Sliding into 2019

2019 started with my foot on the gas pedal!  A quiet New Year’s Eve evening with Mattie popping fireworks with my dad and me, which has turned into a tradition, has turned into a non-stop roller coaster from Mattie’s extracurricular activities to starting a new job to my CattleWomen to school starting.  My life has been busy busy busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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I am definitely excited to see what is in store for 2019.  2018 was amazing overall but I was glad to see it go.  A new year always means a new slate to me.  A new year to make a difference and to live life to the fullest. 2018 started off with a bang and slowly dwindled down so I can only imagine what 2019 has in store.  It is true, my thirties have already been better than my twenties and I am just getting started.

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It is crazy how your path can take you to different places, with different people, and you learn and become interested in different things.  I always knew that I had a creative side in me.  I mean, I did originally want to go to College for a photography degree. The more time I spend working the more and more I fall in love with it. I was sitting at my desk the other day working on a design for a new website and I thought to myself, I should have been a communication major or something equivalent.  I wish I would have gotten more experience in that field in school but one of my classes this semester is Ag Design so I am super excited about that.

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God continues to bless me every day and I am so thankful for all the wonderful opportunities that I have been given and my amazing parents for making those opportunities possible for me.

2019 is going to be a year of rebuilding for me, a year of growing up, a year of finding new hobbies and pursuing them, a year of traveling (gotta love my CattleWomen ladies), a year of making new memories and a year of cherishing everything and everyone around me.

Here is to 2019 and I hope your year is the best that is can possibly be!

As always share some love, we can always use some more love!

Texas CattleWomen

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This past weekend something spectacular happened.  I received an award that I held in high regard.  Texas CattleWomen of the Year.  To make the event even more special, one of my best friends was able to present this award to me.   Not only has she taken me under her wing, but she has become more like family to me.  I am so thankful for her and will forever be grateful for the time she has given me.

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I fumbled through a speech at the presentation of the award but I can express my feelings through my writings better.  Receiving this award was one of the greatest experiences that I have had with CattleWomen.  It is nice to get recognized and know that the work that you are putting in gets noticed.  I know that sometimes I can be a little impatient when it comes to things.  I, however, have so much passion, love, and drive for CattleWomen, that I want it to be the best it can be.  I hope that everyone knows that all the work I do is for the good of the organization.

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CatttleWomen is not just an organization to me, it is another family.  I honestly do not know where I would be without CattleWomen.  I joined this organization at a time when I was discovering myself.  This organization let me belong regardless of my background, my views, and my past.  From day 1, I have felt nothing but love from the women of this organization.  It is an amazing feeling to know that you have family across the state of Texas to call upon.

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I am beyond excited about the future of the organization.  I feel great things are in the work for us.  Thank you again for all the people that have a passion for the organization and want it to succeed.  Thank you to my family who helps me out so that I can do the things that I love.  Find your drive and your passion.  Find what brings you joy, explore it, and do everything in your power to not lose it.  You only have one life, make the most of it.  CattleWomen, you will always have my heart.

As always, share some love, we could all use a little more love.

Cattle, Cattle and More Cattle

There are no words to describe our first Women In Ranching Fall Tour.  My heart is full of joy and happiness. You know when you go to church and you come out feeling high on Jesus, or that feeling you get when you get back from a church retreat? On fire for Jesus! Well, after this event, I am on fire for BEEF!   Even though there were some things we had originally planned that fell through, I believe the event was a success.

43241591_1872149859571776_6003269557068759040_nWe started out in good ole’ Decatur Texas.  We left the infamous NRS store and made our way for the Bradley 3 Ranch.  I have to say; the good Lord was on our side as the forecasted rain held off and we were able to get to tour the ranch.  Bradley 3 Ranch sells Angus cattle and even a few Charolais.  During the tour, we even had the pleasure of getting to hear Minnie Lou Bradley speak.  She was the sweetest lady with a great sense of humor!

43301715_1872149879571774_7197624495216001024_nOne of my favorite things is being able to tour other people’s ranches and see how they have their facilities set up and the way they run their operation.  One day, I hope to take all this knowledge and put it into play at my own ranch.  On a side note, I decided I definitely wanted to raise bulls after leaving this ranch!

Lakeview, Texas.  If you have never been there, you need to go.  Only make sure you go on a Saturday evening between 5-9.  There is a restaurant called Lakeview Grill.  My mouth is watering thinking about the superb meal they provided for us.  There is no menu.  They serve a salad bar, beans, a ribeye, and potatoes.  It is worth the drive no matter where you live and the history of the place just tops it off.  We made our way to Amarillo as we stopped there for the night.  Sunday morning started out with a nasty drizzling rain.  However, as we made our way to Channing, the drizzle stopped and we were able to enjoy the tour of the Barber Ranch.  Mary Barber got on the bus and we were able to actually take the bus and drive through the ranch.  We were able to get out and see some Hereford’s and Mini Hereford’s before the rain came.  The trip began to wind down as we made our way to our last stop.  The Pullen-Mayfield Ranch.  The hospitality was phenomenal.  The information that I was able to learn over the weekend was something that can’t be taught in the classroom.

43296381_1873263359460426_2742397413758074880_nI am so grateful for the opportunities to visit ranches and meet and empower women in the industry.  One of my favorite things was to sit on the bus and just talk to the women I met on the trip.  I love hearing and learning about them and their operations.  Thank you to all the ladies that attended! I am already looking forward to the next one.

I am looking forward to this coming weekend, Texas CattleWomen Fall Convention at the Texas Beef Council Offices!

On a side note, the tooth fairy came to visit our house while I was gone.  My baby isn’t so much of a baby anymore!

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As always share some love, the world could always use a little more love!

From Cattle Handling to Tap Dancing

CLV_4530_There are no words that can express how much this past weekend meant to me.  I was a whirlwind of emotions from frustration to being on the brink of tears multiple times due to the overwhelming feeling of joy.  There is nothing like putting your heart and soul into a project and then it turns out even better than you had hoped.

Texas CattleWomen hosted our first “Women In Ranching” event at the NRS store in Decatur Texas.  This is the same store that I have talked about multiple times.  I am telling you, you definitely need to check it out.  While I was hoping to arrive Thursday night, sometimes God decides you have other plans.  He definitely keeps me on my toes.  I was finally able to arrive Friday evening.  Boy, I was like a kid on Christmas Eve!  I was so tired and drained from all the emotions going on, but I was excited as well.  It’s very hard to get to sleep under these conditions, but I finally did it.

34063822_1686496768137087_7845814912214368256_nSaturday morning started out early and with a bang.  I loved checking everyone in! I was finally able to put a face with the ladies that I had been talking to.  Dr. Gill started out the morning with his amazing cow handling abilities.  He is such a Rockstar to watch.  I learn something new every time I hear him speak.  It is almost like magic how he is able to move the cows around on horse and on foot.  The afternoon was a favorite part of the event for many ladies.  I, however did not get attend this part.  When Mother duty calls, I have to go.  I drove back to College Station to watch Mattie at her dance recital.  She did awesome! She is definitely a talented little girl.  After the recital I drove back to Decatur, Texas to make sure I was there for the next morning.  Yes, that is a lot of driving but when you are that passionate about the things going on in your life you do what you need to do.

I am glad that I made it back.  The drive was definitely worth the thanks and gratitude and the pure joy in the faces of the ladies that attended. The event was a special one.  It was the first event that Debbie Gill and I put together. WIR is our “Baby”!!  We are stoked about the outcome of things and we are already planning our next event.

34207156_1686497018137062_1937355396700176384_nToday as I was driving I was thinking and God has been amazing to me this year. I can not thank Him enough for that. I really believe that if you are on the right path and you give thanks and praise to the right Man upstairs, He will continue to bless you and you will experience happiness.  Yes, life is always full of ups and downs, but that is life.  The way you look at things determines the outcome.  You only get one life…… Live it to its full potential.

As always share some love, we all need a little more love.

1st Timer

27751743_1710199699002582_2993604091170085740_nMan oh man! My trip to Phoenix was simply magical!!  This was my second year to attend the American National CattleWomen (ANCW) annual meetings, but this was my first year to attend the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) annual meeting. First and foremost, wow. Just WOW!  I did not realize how big this event was or how many attended this convention. Even if it is only for one day, the trade show is worth it.  In the market for a job? The trade show is where it is at.  So many different companies were represented. From equipment companies to insurance companies to feed companies; Whatever your interest in agriculture is, there was a booth for it.

My first day I was able to attend the ANCW meetings and meet CattleWomen from all across the country.  This is probably one of the more special parts of the convention.  Seeing all the different women who are working hard in their communities spreading their story and their love for beef.  The more you are able to see these women, the more friendships are formed and relationships are built.  It truly is marvelous!

27657675_10160629144290347_1324125336082093514_nBesides meeting new people and being nominated to serve on the Board of Directors for ANCW, I had one more piece I really enjoyed.  Believe it or not, I loved being able to hear Colin Woodall speak.  He is NCBA Chief Lobbyist on Capitol Hill. He is an astounding speaker and has given me the drive to become more knowledgeable about the current legislature affecting our agricultural industry.  If ever given the chance, I highly recommend attending any meetings where he is speaking.

In addition to the ANCW meetings, I was also able to attend some of the NCBA meetings.  Some of these meetings were broken up by Regions, some were broken up by committees.  If you are ever interested in the Beef Checkoff, this is a great place to get information.  What is the Beef Checkoff you ask?  Every time cattle are sold, 1 dollar is taken for every head and sometimes 2 dollars depending on whether the state is set up that way or not.  For example, in Texas, 2 dollars are taken.  This money is used to come up with programs to promote beef, educate consumers, and do research.  There are several meetings that occur containing anything and everything that is happening with the Beef Checkoff.   If you are interested in learning more about the Beef Check off, be sure to check out this website. https://www.beefboard.org/producer/CBBFinalUnderstandingBrochure.pdf

Besides the stunning tradeshow, there are also live demonstrations that occur as well.  There are equipment demonstrations as well as live cattle handling and colt breaking, just to name a few.  These demonstrations were done by Dr. Gill and Curt and Tammy Pate.  I learn something every time I listen to them and it is always great to keep improving.

unnamedI wrapped up my convention by attending an emerging leaders luncheon.  This is an incredible opportunity for college students and the youth coming up in the industry.  We were able to sit down with some of the more knowledgeable people in the industry and learn what it takes to succeed.  There was also a notable speaker there by the name of Bruce Vincent. He is an impeccable speaker, so please make sure to check him out as well.

This was a remarkable opportunity and I urge everyone in the industry to attend this convention at least once, especially for any students or young people wanting to get in the industry.  I know I am already looking forward to New Orleans next year!

As always spread some love, we could all use a little more love!

Delayed Flights and Window Seats

IMG_1493As I sat looking out of my airplane window, a lot of thoughts went through my head.  First, I have this minor birthday coming up which makes me another year older…… Yikes!!  Second, I truly needed to get home and see my baby. I thought about how much I need to really start working harder on my goals and making a name for myself. I work pretty hard now, but you can always work harder. I pondered about how much the Women In Ranching program is so special to me.  Most of all, I thought about how fortunate I am.

I am SO lucky to be able to go and travel and be involved in an industry that I am so passionate about.  I am so fortunate to have parents that are able to make all of these things happen for me.  These small but significant things show the true love a parent has for a child.  There are so many people that are not as fortunate as I am. Some have just been told over and over to just get a job that makes the most money regardless of the fact that they may not even enjoy the job.  Now, do not get me wrong, I know every job has its ups and downs.  However, I have often heard the saying; “Do something you enjoy and you will never work a day in your life.”

