A Never Ending Job

Grand Drive minus the baby..didn't fit...

Hey ya’ll!! Can you tell I just got back from the deep south? You will all be glad to know I survived gator country, in fact I didn’t even see one, so cheers to that. I survived Louisiana, what a wonderful time it was. For a brief synopsis: great food, friendly people, and air conditioning pretty much made me happy. Although, I thought I was never going to make it out of Atlanta, GA due to storms I finally arrived around 11:30pm on Thursday. Friday I helped with check-in and was also honored to be the photographer for the Queen’s Luncheon where I met a lovely bunch of young ladies and got to bond with the adorable Miss Keegan Cassady…For some reason Keegan’s father didn’t want to attend the Queen’s luncheon so she came with me. Following that we jumped right into Opening Ceremonies and making class breaks for the Showmanship Contest. I got the job of serving as announcer for showmanship, my Midwestern voice struggled with the Louisiana towns and names, but no one yelled at me, TOO BAD that is!! (Needless, to say by the end of the week I was very tired of being called “Yankee”!!) And I think I gave some people a few laughs! Friday was the Bred and Owned show where I lined up classes and then we held the Cajun Relay Races, where I served as judge for the junior division and got to be the guinea pig and demonstrate the obstacle course. Saturday was the Owned Female show and once again I served as announcer, still struggling with names and cities I made it through! All in all it was a wonderful weekend and I tried several new types of delicious foods and met many wonderful people!!

Madame Announcer

The real purpose to this blog however, is the lessons I learn as I go..While in Louisiana I was reminded of a very important aspect of being toward the end of my years as a junior, and what I love most about being on the junior board. What is that? Well that is serving the never ending role of serving as a mentor and a role model for youth across the nation. I think too many times we don’t realize or easily forget how many individuals look up to us and want to be just like us. Especially, when you are a junior board member!! During the Cajun relay races I watched as myself and the junior board members interacted with the kids and how much more enthusiastic they were as we too got more excited. It amazes me how many times I hear parents come up and say our kids adore you and I hardly even know them. But them I remember how much I looked up to those in the then maroon, now red jackets and how much they influenced me to participate and one day walk in their shoes. The thing they may not realize is that I still look up to many of those young adults today as they are carving their paths in the business world and beginning families and I still look to see if I am making them proud.

It reminds me of this little blonde haired girl back home who adores my sister and I. Until about a year ago she was the only girl in her family and loved when my sister and I played with her at the cattle shows. I remember one day in particular when we were coloring at a county fair on a summer day and she turned to me and said “Will you be my big sister?” It almost brought me to tears. Just by taking the time to interact with her, tell her hi, and give her a smile, I had made a major footprint in her life. I never knew she even remembered who I was all the time because I mostly only see her in the summer. This May, I was visiting with her mom, when she informed me that her daughter always talks about my sister and I and how she must wear makeup and look cute because Emily and Sarah do. It is things like that make you stop and think…Am I presenting myself in a manner that I would have approved of as a little girl and would I allow my children to be around me?

Well I am getting wordy and I HAVE SOOOOOOOO MUCH ON MY PLATE!!!! Surely you will here more from me soon!!!

Hopefully, I won’t need a boat to get home this weekend!!

My 'Other" Little Sister

Chargin’ Ahead

Dodge Charger SRT8 - 3/4 View

Image by sidehike via Flickr

It is time for me to update about my whereabouts.  Last Friday, I began my first journey alone and the Junior Activities Intern heading to the Wisconsin Angus Association State Preview Show. Little did I know all of the things that were in front of me.

I began my journey to the airport Friday morning, without my mirror fixed on my car, to Kansas City Airport. I was very nervous about finding The Parking Spot and getting to the airport as this was my first time for that. Effortlessly, all of this was accomplished and I made my way into the airport. I had to go through the new x-ray/screening/security process which was very intimidating but soon I was ready to go. My flight out to Milwaukee went rather well despite some turbulence, I just tried to sleep. As I was getting my luggage I began to ponder what kind of rental car I may be stuck with. I quickly became estatic like I was jacked up on Mountain Dew when I was handed the keys to a 2011 Dodge Charger (black with black interior). This was a HUGE bonus to my weekend and trust me, I was very reluctant to return it. The charger and I made our way toward Jefferson, WI were the show was located. With a little help from a friend we made it there safely. That afternoon I helped with the check-in process for the WLBA and WJAA shows which would be the following day. To say the least, it was very interesting. I also saw my first ever registered Lowline steers.

 

 

Calli and Kelli Love Flat Andy!

On Saturday, I helped with the WJAA show and then was asked if I would be announcer for the rest of the day. Having not much else on my agenda I figured it would be harmless for me to announce for a few hours. That few hours turned into a marathon of boredom as I announced until 5pm that night (mind you the show started at 9am with no breaks). Needless to say by the end of the show I was WAY over announcing. I then attended the WJAA meeting and hospitality night. It was great to meet with old friends and make new from the Wisconsin Junior Angus Association. What a great (small) and amazing set of individuals. I am very thankful that they were so welcoming as it eased nerves that I had had prior to the trip.

