Saturday, October 31, 2015

October.




 




 

October.
 
Such a lovely, calm & collected month.

I love the cooler temperatures and the calmness before the winter storms & FFA auction frenzy.  :)
 
As the grass ran out, more and more cattle gathered in the feed lot pens.

Clint rode a lot this month, and I drove around and took pictures a lot since my pregnancy has me a bit more limited in my mobility.

But it was a great month all around.

I hope the same could be said for you.

Keep living the dream friends!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Freeze Branding the UCCA Heifers.

We freeze branded the UCCA heifers earlier this month.
 
It marked the completion of the Umatilla County Cattlemen's Association's largest fundraiser to date.
 
 
Last winter, the group got together and decided to solicit donations of yearling heifers from cattlemen in Umatilla and Morrow counties, and then those heifers were bred and fed here at Double M.
 
This fall they were sold on Superior Livestock, and a local rancher/dentist purchased the bred heifers.
 
He came out to the feedlot in mid-October and we freeze branded the heifers with his brand before they were trucked to his ranch in Baker County.
 
 







 
We're so thankful to all of the generous supporters of this fundraiser, and to Durk who purchased the heifers.  They brought close to $500 more than their contemporaries on the video that day, which is tremendous.  Because of everyone's support, the UCCA Scholarship Fund will be increased by 150% which will allow the fund to present more scholarships than ever before.


Monday, October 19, 2015

The Charolais babies.

Clint weaned our Charolais calves a few weeks ago, and while he was in Billings I tried to look at them twice a day to make sure everyone was ok.
 

They are just up in a feed lot pen by our house, mixed in with a few bummer Double M calves so it was easy to drive by and check them out.  Friday night I took a few pictures, while Dot and Leo burned off some energy.
 





 
They weren't too curious of me or my camera....and since I was in flip flops, I didn't get in the pen with them to picture them.  But the important thing is that they're gaining on feed well, and staying healthy.  That's about all you can ask for when you're weaning calves.  :)


Friday, October 16, 2015

Expecting.

I haven't drank a Diet Pepsi since May 15.

And those that know me well, know that there's probably one thing that would cause me to give up my {breakfast of champions}....

That same weekend last May we found out we were expecting a baby.
 
Something we'd wanted for so long, had finally happened.....
 
 
{Photo Credit - Dawn Gohr}

While I blog a lot about our life, there've been some things we've chosen to keep more private and so we haven't been very public about my pregnancy on social media until lately.

But I'm 7 months along, and it's become fairly obvious that we're expecting.  :)

We couldn't be more excited.
 
And if I'm being really honest -
we may both be a little bit nervous about this little baby will change our world.

But we cannot wait to love on him and include him in this great life we get to lead.
 
Thanks for loving us. 

- Baby Boy Sexson -

Expected early January 2016

------

PS - I had an ultrasound two weeks ago and the baby is measuring in the 95th percentile....clearly we won't be winning any {calving ease} awards!  ;)

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall.

It's fall here in Eastern Oregon - my favorite time of year!
 
Clint tells me the fall cows at the ranch are all but wrapped up calving - just about 50 left to go.  The trees are changing, partially feedings of hay are getting flaked, and a light dew greets us most mornings on the lawn as head out to work before the sun rises.
 
The feed trucks roll all day long, as calves start to fill the pens over at the feedlot.  Trucks bringing in weaned calves are a daily sight, and trucks hauling out grown Holstein steers are a welcomed site by the pen riders.  :)
 
We're prepping for a sale on the 11th at the sale barn, and Clint leaves tomorrow to judge the NILE.  Normally, I'd go - but we're headed to Kansas City the first of the month with friends to the National Angus Convention, so I'm staying home this time to take care of some things at work and watch the dogs.  Work - while still busy, has at least slowed down enough that we're going home at our normal time each night.  Payments are going out the door, and we're prepping for more later this month.
 
How's fall where you are?
 






 
 


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The best colostrum we've ever used.

The guys are wrapping up fall calving at the ranch, and I wanted to share a colostrum product we've been using since this spring, that we're highly impressed with.
 
 
 
Genesis Colostrum Products, sold by Genex have become our new "go to" colostrum replacements.  We rarely have to use a colostrum supplement, because our preferred method of getting calves colostrum is to get the cow in and milk the colostrum out of her, before feeding it to her calf.
 
But I think everyone's probably stumbled across the scene we did at the ranch a few weeks ago.....you go out to check calving cows, and find 4 calves and only 2 fresh cows.  So somewhere in the night, someone had twins (or triplets, but we don't think so since the calves were decent sized) and decided not to claim them.  The two fresh cows we found had already each claimed a calf, and were sucked out leaving us without a source of colostrum for the two other calves who hadn't nursed or been licked off.
 
So that's when we head to the sale barn refrigerator and mix up a bag of Genesis.  The colostrum ideally should be kept refrigerated, and since it comes in a flat bag, they fit perfectly in the bottom shelf of a refrigerator and are ready and waiting when we need them.
 
The Genesis colostrum product mixes SO well....and for anyone who's fed other colostrum replacement products, then you know mixing them sometimes resembles mixing cement.
 
Seriously. 
 
Chunks galore, and mixing for days to just get a consistency the calf will actually nurse.
 
