Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo 2017 Judging Heifers How to Showcase

Controlling a large animal is not an easy task.  Before entering the ring, the halter must be on the steer.  The little circle goes around the animal's nose, and the bigger circle goes around the back of the animal's head behind the ears.  They tighten the halter by pulling on the rope.

The contestants are holding the halter in their right hand.  They place their thumb closest to their hand six to twelve inches from animal's head, near his nose.

Notice the show stick is in their left hand, pointing the hook down.  Animals will enter the show ring in a line.  When leading the steer, one hand is up by his nose and the other hand is on the end of the rope.  It is important to pull the rope and walk.  The steer will know to walk behind you.

If the heifer gets out of line, pull the animal in a clockwise circle to move him back into his proper place. Always look at the judges and do everything they tell you.  The judge signals it is time to walk the animal in a couple of circles.

Stop the animal with a side profile for viewing.  It is a good idea to have four to six feet between your animal and the one in front of you.  The purpose of the show stick is to set up the steer.  Take the stick and use the pointy end and poke the heifer in between the two hooves.

  This will make the hooves move backwards so they are lined up.

Step back to allow the judge a full view of the animal.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo 2017 Showing Swine

The Fort Worth Stock Show has been showing livestock for one hundred and twenty years.  It provides one hundred million annually for the city of Fort Worth which generates  1.1 million taxes to help the community.  Children train in 4H Clubs so they are prepared to show their livestock.   Swine is one division of livestock shown to sell and compete for prizes.

Swine are mammals with flat snouts, small eyes, large ears and stocky bodies that provide delicious meat for many people.  They are highly intelligent and can be trained to perform tricks.

 Swine is the label for the entire family of pork-producing animals.  The term pig usually means young animals that weigh between 50 and 240 pounds.    Once a pig reaches 240 pounds it is considered an adult called hogs.  Some can weigh up to 500 pounds.

About 6,000 years ago swine were domesticated or raised for meat in China.  They came from boar that roamed wild.  Many boar still roam wild in Texas.  As they roam the hill country they enjoy roots, fruit, rodents and small reptiles.  Pigs that live on farms eat slop which contains vegetable peels, fruit rinds and other leftover food items.

Female pigs or sows give birth two times a year to about twelve baby piglets.  They only weigh 2.5 pounds at birth.  Piglets drink a lot of milk because they grow twice their size in in one week.  At around two to four weeks they are weaned from their mother's milk.

Male swine are called boars.  The snout of a swine has an amazing sense of smell that can detect food that is buried underground to a depth of five feet.  They gather information from their snout so when you see a pig sniff the ground  it is exploring the world.

Pigs use grunts to communicate.  Each oink and squeal has a different meaning.  They are very social animals.  Pigs love to roll in the mud to keep cool because they don't  have sweat glands to cool off.  Most types of swine can  live up to  ten years.   A potbellied pig has a long lifespan of 20 years.

Domesticated pigs are found all over the world in China, Europe, Australia, North America, and Africa.  Wild boars enemies are eagles, hawks, wolves, lions, leopards and hyenas.

There are 73,150 Pork Farms in the United States.  China is the number one pork producer in the world and United States is number three.  The favorite cut of meat in the United States is the pork chop.
People from all over the world also enjoy bacon, ham, sausage, and pates.  Pork accounts for 38 percent of meat production worldwide.  Nearly a 100 million tons of pork were consumed worldwide.  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Dallas Arboretum Holiday

Holiday at the Arboretum displays twenty five feet tall gazebos telling the story of the 12 Days of Christmas, Victorian style.  History and holiday traditions unite through the garden in each well thought out display   Many are unaware that the centuries old song of giving gifts teach hidden meanings to the teachings of  faith.   The song was created in England as a memory aid  to teach children basic truths.
Each scene uses whimsical animals, and costumed characters set up to tell the story of each day. 

Each display is created by local artists with details capturing the imagination of children.  The same artists create sets of the Dallas Opera.
In the song the Twelve Days of Christmas the 8 maids a milking was created to remind children of the 8 Beatitudes.  It also reminds us that not too long ago we got our milk from cows and not our local grocery store.  

The eleven pipers stand for the eleven faithful apostles.  Follow the large signs as a guide to the different songs.  

The four calling birds stand for the four evangelists and four gospels.  
A 30 ft Christmas tree decorated with silver and red balls has friends and families gathered around for a  holiday photo.  
Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles's Creed.

Swans a swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.  

Warmth and good cheer is felt as couples display their love and devotion.  The symbolic herb of mistletoe dates back a thousand years.  Many ancient cultures prized mistletoe for its healing properties. The Greeks were known to use it to cure spleen disorders.  The Romans  used it as a balm against epilepsy and ulcers.   

At night the gazebos light  up with 500,000 lights throughout the garden.  

The Dallas Arboretum is beautiful in all seasons of the year.  Cascades of waterfalls are discovered along the winding paths.  Fresh water hits the rocks with splashes of joy of the holiday season.  

People gather for weddings and special celebrations.  
Musicians play melodies of live music for a delight to the ears.
Reflections of traditions are everywhere in the holiday atmosphere.  

Gary Lee Price created this amazing sculpture for others to enjoy. 
Gary spends countless hours creating sculptures of inspiration.  His quest to lift the human spirit through sculpture is shown in each piece.

  Shakespeare would  have enjoyed visiting the Arboretum for ideas to create future plays.  People taking family photographs, couples getting engaged and daughters bringing their aging parents are possible topics Shakespeare could have woven into dialogue.
There are acres of grandeur spread across the Gardens.  Weddings, banquets and family gatherings reveal life is still vibrant.  A story is behind every corner.