Life On The Farm As The Years Fly Bye

We All Learn At a Different Pace

What did I learn about myself through my 4-H participation?

I learned that it is not easy to be 16 and on the edge of adulthood.

Head - to clear thinking, when giving your word to someone, think about how it will affect your heart if you buckle to peer pressure and go against your morals and ethics .

Heart - to greater loyalty; loyalty is something that is given freely and cannot be demanded or forced upon someone.

Hands - to larger service, you can only do what you feel is right and work hard to achieve your goals.

Health - to better living; if your word is your honor, and you stand fast to your morals and ethics; loyalty will come to you freely, your goals will be realized, and you will make a difference in the world around you.

I love 4-H !

Peer pressure is one of the hardest things we face; stay true to yourself no matter how hard it is and make a difference!

4H My Journey

Farmer's Hands Video

2011-2012 Western National Roundup

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Picking your Steers & Breaking Your Steers To Touch

The first year I started with my steer projects; I looked high and low for help on how to break them to touch.
I wanted a way to do it so that my Dad and I would not get kicked and be black and blue for weeks. The first year we were black and blue, But the second year I learned a way to break them with out bruise's or pain.

When you need to know something about cattle your best bet is to find an old Cowboy or someone with lots of  hands on experience. That is how I learned these little tricks.
 Pick your Cattle producer wisely. A quite ranch is one of the first thing to look for. Happy well fed cattle that do not make very much noise.

I like to pick my own steers. I make a list of the quality's that I like in my show steers. I also listen to my Dad and to the owner of the cattle. We actually go into the pen with the steers. This is why you need quite well fed and calm cattle. This takes a while; take your time buying a steer to show is a large investment.

Once you have chosen you steers, it is time to weigh and load them up. Once you have loaded and paid the cattle producer. You then need a brand inspection. Once this is all done you
are now a cattle owner.

It is now up to YOU.
A market 4-H animal project is a lot of work, you have to feed and water and do vet checks and keep records. The more you put into your project the better.

If possible put on the lead ropes before you load them, that makes it easier for you, just know that they can and will come off.

Now that I have my steers home. I like to let them get to know their new home for a few days and get use to the change in their feed and calm down from the ride. After a few day's it is time to break my steers to touch.

The first thing to do is put your steers into a small pen about a 12' X 12' so that no matter how hard they try they can not get away from you. You will also need a leaf rake.
The rake feels like your fingers.

and your arm just got about 5' longer.

My Dad goes in first; he takes it slow and starts to rub each steer a little at a time starting with the back of the steer. In the first few minutes your steers will move around but can never get away from you. After a while my Dad can rub them all over with the rake.

Now it is my turn, I rub their backs, neck, rump and legs.

I also make sure to rub their sides, under belly, and brisket. These places on the steer are very important; this is where you will be touching them with the show stick in the show ring.

Now it is time for me to keep using the rake and for my Dad to touch them with his hands. Now we just keep doing this until we no longer need the rake.
After about two hours my steers are broke to touch.
If your steers are not calm to start with breaking to touch can take hours and even days.

The halters came off my steers so we had to put them back on. To do this just take your time and move slowly so not to stress your steers out.

I now rub, and comb,  my steers everyday making sure to talk to them the whole time so they get use to my voice.

Check back in a few days and we will talk about breaking to lead.

Hey don't forget to start your record book the day you bring your steers home.
Record Books
Those simple words cause more stress between child and parent when it comes fair time.
Here is the best tip ever; go to the 4-H website and get your record books and save them to your documents. Then when you work on one of your projects just fill in the date, time, and what you did that day. This takes only a few minutes and when fair time rolls around your record book is complete you just print it out and your done. NO stress, NO tears, NO problem.

I do a lot of projects, and if I waited  until fair to work on my books; I WOULD FREAK OUT.

Staying calm and keeping it Natural