Archive for January 2011

Results from South Dakota

January 31, 2011
Results from Sioux Empire Farm Show Livestock Judging Contest 2011…


1st– Whitney Darr (So).

3rd– Morgan Meisenheimer (So).

4th– Ethan James (So).

6th– Chandler Akins (So)

10th– Kyle “Willie” Wilson (Fr).

Also finishing in the top 20 were Paige Wallace (Fr), Kallie Johnson (So),  Maverick Squires (Fr), Emily Jackson (Fr) & Barrett Carlisle (So).

Teams: 1st, 4th, 7th & 8th


Tied for 1st- Morgan Meisenheimer & Whitney Darr (So).

4th– Chandler Akins (So).

Tied for 5th– Maverick Squires (Fr), Barrett Carlisle (So) & Jared Wynn (Fr).

Teams: 1st, 4th, 6th


Tied for 1st- Chandler Akins (So).

3rd- Whitney Darr (So).

4th- Ethan James (So).

Also in the top 10 was Morgan Meisenheimer & Kallie Johnson (So).

Teams: 1st, 4th, 7th

Sheep & Goats:

4th- Whitney Darr (So).

5th- Maverick Squires (Fr).

Also finishing in the top 10 were Kinzie Selke (Fr), Analena Simmons (So) & Kallie Johnson (So).

Teams: 1st, 3rd, 4th, 10th


2nd– Whitney Darr (So).

4th- Emily Jackson (Fr).

Also finishing in the top 10 was Paige Wallace (Fr).

Teams: 2nd, 4th, 8th


As American As… Birthday Cake!

January 27, 2011

So, I’ve been doing a little soul searching, and have come to a conclusion: The phrase “As American As Apple Pie” is way off. Just think about it- what food do we use to celebrate every major occasion? Cake, of course! And why not?! It comes in every flavor under the sun (except grape- I’ve never had a grape cake), it is a good source of carbs and energy, and there’s even an awesome TV show all about them- Cake Boss! (aka one of my favs!)

So, when my roomie, Alyson, announced that she got into making cakes over Christmas break, I was totally supportive. And since Sarah’s Birthday was coming up, all of us put our heads together and came up with the perfect cake! See for yourself!

Sarah wasn’t allowed to see what was going on. We actually tried to keep the entire cake a secret, but it is a little hard when you live in the same house. 

So, when she got hungry, we had to bring everything to her.

And then I got the privilege of taking it all back. By this time, she was getting bossy. I guess she though it was her birthday or something?

The finished product: (Drumroll Please…)

TA DAAA! We all went Ice Skating that night for Ag Ambassadors. So we just decided to turn it into a meeting/Sarah’s B-Day party!!! (Hence, why the heifer is wearing ice skates and a scarf) 
She loved it, of course. After all, it is beautifully combining two things everyone should love- cake and cattle!

Here are some other cakes Alyson has done. 

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Butler Alumni-Be True to Yourself

January 25, 2011

Ben (Butler Alumni) and Corineah Williams

Butler Alumni, Ben Williams grew up in North Central Indiana on a diversified livestock operation.  From the start, Ben was active in 4-H and high school sports (especially basketball-a must for those in the Hoosier state).  His family currently raises club lambs and a handful of show calves.  Check them out at Williams Diamond Club Lambs.  One thing is certain, at home Ben learned the value of doing things the right way and has never wavered from those beliefs. 

Ben’s interest in livestock evaluation led him to Butler Community College where he was a member of the Livestock Judging Team, earning All American status his sophomore year.  He was also a member of the Ag club and served as the Ag club student advisor representative.  After earning his Agriculture degree Ben continued his education at Kansas State University.  While he was earning his bachelors degree in Animal Science, Ben competed on the 2006 Livestock Judging Team, was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and also  Block and Bridle.  He also completed an internship with Dr. Dale Blasi working with National Animal Identification Systems.  Like many Butler students who transfer on, Ben found the time to accomplish a lot, but yet he still managed to complete his undergraduate degree in just 4 years.

After K-State, Ben earned at Master’s Degree in Animal Science with emphasis in meat science and muscle biology at the University of Nebraska while also serving as the assistant livestock judging team coach.  He was also a member of American Meat Science association.

Currently, Ben is the Livestock Judging Coach for North Dakota State University.  Part of his job is also in NDSU extension where he is involved with  speaking to producers and youth about livestock selection and production.  He also trains FFA and 4-H coaches about livestock judging and is responsible for developing livestock judging educational materials.  Ben is the North Dakota spokesperson for AK-SAR-BEN and also the ND state fair Superintendent advisor.  Check out the NDSU Animal Science home page  to see what they’re up to.

Ben with his 2010 NDSU Livestock Judging Team

 Ben and his wife, Corineah maintain a blog they call “…life on our terms,” it’s a fun peek into their everyday lives.  In his free time, Ben enjoys playing/watching basketball and most sports, bird hunting, spending time with family and talking “livestock.”

In Ben’s words, “My advice for young livestock judgers: Everybody wants the ribbons, plaques, trophies and banners; but not everybody wants to work for it.  Separate yourself from average by your willingness to work, and your willingness to learn.  And have fun doing it!”

"I especially like livestock prints and pictures. This is one that is hanging on my office wall. This one is the epitome of livestock judging and showing. It is titled “One Man’s Opinion.”

As you can see Ben is a Butler graduate who is making  an impact everyday.  Like many Butler graduates he is finding a way to carve out his place in the Agricultural world with integrity and the conviction to remain true to himself.

Denver, The National Western Stock Show

January 24, 2011

National Western Livestock Judging Contest

Floor members were Chandler Akins, Barrett Carlisle, Whitney Darr, Ethan James and Morgan Meisenheimer. Chandler tied for 1st in Hogs.

Team Results: 4th in sheep & goats, 8th Overall


Members were Kallie Johnson, Will Johnson, Sarah Loughridge, Morgan Meisenheimer, and Analena Simmons.

Analena was 6th and the team finished 3rd overall.



Our team doesn’t have our own song. But what we have means even more. Before every contest Will Johnson leads our team in the Husker’s Prayer.

Dear Lord, the battles we go through life,

We ask for a chance that’s fair,

A chance to equal our stride,

A chance to do or dare,

If we should win, let it be by the code,

Faith and Honor held high,

If we should lose, we’ll stand by the road,

And cheer as the winners go by.

Day by Day, we get better and better!

The team that can’t be beat, WON’T BE BEAT!

This time, we lost. In fact, we were 8th. Although still in the top 10, we did not live up to the goals we have set for ourselves.

Whether it is right or wrong when you are a part of a Butler judging team there is always that fear of misrepresenting such an unbelievably successful program. Questions go through your mind like, “What if we are the team who can‘t replicate our initial success, or doesn‘t finish in the top 5?”

It is easy to focus on your disappointment after an eighth place finish. Another easy thing to do, is forgetting how you should act. With this in mind, Denver has reminded our team that we should try to not become solely people of success, but first and foremost; men and women of value.

Like Leo F. Buscaglia has said, people seem to gain wisdom more readily through failure than success. We always think of failure as the antithesis of success, but it isn’t. Success often lies just the other side of failure.

I also agree with Colin Powell, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”  Honestly, preparation and hard work are not the shortcomings of my team. Never before have I surrounded myself with such enthusiastic hard workers. In fact, in my experience our tenacious drive is simply unparalleled.

It just turns out that now is the time for us to learn about something other than livestock judging.

Full of bull….

January 23, 2011

Full of bull….when I was little, I remember my mom telling my older cousin that he was “filled with bull” and also that he had the “gift of gab” 🙂 As I got older that statement began being used in reference to me! Both my cousin and I have VERY talkative mothers, so it must be heredity in it’s finest! But….this “full of bull” that I am speaking about is not in fact the slang term for a chit chatty person but instead in the literal sense, my family’s farm back home is FULL of bull(s)!

