Author Archive for Kelln



     F&P was a common nickname given to a dude named Frank Powell.  Yes, those were his initials but the letter F was a valuable component to his vocabulary.  He never meant anything negative by it.  However, the “F” word was a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, everything that it could possibly be used for. Those in the hog world knew Frank.  He was a gruff guy but he would do anything to help a kid.  They had some success over the years, especially with spotted hogs.  His daughter Rhylli showed some nice wethers making premium sales at Enid District and Tulsa State Fair.  

      Now, I am going to try to keep this story as clean as possible.  But no matter, this is a TRUE story.  You couldn’t make it up. 

Circa September 2006.  Major County Fairgrounds in Fairview, OK.  The heavyweight crossbred barrow class is being shown.  There is a crew of livestock experts watching this class.  Frank Powell, Fred Slater and Randy Pullan are lined up at the entry gate to the ring.  There are about 15 barrows in the class.  I came walking up to see how close we are to needing to bring the breed champion barrows for the grand drive.  I slide in between Frank and Fred.  I survey the class and look at Frank’s son Barrett.  He is driving a really good blue-butt barrow that should easily win this class and probably the show.  Barrett drives the barrow past the judge and then makes the corner right in front of us.  I take a look at this fine porcine animal as he begins to drive away from us.  I notice something odd about his butt-hole (the pig’s hole).  I asked Frank, “Dude, what’s coming out of your pigs butt?”   In Frank lingo, he replied, “It’s just a Fing wood chip stuck to his Fing butthole.”  

       Now Barrett guided this barrow around the ring and made a pass in front of us.  NOW, the “thing” is sticking out of the butt farther.  OH MY!!!   I can see what it is.  I said, “Frank, that ain’t no wood chip on that pig’s butt.  That’s a condom coming OUT of his butt!”    

       Frank dropped a F bomb or twelve and motioned to Barrett to take his brush and try to wipe it off.  Barrett shrugged and looked at him like WTH?  Pullan and Slater are now seeing this as well.  Of course, I can’t keep my mouth shut.  Lots of commentary was now taking place.  

        The judge, oh, the judge, just happened to be Tom Lamle.  He was sorting the class bottom up and this big blue barrow was getting ready to win this class….easily.  The judge went to the mic and Barrett navigated his barrow right in front of the judge which was also right in front of Pullan, Frank, Fred and myself.  As Barrett turned the pig away to offer up an impressive rear view of hams and yes, a condom coming out of the pig’s butt, the judge began to comment, “I’m going to use this young man’s barrooooow to win this, oh my…this class.”   At this point, the condom came out of the hog and landed on the wood chips…….reservoir tip pointing up.  I’m dying!!!!  Frank said one word!

      Now to clarify, the Powell’s kept their hogs at the Ringwood School Farm.  I’m betting that some of the local high school students used this location as a prime parking spot, er, ah….breeding grounds.  I’m guessing that the condom got tossed into the pig pen and the barrow ate it.  And then passed it, uh, while we were watching him show.  

        To be honest, there was a lot of commentary that I just can’t write on here.  Use your imagination.  The following week, at the State Fair, while Frank was at lunch, there may have been a crew that filled his show box with rubbers. Troy B may know about that.  Maybe not.  

      In closing, this is the ONLY time that I have witnessed an animal be named grand champion shortly after crapping out a condom.  

RIP Frank Powell.  Condolences to the family.  Good people.  


     It truly baffles me that you people read this crap.  Congrats!!   

       There is a lot going on here in the greater Fargo area.  I actually made it to Mass this morning.  And we lived up to one of the songs.  “Seeds scattered and sown.  Wheat gathered and grown.”     Check yes to all of that.  We drilled some cover crops as well as hegari seed.  And yes, when I run the drills, they are basically scattered and sown.  Duke showed up to help move round bales of triticale.  It made better than I thought it would.  Wheat?   Well, yes.  I share-crop 160 acres with the Torrance family.  Some of you know Nathan Torrance.  Yes, his family.  Stellar people.  Could I farm it myself?  Sure. But they have better equipment and they like farming.  So, I gladly provide my 1/3 and hope that both parties come out ahead.  Excellent people.  

