Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Updated Picture....Res. Grand steer, Elkhart Co.

Once again, congrats to the Lorenze family on their Res. Grand steer at Elkhart Co fair. Sired by Simple Man

Back at it again

After the mini beef show at the county fair, we have the new ones in the barn and started working them this week.  Kendall is pretty excited now as this particular one is not as head strong as his steer was.

Monday, July 30, 2012

And so it begins....

We finally got all the calves weaned this weekend.  We are pretty excited about the offering this year.  All of the steers will be priced first come, first serve starting on Sept. 1 along with a select few heifers.  These heifers will be more replacement type females out of some of our better donor cows.  Beginning the end of Sept., we will have another group of calves in the barn that will be sold on 10/14/12. We are not 100 % sure if we are going to sell these online or by telephone yet, so make sure to check back.  This set will include our best show heifer prospects including a stout set of Monopolys as well as 2 high % Maine females that will fit most anyones taste.  We will also offer 1 promotion bull prospect out of Morgan Tomsons "Sage" heifer that was Supreme Overall at Indiana State Fair as well as Champ. Maintainer at Junior Nationals, NAILE and Champ. Chi. NAILE Open Show.  Wait till you see this one.

We have started our annual pilgramage zig zagging across the state of Indiana clipping cattle for the Indiana State Fair this week and will finish up in Illinois the end of the week.  Good luck to all of the exhibitors leading our genetics in the ring.

Kinda creepy

I took this picture last night to send the tag number to someone, but did not realize how creepy looking the oucture was till this morning. Kind of reminds me of the old Brooks and Dunn steer logo at their concerts that had smoke coming through its nose and glowung eyes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Farm It Maybe

So first, there was "I'm farming and I Grow it", now we have "Farm It Maybe". Any bets on what the next one will be?

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Congratulations to Mya Lorenze on  her Res. Grand steer yesterday at the Elkhart Co. Open beef show.  He was a Simple Man x Angus. Thanks to the Lorenze family for all their continued support over the years.  Good luck to Mya and family this week during the 4-H show

Friday, July 20, 2012


Congratulations to the Tatmeyer family on their Supreme Champion heifer at the 2012 Lund Co. fair.  She is a Hollywood x Carney Man raised by us. Thanks for your support

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Have not seen rain in so long, I have been just standing here for 5 minutes, mezmorized, watching it.

Madison Co. Indiana

Congratulations to the Jenkins/Drake family on their Res. Xbred and 4th overall steer last night.  He was a Heatwave x our # 8 donor purchased from us in our fall sale last year.  Thanks for your support.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

From the Ranch House Designs Blog: Vansickle Cattle Co :: Indiana

Thanks to Rachel and her team for all their outstanding help!  Ranch House Designs Blog: Vansickle Cattle Co :: Indiana: One of our newest websites to go up is Vansickle Cattle Co ., a cattle operation in Fortville, Indiana. We began working with the Vansickl...

Continued Indiana County fair success

Congratulations to the Tomson family, Grand Champion steer AND Supreme Champion heifer yesterday at the Decatur Co. fair, steer shown by Addison Tomson and heifer shown by Bailey Tomson.

Good luck to the Drake family tonight at the Madison Co. fair with their Heatwave steer out of our # 8 donor.  Keep the streak alive!

380 likes and 598 shares on Facebook...continued

So yesterday was the big day for Kendall, and I have to say, I couldn't have been more proud of him.  Although he was still nervous as could be, he bucked up and went out and showed his calf with the help of an older 4-H member( Thanks Steph!).  Hopefully, we will have pictures later this week.  Steph did the "driving" and Kendall did the "steering(moving legs)" according to him.  Even though I was nervous as to what his mindset would be when he got ready to go into the ring, the look on his face as he was holding his ribbon coming out of the ring made it all worth it.  He had support from all sides of his family.  For those that don't know, I call Kendall my son(which he is), but legally he is my step son and one of the best parts of yesterday was that his dad, dad's girlfriend, and his grandparents from that side of the family were all there to support him along with Beth's folks, my folks, his uncle and not to mention all the 4-Her's that know him.  As him and I drove home with Rampage last night, we talked quite a bit about the days events...how he had fun playing with his friend Michael, and that he was happy to know that so many people were proud of him.  He also told me that he wants to continue to show cows, but for right now, he only wants to show little ones.  I told him I could live with that because I remembered....HE IS ONLY 8 YEARS OLD.  I told him that was fine, and that he could show a heifer at the Hoosier Beef Congress that we were planning to sell a little later next spring and that by the time we sold her, we would have a fall born in the barn that he could take to junior nationals and the fairs. One thing I will say made me smile, was the fact that when the judge came over to talk to him, she put her hand on the calf and Kendall was the only person in his class that pulled his comb out of his pocket and combed his calf as she walked away.  What makes this funny, is that I tend to expect this of older showman and one night while Kendall and I were working in the barn, we were talking about what to do when a judge touches your calf, that your pull your comb out of your right pocket(yes, always the right), comb the calf and return the comb with the teeth pointed in.  I think it's kind of funny that he totally remembered to do something we had not really hammered on without being reminded of it, yet we can tell him things 500 times and he does not remember...oh well, at least he remembered this.

