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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Did you miss me?

2014 was a crazy year!
My family has been a little preoccupied.  Our lives have been turned upside down and shaken up.
My mawmaw, who you have read about in so many of my posts, was diagnosed last February with a very large, inoperable brain tumor.  My mom is the only child, and I am her only child, so our daily lives have changed.
I'm still raising and showing my dairy cattle, but I just haven't stopped to write about my adventures for quite awhile.

Hey, God is good, and He is blessing and taking good care of MawMaw.  This is just another example of why I operate "Godbless" Dairy Enterprises!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Countdown to Ayan's surprise party

I bought Ayan at the Heart of America sale in 2011.  She has raised four or more pairs of orphan calves for me, both dairy and beef.  We finally brought her home to dry her up this summer.  She had been producing for two years straight.  We had been trying to get her bred since I bought her...but no luck.  Finally in February, the magic happened.  We had sent her to the dairy to get bred by the bull, but we don't think he ever got the job done, so we had her A.I.ed.  She is due within the week.  Ayan is almost ten years old now.  

She is so big, that they couldn't tell us anything other than she was pregnant.  He couldn't even reach the fetus to actually feel it, he could just feel the nodules on the sack.  He couln't even retract it.  So what she's having is a big surprise.  If it is a heifer, we are going to have to have a DNA test done to determine her sire-whether it is Nick from the dairy or if it is the store-bought sire used for her A.I.  If it is a bull, he's going to the sale.

We're praying for a safe delivery and a healthy cow and calf.

Bye Bye!!!

Even though I would like to keep them all forever, there are not enough resources to.
At dark-thirty the other morning I had to load up Ayan, my almost-ten-year-old Brown Swiss nurse cow, her bull calf, Andy, and Manly, the Lineback bull calf.  MawMaw took me to school, and my mom hauled them all down to the Oklahoma City Stockyards.

I haven't gotten rid of any in a long time it seems.  Faith, the Holstein, got sold to a dairy.  I sold Juicy's bull calf to my breeder.  The rest of them have all been "orphan" calves that were raised on the nurse cows just for the auction.

I'm not sure how I feel about this load going today.  Ayan is one of the best nurse cows in the world, but she was SO HARD TO BREED BACK.  It took over two years!  Then she injured a second teat.  Then she hardly had any desire to push during calving.  On top of all of that, she's HUGE and eats A LOT.  (She's not very friendly either.  She's stubborn.  She doesn't like to be petted/rubbed.  You would think she wouldn't be any of those things considering what a FANTASTIC nurse cow she is.)

There, I just talked myself into the idea that selling them is okay.

Friday, December 13, 2013

PTD post: December 2013 - The Gift That Changed My Life

Topic: What's the best Christmas gift you ever received? What made it so special? 
I guess you could call it an early Christmas present.  When I was nine, my Godmother and her brother gave me an Ayrshire calf.  I bottle fed it and took care of it and worked with it and trained it.  I watched it closely.  I vaccinated it.  I treated it for scours.  I did everything I was supposed to do and did it when I was supposed to do it.  Finally, I got to show it at the local show and the spring county show.  About two weeks after the spring show, she bloated overnight and died.  
I know that may sound like a horrible story about a Christmas present, but it was very special.  Those two thought enough of me to give me a life to take care of and learn from.  Receiving that Ayrshire calf changed my life from that day forward.  I learned responsibility.  I learned about bovine health.  I learned about death and loss.  I learned that even when you do everything right, sometimes God has other plans.  I learned about not giving up.  
I could have very easily thrown in the towel when I lost that heifer, but instead, I told my  parents that I wanted to try again.  I was willing to wait until we saved up enough money to buy a new calf...but a few weeks later, my Godmother and her brother gave me a replacement calf, an ET half sister to the one I lost.  I’ve been raising dairy heifers and showing them ever since.  
I am very thankful to God for all that He has given me.  He has continually blessed me in my efforts.  He has multiplied what I have.  None of this would be possible without Him.     
Through God’s blessings, I’ve got three breeds now.  I’ve worked and saved my money and bought, and I’ve bred them until I’m now a few days away from my oldest Brown Swiss calving the twelfth animal in my herd/string since that first gift.  Out of those, I have eight that I’ve kept for showing and breeding.  
This new little Brown Swiss calf will be the ninth keeper if it’s a heifer.  Now THAT would be a great (early) Christmas present for THIS year! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

