Monday, July 30, 2012

A Helping Hand

On Sunday Rob and I decided to drive out to Bashaw to watch the AYCS Junior Simmental Show.  This is a trip that we used to take frequently when the girls were home and showing cattle in the junior shows.  It was usually the highlight of our summer.  To see kids and cattle having the time of their lives together.  We formed many life long friendships through these shows.  As we were driving out we realized that it was 20 year ago that we took the girls to their first YCS ( Young Canadian Simmental Show).  Wow where did the time go.  The show was on the smaller size this year, but many new families participating and the quality was very good.  We had the opportunity to visit with some of the kids, their families and enjoyed a great afternoon. 

As we were leaving Bashaw I mentioned we should drive by our friends Dawn & Lee Wilson's farm - Miller Wilson Angus and see if they were home for a quick visit. 

As we drove into their beautiful farm, we seen this, a truck and stock trailer with a flat tire.
 Here was Jill Wildman of Towaw Cattle Co. trying to get the tire off herself.  Jill weighs about 90 lbs soaking wet, but she was doing a really good job. 

Some of the lug nuts were stuck and Kirk forgot to put the tire iron and jack in Jill's truck.  Rob was able to find the needed items to get the flat off and replace it with the spare. 

Jill's phone had also gone dead, so she made calls on ours to the family that were expecting her home by then to let them know of her delay.  She had been picking up a herd bull they share with Ter-Ron Farms to display at the Canadian Red Angus Promotion Society's Annual Tour this weekend.

We didn't get our visit in with any of the Wilson's as they were all out in the hay field, but had a great visit with Jill.  It gives us comfort knowing that know matter where we may be traveling or our daughters that if they needed a helping hand they could call on a cattle breeder, or farmer and they would get the help they needed.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth

Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede.  To many this may not be important as many cities have an annual fair that they celebrate.  But although this great event is hosted by the city of Calgary it belongs to all of Alberta and Canada. 

Steer Show 1985
The Alberta Beef Booth is
alway a popular spot.
My family has had a long standing association with the Calgary Stampede.  My dad along with my aunt, and cousins have been members on several agriculture committees. Dad for over 40 years.

My family have been exhibitors there in the livestock show, steer show, junior show and stock dog trials.
Showmanship Champion 2006
Our daughters were recipients several times of scholarships.
Scholorship winners
 I was a part of the grandstand show one year, along with other 4H members leading calves across the stage, showing the audiences all the different breeds of cattle.

My cousin is a driver in the world famous chuck wagon races.
Driver - Troy Flad
 Crystal worked in the Agriculture department for two summers on an internship.  She was also the youngest person to be a member of the judging panel for the supreme championships.

The first Friday in July marks the best 10 days of the summer.  Now that we don't live right by Calgary we only get there for a few days each year, but it is always something that is a part of our summer plans.
When we are traveling if we mention that we are from Alberta we are often asked if we have ever been to the Stampede.  We are envied when they find out that we go each year.  It's kinda like living next to Disneyland.

Here are a few fun facts about the Stampede:

  • We offer the largest purse in outdoor rodeo of over $2 million.
  • The Agriculture component has been a backbone of the of the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede since its formation in 1886 as the Calgary Agricultural Society.
  • The purse for GMC Rangeland Derby chuckwagon race is over $1 million
  • Over a million people attend the 10-day Stampede each July
  • 70 per cent of Stampede patrons are local and 30 per cent are tourists
  • The Stampede Parade route is 4.5 kilometres
  • Over two million mini doughnuts are sold each year
  • Over 200,000 pancakes are served at community breakfasts each year
  • Stampede Park is comprised of 193 acres
  • Approximately 3.6 million people visit Stampede Park year-round annually.
  • Over 30,000 flowers are planted on Park each year
  • The Calgary Stampede is a not-for-profit organization and the Calgary Stampede Foundation is a   non-profit registered charitable organization.
  • The Stampede has over 2,000 year-round volunteers and over 1,200 year-round employees
  • The Calgary Stampede has a huge economic impact on Calgary's economy, contributing $127.2 million and also to Alberta's economy, contributing $166.3 million

  • I salute the Volunteers and those that have fought to keep the Stampede alive and growing over the last 100 years.  This is the one celebration that we have that keeps urban and rural people connected.  I can't wait to get there on Thursday.

    Grated Coconut -
    One of the greatest Stampede horses