Back home in Texas, major shows are in full swing! The Fort Worth Stock Show is in prime time and soon, everyone will pack up and head home for a day of rest and be off to San Antonio, then Houston. Every year at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition, they hold an event called the “All Breeds Bull Sale”. Last year my family and I took two Brangus bulls to this sale and received Grand and Reserve Brangus Bulls!! (Officials come in and rank the bulls, prior to the sale and extra money and prizes are given to the two highest placing bulls in each breed.) Anyway, our family is once again taking two bulls to the sale so if you’re looking for a new stud to complete your cow herd, I’ve got just the answer 🙂

Since I am outside of my element, and many people are unaware of the immense quality and positivity offered by the ohh so marvelous Brangus bull, let me fill you in! 🙂 Brangus are 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Angus…..meaning they combine the splendor of two leading breeds! They are hardy enough to withstand the tough Texas heat, humidity and insects but also durable enough to beat the cold conditions of northern states! Brangus make excellent mothers and wean fast-growing calves. If you’re looking to make profit on weaned/yearling offspring, well Brangus are solid black, without a hump and therefore will qualify for extra premiums under ‘Certified Angus Beef’.

Here are our two bulls going in the sale on February 9, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas:

Lot 27 "Mr CJ Lynard Skynard" DOB: September 2008

Lot 28 "Mr EJ Seth" DOB: January 2009

Another exciting fact about Brangus is their longevity. This is "Lexi" one of the bases of our cow herd, with whom both these bulls can trace back to. She's 9 years old in this picture ladies and gentlemen!!

So! If you’re out there looking for a new completion to your cow family….look no further! Brangus calves combine so many thrilling traits in such an adorable package! You won’t be able to contain your smiles when you see these precious critters running through your pastures, I assure you! And have no fear my dear, if you’re not a fan of public sales or just don’t want to travel that far south we have plenty of bulls still to sell back at the farm!

Have a fantastic week,


P.S. For more information on the bulls, call Jodi at 254-722-9138

Coats, Hats, and Scarves…..OH MY!

January 20, 2011

Southern girls have charm, good food and of course the accent, but there is one thing southerners don’t have that we northerners do…and that’s winter weather! When I arrived back to school from my home in Indiana, the weather did not seem too bad. Sure, there was about an inch or two of snow on the ground and a bit of chilly air, but I had certainly have seen much worse weather at home.

Later on, I met up with Emily Jackson (who was screaming in excitement and throwing her first “snow ball”).  She said she had never witnessed so much snow in her lifetime! That night, Julia Horn, confirmed that she had not either. I guess some people just don’t know the luxury of getting all bundled up to fight the cold and the snow as much as we northerners! Julia, Emily, and Katy Satree (another fellow friend, teammate, and also a Texan) decided that we all needed to go shopping so I could prepare them for the cold, blistering, weather of the rest of the country! Ohh…this is gonna be fun!

We decided to leave on Wednesday after our Livestock Selection course to get the southerners winter “battle-ware”.  Our first stop…the Wichita mall of course! Loading up on turtle necks, gloves, hats, scarves and snow boots as we went. We also took time to make sure their previous purchases (or Christmas presents) of coats and ski pants were up to actual winter standards. Luckily, they were. The last stop was the Dick’s Sporting Goods store to make our final purchases.

Southerners' hats....ok maybe not thooose hats...

Julia making her snow boot purchase...POLO of course =)

As luck would have it, we left the store and were welcomed by a sheet of ice. Driving slowly and carefully we all made it home safe and with our cars unharmed. (The winter weather driving lesson is a blog for another day.) We all had a lot of fun, but I guess the true test will be in two weeks when the team heads to Sioux Falls, South Dakota! =)

Ice, Ice Baby!

January 20, 2011

Snowy weather and I have a Love-Hate relationship. Oh, how I love to look out my window first thing of a morning and see the gorgeous sight of black and red cattle in a snowy pasture. And Oh, how I love tie a tire to the back of the 4-wheeler and crash through deep snow drifts with my siblings. And Oh, how I love, and I repeat LOVE to have snow days from school!  But like many other agriculturists I know, the weather doesn’t always love us back.