PTD post: November 2013

Our November issue traditionally highlights women in dairy. Which dairywomen do you look up to? What qualities do you admire?  
I look up to all dairy women.  A lot of them work right alongside their husbands, and they also have to take care of the home and kids and sometimes even have a job in town, too.  Then there are some dairy women who do all that AND travel to the shows for their family to exhibit the best of their herds.  Some of them hold important positions on committees or are state officers in dairy organizations.  I admire women who can do it all.  I admire women who can work until they are worn out and then work some more anyway, get up the next morning on time, and do it all again day after day.  God bless dairy women!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Surprisingly deadly

Most people use plastic shopping sacks "Walmart sacks".  Most people like helium party balloons.  Many people think it's fun to let them loose to fly away. Lots of school children have set them loose to get someone to write to them from a far away place.  Many people forget to take balloons off corner posts to show people the way to a party.  These are all bad ideas.

I see balloons and sacks caught on barbed wire fences or just snagged on tall weeds out in a field.  I run and grab them and put them in the trash as soon as I see them.  They can kill cattle.

Cattle are nibblers.  A necropsy can show digestive tracts clogged with balloons or plastic shopping sacks.  That can be a miserable way for an animal to die.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Don't be jealous of my awesome nurse cows

I am really blessed with two REALLY awesome nurse cows.

The first one is Ayan.  She's my gianormous Brown Swiss that my breeder picked up for me at  the Heart of America sale in November of 2011.  She had freshened that June and she's been milking for two solid years as of this month.  I used her as a nurse cow for Fara and Prim and a whole bunch of orphaned beef calves for the auction.  Finally we sent her to the dairy to visit a bull because we couldn't get her to settle with any of the semen we used on her.  FINALLY she got a.i.  Then she ripped a teat with her dew claw when she stood up one day, and so we brought her home to take care of her and dry her up.

I got Carmelita last year.  She's been my middle of the road Jersey, but she got bred right off (with Cupcake), and then all of a sudden things came together, and she won the county show and got to go to the premium sale.  Then she calved Cupcake and was immediately mother of the year to her and to a little Brangus heifer named Tornado.

Well, Posey calved the other day, and we pulled Cupcake out to wean her, and we brought Perriwinkle over to put in her place on Carmelita.  Perri had nursed on Posey right before we loaded Posey up on the trailer to get her to the dairy and get her milked out.  So Perri had eaten just two or three hours before.  When we got her into the pen and took the rope halter off her, she walked away from us and straight up to Carmelita and latched on.  No exaggeration.  Carmelita is awesome - and Perri is smart.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Juicy FINALLY did it!

Meet Godbless Lebron JL Apple.  He was born the night we came home from Tulsa State Fair.

Juicy has been at MawMaw and GrandDad's, but we were afraid for Juicy to stay there during calving with us at Tulsa.  She was due the day before we left.  Luckily the dairy owner let us drop her off early, so we took her when we took all of the cows back after the OK State Fair.

This was REALLY lucky for us, because Juicy had big problems.  JL only stuck one hoof out.  He had to be pushed back in, his other foot found and pulled forward.  By this time Juicy was worn out.  She couldn't push any more, so they had to pull him out.  Then she was too tired to stand, so they got her up and standing, and she started to clean him off.

He's a big one, and he's super sweet and oh so CUTE!!!  I'm selling him to some friends.  If Juicy's udder comes in good, they are even going to keep him to use as a sire later on.

Juicy had LOTS of edema.  She was swollen up as much as Faith was.  We have to wait for that swelling to go down before we can make decisions.  If she looks good, we will enter her (at the very last minute...probably AT the show) for the SNBSS next week.  I kind of doubt that her swelling goes down that well that fast, but we will see.  Who knows, maybe next year!

I'm bummed that her first calf was a bull, but at least we know her plumbing all works!  We'll try to breed her back using sexed semen and see how that goes.

Tulsa State Fair 2013

Tulsa State Fair 2013 was great.  The weather was great, and then it rained, but that's okay.
I took the same animals to Tulsa that I did to OKC, and here's how I did:

Ayrshire Class 4 - 1st place and Breed Champion Honorable Mention
Ayrshire Sr. 3 yr. old cow - 1st place and Breed Champion Honorable Mention
Ayrshire Daughter/Dam - 1st place
Ayrshire Produce of Dam - 1st place
Jersey Class 1 - 5th place
Jersey Class 4 - 3rd place
Jersey Daughter/Dam - 1st place

SHOWMANSHIP (11-12) 1st place  (They do not do an overall showman.)

DAIRY JUDGING CONTEST - 5th place team (Cody Barnes, April Christensen, Maddie Cook, Alex Dale)

Ayrshire Class 4 - 2nd place
Ayrshire Sr. 3 yr. old cow - 1st place
Ayrshire Best Bred and Owned - 1st place
Jersey Class 1 - 5th place
Jersey Class 4 - 1st place
Jersey Best Bred and Owned - 4th place

The milking parlor stalls got fixed before the fair.  It was the first year that our automatic waterers did not leak and make a mess of something.  We had more parents than usual that came, and they worked, too, and made things easier.

Some of my friends and I did a little late night clowning around...  SHHH...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yea! LIZA!

I am so proud of LIZA VAN DER LAAN!!!   (That's pronounced "Leeza", by the way.)
She is the National Milking Shorthorn Queen!!!  We like Liza and the Van der Laan family. They have an awesome dairy down in Frederick, Oklahoma.  One day we're going to go tour it.  I think it is the second largest family owned dairy in Oklahoma behind Braum's (the ice cream and dairy store chain.)  The Van der Laans are some of the sweetest and hardest working people you'll ever meet.  Liza is a perfect example of what a dairy queen should be.  I'm glad to know her.

I finally feel OFFICIAL!!!

I know I've paid my dues.  I know we've been in school about nine weeks, but until I got that Blue & Gold jacket in my hands, I didn't feel official.  I got to wear it to show in at Tulsa.  It came in after we got back from OK State Fair.  Actually, my parents bought me TWO jackets: one to show in and one for official dress only.  It's a good thing.  It had to go straight to the cleaners after Tulsa.  It was COVERED in snot and slobber from my girls.  I could have wiped my own nose on my sleeve and no one would have known.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

OK State Fair 2013

Big changes happened this year at the OK State Fair.
They brought back the cow classes, but we had to milk in a portable parlor.

They added AOB classes.  They added group classes.  This means I got to show a LOT more!!!
I only took Posey, Prim, Stopnstare, and Cupcake.

Here are my results:

Ayrshire Class 4 - 1st place 
Ayrshire Sr. 3 yr. old cow - 2nd place 
Ayrshire Daughter/Dam - 1st place
Ayrshire Produce of Dam - 1st place
Jersey Class 1 - 3rd place
AOB  Class 4 - 4th place
AOB Daughter/Dam - 1st place
AOB Produce - 1st place 

Ayrshire Class 4 - 1st place 
Ayrshire Sr. 3 yr. old cow - 2nd place 
Ayrshire Bred & Owned - 3rd place
Jersey Bred & Owned - 2nd place
Jersey Class 1 - 3rd place
AOB  Class 4 - 3rd place
SHOWMANSHIP (11-12) 1st place  and 

Stopnstare was in heat and acting crazy, but I STILL did great in showmanship!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013



This summer I tried out for the Livestock Handling Skills Competition.  We took a written test and I GOT A PERFECT SCORE!!!  I even got all of the bonus math questions right!!!

Only one team per district is allowed, unless there isn't a qualifying team there, so my team got to be an alternate team for a different district!  I don't care.  WE'RE IN!!!

The last time we went to do preg checks, ultrasounds, and fetal sexing, my job was to work the head gate.  We'll practice as a team on a pot of cattle in the next month or so.  THAT ought to be interesting.

Wish us luck!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Proud To Dairy Post: September 2013

September 2013
I'm sure it'll be hard to choose, but what has been your favorite memory from a cow show? 
Probably my best show memory was the 2012 Heart of America Southwestern Brown Swiss Show.  It was my very first national show.  I just had one Swiss that I could take, JUICY.  
She placed sixth in her class.  Not too shabby, but the big thrills were still to come.
Jr. Showmanship was quite an event.  There were over two dozen of us.  We circled and circled.  The judge divided us in two sections in the south half of the ring.  Then she had us circle again.  Then she divided us again in the center.  Then she lined us up.  We stretched the entire length of the ring side by side, and I was on the end as  CHAMPION!!!  I can't describe how good I felt about my abilities being able to win such a large event and at a NATIONAL show!  
I got an embroidered blanket and my very first belt buckle!  It is pewter with a beautiful scene of Swiss on a dairy farm. 
Also at that show, my team got a Herdsmanship award! Then I found out that Juicy was a state Bellringer!  I got to have her professional portrait made to send in for the national contest. 
It was all one giant feeling of accomplishment! 

Proud To Dairy: August Post

August 2013:  “What are some of your secrets for balancing all that you do? How do you prioritize all of your activities and responsibilities?” 
My parents and I laughed pretty hard at this topic when we read it.  My big secret is my Mom.  She is the master of the clock and the calendar.
***Here is a page from this last year, and here is how my next month is already filling up.***
Not everything is on the calendar.  Even though we try really hard, we still miss something every once in awhile.  We feel stupid when we do, especially if we have it written down!  The calendar is also important because we make notes on it, like about heat cycles and diet changes.  
All year long, we get activity calendars from my organizations and Mom immediately copies down dates of things I will be involved in.  In June, we start trying to schedule my lessons for the fall.    
I am in pointe ballet and lyrical dance classes.  I am also on the 4-H air rifle team.  Dance and air rifle are hard to coordinate.  Last year on Thursdays I had to fly through my chores after school, go to air rifle early when the range was empty (thanks Mr. Arrington!), get my targets in, leave early, and change in the dance studio’s tiny bathroom, have pointe class, sit for an hour in the waiting room, do homework, text, visit, and then change into my lyrical foot wear, have lyrical class, eat, finish homework, go to bed.  
I used to do competitive Irish dancing, but I had to quit because the Oklahoma State Feis (dance and cultural  competition) is on the same day as the OKC State Fair Dairy Show every year.  I was practicing all year long and couldn’t make it to the competition.   We are still sad about that one.
I also used to take piano lessons.  I quit when my teacher got cancer.  During her recovery, I filled my time with more activities, and I never re-enrolled.  That’s kind of a bummer, too.  Now, I sometimes teach myself songs from the tutorials they have on YouTube, instead.
I am also a member of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.  It is a Christian youth service organization for young ladies sponsored by the Masonic fraternities.  We have meetings two times a month, and we also have extra practices to prepare for speech and march contests, then of course there are the competitions that last several days.  I have perfect attendance since I joined over a year ago.  There are formal dress functions about once every month and a half, receptions, and dances.   
4-H has one meeting per month.  I have been an officer for four years.  Besides Shooting Sports (air rifle), I am also involved in Food Science/Nutrition, Photography, Impressive Dress, Prepared Speeches, Extemporaneous Speaking, Web Page Design, Farmhand Olympics, Livestock Judging, Arts/Crafts, Flyers/Posters/Brochures/Working Displays, Cake/Pie Contests, Share the Fun (Talent), Food Showdown, Powerpoint/Keynote Presentation, and probably some other stuff that I'm going to feel stupid for forgetting.  These are things I do on my own time as I can fit them in.  I don’t have to go to a meeting or a mini round up for them.
This school year I will be in eighth grade.  I will get to be in the middle school ag class again, and I will OFFICIALLY get to join FFA!  I will also stay in 4-H, but it will be tricky.  I have to be very careful not to double-dip in a project area.  I will be old enough to participate with the county-level of youth leadership in 4-H, so that will potentially add two more sets of meetings to my schedule.  For ag class, I also participate in CDEs and cattle grading.  This summer, since I'm finally old enough, I'm also trying out for a (beef) cattle handling team.  
Sometimes it gets tricky getting to things.  Thursday nights were bad this year.  To top it all off, Mom has Ag Booster Club meeting once a month on a Thursday night.  Sometimes Dad has to pick me up or MawMaw has to drop me off.  My parents sure do appreciate MawMaw and GrandDad.  They are our support system.  They live between our school and our house, so they are a great help.
Our calendar is full of reminders about meetings and lessons and DEADLINES.  I get my topics and deadlines from Proud To Dairy/Progressive Dairyman six months at a time.  That helps me work on them as I have ideas.  So like this article, it is June 20th, and I’m writing August’s article.  There are also essay deadlines, presentation deadlines, homework deadlines, registration deadlines, and then there are heat cycles to track.  Then when I get involved in contests or scholarship opportunities, I have to get essays, photos, scripts, and videos completed and submitted on time.  
Sometimes I have to make tough choices.  Sometimes I just can’t.  So it’s not even a choice to make.  Like in June, we had six dairy field days.  I got really sick on the Ayrshire one, so I stayed in bed and slept all day...but then got up that night and went to a 4-H recordbook information meeting.  Then the next week we HAD to get some things done for our home and our family and my animals during the OSU All Breeds field day.  We wanted to help the Chupp family with the 2013 National Guernsey Convention (even though I don’t own any Guernseys), but I have a weekend school of instruction that I’m obligated to for Rainbow, and I am expecting Posey to calve during that time, too.  There were two blood institute days I could have done, but I only did one.  I had to do some prep work getting things moved around and purchased for Posey’s soon-to-be calf.  So sometimes it comes down to choosing the thing I have the most invested in.  
I know my choices sometimes disappoint other people, but sometimes, I’m disappointed, too.
Of course, I always find some time to veg out.  I watch television.  I facetime, text, instagram, and facebook, and actually get together in real life with my friends.  I sleep late whenever I can get away with it.  Sometimes I don’t want to do anything but veg out, but my mom sometimes lets me practice driving her truck in the pasture or around the farm.  One time she turned me loose and I drove around the machine shop, backed up to my trailer, hooked it up, and pulled it around in front of MawMaw and GrandDad’s house all by myself while she was inside!  It was awesome!  Sometimes she says we can pick up my friends on the way through town and take them with us.  They love to see the “baby cows” or the “moo moos” (Sometimes I think they’ll never learn.)  So anyway, Mom uses things like that as incentives to get me in gear when I need it.
Not only do we have THE CALENDAR, but we also operate off alarms.  My mom’s cell phone can handle up to ten alarms.  Our minds are going in a million directions every day.  If we don’t set alarms, like “4:40 - pick up feed”, we won’t remember until after closing time.  That means no feed order until after we feed the next day.  There are lots of things like that to remember before closing time.  Several places we do business are not even open on the weekends, so between finishing chores and closing time, we have to burn up the road to get some things done.  
My dad has a plan that Mom will drive this truck until I get my license, and then it will be mine, and she can have a cute little car or SUV again.  That means that between now and then, I’m going to have to learn to master the clock and the calendar like her...but I have a feeling that she will still act like my executive assistant, except with a lot more texts and phone calls to check in.  I'm sure lucky she works for free!  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Brown Swiss Beauties

My mom uploaded a photo of my two Brown Swiss girls to the Brown Swiss facebook page when she saw this post.  It's a nice picture until you blow it up full size...and then it's gorgeous!  
We might print this out and frame it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My new competition

Today I tried out for a new team.  Today was the State Cattle Handling qualifier.  I am hoping for a spot on a three-man team from our school.

We went to Oklahoma State University's Animal Science Building to take a 50 question test and answer some math word problems.  We won't know the test results for a couple of months.  When they get the results, we find out if we have any teams that qualify.  We took nine people from our school - six boys, three girls - four that have tried out to be on a team before and five of us who have never tried out - only two of us are eighth graders, my buddy Jacob and me.  There were all kinds of questions about bovine health and care.  The test was three hours long.  People could come to test any time in those three hours that they wanted.

