Archive for February 2012

Celebrate Life, Mr. President!

February 20, 2012

So this morning, Monday, February 20 (aka President’s Day) I got to thinking how President’s Day relates to agriculture, beef more specifically. I began pondering how President’s Day is a positive message to agriculture….and then it hit me!

President’s run our country, the President of the United States is in charge of decisions, and the welfare of our great nation. Clearly, they want to make the best choices, choices that will benefit Americans. And, although I can’t speak for political issues or party standpoints, there is one thing ALL Presidents have in common.

Starting with George Washington!

Including the great Abraham Lincoln

Including some more recent Presidents!

And yes....even this guy! Our current US President!

All of them have made time-crunching, tough, nail-biting, nation-scrutinized decisions! But eating beef was not one of those “challenging decisions”! That’s right….every single President we have ever had has been a consumer of beef (also pork, chicken, turkey, ect….)! Therefore, they must be advocators and supporters of our industry! If the President of the United States trusts American farmers, there is clearly no reason for anyone to question the safety of American beef! It’s the safest,  most affordable, most abundant food supply in the world!

Go farmers! Well, in honor of President’s Day….let’s go eat beef!! Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!

Are you Satisfied With Your Dash?

February 20, 2012

I wanted to share with you all the poem that was read this past weekend at Uncle Don (Dr. Don L. Good’s) funeral.   The weekend was very much a celebration of a life well lived.  You could say that Don made the most of his dash. 

As we left Manhattan to come home I reflected on the poem.  Too often we wait to get involved in school or community activities, or are too busy to notice others around us.  It’s easy to identify problems we encounter, but takes more effort to be a part of the solution.  We may be focused on training for the next big step, feeling like in the meantime our life is on hold.  What we forget (at least I do at times) is that everyday is a part of our DASH.   Please take a minute, read the poem by Linda Ellis, and ask yourself if you’re satisfied with your dash.  If not, today is the day to start filling in the stories of your dash.

 The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth…
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars….the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…
are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(You could be at “dash midrange.”)

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spend your dash?

Dr. Don Good – My Hero

February 15, 2012

My name is Chris Mullinix and this represents my first ever Butler Blog.  I’m excited to do so but must admit my motivation stems from sadness.  We all have heroes and mentors in our life and last night I lost one of mine in Dr. Don Good.  Like most of the students who write on this blog, my background is of family farm origin where I grew up loving animal agriculture.  I know in my early years I viewed people like Michael Jordan or Joe Montana as heroes.  Today, my view on heroes is different.  Not to take anything away from those icons in sport, but as my life and passions changed so did my heroes.

Today, I feel very fortunate to be in my 15th year teaching in the Agriculture Department here at Butler and serving as the coach of our livestock judging team.  As I developed my enjoyment of judging through 4-H and at the collegiate level I also became interested in the history of my “sport.”  We’ve had so many individuals influence our industry and direct positive change!  But in my opinion that list starts with Don Good!  I am proud of my opportunity to judge shows across the country and the impact I am fortunate to have on young people as the coach of a collegiate livestock judging team.  In my opinion, no one ever did those two things with any greater skill, integrity level and success than Don Good!  Doesn’t that define a hero?

 As an evaluator of livestock, Don Good is widely considered one of the greatest cattle judges of all time.  His understanding of industry, astute eye, amazing communication skills and steadfast moral code gave him the opportunity to judge every major show in the country and numerous events worldwide.  What’s cool is that I honestly think Don derived as much joy from judging a Kansas county fair (which I believe he made an effort to judge every county show in the state) as he did judging the International in Chicago.  He just loved people and livestock no matter what the scope of the event!  Though I’m sure you could highlight many great moments in his judging career, the 1969 International in Chicago stands as an unbelievable moment in the livestock industry.  That year, judge Don Good selected the first ever crossbred to win a major livestock event and forever changed industry views on crossbreeding.  What we see as the norm today was anything but normal in that era.  Purebred livestock were viewed as superior to that of their crossbred, “mongrel,” counterparts.  With one “slap” Don Good changed that view.  Conoco (picture below) was a Charolais/Angus cross that weighed just shy of 1300 pounds as approximately 15 or 16 months of age and went on to grade middle choice with a yield grade of 2 and a 15+ inch ribeye.  In 1969!!  We couldn’t ask for any better four decades later.  Don Good was a pioneer – with GUTS!  A hero if you will.

 Dr. Good also served as the head livestock judging coach at Kansas State University for 20 years, spanning a portion of three decades.  A decorated collegiate competitor himself, Don was named the High Individual Overall at the American Royal and the Second High Overall at the Chicago International as at student at The Ohio State University.  I am so proud of my affiliation with the livestock judging program at K-State.  The enthusiasm of our alumni is unbelievable and it came from the efforts of Don Good and the impact he had on the lives of some many young people as their coach, teacher and mentor.  To many, judging success is measured in wins.  Victories are great, of which Don Good achieve many (Pictured below with his 1950 National Championship Team), but lives touched is what generates a legacy.  In his later years, I had the chance to share coaching philosophies with Dr. Good on several occasions and have spent time with countless former students who have each made their own profound impact on our industry.  Don believed in a consistent approach to teaching the principles of the livestock industry and developing life skills through livestock judging.  His students state it simply – “He made me a better person!”  Now that’s a hero.

 

On July 21, 2007, I married Elissa Good and became a part of the Good Family.  From that day forward, I began to have a greater appreciation for Don Good the man.  You see, inside the walls of their family home he was not Don Good the livestock icon or judging great.  He was simply, Dad or Husband or Grandpa or Uncle Don.  Up until that time, I viewed Don Good as my hero based on his exploits as a coach and livestock evaluator.  Once again my views of a hero have changed.  He made a life partner in his beautiful wife Jane and together raised the most amazing family I’ve ever been around.  A family I’m now proud to call my own!  In September, my wife will give birth to our first child and I hope I can continue to use Don Good as my inspiration on how to balance family and career.

Yesterday, I lost a hero.  But today, I realized that you never really lose your heroes.  The impact they have on your personality lasts a lifetime and hopefully can be passed on by your good deeds to others.  Thank you Don for being a great spokesman for industry, an American Soldier, a proud educator, a breeder of great livestock and a coach that touched the lives of so many students.  Most of all, thanks for just being “Uncle Don.”

Back From Cowtown

February 6, 2012

Well, as the title reads….the Butler Livestock Judging Team has returned from Cowtown (aka Fort Worth, Texas)!

With another National Contest under our belts….here are the results:

Team consisted of:

Maverick Squires – Oklahoma

Taylor Graham – Tennessee

Jared Wynn – Ohio

Emily Jackson – Texas

Kinzie Selke – Indiana

Horse Division

Individual                                                                

1st Emily Jackson

Team

3rd

Swine Division

Individual                                                              

1st Paige Wallace

2nd Maverick Squires

Team

3rd

Sheep Division

Individual

1st Maverick Squires

Cattle Division

Individual

3rd Maverick Squires

Team

3rd

Reasons Divsion

Individual

1st Maverick Squires

3rd Emily Jackson

Team

1st

Overall

Individual

1st Maverick Squires

Team

2nd

Good job to everyone that competed at Fort Worth! We are looking forward to our next National Contest in San Antonio, Texas!