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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Farm Sign

Well it has been a long time coming but we have finally put up and new farm sign.  I wish I had taken a picture of the old sign to show how it had faded out over the years but as usual I didn't think of it till the old sign had already been replaced with the new.  I tried my best to get the grandbabies to pose for me in front of the new sign it must have something to do with being two and 1/2 but the picture with the twins didn't work out all that well.  The first picture I actually got both the girls I just couldn't get them both on the same side of the old water tank.

The second photo Sydney had decided she wanted to come and see the camera.
Then Ella decided she wanted to do flips!
This project gave me a whole new respect for photographers!  Anyway we have a new farm sign and we have two really cute granddaughters that obviously could care less! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I am a farmer.

Hello, my name is Carla, Mrs. Debbie has mentioned me a few times in her past posts and I wanted to introduce myself. I am the daughter-in-law. The birther of the grand-babies. The city girl as my MIL has called me. I want to start writing some entries for our blog and it won't always be about cows, but about agriculture in general, about farmers, maybe even some recipes. Things I have learned while embracing this farm life. I wanted to give you a little insight about me first, so when you read my future post, you will understand where I may be coming from. 

 I didn't grow-up on a farm or knowing much about agriculture. I didn't participate in 4H or FFA.  I did, however, marry into a farming family. A cattle raising family. A family that has multiply generations of 4H and FFA. I married a farmer. 

 Now for those that have known me for many, many years, know I wanted out of this small town. I wanted a city life. I wanted to live in Birmingham or Atlanta or Jacksonville. I wanted to work for an advertising firm. I was determined that once I graduated from college I was moving. Well I moved out of my small town, Cantonment, FL, and went north about 12 miles to an even smaller town, Molino.  I got married roughly one month after my college graduation to a man that has a family business and a farm locally. A man that wasn't leaving his small town for a city.

For nearly nine years I have been a member of farm family. At the beginning of our relationship, and really for the first 6 or so years of our marriage, I wasn't all that involved in the farm. I would go out to the farm sometimes to check cows with Jacob, but to me I was looking at the same cow over and over. They were all big, they all smelled and they were all black. It wasn't until about 3.5 years ago that I started taking an interest. We got involved in our local Young Farmers and Ranchers program and then we had our babies. Twin girls. I decided then that I needed to embrace the agriculture life. I knew I wanted the girls to grow up on the farm. For them to love and appreciate agriculture, and to respect their elders, the animals, the weather, and the land. So now I embrace agriculture. 

Over the past year and half Jacob and I have served on the Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Group for the state. It has opened my eyes to so much in farming and ranching. I am excited about it now. I have started spending more and more time at our farm learning about AIing, palpating, genetics, what makes one cow more appealing then another and so much more. 

That is just a snapshot of who I am and how I got to where I am.. I did not grow up on a farm, but now, I am a farmer. 

I look forward to learning more and sharing it with you. Until then I leave you with this:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gizmo 2014 Pathfinders

I went out to the mailbox today and found something exciting from the Angus association, the 2014 Pathfinder Report.  Last year after over twenty years of breeding Angus cattle we had our first two cows receive the prestigious title of Pathfinder.  This year we are able to claim three!  You might ask why this is so special.  Following are the guidelines utilized in determining Pathfinder status:

1.       To qualify initially, a cow must have produced at least three calves with an average weaning ratio of 105 and these calves must have been evaluated with at least nine other herd mates.

2.       Beginning with her first calf, all calves must have been recorded in AHIR.  No irregular weanings or calves by commercial sires are used in this analysis.

3.       A weaning weight must have been processed on a calf born after June 30, 2012.

4.       A cow must have had her first calf at an age equal to or less than the average age of the herd at first calving, plus 30 days.

5.       To qualify for subsequent listings in the report, she must maintain a regular calving interval, which is determined as follows:

                 30                 + 365 = Maximum Calving Interval
               Number of Calving Intervals

The three cows from the Gizmo herd are:

RB Bridget 831 C11 5X25   Reg#16099987

This is a cow we purchased as a bred heifer back in 2007.  We already owned a maternal sister RB Bridget 658 C11 111 and had been watching the old C11 cow do everything right for a number of years.  This was a different twist to the genetic line that we felt was going to work really well.  We haven't regretted the purchase, her 2012 bull calf out of OCC Juneau 807J is currently being used as the clean up bull on our 2012 heifers.  Her first heifer calf out of our 6149 bull 1046 is doing a nice job for us.  She has a super nice Final Answer bull calf on her side right now and was AI'd back to SAV Pioneer 7301.  This is a powerful cow family that we will continue to use in our program.

Gizmo Pride 525 065 0125   Reg#15394906 

A cow bred in our program, and one we are really proud of. This cow has produced 6 calves with an average weaning ratio of 105.  Needless to say she is a nice cow. Now you might ask does she pass on this phenomenal maternal ability to her progeny.  This cow has taken AI everytime she was bred AI, every calf is solid and her daughters seem to be performing just like their mamma.  Let me introduce you to her first daughter!

Gizmo Pride 811 525 430  Reg#16358620

Every year it seems that one calf catches my eye, 811 was that calf in 2008 she was the first heifer calf out of the 525 cow.

Gizmo Pride 811 525 830 prior to weaning

811 has now qualified for Pathfinder status on her third calf!  Needless to say we are very proud of this cow family and their performance. The first calf out of 811 Gizmo Pride 1007 811 8005 was calved when 811 was 23 months old and ratioed 114 at weaning. I really think you’re going to see more of this cow family make it to this elite status! 

The dam of 525 Fink Pride 065 6198 LB 
Reg  13847351   was not what I would call a pretty cow.  She was what I would call a darn good one.  In twelve years in our program she had 10 calves and was flushed twice, the first flush gave us 14 viable embryos out of our herd bull Coleman EXT 6149 Reg# 15730734.  On her second flush we were rewarded with 32 viable embryos out of SAV Final Answer 0035 Reg# 13592905
  We have 44 eggs out of this cow that is like gold in the bank!  We are going to be able to keep this line of cattle going for some time.  When you discover something that works you want to use more of it.  This may very well be the year we decide to flush 525.  We currently have three 525 daughters working in the herd we are finding they all are very much like their mamma breeding AI the first time then making a super nice cow.