OK, so I never intend to get on a soapbox on this blog...I set this up to be another avenue for marketing our livestock and letting people know what is going on around our place, but every now and then you are going to see me jump right up on that box...today is one of those days!

As I stated in the previous blog regarding this subject, I would never push any of this on my kids, I would do my best to encourage it, but never push it.  It really annoys the hell out of me when people that don't understand anything about the lifestyle of a farm family or the life of a show family start telling me what I should or should not do as far as raising my kids.  Case in point, yesterday at the fair, I had a person extremely close to my family tell me, and I quote"  Well hell, if you are going to have someone else leading that calf and just have your son scratch it, you might as well put it in their name and let them show it."  Not gonna lie, that really pissed me off.  Why?? Because this person knows nothing about all the effort we have put in just to get to this point.  This person does not understand all the friendships that are made by being gone 3 weekends a month showing livestock, not to mention the amount a bonding time( both good and bad) that our family has.  I simply looked at this person and said, " We did it this way so that no one got hurt and we did not take three steps back and be another 2 years before he showed again."   I can't tell you the countless youth I have had the privelage of metoring through livestock projects over the years and the one thing I always here parents say is, "Ya know, we just don't seem to have much trouble with Jack or Jill", and that is what I want for my family.  I am not saying that just being affiliated with this program is going to make sure that your kids don't get into trouble later in life, that is where this thing called parenting comes in, however I would be willing to bet that if you polled most 15-19 years olds that have been in 4-H, FFA or a junior livestock program that taught them honesty, responsibility, and good sportsmenship, you would find that the percentage of "troubled kids" would be very, very low.  Sure, this ain't the cheapest thing to do with your kids, and we all know how tight money is.  By the time you buy the animals, feed, gas to shows, hotels, food, electric at the barn, supplies, etc...most of us could afford to take a REALLY nice vacation each year.  But that is the point, people like us consider these weekend shows, fairs, junior nationals, fall majors our vacation for the year and we would not trade the experiences for anything.  In closing, much like Crystal Blinn( CrystalCattle.com, Sure Champ representative) says, make sure you are an "Agvocate"...whether that is educating people of what types of humane, healthy food your and your family raise, or about why it is important to raise our kids in the world of junior livestock programs teaching responsibility and everything that goes with it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Congratulations to Bailey Rist and Simba

Congratulations to Bailey Rist and Simba on Grand Champion steer at the LaPorte Co. fair this week.  Bailey also had Champion Chi and 5th overall with a steer she raised.  Keep up the good work and good luck at state fair

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Check it out

Make sure to stop over at our website, www.vansicklecattleco.com and check out the new look. Thanks RHD!

