The Farm Planner

After I talked about my calendar in our last post, I had a lot of questions on where I got it from. To be honest, I made it myself. In the past year, I’ve done a lot of Pinteresting (is that even a word?) to try to find a way to keep better records on my expanding cattle herd. And I couldn’t find a darn thing I liked! So I just went on a little learning journey and decided to make my own. (Which you can have as your own here!)

Before we start on this little tour, I have a confession to make. I LOVE binders and all things floral. So I made it exactly how I wanted it, with the ability to be printed off on any paper, three hole punched and BOOM, my average binder is turned into something that I want to show off everyday. Both Dad and JD think the floral is overkill but let me tell you, our records this year are the best they have ever been. It’s because of the floral.

This is just your average three ring binder turned beautiful. In the future, I plan to keep our garden records in it and eventually expand into planting and harvesting records too, so its about a 1 inch one.

But I don’t have all those sections done yet, so back to cattle!

I also have a love of all things matching so I used the same flowers throughout and plan to do so through the whole year of 2018.

This is what I call our Year Overview. Since we calve in the fall, our ‘year’ is kinda like a standard school year. I consider it starting when the first calf hits the ground in August, which explains why I put 2017-2018 in the top corner, not just 2018. This page is just for the overall details and I keep one for each herd. I love being able to refer back to this page when we are looking for overall numbers and has helped us multiple times about all things vaccinations.

Next is the calendar that I showed off in the last post. This is where I keep monthly reminders, AKA worming the horses and giving Harley her flea and tick medicine. I also keep dates here, such as when we vaccinated, when we will turn them out on pasture, if we doctored a particular calf, things like that.

This one is my favorite! The Calf Log! We STRUGGLE so much with who has calves, when they had them, and just keeping track of all of that info. Oh how I wish I would have had this at the beginning of calving season, so I could have just filled out the first line with all the numbers of mamas that were going to calve and we could have easily documented them from there! Next year we will be ready! As you can see, I am still filling in a lot of blanks on Dad’s herd but overall, it will give us a lot better records for the future.

I suspect that I will need to add and adjust some things in the future, but I am so incredibly happy with how this cattle planner is working so far! Any suggestions on things you think I should add or change? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!



The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well, maybe not for the bull calves that become steers. But for me, it’s my favorite farm activity, working cattle!

You might have noticed that we have been a little quiet lately. Winter for us is pretty boring (as you can tell by all the dates lacking on my farm calendar!). Feed hay, check cows, and stay warm. Now that spring is right around the corner, our farm activities are getting ready to ramp up and working cattle is just the beginning.


This round of vaccination wasn’t for our whole herd, though. This round was the first round of vaccinations for calves only and we also cut all the bulls calves to make them steers. In a couple of weeks, we will bring the whole herd back in to the lot and give everyone their yearly vaccinations and wormer.


All the calves waiting to get ear tagged, vaccinated and get back with their mamas.


All of Bethany’s calves have orange ear tags and of course, go by our standard practice of even numbers for heifers.


Lloyd is the youngest calf in the whole bunch, and in my opinion, the cutest!


Lady Carlos is getting her vaccinations.


Vaccinations and an ear tag for this fellow!

Have questions about what we do? Ask us! We love to help you learn about our lifestyle and our passion for cattle!







Perception is Everything


The line of bales looks like the perfect end to a perfect day; and in a lot of ways it is the end of a perfect day. We are able to feed our animals a nutritious food source that will keep them healthy and happy throughout the winter.


And we were able to do it all together as a family, on our family farm….. but sometimes we don’t always talk about the struggles in agriculture or farming. This day came with it’s fair share of trials and tribulations. From a broken baler, hay that was to dry, and time slipping away; it seemed like the day was going to be a total waste. The little things just kept piling up and somehow it seemed like those cuss words just kept slipping out, which sometime happens when farming isn’t going your way.


With everything that kept happening lunch was pushed back more and more into the afternoon as we were racing against the clock and the sun to get done before dusk. All at once it seemed like everything worked together and it all started to fall into place.


