y is on her way to High Country Cattle. 
We haven't met in person yet but from all that we have heard about this Wheatland Predator 922W daughter she could very well be my new favorite.  Might make selling Dream Date and her daughter Prom Date on December 17 just a little bit easier.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Starting to Look A Lot Like Christmas

I know that there is always discussion on when is it too early to decorate for Christmas.  For many of our American friends it is the day after Thanksgiving.  For some of my Canadian friends it is after the first snow fall....but that could mean October some years.  For our family it is when I (Dee) gets around to it.  Rob isn't a big fan of puatting up outdoor lights, so that is usually my job as well as transforming the house for the holidays.

This year I am just a little bit behind.  With Christmas falling on the weekend, it seems like I have less days to do everything.  We were away most of November at shows and sales, and the first weekend in December was spent buying a dress for Crystal and Jon's wedding along with some Christmas shopping, This weekend we are excited to attend the wedding of Scott Harvie of Harvie Ranching and Kerrie Bennett and then next weekend we are at the 17th Annual Checkers Sale.  Check out Lots 47, 48, and 49. Those 2 weekends will be like having Christmas with our cattle family. 

My cow snow globe - handmade.

Snow globe and cows in the bathroom.
I did do a few things last night and hopefully the rest of it will get done on Sunday....depending on how the wedding goes!