When the weather gets crazy like it has been as of late, some extra chores are required around the farm. One of these would be chopping ice. If you are from Georgia, it’s Crackin’ Creeks. Or if you hail from Texas, you might call it Breaking Ice. (Or at least that’s that the roomies told me. I’ll believe them.) While this seems like a hassle, it is essential so our cattle can drink water, even during cold Kansas winters.

While I sure put my time in on swingin’ the ax, I never pass up an opportunity to let my brother, Flinton, or my Dad take their turn! After all, I was always told it builds character.

Back to School!!!!!!!!!!!

January 19, 2011

“Back to school. Back to school, to prove to brother that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight. Ohhhh, back to school. Back to school. Back to school. Well, here goes nothing.” Compliments of Billy Madison


Well January 18 marked the beginning of the first day of my last semester at Butler Community College. WOW this has some mixed feelings. I can remember the day that I just decided that I was going to go to Butler and just was hoping that it was going to be a great experience for me, and let me tell ya It has far exceeded me expectations and thoughts about what it was going to be.

But any-who lets get back to the first day of school, here is how my schedule played out 8-9.30 Chemistry, 9.30-11 accounting 2, 11-12.30 Caculus and 1-3.00 Meat science yeah I do this every Tuesday 😦 holy wow I no its not the craziest schedule ever heard of but considering I THINK ITS HARD…also my other classes on mwf consist of chemistry lab, history, macroeconomics, philosophy and probably the greatest class BOWLING. Yep I just said I am taking a class on bowling and it is probably going to be my favorite class 🙂 Needless to say there is going to be A LOT and I mean A LOT of studying to be had this semester.

But with that said, I better start doing my chemistry homework, here are some pics from my Christmas break that have my brothers and I and then a bunch of my best friends hope you enjoy!!!

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Butler Alumni-Find Your Direction

January 4, 2011

Butler Alumni: Dustin Rippe

Butler Alumni, Dustin Rippe grew up on a diversified farming and seedstock cow/calf operation in south central Nebraska.  To this day, Dustin is still very involved in his family’s operation; check them out at Rippe Gelbvieh.  After high school, Dustin went to school at Southeast Community College in Beatrice, NE (not too terribly far from his hometown).  There, during his first semester, he fell in love with livestock judging. 

In Dustin’s words, “I was not going to be able to beat these outstanding kids from Butler.  Therefore, I gave Chris (Mullinix) a call and asked if I could join his team. “

The rest is history.  With the courage to step outside of his comfort zone and a lot of hard work Dustin, transferred to Butler, became an important part of an extremely successful livestock judging team, earned an A.S. degree in Agriculture and set himself on a new course. 

After Butler, Dustin attended Colorado State University where he was on the livestock judging team, and became a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.  Dustin was also on the Seedstock Merchandising Team as well as various agricultural groups and clubs.  During his last semester, this small-town kid expanded his horizons and traveled abroad to New Zealand.   It’s obvious that Dustin was an involved student who made the most of every opportunity available.  He graduated from CSU in 2005, right on schedule, with a double major in Animal Science and Agricultural Business. 

Since his graduation, Dustin has worked for Meyer Natural Angus on the procurement team.  He then, worked for Cattle Fax in Denver as an analyst where he devoted most of his time to working with feedlot, stocker, and cow calf managers/owners as well as analyzing the commodity futures markets.  Currently, Dustin works for Gottsch Enterprises out of Hastings, Ne.  They are a very diversified company but their main business is feeding cattle.  With Gottsch, Dustin is in charge of buying corn and handling the risk management of the cattle feeding business using futures and options as financial protection.  As you can see, Dustin’s attention to his academics and willingness to explore new opportunities has made him very marketable. 

Dustin has always liked to keep himself busy.  Today, in addition to his professional duties he still handles the marketing of the bulls for Rippe Gelbvieh, his family’s Seedstock operation at home in Hubbell, NE.    Dustin and his wife Karla will forever be a part of the BCC Grizzly family.  Like many successful Butler graduates, Dustin still is that small-town kid, at heart, who took the initiative to find his direction at Butler Community College.