The bales were all hauled quickly and efficiently to the wrapper, the wrapper worked out great, and all the equipment found its home in a shed.

As that last bale went through the wrapper, and we beat the sunset by minutes we stood around and admired what we had accomplished.


Yea it was hard, yea it was rough, and yes it seemed like we were trying to accomplish the impossible and all forces were working against us… but that is farming and life. Working together we can take on the world. As we checking the cows and the new baby calves were playing together with the sunset and that perfect row of hale bales in the background it was was instantly clear that I can’t imagine life any other way. The struggles and challenges make the successes and a job well done so much sweeter and rewarding. Life on the farm is hard but life with family is worth every second.

You can’t date a farmer

 If you’ve been over on our Facebook page lately, you’ve noticed that an extra face shows up occasionally.


For the first couple of weeks, I just told people I was dating a farmer. Until one day, I realized we weren’t dating anymore. 

Because you can’t date a farmer.

Last weekend, we were supposed to go out with friends and he was still in the combine. When he told me he wasn’t going to make it, oh boy, I was MAD. How dare he miss something that all my friends were going to, especially after I told them he was going to be there? Did he not want to spend time with me instead of that combine?

Meanwhile, he finished the field, put the combine away, fixed a flat grain truck tire, all while dealing with my grumpiness. When I finally came to my senses, I realized farming wasn’t something I could compete with and to be honest, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to stand between him and his love of the land, I wanted to stand beside him. How dare I be mad that he couldn’t come when he had to finish the work alone?

And that’s why you can’t date a farmer.

You aren’t going to get Friday night dinners out, and Saturday night movies at the theater. Nights out with friends start late and end early because the morning involves early chores that can’t be skipped. And don’t even think about scheduling events in advance because you will ‘just have to see how it goes.’

But if that’s what dating it, I don’t want it. We are building something so much stronger.

We watch the sunset after checking crops. We have long talks in the cab of the combine. We enjoy frozen pizzas together after late night cattle hauls. We brush hog fields in different tractors. He taught me how to rope and I taught him how to ride. We check cows, grind feed, fix tractors, ear tag calves, we farm together.


We don’t date. We’re building a relationship that is built on things that are so much bigger than ourselves. We’re building a relationship centered on crops, cattle, and a faith that keeps all that growing. A relationship that’s builds on a love of the land and all the beauty and struggles that come with it. We’re building a relationship that can withstand droughts, hard rains, dead cattle and terrible market prices. We’re building a relationship that is balanced between God and agriculture and is set to stand the test of time. 

And if I have to give up dating for that, I’m ok with it.

Here’s to you, Mom

Here’s to the mom that watches her babies grow from dirty children to wild teenagers to level headed, successful adults all because of her patience and strength throughout their lives.

Here’s to the mom who lets her children do what they love, even if that involves a little bit of danger. To the mom that has watched her child get bucked off a bull, race a fast horse or plow a field for the first time alone and after hiding her sigh of relief when it’s over, let’s them do it again tomorrow.

Here’s to the mom that pushes her children to dream bigger and follow their passion, even if it means leaving home and her. To the mom that accepts that some dreams are just too big, but lets her children dream anyways. To the mom that picks you up when you fail and sets you on the right path again.

Here’s to the mom that gives up her Saturday’s and week nights to drive a truck and trailer to the practice pens, rodeos and shows, pays the check and scoops manure; just for the reward of pure excitement on her child’s face.

Here’s to the mom that never gives up. That never lets a calf die without trying every option, will try every parts store to fix the tractor and will make sure the job is done no matter the weather.

Here’s to the mom that will give up her favorite job on the farm, if that’s what her child wants to do. To the mom that will show her love of the land through her actions and pass that onto her children. To the mom that never puts herself before her family or the farm.

Here’s to the mom that works all day and then comes home to work even harder. Fixing fences and field dinners, plowing through farm bills and dirt, she does it all with a determination her children hope they can one day match.

Here’s to the mom that is the heart of the farm, the one that makes sure everyone has clean pants, dry socks, and a hearty breakfast each day. The one that cries with you when the cow doesn’t make it and then helps get the tractor to drag it off. The one that feeds the calves when you forget, keeps track of the truck keys you’ve lost and always makes sure there are snacks on long days.

Here’s to the mom that raises children on the farm that can go from dirty boots to heels and a dress, and feel comfortable in both. To the mom that raises children that can handle their own finances, do a load of laundry and cook a good meal.

Here’s to the mom that gets different ears tags just because the color isn’t right, to the mom that will run from the barn to house time and time again without complaint, to the mom that has the strength to hold back the herd and the patience to deal with the herders. 

And to me, that takes one heck of a woman. 

I don’t know about you, but our farm wouldn’t be the same place without our Mom.

Here’s to you, Mom. We sure do love you.



When You Give a Farmer a Daughter…

My dad will be the first man to stand up and say that his daughters can do everything a son can do. Many times when we have unloaded cattle at the sale barn, loaded feed at the feed store, or picked up tractor parts, he just stands back and lets us do our work with obvious pride. Because when you give a farmer a daughter, his whole life is changed.

Eventually you’ll gain a son ( in-law).

And everyone knows that son-in-law’s work harder than sons.

You’ll end up with more animals than you ever expected.

Dad promised we would never own a horse and now we have two. When I brought home Harley as a puppy, Dad wouldn’t even look at her. Now Dad doesn’t leave the house without Harley on his heels. Next up, goats!

You’ll have the hardest worker and a good lunch too.

Never have I met a son who will build fence, head back to the house when the work is done and have a full meal ready to go for lunch.

You will never be lacking in tears.

Happy tears, sad tears, angry tears. Daughters are bound to break into tears at random times, sometimes just to keep your life interesting.

Small hands come in handy all the time.

Can’t get that nut on in a tight space? Grab a daughter. Dropped a bolt behind the workbench? Daughter to the rescue. If you’re lucky, she will have a set better eyes, too.

You get in touch with your softer side.

Dress up, Barbie’s, saving kittens, and tough decisions like which shoes go better with this dress will be on your daily agenda. Daughters have a funny knack of turning even the toughest farmer into a big ole softy.

You’ll have a name for everything.

Cats named Spot. Heifers named Margo and Lola. Trucks, tractors and even fields will all have names. Will they make sense? Probably not. But man, they sure will make her happy.

You get to keep your intimidation skills sharpened.

We all know those first dates may scare you to death, but you find great joy in shaking the boy’s hand a little too hard and giving him the evil eye as the truck pulls out of the driveway.

Daughters, plain and simple, are better than sons.

Are you ever going to be able to walk your son down the aisle? Watch them grow and change from ladybug mud boots and dance leotards to grown woman with hopes and dreams that surpass everything you had wanted for them? I doubt it.


To my Parents: Happy Anniversary!

April 9, 1988. The day, Dad says his life changed forever. Depending on the day, or how much Dad spent on tractor parts, determines whether Mom refers to their wedding anniversary as the best day of her life or not.

For the past 29 years, my parents have taken on the world together and tested each one of those vows they gave to each other. Sickness, health, deployments, hogs, cows, droughts, fire and of course, two lovely daughters have just strengthened their bond to each other.

Their love story is something out of a story book. They met young, and Mom always knew that Dad was the one for her. But Dad wasn’t ready to settle down so Mom waited, and eventually Dad realized that Mom was the only one for him. They got married, bought a farm and began the journey of a life in agriculture.

Growing up, I never realized how much love they had for each other. I thought it was completely normal to yell at each other while sorting cows and apologize moments later when they were all in the right pen. That it was completely normal that Dad didn’t cook with onions even though he loves them because Mom didn’t like them. That all decisions were made around the kitchen table as a family. I never realized those little things were signs of a big love.

Today, I realize that love isn’t just holding hands in the car, kissing in the rain, and all those other romantic ideas. Love is running from the house to the barn multiple times because Dad always forgets something. Love is reminding Mom to check her oil in her car and changing it for her. Love is always having American Honey on hand because it’s Dad’s favorite drink. Love is long boat ride, sitting on the back deck, riding on the tractor together. My parents are the most wonderful example of seeing love in the little things.

To my parents, love isn’t something that comes and goes. They may be pissed off, tired or even miles away from each other but their love is still strong. And after 29 years and two girls later, that is one heck of an accomplishment.

So here’s to you, Mom and Dad. Happy Anniversary!


I want to quit farming

Last night, I come home and head to the shop to talk to dad. When I walk in, he gives me a look that shows something is wrong. Margo, another one of my pregnant heifers, lost her calf. I cried.

Margo and Lola

I’m ready to quit farming.

These last couple of weeks have been rough. Davy is just getting over being sick and Margo’s calf didn’t even get a chance in this world. To top it all off, I don’t get home until after dark so getting a good look at the cows involves a good flashlight and a lot of patience.

So all the scenarios just keep running through my head. What if I would have checked her this morning before I went to work? What if it was my fault? What could I have done better? Why did I  even buy cows?

Ok, I know. I’m being dramatic. But I don’t care. Farming sucks! I’m ready to quit!

But I won’t.

Tonight, I’ll get on my knees and pray. Pray for a better calving season next year. Pray for Lola, my last pregnant heifer, to have a safe delivery and healthy calf. Pray for Davy’s health to continue to improve.

But most of all, I’ll thank God for the strength. For the  understanding. For the resiliency.

Because that’s what farmers have.

We always have the strength to get  up the next morning and continue on. We have the understanding that when things get tough, we have to get tougher. But most of all, we have the resiliency to continue.

This morning, I got out of bed and headed about my day. Just like every farmer out there, another day of milking, feeding, plowing and growing.

That’s the beauty of farming. Farmers take each day as a new day. Yesterday was full of drought, fire, and overall misfortune. But today, today is a new day. And that’s how I’m going to live it.

I’ll eat my steak, and name it, too

If you’ve been following the Show-Me Sisters on Facebook (which you can here!), you’ll know all about how I’ve been not so patiently waiting on Daisy, my heifer, to calve. What you probably don’t know is that Daisy is part of the first cattle that I have ever bought on my own. Most people my age are buying new cars, building new houses or maybe even working the stock market a bit. That wasn’t for me. Instead, I bought five heifers, (three that were bred) and have entered the journey of a cattle owner.

My journey got a lot more exciting this past week when Daisy finally decided that my herd should get a little bigger. While I was hoping to get a Delilah, a heifer that would return to my herd, I can’t say that I am mad that Davy, a bull calf, came instead.

While Davy is only a little over a week old, his life is already planned out for him. The first couple of months of his life will be graced with the beauty of momma’s milk and the occasional snowfall. He’ll also have to deal with a couple of rounds of preventative vaccines, get an official blue ear tag, and (gasp!) get his nuts clamped. When he’s big enough, he will get weaned from his momma and live the rest of his life on the other side of the fence from her. On the other side of the fence, he gets more green grass than he could ever eat and grain once a day. What a life!


Here comes the part that most people don’t understand. When Davy reaches around twelve hundred pounds, Davy will go to slaughter.

Yes, I name my calves and eat them, too.

How can I do this? How can I be such a cruel human being? How can I eat something that I have watched grow day by day?

Because Davy isn’t my pet. Davy is my livestock. As a cattle owner, it is my duty to take care of my animals. Whatever the weather, hail, snow, rain, those cattle are fed. I may be tired, sick or just feeling lazy, but those cattle are still placed before my own needs. It is my duty to make sure that they grow healthy and content. I provide for them so in turn, they provide for me.


Saying that sounds cruel. But it’s a fact of life.