But not with Genesis - this stuff mixes like a dream!  Almost better than most milk replacers, honestly.  And the product comes in a bag that has a cap on it....so you just add your water to the bag that already has the colostrum replacement in it, cap it and shake....then head to the field where the calf is, unscrew the cap, replace it with the disposable tuber and give it to the calf.  When you're done, you throw it all away.
 
 
No mess.  No spills. No bottles or tubers to disinfect.
 
And most importantly, you're left with a happy and healthy calf.
 
Now this stuff is not cheap.....but any colostrum replacement product worth it's salt will cost you a few dollars.  We've fed it now to four calves since last spring (two last spring and two this fall), and all four calves are alive and thriving.   Obviously, the investment in a high quality colostrum replacement was worthwhile, when it allows a calf to get off to a great start. 
 
We started out using the Genesis 50g bags (shown in the picture above), but ended up ordering the Genesis 150g bags last time since those provide 3 times the volume (and nutrients) as the 50 g bags and we think our beef calves can handle that in one feeding.
 
 
 
 
I just wanted to share, since dealing with bummer calves or twins is stressful enough, without having to worry about whether or not they've gotten quality colostrum.
 
And when you find a colostrum product you love, and that is easy to use - well, that's almost as good as the feeling you get when you go back to that calf later in the day and it starts sucking a bottle and continues to thrive.
 
:)
 
*Note - Clint is a Genex rep, and can sell this product....but I didn't write this post to push the product, I wrote it because we honestly love the product and wanted to share since it can be hard to find a good colostrum replacement product.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Work lately.

I think I've traveled more for work these past two months, than I have in the past four years.

But every trip was worthwhile and totally worth the time spent out of the office.

The last week of July, I flew to Minneapolis for a week long leadership training, and it was so good.  With my work at FFA, I've been to my fair share of leadership trainings and this one was one of the best.  The picture below shows the group I was with for the week, and it was neat to visit with people all across the country who all work for the same FSA, but still have different roles, job titles and responsibilities.


My group included an AO, DD's, Farm Chiefs, FLM's and CED's.  I didn't know anyone going into the training, but after leaving, I felt like I could have emailed any of them a question.

The entire day was spent in our conference room, bettering our skills but in the evenings we headed out to see the town and relax a bit.

Our hotel was RIGHT next to the Mall of America, so we usually hopped on the free hotel shuttle and went down there for dinner and some fun time!  Nickelodeon has an amusement park inside the mall, and we made sure to ride a few of the rides!






I had to include this last picture from our training....one, because it cracks me up and two, it's so true.
 
One of the exercises that we participated in was the trainers posted four flip charts with various traits - "The Battler", "The Friendly Helper", "The Avoider" and one other which I can't remember but it was something along the lines of "I'm a Meet in the Middle Kind of Person".  We were asked to quickly look at the charts and go to the one that we thought best represented us.
 
When the three of us above - myself, Curtis from KY and Kathy from TX - found ourselves at the "Battler" chart....and everyone else was in the "meet in the middle" kind of charts, we had to chuckle.  The rest of the room may have been chuckling with us....we had only known each other for three days, but by that point it was pretty obvious that the three of us had pretty strong personality types.
 
;)

Then in September I went to Bend for a week long management training with Oregon FSA managers, and then Kyle and I headed to Denver the next week for CRP training.  FSA is a small world, because I'd actually end up seeing Tim from NC at the CRP training, and we met in MSP at my leadership training!


Eating sushi with the crew one night in Bend....Josh, Wes & Trent shared "The Love Boat" which we all thought was hilarious!


Kyle and I found this aptly named pub near our hotel in Denver.  :)



On the home stretch....and with a full can of Seltzer...thank you Alaska Air! 

It's the little things...like a full can of pop on a flight these days to make things easier.

There's not any travel in the future lined up for work....which is good since my doctor says I shouldn't fly after 36 weeks....and now it's just time spent in the office catching up.

I feel fortunate though for the opportunities to get to do what I do at my job - and am thankful that I landed in my role here at FSA.  :)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday at the ranch.

One of the best benefits of my job, is that I have every other Friday off.  Today happens to be one of those days, and I'm spending most of it at home working on projects and taking care of a few things that have been sidelined.  We've been CRAZY busy at my office these past two weeks with a big deadline and our fiscal year end, and I spent every night this past week at the office until well past dark.  On top of being out of town for work the two weeks prior to that, my house - and my husband - have been ready to have me focused at home for a few days.



So it was so nice to have my Friday off, land on this weekend.  I got to sleep in until 7:30 (what a luxury!) before heading into Starbucks to pick up breakfast for Clint and I.  That's one of our weekend treats, and I love being able to take him a coffee and breakfast sandwich in the morning.

My standard text to him after getting home from town is usually "Where can I bring breakfast?".  This morning it was to the White Corrals, where the weaned spring heifers are being fed.  Clint was horseback bringing another set of heifers in from down the road for the BMCC livestock judging kids to come work out on, so I spent a few minutes prior to him arriving taking pictures.



It's been a while since I've just taken pictures of whatever I've wanted.....and it felt good to be back in the saddle.  ;)

Before long, RJ was headed down the road with the feed truck....heifers following....and Clint and the dogs bringing up the rear. 







Breakfast was delivered, a quick conversation about the plans for the day, and he was off.  I was off too....back home, to finish a few things (and write this post) before I go back out to join him and help with some projects.

Happy Friday friends!  I hope that wherever you are....you're living the dream!