Happy Sunday everyone!

This weekend was filled to the brim with great people, cattle, and lots of fun! On Friday I headed south from San Luis Obispo to the Spanish Ranch in Cuyama, CA. A fellow California CattleWoman reached out to me in mid-August asking if I would come speak to the guests at their annual 4-H Beef Play Day. Without hesitation I agreed, because there’s nothing I like better than igniting others’ passion for the beef community, and playing with cows, too!

Here is a cow that wanted in on the play day fun!

I was able to meet some of the guests Friday night, because they traveled up early due to long drives (some guests came from as far as San Diego!). We enjoyed dinner, hung out by the camp fire for a bit, and turned into bed eager for the brisk morning to arrive.

Okay, brisk may have been an understatement. I will admit it- I am kind of a wimp when it comes to cold, so I came prepared. I figured dressing in layers would help me get through the day’s weather, and I planned correctly, because when it came time for my talk it had warmed up just enough for my most important layer to show:  my I ❤ BEEF T-shirt!

While the 4-H participants spent the morning in break-out sessions learning how to load a tack box for the show, wash and blow dry cattle, and the dos and don’ts of showmanship, the parents and leaders joined together to discuss and share stories of how to make their 4-Hers successful with their beef projects. I was able to share my “beef story” with them as well, telling them a bit about myself and how I came to be involved with the National Beef Ambassador program and how I have served in the beef community while a full time student, as well.

After a delicious beefy lunch, I got to share with the 4-Hers about the National Beef Ambassador program and some of my experiences in the beef community thus far. Several seemed interested and would be GREAT candidates for the National Beef Ambassador program! I hope they all eventually decide to participate and share their passion for the beef industry with others, too!

After that, we all headed down to the corrals for a little showmanship practice!

Naturally, I followed with my camera in hand to practice taking people/cattle/action shots. Here are a few of my favorites from throughout the day:

Peek-a-Moo. This heifer waits her turn before getting haltered and entering the ring.

Feet placement can be tricky, but it’s equally important as the rest in the show ring.

This little girl reminded me of myself~ she talked to this heifer the WHOLE time they were in the ring. So cute.

This precious little thing has a few more years until she hits the show ring, but knows what a cow says! ~Moo!

Sometimes it’s the “whoops shots” that turn out the coolest!

As the day got longer, it got hotter, but even the kids waiting their turn didn’t give up on learning new things!

This calf was my favorite! She is so fluffy and knows a thing or two about the show ring!

Here are the prize winners of the day. Awards included best cattle brand creator, bravest calf shower, and others! Of course, all the kids were winners who participated, too!

Overall, the day was great fun for all involved! One of the best stories that I have for the day deserves its own blog post, but here’s a synopsis:  one of the young gentlemen who engaged in my after-lunch talk recognized me from when he showed at his first jackpot show, which happened to be Cal Poly’s Western Bonanza!

Want to know more about the Spanish Ranch? The Spanish Ranch has three parts to their mission statement:

  • Continue the long tradition of land stewardship by respecting the land, its resources and productivity;
  • Constantly invest in the next generation and respect the last, whether people or cattle; and
  • Produce a premium product

    This weekend did an outstanding job of serving not only number 2, but 1 and 3, as well.The theme of the play day was “Inspiring THIS Generation”, and I am so thankful to have been able to help fulfill the Spanish Ranch’s mission by attending this event!

    Finally, let’s put our hands together for Pam Doiron and Debbie Torres for making this weekend a success! These ladies understand the benefit of helping the next generation succeed, and we progress forward in the beef community because of people like them!

    ~Insert thunderous applause here!~

    Happy November everyone! I am continuously thankful for the great outdoors, great cattle, and great people!


    Mal the Beef Gal