If cattle weren’t slaughtered, many would lose their lives that are filled with green pastures and deep ponds and gain lives of starvation and disease. And that’s not the life I choose for Davy.

Davy will live his life as a happy and content steer. Davy will then be slaughtered in a way that is quick and painless. I will give Davy the best life I can provide and he, in turn, will provide for me. Davy will provide another heifer added to my herd; a down payment on my own farm; maybe even buy my wedding dress.

And you know what? When those calves leave on a trailer to the butcher, I feel it. I feel each ounce of joy that I had watching them play in the pasture. I feel the happiness of finding them alive and healthy, nursing from their momma for the first time. I feel the sadness of letting them go.

It’s unavoidable.

But it’s also a part of my life. The life I chose and the life that I have a passion for.

So one day, when my children walk through the pastures with me, I’ll point each cow out by name.  I’ll explain to them that caring for our animals means that we provide for them and they provide for us. And that by eating our steak and naming it, too, our beef just has a little more love.


A Superhero Type of Day

When you say the word superhero, I think about the movies I watched as a kid or the comic strips you see in the newspaper. But really after the events of this past Saturday unfolded, I realize that superheroes are just normal people with amazing powers and abilities.

I would like to think the Mom, Nicole, and I are superheroes in our own right. Looking at the three of us on Saturday we looked like your normal mom and daughter combo. When Nicole got off work, she met us in town and we all went shopping and had a grand ole time.

However, if you look a little deeper you see so much more of our superhero ability. Nicole went to work, much like she does every Saturday; to be there for the farmers who are hauling in corn and soybeans which will be sold and made into livestock feed or other products that we use everyday such as pet food, toothpaste, and even glue!

I fixed my husband lunch and wished him luck as he headed to the corn fields with the semi and the grain trailer, and then I headed into town myself to run errands and meet up with Mom.


It is great that we helped support the harvest currently going on, but we also had to use more of our superhero powers to complete the list Dad left us since he had to work this weekend. Our cows are currently calving, if you have not checked out the adorable photos that should be on the top of your must do list. Sometimes those cows aren’t always with the rest of the herd. Dad wanted Nicole, Mom, and I to make sure all the cows and current calves were in one field and close the gate to the other field. Then we could move and sort the steers and heifers around into different fields and groups. Now this may seem like a very simple task but let me tell you, I was sure glad that I wasn’t doing it alone! Mom stayed at the house to feed the steers and heifers, and Nicole and I headed out with our trusty pups to start counting cows and calves.


Well, as soon as we moved into the first field we morphed from our normal selves into farmer superheroes. We found three cows and calves in a separate field and headed out to find the remaining cow and calf that Dad had found the day before.


We searched the whole field for her. This isn’t just any open field either. Living in central Missouri, it was a field of hills, rocks, cedar trees, grass, and then more trees. As we determined they weren’t in that field, we went back to our first set of mama cows and calves and they had calmly made their way to the rest of the herd. Great! Now to counting the cows to see how many we had…. we were three short and still missing a calf. So once again,Nicole and I set out to find the rest. We were deep in searching and we found the missing calf, it was just on the wrong side of the fence from its Mom and the rest of the herd. With a lot pure genius on Nicole’s part and some nice and easy talking to the mama cow, Nicole managed to get a hoodie wrapped around the calf and shove it back through the fence. Needless to say, that would have been a cute and perfect picture moment but both of our hands were slightly busy at that point in time. One set found, two more cows to go! Giving up wasn’t an option. As superheroes, you must always complete the task given to you; and Dad said that we must find all the cows and move them. So that is exactly what we did. Hopping on the four-wheeler we went out searching again and we were rewarded with two more healthy babies and happy mama cows! Driving back to the house Mom was using her own superhero abilities and almost had all the steers and heifers sorted and moved when we got back!

The day was saved once again by farming superheroes! We may love to go shopping, dress cute, and see an occasional play; but our heart and soul is on the farm where we can normally get dirty, solve problems, and help feed America; and have fun doing it!