First Time at the Ring

Block and Bridle

Our judge for the day giving reasons on why he named the winner of the class

This weekend I had a first experience that I am not likely to forget. I attended my very first cattle show at the Block and Bridle Bear Classic, the livestock club that I am a part of. Being a nontraditional agriculturalist, I never had the opportunity to attend a show, and I have to say that I was impressed and astonished at how technical it was and how passionate the exhibitors were about their craft.  There were exhibitors of all ages, from the “Grizzly Bear” class of 22 and older, all the way down to kids in elementary school. The common thread between all of them was the knowledge of the animals and the dedication they had for what they were doing. Trailers started arriving at 6 A.M. with cattle, show supplies, fitting chutes and excited people.  There were three divisions in the show: heifers, bulls and steers. At the beginning of the day I figured that it would be a quick show; that we would fly through the heifer show and then the three bulls and about 20 steers that were present. I found out later that there were about 50 classes of heifers and they were separated by breed and age that made the classes and then we would get to the bull and steer classes. From my past judging experience, I inferred that they would be separated in that way, but the differences between the classes proved to be only about a month in age.

Block and Bridle 2

Show Announcer Cameron Hance and Marie Shelden at the registration table

I was stationed at the prize table, so I was front and center and had the opportunity to listen to the judge and his reasons for choosing the champion and reserve champion cattle. He was mostly looking for conditioning, structural correctness, how they moved when tracked and overall presentation. I am very eager to learn more about this aspect of agriculture, and am thankful to have had the experience. I am definitely more impressed with the show world  than I was going in, and commend the hosts of the show and the exhibitors who made a simple cattle show a great learning experience for me.

Photos Courtesy of: Missouri State University Block & Bridle

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How Blogging Has Helped Me Grow

This semester in PR in Agriculture, we have had to blog every week about various topics. I never knew what kinds of opportunities it would bring or how much it has helped me tell my story. Before this class, there was no way that I would be able to do my job effectively and efficiently as I do now. One of the main tasks that I have been assigned at one of my jobs is to create a social media marketing plan that will be implemented next fall. With projects such as the social media campaign that is currently in progress, I have gained skills that I can use to make my place of employment successful. I now have a LinkedIn profile, which I learned about in this class, that has connected me to people where I would like to go to graduate school, as well as employers that I have to use as an arsenal of references in the future. With the speakers we have had such as Judy Graf (FarmNWife), I have learned how to blog effectively and efficiently to where I can perform my job with the school of agriculture and write blog posts for them. The coursework I have done in this class has given me experience that I can put on a resume and be more marketable for future employers in positions in my field. Not many people think about the positive impact that social media and blogging can have within agriculture. This allows us to tell our story and get a positive message across for our industry.

On Top of Mount Stressful

looking at peach

Me and my horse Peach, the ultimate stress relief during hard times

This week has been nothing but stressful. With the end of the semester winding to an end, there are projects due, tests to take, and tasks within organizations that have to be finished. With all these things, plus the stress of the declining health of family members, stress management has become quite the skill of mine as of late. Having to juggle the three clubs I am a member of, 16 hours of schoolwork, two jobs, and worrying about my family, I have made quite the strategy by trial and error as well as using the experience of others. One of the main ways to relieve stress for me is to ride my horse, Peach. She has been that escape that I have needed oh so often lately. This past Sunday I called my best friend and my parents and told them where I was and turned off my phone. I was able to escape the world’s problems for just a few hours. Another method that I have learned is to mediate. I used to think that meditation was one of those things that hippies did and that was a complete joke. I have come to find out that it is not only therapeutic and helps with stress relief, but I have felt the positive health improvements that it has brought. I am able to focus better in classes, I have more energy throughout the day, and not only are my grades improving, I have more motivation to do the tasks assigned to me. The next time you or anyone you know are stressed, I urge you to recommend that they find an outlet for that stress. Ride a horse, mediate, whatever works, just make sure that the outlet is positive for themselves and others.

Agricultural Communications… Huh?

Ever since I changed my major to agricultural communications instead of animal science, every time I say what my major is, I get questioned about what that entails and what I’m going to do with the degree. I didn’t know that this wasn’t a well-known major until I checked Missouri State’s population of agricultural communications majors: a whole six of us. The classes that are required in a communications major can benefit anyone who is planning on finding their place in the business world. ag com 2Classes such as Small Group Communication, Organizational Communication, and Conflict Management can be useful to any professional and business. They provide training in the basics of communicating with co-workers, employers, and customers. In addition, they provide skills in recognizing and adapting to different communication and work styles. Also with this major, I have a wide range of jobs and career choices to pick from. I have the opportunity to put on events such as agriculture education programs for high school students through FFA, work on websites and develop media for agricultural companies, and write for magazines and newspapers that are related to agriculture issues. This degree program is so diverse that I could explore outside of agriculture for a career in business, organizational communication, and even work with leadership camps and programs. What I would like to do with my degree is work in the agriculture industry in a public relations position. ag comThis means that I will focus on company image and connecting with customers. Later in my career I hope to bring agriculture education programs into urban areas and give those uneducated people an opportunity to hear the story of agriculture and realize its importance. This major has helped me realize the importance of communication not only in agriculture, but in the job market as a whole. With this degree I will find my place in the work force and help agriculture tell its story using the skills I have learned and the vast amount of career choices.

Go to: http://ag.missouristate.edu/Communications/ for more information on this major!

 

Photos courtesy of: Oklahoma State University CASNR and Shop.FFA.org

 

The “I” Word… Internship

This past month has been all about finishing up my schoolwork for the semester, doing my part to complete tasks for my organizations that I’m involved in, making sure my work is getting done for caseboth my jobs and preparing for an internship in Pennsylvania. That’s right, I said Pennsylvania; New Holland, Pennsylvania to be exact. I have been offered the position of Commercial Service Intern by Case IH Agriculture. This is my first internship, and I am really excited to be able to work on the east coast for three months. I mapped it out, and living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania puts me three hours from numerous tourist attractions and family: New York City, Canada, the beach, and my brother who lives in Brandywine, Maryland. I will be attending “Hay School” where I will learn about hay production and the machinery that it takes to efficiently produce quality hay. case tractorOnce that is finished I will be training employees on how to run the machinery that I learned to use. Without the traditional production agriculture background, I will be a bit behind, but I will make sure to put forth as much effort as it requires to perform my job at a high standard. This internship is a great opportunity and I am very blessed and thankful to have it. Working for a great company such as Case IH will open many doors within my career field and provide experience that I would not have otherwise gotten. Thank you, Case IH for providing me with this position and the good things that come with it.

Look for more posts and follow me as I blog through my summer internship with Case IH Agriculture!!

 

Photos courtesy of: Google Images and Case IH Agriculture