Ag Experience Insider- Blum Family Ranch

Even though summer is winding down, work on the farm isn’t. Hear from the Blum family how the next few weeks are critical to lots of parts of their operation. As well as learn what a vacation looks like for some farm families!

Dog Days

We’ve reached the little talked about season on the ranch when all our worlds collide.

Checking herd health and fixing fences are the same priority as checking crops and putting up hay for feed. Kid schedules and family life also require attention. And don’t forget, now’s also the time for maintenance on all the equipment needed for fall harvest and cattle feeding.

Basically, everything is important. July through October routinely feels like the season when time management, long days, and patience in a seven-day work weeks matter most!

One of our favorite parts of summer is the South Dakota State Fair. The fair signals the end of summer and is generally the only time of year when all six of us get away together for at least a weekend. It’s not a typical vacation though.

For us, the state fair is a celebration of an entire year’s worth of work. We’ll grab some cheese curds or a funnel cake and squeeze in a few rides, but for a week, we will spend upwards of 14 hours a day in the new Dakota Event CompleX (DEX) because our kids show beef cattle. That’s right, 14 hours a day and we still call it a vacation because the real work happened every day at home!

Showing animals is most often associated with 4-H or FFA. Our kids are active members of both organizations; however, they also enjoy traveling the Midwest for a variety of other youth shows.

The reality of showing beef animals is best seen through video or in person, but the short of it is this.

Exhibiting livestock, in our case cattle, is a competitive sport like any other; it requires dedication, hard work, and passion. Show animals are much like Miss America contestants in that they require special care every day with even more preparation on competition day.

I have attended the South Dakota State Fair for each of my 44 years. So, if you’ve never been, I highly encourage you to venture to Huron for a day. And, if you do attend the fair, I hope you make a point of spending at least a little time in the 4-H livestock areas. Families like ours enjoy sharing our passion for agriculture, and it’s a special treat to share it in person!