Sunday was the Wisconsin Angus Association State Preview show. A small but high quality show was a much more relaxing event and I didn’t have to announce. After the show concluded I found myself with lots of time to spare. I said farewell to friends and headed to the outlet mall for some browsing and shopping. Although the flight home was delayed, I eventually made it back to St. Joe safely to be greeted by my roommates who were having some Emily withdraws.

This post is getting long so I will make another with further updates. Pictures to be added at a later date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Delivery

Man, oh man, has it been crazy!!! Last week I received box after box of contest entries!!! On Friday, they had to make TWO trips just to bring all of my mail to me! I was really excited that all the entries had finally came as I LOVE opening mail however once it was all open it was a bit overwhelming. The pictures below will put it in a better perspective. This year the PR department is trying something new using “Flat Andy” as a way to get kids excited about Junior Nationals and to connect everyone from all over the world into one place. The story behind Flat Andy is that each exhibitor will get one in their packets and are encouraged to take pictures with Andy in their preparation and journey to the NJAS in Harrisburg, PA. I hope that they get some good pictures. To get the juniors in the spirit and show them how the pictures are supposed to be, Flat Andy has been helping me process entries.

I suppose I should probably explain what “entries” I have been processing. First of all the photo contest entries have been sent in. Almost each contest has a Junior, Intermediate and Senior division. For the photo contest each of these age divisions has four categories: Angus Cattle, Landscape, People and Around the Farm or Ranch. I go through each entry and make sure that participants are in the right age group, are paid members of the association and process all the information into excel. Then I have 12 cardboard boxes that I sort the photos into.  The photos will be judged before the show in Harrisburg. I am also collecting entries for the Graphic Design contest, which is about making an ad for your family farm. Creative Writing contest entries require some tedious work checking that entries have the proper word count and everything that goes along with that. I also have to make copies of these to send out to the judges as both this and graphic design will be judge for the contest.

Other contest entries that are due June 10 are the Prepared Speech and the Career Development Contest– I appreciate those individuals who have sent this entries in early.  Another job that I have been working on is write-ups for the Angus Agenda on the 2011 NJAA Board of Directors candidates! Angus juniors should be excited about the amazing and highly qualified individuals that are running for the board this year. (Look at my earlier post on tips for running for a junior board for advice!!) 

This weekend my sister had Reserve Champion Female at our first show! I am so happy for her, but was a little sad to be missing out. This week I will be heading to the Wisconsin Junior Angus Preview Show representing the AAA all by myself!! I am a little nervous as this will be the first time I have rented a car and done all the grown up stuff. Luckily, I have a great group of friends in Wisconsin and I hope they will take good care of me! Should be a great time–look for Flat Andy pictures!! This weekend is also the Illinois State Preview show of which I am the president of the IJSA, I hope I have everything prepared as the fate of Illinois being prepared for the NJSS lays with Karl!! Well this is getting entirely toooo long!! So much still lies ahead—-xoxo

Photo Boxes... only a few of them

Flat Andy in the dumb waiter....

Buried in MAIL!!!

Small mail day

New Faces

Wild Cherry Pepsi

Image via Wikipedia

Hello Everyone,

A bit of news from the SJ and AAA for the day!! Today was all about the interns!! We are all here now and have officially began our summer of success! I began the day working on the Oustanding Leadership Award packets so that I could prepare them for judging. We had a tour today, so that was interesting as well. I recieved my first bit of mail and also my first telephone call!!! HOW EXCITING! I was able to get all of my travel plans set up so that I can attend the Wisconsin Junior Angus Preview show in the month of June,which I am sure it will be fantastic. The American Angus Association (AAA) staff took all of the interns to lunch at Chilis today which was a great way for us to get to know each other better. We also got pictures taken and interviewed for press releases. I will have to add the pictures later on. We have titled ourselves ” The Fiercesome Four” or ” The Fantastic Four” whichever you prefer, fashionistas by day and superheros by night! Works well for me. 

I am very proud of myself for not partaking in any Wild Cherry Pepsi today however I kept myself very busy working on the Quiz Bowl contest for the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS). The Angus juniors better be prepared for a mentally challenging written and oral examination! I am sure they can handle it. After work I partook in a relaxing run around the neighborhood I am living in over the summer and fixed myself some supper. I started my online class that I am taking through the University of Illinois over the summer, Sales Communication. Should be a great class! 

I am sorry for my lack of pictures and deep insightful post, but I have been very busy getting adjusted.

Be prepared for some interesting SJ adventures with my roomate, Katie, and I as we explore the interesting city of St. Joe. I have heard that people watching is the number one hobby to partake in from my co-workers at the Assoc. (haha)

I have still not quite adjusted to this whole getting up early thing…however, in time my body will remember what that was like, at least I hope!!

Well I probably need to get my beauty sleep….so goodnight everyone!