380 likes and 598 shares on Facebook

Every Weds., the folks at Ranch House Designs post what they call "Livestock Motivation" on Facebook.  This usually consists of a livestock related picture and a quote from something or someone.  As all of them have been extremely good got the point across, the one above really hit home this week.  I usually don't get to caught up in most things, and don't usually come on here and get all "sappy" however as a "new" parent who is preparing my step-son for his first County fair mini- beef show this coming Sunday, I can comepletely relate to this picture and caption.  The emotions, both positive and negative, from both my son,  myself and my wife over the past few weeks have been all over the place.  Even though I am a new parent(which I do not think matters), it has been very trying for both Beth and I to watch him progress with his steer, especially when he gets frustrated and says he can't do it.  Truth is, he has been around cattle and livestock both at our farm and his uncles all his life,but he has never had a calf that is "truly his", one that he has worked with from day one and became friends and partners with....and I might add, for an 8 year old, he probably has more God given talent for working with both his calf and his pigs than alot of kids I have worked with in the past.  I am in shock that he can walk "Rampage" right into a side profile stance EVERYTIME.  This is where the tough part is for Beth and I.  As two parents that both grew up in the junior livestock program, we know how positve this program is and how much impact it can make on a young person.  Everything has been going great the past couple of weeks, we got his steer broke(like a puppy I might add), and it has been a family commitment washing, blowing, walking, etc. to make sure that Kendall has the most positive experiance possible his first time out the gate....that is until he got stepped on the other night. Ugh!! Rampage has become a little of what horse folks would call "barn sour".  He is always in a hurry to get back to the barn and the other night while we were walking him back towards the barn, Kendall inadvertently had his foot where Rampage wanted to put his.  I will give him credit, he did not cry right off the bat, he simply said "Ouch" in a little higher pitch than normal and never let go of the halter.  As I turned around, he looked at me with tears welling up in his eyes, gave me a hug as I took the halter and then began to let it out.  I felt horrible, the one thing I did not want to happen did and I did not know how to tell my little buddy that it would be ok and that we needed to keep working.  Anyone that knows me knows I am as competative as they come, and so my first thought is lets just go 5 more steps to show Kendall that it was not intentional.  As he finally calmed down, he grabbed the show halter while I had the rope halter and after 2 steps, the steer kind of pushed over on us. By this time, Kendall was now scared and I am thinking that it is all my fault, I pushed him to hard.  I should have backed off....HE IS ONLY 8 YEARS OLD!!  As I sent him to the office with his eyes full of tears again, he was met by grandpa and grandma...and let me tell you, that was just what he needed.  He needed someone to talk to about what happened and have grandma take his shoe off, kiss it and make it better.  About 30 minutes later, he returned to the barn as I was sitting in a chair contemplating what had just happend and wondering if I would ever get him to try this again.  He grabbed my hand, we did our little "secret handshake" and he told me, " It's not all Rampage's fault, it was both our faults.  He did not want to lead and I had my foot in the wrong place".  Now I can tell you, that came from grandpa...I have heard it 1000 times.  That night, I was sitting on the patio, and called my good friend Kirk Stierwalt to explain to him what had happened and if he had any ideas on how I could gain Kendall's confidence back.  He simply said" Welcome to parenthood Dave, and just remember HE IS ONLY 8 YEARS OLD. Back off and don't push him so hard, guide him, but let him figure it out."  Those simple words from one of my best friends and the premier cattle educater in the country were not really what I wanted to hear, but he is right, I have to keep this in mind.  Often times, whether it be showing livestock, sports, band, etc., I see parents living vicariously through their children, making them do the things they want them to do.  I have always sworn that I would not be one of those parents, I want my children to show livestock, but if that is not what they want, that is fine, I will support them in whatever they choose to do.  So the past couple days, we have been working on gaining confidence back and all seems to be better.  Kendall is more aware of his surroundings and is working to build his partnership with his steer.  Sunday is the big day, and I hope he goes through with it, but at the end of the day, I keep having to remind myself HE IS ONLY 8 YEARS OLD.

Thanks for letting me get a little off track here today...wait, why am I thanking you, it's my blog!LOL.  Thanks to Rachel and the crew at RHD for continuing to provide great weekly motivation.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tonight on Steerplanet.com. Sponsored by Weaver Livestock

Kirk Stierwalt Live Chat Summer Series
Starts at 8pm CST/ 9pm EST
Get tuned up for fair season by chatting live with legendary cattle educater, Kirk Stierwalt.
July 11 – clipping and fitting
July 18 – showring issues/showmanship
July 25 – breeding and feeding

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sneak peak of our August ad

First 4-H calf

This weekend will be a busy and exciting one.  Not only are we putting on a Weaver sponsored demo in Decatur Co., In on Sunday morning, but Kendall shows his very first calf in the Mini beef show at the county fair.  Mom is a bit nervous, but I think Kendall and his Bodacious steer "Rampage" will do just fine.  Good luck buddy!!  This a picture of Rampage chilling out under the fans and fogger on Saturday when it hit 102 degrees.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I'd say it's time to start feeding hay

July 15th...come see us.

We will be putting on a Weaver Livestock sponsored demo at the Decatur Co. Fair from 8:30-10:30 AM.  Free for all Decatur Co beef exhibitors.  Anyone else interested in attending, contact Becky Vanderbur @ 812-716-0207