IMG_1472This past year has been an amazing ride and one where I became more and more involved in an industry that I love.  I went from being just a member in a collegiate organization to the Vice President of Texas CattleWomen. From there I am now privileged to serve on the Board of Directors for American National CattleWomen. As time has passed, I have gotten to meet more and more people who are just as passionate about the Cattle Industry as I am.

Thankfully, I now find that the things I worried and stressed about do not seem as important anymore.  I know that I have finally found a place where I fit, regardless of the fact that my background may be quite different than a lot of other people in the industry.  If you have the passion, anything is possible.  From here on out, it is only UP!  I have found my true happiness and I am holding on to it dearly.

As always spread some love, we could all use a little more love!

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Mountain Tops & Belt Buckles

IMG_3456Words cannot describe the beauty seen from the top of a mountain. It seems as if you can see the whole world from up top on that mountain. The beauty and love that God put into making this land is incredible. Peace is up there and it surrounds you and wraps you up tight like a blanket. Take a minute to close your eyes and imagine walking a trail in the mountains. Imagine the sun rising up over the mountain tops and bouncing off the lake hidden in a valley. The birds are chirping and flying around and as you glance over you can see a herd of elk grazing peacefully. Now just take a moment and let it all sink in. Let that peace come over you and settle way down deep inside you. I know I did.

IMG_3505My trip to Colorado was one of the best trips I have had in a long time. Any trip where you get to meet with your CattleWomen friends is awesome, but this one was different. I took the time to appreciate all the amazing things around me and came back with that peace. I came back knowing that there is so much more to life. There is so much beauty around you but people fail to see it as the daily grind overtakes them. Take that time and see that beauty and find that peace.

IMG_3542In Colorado, I attended the American National CattleWomen meetings. I love going to these functions and meeting and learning from all the women across the United States. It is so motivating to see how many passionate women there are who support the Beef Industry. Many of them are Ranchers themselves. One of the exciting new programs that they have out is the National Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program. This is a wonderful program that takes Collegiate Leaders and helps them develop their leadership skills as well as giving them educational opportunities. An added bonus is introducing these young people to industry professionals. This is one program that if you are in College you do not want to pass up. There is even a scholarship associated with it. If you are wanting more information on this program be sure to check out ancw.org and click on the “Programs”. The deadline is October 31st, so make sure you get your application in soon.

IMG_3543Needless to say, I was not ready to come back home. I was not ready to get back into that daily grind. I was having a hard time (again) adjusting back to the daily grind knowing that there is so much more out there. This time I decided to do something about it. Do you know how powerful it is to watch the sunrise every morning? Taking in all that beauty has really grown on me and I do my best every morning to make sure I am up to see that sunrise. It puts a whole new perspective on my day and something that I am very grateful for.

IMG_3455This past week the Texas Aggie CattleWomen, held our annual Steak Dinner and Dance the night before Beef Cattle Short Course began. The event turned out to be everything I hoped for and more. The Texas A&M Hall of Champions was immaculate. We more than tripled our attendance from last year, and as always, the food was amazing. Nolan Ryan himself supplied the tenderloins and he was kind enough to attend! My fellow CattleWomen gave me the honor of being named, “Texas Aggie CattleWoman of the Year.” It is truly an amazing feeling to be acknowledged for doing something you love. However, every one of the girls from the officer team deserved this award as well. We all put in a lot of hard work and not because we had to. We did it because we love doing it. We have this passion for the Beef Industry that is indescribable. It is a fire that burns deep down in our bellies and all we want to do is teach and educate people as well as learn ourselves. This week was a great opportunity for learning. If you have never been to Beef Cattle Short Course and you want to learn, this is the best place to go. The classes are all spectacular and they feature some of the best speakers in the United States. This course happens once a year and will be held again in August 2018. I was unable to attend the classes this year, but I was there as a displayer and I loved every minute of it. The people you meet are brilliant and the networking opportunities are endless.

Belt BuckleNo matter which path you take in life, make sure you find something that you love doing. Make sure you make time to find that peace and to stop and appreciate the beauty around you. Take a chance and watch that sunrise, I know I will be.