The teams that qualify for the state competition will have to compete in a physical challenge.  Each team is given two beef.  Each one has to be sorted and moved through a tub and alley and caught in a chute, its temperature taken, shots given, ears tagged, implanted, and a pesticide poured-on.  We also have to make notes on everything we do for the animal.  I think that's about it, but you get the idea.  We also have to do a display board about the beef industry.

I already know that the particular team I'm trying out for will have a Senior, a Junior, and an eighth grader (me).  We have to qualify as a team, I think.  I don't know if a team can be made up of some qualifiers from two different teams or not.  I don't think so.  I also already know that if we qualify, my job on the physical challenge will be to give vaccines by injection.

This is a really big deal.  Only ten teams from Oklahoma will make it into the finals.  I think even the tenth place team members each get $100 and a belt buckle.  There are other prizes, too.  The competition will take place at the Tulsa Farm Show in December.  We are praying for the best!      

Friday, July 12, 2013

Here's our gooofy video

Mom finished putting the clips together last night.  She couldn't figure out how to split the video of us lip syncing in the truck, so that part is pretty awkward.  Before I do another one of these, I'm thinking we should learn some more about the editing.  : /

Extra special thanks to Lauraaannnn and Jakery for letting us film their beautiful faces and awesome dance moves!  They are the BEST!

...and the winner is...

The winner of the 2013 National Flavor Faceoff is CHANEY'S DAIRY BARN - mint julip ice cream made with Maker's Mark whiskey!

Congratulations to Mr. Carl Chaney and Team Chaney for their win!

Take a look at the Chaney facebook page.  It looks like one of the happiest places on earth...even before they won!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I would say...

I would say "VOTE and VOTE OFTEN!"  but that would be illegal.  Instead, how about just getting one or two or TEN of your friends to vote for me?  You could ask to borrow their smartphone, go to the website, show them which button to push, and have them type in their name and email address.  That would be TOTALLY legal.  Think of it as hands-on campaigning for your favorite ice cream and favorite ice cream fanatic!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy Ice Cream Month!!!

This is the last week to vote for me and BRAUM'S in the 2013 National Flavor Face-off!  Thanks for all your support!

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July Activities

4th of July is busy for me.

The fourth is my "half-birthday".  We celebrate it every year instead of my actual birthday because I was born 10 just days after Christmas, and people don't come because it is so close to the holidays.  So we celebrate my real birthday with just my parents, and then we celebrate with everyone else on my half birthday every year.

There are also festivities in Crescent.  There is a parade.  I represent the breed as Jr. Princess.  My friends get to see me looking all girly.  I throw over 1000 pieces of candy.  (That makes a lot of little kids happy.) 

Afterward, everyone goes to the city park.  I sell sweet tea and lemonade.  It's freshly made and ice cold! 

I also sell squares on the Bessie Bingo card to raise money for our 4-H and FFA programs.  I get to walk all over the park for that part of the job.  For Bessie Bingo we draw a ten foot by ten foot grid of 100 squares on the ground and stake it off with t-posts and ropes.  We sell squares on the card for $1.00.  When we sell the whole card, we bring "Bessie" in.  Bessie is any sweet, tame cow we have on hand.  Whichever square she drops a patty on is the winner of $50 cash!  We sold three or four cards through the day. 

 This year I also helped run the kiddie game.  This raises a little more money.  There are different games that we do different years.  Sometimes its a fishing game.  This year it was a penny toss.  Three different sizes of plates or bowls.  Depending on which size container your penny lands in, determines which prize you get.  Guaranteed winner every time.  

My mom is with me /not with me.  She is at the next booth over with the Booster Club selling the last of the bass boat raffle tickets.  We work until after dark.  Then I get to go watch the fireworks at the baseball field, and she helps tear down the tents and load up the trucks.  When the fireworks are over, we go unload all the stuff at the Ag Building, and then go do regular chores.

It was a good night.  We made around $230+ for our organizations.  I think Booster Club made over $2500 for our new stock trailer fund.  We REALLY need a new bumper pull trailer for the program.  I think we're really getting close to getting one!

