Category Archives: Montana Stockgrowers Association

Asphalt Cowgirl June

Last month was an extreme example in travel. Here’s a brief recap of all that happened!
The first week of June I was on Maui for a work conference. Tough gig, I know. I think I would like Hawaii better when it is February in Montana, though. It’s awfully hard to beat a Montana June! Here’s the view from my room.

While others had beach and pool plans, I was a true ag nerd and went to the sugar museum, where I learned a bunch about sugarcane farming – here’s a nice field of it.

We went to Iao Valley State Park and hiked around their loop, where we saw the Needle in all its elevated glory.

The second week of June I attended the Montana Stockgrowers Association midyear meeting in Miles City. A fine parade was held on Saturday morning, including this set of steers near the lead.

The third week of June I was at Ag Lenders Range School hosted by the Voldseth family near Martinsdale. It was beautiful after the rain quit, and we got to tour a wind farm. I stepped down as the Extension representative on the range school board, and those wonderful folks were kind enough to get me a plaque as a parting gift. 

The last week of June I was…is this starting to sound like a strange summer version of the Twelve Days of Christmas?
Anyways, the last week of June I was in San Angelo, TX, advising my academic quadrathlon team for the regional contest. The academic quadrathlon is a 4-part animal science contest for undergraduates, consisting of a comprehensive written exam, an impromptu oral presentation, a hands-on lab practicum, and a double elimination quiz bowl tournament. And MSU won!! Second year in a row!! Back-to-back champions!! Here is our team photo, plus a few action shots from the lab practicum section. The students and I will be traveling to the national contest in Kansas City in July.

While in San Angelo, we got to tour the Rocking Chair Ranch and take in the scenery around the area. 

You may have seen painted ponies in other downtown areas? They ain’t got nothing on the San Angelo sheep.

I hope you all had a fabulous Independence Day holiday weekend!

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

Let’s Catch Up…

Happy New Year! I absolutely cannot believe it is 2012….shouldn’t it be around Labor Day 2011?!  I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year.  It’s been nearly a month since my last post – I apologize for the lull and shall try to do better as the year goes on.

Here’s a quick update on what’s been happening the last month or so…

I attended the RangeBeef Cow Symposium in Nebraska with a group of county agents from Montana. It was a great meeting with fabulous speakers. Traveling with county agents is somewhat like herding cats – whileI was telling a friend from Nebraska about some of the antics that occurred on the trip down, another friend walked up and hearing only part of the story, asked, “Did you bring some 4-H kids with you?”  Bah-ha-ha.  I earned the nickname “Mother Goose” during the trip, but its use lessened when I started calling them my goslings.

The MontanaStockgrowers Association Convention was in Billings in mid-December.  It was a whirlwind of activities, meetings, and family reunion-ish get togethers.  I was exhausted at the end but it was all worth it!  One of my favorite parts of convention every year is handing out the Top 5 Steer of Merit awards for the very best beef carcasses exhibited in our state during the fair season.  This program is a collaboration between MSGA and MSU Extension that dates back to 1967.  Here’s a picture that Lauren Chase with MSGA took of me with the winners in the contest’s carcass division.  You can see more photos from convention (and other great work from Lauren) on the Montana Stockgrowers Association Facebook page.
I continued to gain nicknames at convention in addition to those I already had…it’s starting to get a little hard to keep track of everything I’m supposed to answer to!  The nicknames include Red, Doc, DrE (pronounced “dray”), Dr. Feelgood (don’t ask), and Little Red Riding Hood.  Good grief.

I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s at the ranch for a much-anticipated break.  It was wonderful to just do ranch girl things instead of Extension Specialist things for a few days!  The mild winter is much appreciated, and we are only feeding the young cows hay at this point.  Here are some of the girls enjoying their breakfast on Christmas morning.

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner consisting of things both home-grown (prime rib, peas, mashed potatoes) and homemade (cresent rolls, gravy).

I traveled back to Miles City to ring in the New Year and had a wonderful time with many great friends. Here’s hoping you’ve had a great start to 2012!  I’ll be kicking of some programming and winshield time soon, so stay tuned…

Yours in travel,
The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

The Random Killer Sled

In late September, we pre-conditioned our calves that will be sold later this fall.  We vaccinated them for common diseases they might encounter after weaning, and we put electronic ear tags in their ears for source and age verification.  This means that the calves can be tracked back to our ranch and their birthday will follow along with their new eartag.

Our friend Lauren Chase with the Montana Stockgrowers Association came to join us.  Here she is aboard Fox, who was perfectly content being the photographer’s horse.  He isn’t one to get in a hurry.

 It was a wonderful day with family and friends alike pitching in to help out.  Mom and I made a huge pan of lasagna the night before and my aunt put it in the oven when she got to the ranch.  A little while later, we needed a volunteer to go take the foil off the lasagna, and Lauren gamely headed toward the door of the barn.  Hanging on the wall of the barn is a high-sided black sled – our calf sled – that we use to bring newborn calves into the barn during calving if they need a little extra TLC.  You can see it in this picture.

Somehow, the stars were aligned and just when Lauren walked by, the sled fell off the wall, bounced of the grain bin and hit the ground.  Being a good-natured sort, she laughed along with the rest of us and headed for the house…but I think she was a little jumpy for the rest of the day!

Lauren is a great friend to me, my family, and to Montana ranching and agriculture, and we are so lucky to have her in our lives!   

This weekend, I’ll be traveling to the Young Ag Leadership Conference in Lewistown, Montana.  There’s a little-known theme song, it goes, “a-YALCing we will go, a-YALCing we will go,”…but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux