That’s the official greeting of Texas A&M. I would not lie to you.

Y’all wanna talk about cows today?  Awesome.  Me, too.  Y’all ‘member Jill?  Jill is due any day now.  Commercial beef and dairy cattle have calves that are born at about 90 pounds.  I’ll let that sink it for a moment.  NINETY POUNDS of hoof comin’ at’cha.  Longhorns, on the other hand, have babies that are about 50 pounds.  Big difference.  Since they’re not bred for size/production, nature is able to do its thing with little or no assistance from us humans.  It’s nice.  Technically, she’s due on March 2nd.  Jill’s showing the normal signs of uncomfortable-ness… um, her milk’s come in.  Ladies, a collective sigh of empathy, please.  So, any day.  We are so excited.  I’m making her a pie to celebrate.

mamma jill, february 2009

[segue] I am a big fan of kiddo team things… little league, choirs, chess clubs.  Get them together and let them learn while playing.  Yes.  Teach responsibility, learn a skill, earn a ribbon for participation.  Yes.  It naturally follows that I heart the idea FFA and 4H.    The thing is, no horned animals are allowed.  Goats and cows have to clipped to be eligible, and with good reason.  The problem here is that Jill wants to play.  The, forgive me, point of longhorns is their horns… and that means Jilly can’t enter.  You tell Jill that.

A genius group of folks saw the problem and created the Autobahn Youth Tour.  Specifically for longhorn breeders, this tour allows kids (and their families) to earn scholarship money towards college by entering in various shows throughout their youth.  It’s brilliant, really.  Because of the Tour’s efforts, Ry can choose to actively raise and show a longhorn calf/cow and work towards her future in a very realistic way.  I love it.  I love it when people see a need and jump in to make something happen.  These folks are creating and encouraging a new generation of cowboy, and I hope to be the one handing out the ribbons some day.  I hope I have these boots to wear while I’m handing out those ribbons.  That may be beside the point.

Now, Ry may choose to show chickens or goats, or enter the fair in sewing or art, or take guitar lessons and join a punk band… and that’s just fine.  I’ll go wherever and cheer as loud as I can. But until she chooses her own path, we’ll set her gently on this moo-cow one and let her roam.

ry with the yearlings

Jill, we’re ready for that baby whenever you are.  Ry’s got her boots by the door. 


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

17 responses to “howdy

  • jim

    Thanks for the Horn update, looks a little like the Pioneer Woman going down. Our AA family had their first chicken egg this week, so perhaps Rose will also do something like Ry as well.

    Be well.

  • amy

    i LOVE your cows. Can’t wait to see pics of the calf 🙂

    And i do feel for Jill and her milk…..i always wonder what it must be like for dairy cows what with all that milk and not enough milkin’.

    Keep on havin’ fun with those longhorns, and we’ll keep adoring them from NC!!

  • sunday

    oh my goodness i am so jealous that you are going to have a baby longhorn roaming around soon. that is so cool! i have always wanted a cow! i appreciate that you said you would follow ry anywhere and cheer the loudest. i have the same sentiment! my parents did that for me and I would like to pay it forward. you are a good mom there katie. i am real proud of you.

  • ecky

    that’s too cool
    when i worked at the farm museum, they had oxen. my friend was in the process of training them. very little house on the prairie.
    one day the teamsters came and put on a little show. they had teamsters of all sizes with their itty bitty oxen (i know they technically weren’t oxen yet, but you know what i mean) and they were taking them through obstacle courses and such. it was pretty impressive. them suckers are BIG!

    it’s nice that ry spends some time with her cows, chattin and such.
    too cute! the cows seem VERY interested in what she has
    to say!

  • Miss Laura

    Love it. Can’t wait to meet Jilly Jr.

    Those boots are so YOU. Bat your eyes at Curty and make it happen.

  • jtp

    I love the last picture…it may become my screensaver of the week 🙂

  • Chris

    Ahhh… I love love love the pic of Ry & your moo-cows! It reminds me of my other fav picture from your blog… the one where she’s fighting off the chickens with a big ol’ stick. 🙂 Too awesome.

  • Carley

    Great post. You make everything so funny and interesting!
    I can’t wait to see photos of Rylie and the baby longhorn!

  • wende

    Oh I can’t wait for baby cow and Ry pictures. FUN.

    And they do chart their own paths. Um, cause my kid programs in “unity” for fun. Whatever that is.

  • Ellie

    What if Ry formed the first all-girl livestock show punk band? They could sing 80’s-ish stuff and wear those awesome boots and nose rings and muscle shirts that said “longhorns STEER clear of 4H” . Wouldn’t those exclusive-no-horns-4H-er’s be jealous then?

  • Jami

    Baby Cow! That’s what I am doing next week….a field trip to your house to see! 🙂

  • Becky

    that is pretty cool there Katie, oh Jill, she looks ready but probably doesn’t like to have people tell her that, I know I didn’t:)

  • trace

    still one of my favorite pictures of Rylie’s adventures. I love the way that cow is checking her out.

    You are going to have to knit that little calf some baby longhorn booties… that snow looks a far cry from Texas right now!

  • Jessica "Haynie" Carr

    Rylie says “look mom moo moo” “moo Cow mom”.
    you sure know how to excite a girl!

  • Heather

    I empathize with Jill and LOVE the boots.

  • Annie

    what a great idea for kids. that is awesome, did not know such a thing existed. Ry has got it made then with all those resources at her fingertips and a brilliant creative mom to boot.

  • LoLo

    Love that pic of Ry! BTW, been meaning to tell you that your market bag is a big hit at the grocery store. All the checkers love it and I have had several people stop me and ask where I got it. Plus the holes make it nice for storing the onions that don’t get used right away…ventilation is good.

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