        I don’t watch many video auctions.  However, I was stranded in a hotel room on Friday night.  So, I watched Friday Night Fever without any audio.  RUSM?   All of the hype, modern technology and we can’t have audio on the internet version.   I was hoping that Maycon would sell a $100 grand wether.  Come on!   $40K is it?   Further proof that the $70K deal was bullshit!  If the crew in Angelo isn’t selling one for $70K, nobody is/was/whatever.  

      Damn!!   I need a haircut, a shave and a BATH.  Not a shower, but a full-up-to-the-chin tub of steaming hot water BATH!   This bathroom remodel was needed but DANG!!  Off to the back porch shower.  Yep, no kids in this house.  So I can just free step it down the hallway and through whatever rooms I want.  Back porch shower, towel off and then walk it like it’s a homecoming parade.  

       I haven’t written enough yet I have written too much.  Much like the modern media, you didn’t learn much yet you learned more than you cared.  

       On goat news, I turned my herd of 5 does out into a 12 acre trap.  GARP was happy.   Cool stories to come in the upcoming days.  I promise.  

       On a side note, when I listen to George Thorogood, well… neighbors do as well.  If it’s too loud, you’re too old!   


“Damnit Tammy, I’m writing a blog!!!   The music needs to be loud.”

Not enough time

       I don’t have time to write much.  Me being busy means that I am probably not in trouble with anybody.  


      It is amazing how many people deal with plantar fasciitis.  One foot or both.  Jamie Kratzer sent me a message about Ariat shoes designed just for this deal.  Now, much like Forrest Gump, I look at everybody’s shoes.  Comfort is king.  Chris Cockreham showed up with some Heel Savers.  Gave a brand new box of em to me.  He said, “A guy gave me a set when he was gimpy.  And I’m just passing the info on.”  Thanks people.  They work.   Feels weird at first but no pain.  Why don’t the doctors know to prescribe this stuff?  

     Trailer sales.  Equipment sales.  I may need to do another equipment sale.  I don’t have anymore of the army feeders but other than that I could have another copy sale of the last one.  Yes, I have another trailer. 

       Have a good one and a better tomorrow.  

Random Kelln Problems

      Let me preface this post with this statement, “In all honesty, this guy (me) does not have many current problems.  Just a lot of crap that are inconveniences.  Sure, some of it is WAY serious!  But, seriously, compared to the rest of the world, we don’t have any real problems.”  

       Having said that, here’s what we got going on at the present time.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that the nieces were bad ass.  And they are.  However, I mentioned that their grandma was REALLY bad ass!  Well, people….here’s the proof.  Grandma Linda (the mother of the Dragon Lady) had medical experts determine that she had cancer and it was isolated in a kidney.  The medical experts wanted to operate in the “next day or two” in order to remove a kidney.   Couldn’t.  Why?  Grandma Linda had grandkids graduating college and one was getting married in the next couple of weeks.  This surgery will wait.   You can watch all the espn that you want and I do watch it.  But these squat-to-pee nba players needing nights off and having an issue and not playing…..eff that.  This is real world!  A retired, state award-winning teacher postponing a kidney removal surgery in order to attend graduations and a wedding?!  For Real!  People, that is truly BAD ASS!!!   Let’s argue…….I’m waiting…….waiting……waiting……..all I hear is crickets.  That’s what I thought……truly BAD ASS!!!

       There is no doubt that Linda will win this deal.  However, I would appreciate it if you loyal readers fire up a prayer or two.  If you do for her what you did for me and this bad hoof deal…..oh hellll!!!!   Trust you me, I will be posting about that in days to come.  Wonders!   

        Now comes the 1st world problems of Kelln.  For starters, last week the bathtub/shower valve quit working.  So, I tore shit up to get to it and replace it.  No, no.  Time to call a plumber.  Then the sink drains started working slower.  In the rain, I worked to find the septic tank and the clean outs.  Time to call a turd doctor.  So, now I’m getting ready to pay for numerous household items that I wasn’t mentally prepared to have to deal with at this time.  

      I don’t want to gripe about rain but since we laid down 175 acres of triticale; well, we have had 2″.  We’ll take it and deal with it.  That’s why they make hay rakes.  

      I was wanting ou and OSU to both win in the WCWS softball edition.  ou crapped the bed.   I am learning why this fast-pitch softball is becoming a big deal.  Well, I bet they will still have a chance to meet up.  

       And since Tammy is gone helping her mother, I had to take care of the dogs.  The corgiXs are happy to see anybody and everybody.  GARP is pissed that he doesn’t have goats to guard.  And he didn’t want his dog food.  So, I fed him fridge cleanouts.  Dang!!!   He liked the prosciutto rollups that were in the fridge.  But Tammy’s little dog, Winston the Cavapoo, LOVED being on the leash and outside.  I’m not sure if he was eating grass, licking chicken crap or just happy to be outside.  I was happy to be outside, in the sun, no wind and it wasn’t wet.  I just didn’t lick anything. 

      In all seriousness, we all have real problems.  But if you are reading this crap, you are in the top 10% of the wealthiest people on the planet.  What?  Seriously.  We don’t have to worry about the safety of our food.  We have internet capability (some better than others).  We have shelter, food, water, sanitary conditions and wait, what?  Seriously, we can have stock shows.  And weird little dogs.  Yep.  My prostate “felt” smooth and my psa levels were low. Not sure how that tied to the weird little dog.  

      Time for me to go lock the chickens up, take the little dog to crap outside, stretch my right foot and get another one.  Not in that particular order.  

       Here’s to the real struggle that people are enduring.  I truly hope that all of you are better off than I am.  KICK ASS to my favorite mother-in-law!   Horseshoes & Shamrocks!!!!!   You got this!    


   I like music.  NO. That is a wrong statement.  I LOVE good music!  Don’t care if it is rap, country, red dirt, rock, opera, whatever.  I love good music.  Now, most probably think that rock music, especially 80’s rock is my favorite.  They would be kind of right.  Trust me.  A Def Leppard, Tesla, Motley Crue, AC/DC, Van Halen deal is right up my alley.  

       However, great country music is hard to beat.  Very little of this new stuff qualifies as good country music. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a book face post of a picture that had a bunch of the country greats gathered together.  I forwarded this to a freshman student that LOVES old school country music.  I’m talking George Jones, Eddie Arnold, Jim Reeves kind of stuff.   He loves Old school!  

      Now, I’m thinking about the group of country artists that I would like to walk in and see together.  It’s hard.  Harder than I thought.   Why?  Well, I’ll tell you why.  How do you handle the groups?  Seriously.  We’ll get back to that. 

       We need a big table.  Several big tables.  Gruene Hall long table style with multiple rows of tables.  If you’ve never been there, well you should.   Here we go.  

      Front table has George Jones, Tammy Wynette, George Strait, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynne, Conway Twitty, Patsy Cline & Hank Sr.   You can’t argue with any of those.  The pic that I looked at did NOT have George Strait in it.  You can’t have a country legends pic without King George.  Can’t!  Invalid picture.  

     Next table has Marty Robbins, Charlie Daniels, Keith Whitley, Don Williams and Randy Travis.  I love those dude’s music.  Love it! So good.  I can drive for hours listening to their work.  The superstars at the other tables look up to these dudes.  Seriously, is the best country song of all time ” The Devil went down to Georgia”?  Hard to argue.  Marty Robbins, Keith Whitley, Don Williams and Randy Travis “sound” like country music.  

       Another table has Garth Brooks, Shania Twain and Reba McEntire.  Damn!  How many records have those people sold?  These might be the most commercialized country artists of all-time.  There is a reason why.  They are so good.  And they have a history of giving back and helping up & coming artists.  Oh, there is room for another.  Let’s seat Alan Jackson at this table.  

      The next table would be seated just out of the camera view.  However, this table has Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Hank Jr., & Merle Haggard.  I have never smoked a joint nor taken any drugs.  But let’s be real.  If seated at that table, it would be hard to say no.  Musically, maybe the best table group.  

    Back to the groups.  The Oak Ridge Boys and Alabama change things.  Either one might be the best country music artist(s) of all time.  It’s hard to argue the “oom poppa oom poppa mow mow” of Richard Sterban.  Who you ask?  Yeah, you know it.  The bass from the Oaks.  I’ve got a story about a former student and the Oak Ridge Boys at the Tulsa State Fair.  I’ll have to remember to tell it.  And Alabama….well, you can drive for hours and listen to nothing but hits from that group.  And I have a story about meeting Randy Owen at the Hereford Jr. Nationals.  Both of these groups need their own table.  Let’s also pull up a couple of chairs for Brooks & Dunn. 

     So who is the greatest country music artist of all-time?  In my opinion, Garth is still working towards the top.  He is trying to get ahead of George Strait.  And they would both agree that Dolly is the queen.  Although, the Dragon Lady says it is “Reba”.  I won’t argue with anybody that says that Alabama is the best. 

      George is the king and paved the way for Garth.  Today, George but when it is all said and done, Garth will be the best country artist ever.  I don’t care if you agree or not.  I’ve had fun listening to tunes while typing this crap.  

(no sign off)


Firsts @ Fifty

     These are just a few of the firsts that I have done since I turned fifty.  

Bifocals–I now have my first pair of bifocal glasses.  And I will be honest, they are kicking my ass.  This is going to take some getting used to. 

Airline tickets–Seriously, I had never made my own airline reservations.  Ever.  Last Monday, I realized that I could squeeze a trip in and went to dealing with the internet travel services.  I did not enjoy it but it worked.  I respect the wife, co-workers, friends and secretaries that have done this crap for me in the past.  I would way rather have somebody else deal with it and I just show up.  

Plantar Fasciitis–Something started hurting like a MOFO in my right foot.  Not fun.  It was my left hoof that I screwed up a couple of years ago.  This was a different kind of pain in the bottom of my right hoof and not fun.  Now, I am learning to do different stretches with that foot.  No matter the species, a hurt hoof is a problem.  

Aleve–(see Plantar Fasciitis)  I had never taken an aleve before today.  Although, I knew a kid that got a sheep kicked out of a state fair because they had used Aleve instead of aspirin.  Drug tests for “naproxen”!  Who knew?  The state fair didn’t know nor anybody else.  At least they were decent to deal with over that deal.  

Car rentals–I had never actually done a car rental until I was fifty.  I had been a part of car rentals but had not actually done it.  Now, I have spent $37 to rent a Chevy Malibu or something similar.  PLUS $20 for insurance.  This seemed cheap to me at the time of rental.  Now, I will always spend more to get a bigger vehicle.  

This would now be a good time to click to a different website and NOT continue reading.  

Prostate exam–YEP!!  You read that right.  Not just a blood test but also the “digital” exam.  As in another person’s “digit” is inserted and checks the prostate.  While sitting in the exam room, I noticed a box of kleenex on the table.  And on the corner shelf, the only items were rubber gloves and a tube of lube.  Nothing else was in the room.

      According to the Doc, 1 of 6 males will have prostate cancer.  But the odds change if you have an immediate family member that has had it (uncle, brother, dad, grandad)   Yep, my grandpa Kelln had prostate cancer.  Now, the odds are 1 in 3.  Guess what that means?  This is now an annual event for me. 

      Was it bad?  No.  I actually scheduled an appointment for next Wednesday and the Wednesday after that. 

     NOO!!!   That was a bad joke.  It was not as bad as I anticipated.  Although, it was like an OB vet clinic visit.  They use a lot of lube.  

       And in true livestock evaluation form, I was judging the doctor’s fingers before this “digital” exam transpired.  


Here’s to firsts in your world and I hope that they all went well for you.  And I truly hope none of you deal with Plantar Fasciitis.  Get me a rusty ice pick.  It would be way less painful.  


Livestock Adventures

       Even though I’m all but out of the goat business, I still have goats to buy for students.  So……that means I’m still traveling, studying genetics and flipping rocks looking for show goats for kids all while staying within a given budget.  I still have an elite taste and well, the budget doesn’t match my taste.  Therein lies the challenge.  I like it!

     A few days ago, I hollered at Clayton Washmon and said, “Let’s go look at some good stock.”  Clayton being a livestock junkie didn’t even ask what species we were going to look at.  It could be Jersey dairy cows and he would go.  So, we drove to Amarillo, hopped on a plane and headed west.  BTW, I highly recommend flying out of Amarillo.  This was a first for me and it was laid back and simple.  

      The central valley of California is EXTREMELY dry.  Wow!  If it ain’t irrigated, it’s dead.  We flew into Fresno.  Another small airport that was friendly and easy to navigate.  The cool thing about the Fresno airport is upon arrival and going down the escalator, the first thing that you see is a John Deere tractor.  AWESOME!   Most of the ads in the airport are for irrigation systems, ag chemical companies, seed and fertilizer dealers.  My kind of place.  

      We jumped in a rental car and drove to Brem Livestock.  Great hospitality, excellent goats and a wicked lineup of bucks.  Unfortunately, they know the value of some of those doe kids.  I don’t blame them.  I, as well would keep them.  Especially the de-horned doe kids.  Which begs the question….Why don’t we de-horn all doe kids?  Leave the horns on the purebreds but disbud the “wether”-genetics.  IDK.  Makes sense to me.  

       Clayton and I picked some Valencia oranges.   Oh, so good.  The Brem crew had some navel oranges for us as well.  Ohhhh!!    Eating these things is kind of orgasmic.  No matter the person, there are a lots of grunts, groans and moaning followed by a lot of juices flowing.  Clayton and I did talk reasons as to the differences between a Navel orange and a Valencia.  We also learned about Sumo oranges.  Any of you that know Clayton understands that he is a man of few words.  But as he said, “Really good trip.”   

        We’ll talk more about goats later.  Here are some of our adventures on this trip.

     It is now standard apparel for a lot of women to wear yoga pants while flying.  This is good and bad.  I understand the comfort level but not all women need to wear yoga pants in public.  However, since this was a livestock evaluation trip, Clayton and I did judge several classes of yoga pants.  This also involved some grunts and groans.  Some good, some not so good.  

       Going through security at Fresno for our return trip, I got busted.  Clayton had picked about 15 pounds of oranges which he put in my carry-on bag.  At the conveyor, the TSA lady asked me, through her mask, “Dew ya half sum tawletries or fewd items in tha bawg.”   I replied, “Hunh?” as I thought about the teacher from Charlie Brown.

She pulled down her mask and said, “Do you have any toiletries or food items in your bag?”   

Me–“Oh yeah!  There is a toothbrush, some deodorant and travel shampoos that I took from the hotel..oh…and some oranges.”

Her–“You mean orange juice?”

Me–“Ma’am, they are really juicy but they are still oranges.  No juice.”

Her–“I don’t know if that will pass or not.”  She pushes the bag into the x-ray machine.  


Next step–“Sir, is this your bag?” 

 “Yes.”  I replied as I stepped forward while putting my shoes back on and buckling my belt.  All while trying to contemplate how Clayton and I are going to eat all of these oranges as there was NO chance of us letting them chunk em.  

“Can you please step over here?” 


“Sir, you cannot take this aboard this flight.  Do you want to drink it or throw it away?”

“WTH?   Are you serious?  That 8 ounce bottle of water was given to me by American Airlines yesterday along with those pretzels and the hand wipes.”

“Sir, you can’t take this bottle of water on this flight.”

“Okay.  Keep it.  They will give me another one in an hour or so.”


        They kept the 8 ounce bottle of un-opened water that was given to me by the airline and I zipped up my bag that held a bunch of fresh-picked oranges.   Makes sense.  Yoga-pant-wearing ladies could buy starbuck’s products and carry on the flight and I could smuggle oranges in my bag yet, they confiscated the un-opened bottle of water that the airline gave me on Thursday and then gave me another one on Friday.  Ahhhhh!!!  I get it.  Central Cali is in a drought and need to conserve all the water that they can.  Okay!!  

     And you can’t have a livestock adventure without some good food.  Oh yeah!   Mexican food in Porterville was top shelf.  El Tapatio.   HUGE portions, wicked good flavor.  Highly recommend.  

   Over and out for tonight.  More useless information to come in the upcoming days.  



      Duke is currently at home.  Good.  Maybe I can get some work out of him.  While here, he fired up a movie on netflix.  Not a new movie but dang sure a good one.  Dances With Wolves.  I came in near the start and couldn’t hardly walk away from it.  Such a good flix.  I can still remember watching this in the $1 movie theater in Stillwater, OK….by myself.  I loved it.  My buddies were like, “Dude!  I’d have gone.”  Some female friends were like “Who did you go with?  What’s her name?  Why are you trying to hide?”  Seriously, I had a $1 and went and watched a badass movie.  That’s it.  

       After watching Dances With Wolves, I was taken back 3 decades and I still have the same thoughts.  Great movie!   And why in the hell did they use that bad legged Palomino?  Ten bears rode it in one scene, another younger tribal member rode it in another scene.  So much good horse-flesh in that movie and they feature that unsound equine creature.  

         Recently made a trip or 3 looking at stock.  A week or so ago, I ventured to Perry, OK to see a set of goats from IL.  Bid on several, bought one. 