It was a really busy day, but it was also very productive and profitable!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

I made it to NATIONALS!!!

A great big THANKS to everyone who voted for me and Braum's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream for the regional competition!  
I'm celebrating with a guessed it, ICE CREAM (you already know what flavor)!!! And what better way to get the maximum mouthful than to use my new Flavor Face-off ice cream scoops!!!  Who needs spoons?
To wash it all down, I've got some nice cold, refreshing water kept cold with my DCC Waterbeds koozie!!!
I've got on my Progressive Dairyman hat from last year's photo contest, and my Dairy Max MILK shirt from the Give a Pint, Get a Pint promotion last month.
I am full of dairy and full of joy!!!
Please vote for my favorite flavor in the finals!

July 2013 Proud To Dairy

July 2013 - Proud To Dairy/Progressive Dairyman
“Tell us about the video you created for Karma and the Idaho dairy campers. What feedback did you receive?”
I got an email May 20th from Karma Fitzgerald.  I know of her from her blog posts on Proud To Dairy for Progressive Dairyman, but I never thought I would get an email from her, and I would have NEVER guessed that she (or anyone else, for that matter) would want me to SPEAK to a group of dairy campers in Idaho!!!
Now I have to admit that when I read that sentence in the email, my first thought was, “She wants me to COME TO IDAHO?!?!?”  but after I read a little farther, I realized that she was a lot smarter than I was, and she was asking me to SKYPE in to visit with them.  Whew!  That made me feel better. 
Mom and I talked about it for quite awhile before I emailed Karma back.  We both thought it was a great honor to be asked.  After all, I’m just a kid.  I’m not even a dairy family kid.  I’m not a Tulsa State Fair or Sooner State Dairy Show Grand Champion winner (yet.)  Then, when I read on and found out that the OTHER speaker Skyping in was none other than GREG PETERSON of THE Peterson Brothers, I was REALLY confused. Those guys are world famous.  They’ve been on national television, they’ve had millions of hits on their videos, AND they’ve performed/spoken at the NATIONAL FFA CONVENTION!!! I didn’t care that I was going to be an opening act for him, because at least I was going to be on the same stage, so to speak.  I was wide-eyed and fan-girling all over the place. 
Then we pulled out the calendar and figured out that the speaking date was on a dairy field day here in Oklahoma.  (Sad face.)  Not only was I going to be out of town dairy judging, but I was going to be at a facility with no internet.  
We talked about it some more, I was bummed, and then my mom suggested making an iMovie for Karma’s dairy campers.  I could find out questions to answer ahead of time and talk to them with the iMovie.  IMovie is kind of my thing.  I use it a lot in school to make book reports, science fair project reports, and other stuff.  So I emailed Karma back and told her the situation and offered to make the iMovie instead.  She thought it sounded great.  
Part of my presentation was made of photos showing the kind of work I’ve done with my dairy project over the last four or five years.
It also showed me doing dairy stuff since I was a little over a year old.  Other parts of the movie were of me talking to the camera and answering questions that Karma had sent. 
So I locked myself in my bedroom and talked really quietly so no one would hear me, and and I talked to my computer screen answering the questions Karma had sent.  It was a really weird feeling.
She also asked me to talk a little bit about my blog and how I got it started.  She was going to print off some entries from my blog to give them as examples.  She really wants to see some of them start their own blogs.  I think the more, the better.  She also wanted me to say whether or not I consider myself an agvocate.  Of course I do!  
Last, but not least, I had to end my movie with a plug for the 2013 Flavor Face-off and for the campers to vote for Karma and for me.
I posted the movie on YouTube and sent Karma the link to the video.  That way, she had no trouble accessing it in Idaho.
Karma thanked me for all my hard work.  I got one post on my YouTube video saying that I was someone’s hero.  Karma said that she would be sending pictures and more.  I have no idea what “and more” means, but I’m excited!  As soon as I receive pictures, I will post them.

         Comment by Karma Metzler Fitzgerald 
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          Love this young lady!  She did a great job! There's a little something on the mail and            more coming....Thank you so much, Maddie, for all your hard work!