     Then, made a venture into Texas.  Went to Tucker’s.  Not the 7T7 Tucker’s but Lynn & Kelly Tucker.  The home of Pickup Man and another pair of badass bucks.  CLEANEST goat place that I’ve ever been!  Seriously!  I shit you not.  There were very few goat turds in the pens.  And when the hired hand got done sweeping the pens…no turds!  I am not shitting you!   The pens were swept with a broom and dust pan then bagged.  I’m thinking about moving into one of their barns.  This crew is assembling some females to go with their bucks and the facilities.  It should be fun.  Great stop and I am looking forward to going back.  

       After that, we stopped by S&K Livestock.  Way more female goats than I was expecting.  I knew that they had several promotable bucks but I’ll be honest….I wasn’t expecting the badass doe herd.  Really nice set of mature females.  I love visiting with real livestock people.  And this crew is just working to make a $, help showmen and improve their herd.  I love it.  They aren’t spending a pile of cash to jump forward.  Just real people working, reinvesting profits back into their herd and constantly working to move forward.  Thoroughly enjoyed talking to Alex & Ben.  I like a stop that I can see good stock and I can learn a thing or two.  Although, I will be honest, when I asked Alex how Snake Farm got his name, after that, I was constantly looking for snakes.  Good stop. 

       The next weekend found me traveling to Brownwood, TX to pickup sheep and watch numerous sheep sales.  LOTS of sheep changing hands in the parking lots, online sale viewing and live sales.  We bought some nice sheep off the trailers.  They also had a cajun boil going on.  Clayton Washmon and I are ALWAYS down to eat some crustaceans.  Then I walked through the sale barns.  Wait?  Goats?   Reagan Thurman brought a bad female-dog of a doe kid.  No steal there as she brought $10K+.

      Now, it is at this point in the writing that I have a fork in the road.  Should I step away from the keyboard.  Probably, definitely yes but you all know me.  I do NOT care who I piss off.  From Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, I personally witnessed the BAD and the UGLY of selling livestock and I also witnessed the GOOD!  

      Friday afternoon, I watched a set of NAME brand wether goats being unloaded into their pens.  Oh hey, let’s take a look.  They set the wethers onto the bed of wood chips.  One of the goats didn’t act right.  He picked up his left hind foot and then his right hind foot.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  This little wether was in pain.  No doubt.  I’m sitting there looking at this goat, thinking to myself, “Why would these dumb bastards do this to a sale goat?”   As I’m sitting there thinking and looking, a couple of Yankee sheep breeders walk up, look and exclaim, “My GOD, somebody just got done popping the ass on that little goat!”  When the sheep people are calling you out, it ain’t right!  Pick three initials as to who the seller was.  You people can keep spending money with them.  I’m out.  I don’t care how blessed you are.  It’s bad and it’s ugly!  

       However on Sunday.  I had to pickup several ice chests of goat bologna for Tyke.  So, I met the Kester’s at Milligan’s piece of Perrydise.  They were photoing online sale goats.  The Irick’s were also there for Payton’s first online sale presentation.  Tommy & Hayden were working to get spot-on pics and videos of Payton’s goats.  Braden is the best ever at setting goats up for pics and he was on point.  Tom & Kerensa were coaching mom & daughter as to how to help and what to do.  There was a whole village there to help this young goat breeder get her goat offering presented properly.  THIS is how it is supposed to be done!  No deceit.  No needles.  No photoshopping.  No politics.  Just a crew of goat industry people helping a young kid with her projects.  These goats will be offered and sold.  There will probably be a bargain but there are several really good wethers and a cool doe kid.  

     Oh… By The Way… I will be bidding on a couple of Payton’s wethers.  They actually have a chance compared to those over-priced, counterfeit deals I saw south of the Red River.  

      Peace out!   And I hope that the buyer of that goat has a bucket of horseshoes and shamrocks.  They will need it.  



     It is banquet season.  Academic banquet, sports banquet, music banquet and of course, the FFA banquet.  Throw in an elementary awards assembly, a middle school awards assembly and a high school awards assembly.  People get sick of sitting through awards ceremonies.  Plus, graduation is looming next.  

      There are only a few things that attendees truly care about when attending a FFA banquet.

1–Did the officers know their parts and did the kids look sharp in official FFA dress?   Yes.

2–Was the meal good?  Yes.

3–How long did it take?  Tonight was 58 minutes from gavel to gavel.  New personal record.  

      The majority truly don’t care who wins which award.  They are interested but it isn’t a priority.    

     I’m not much of a banquet-type of person.  And the longer that I have taught, I have developed my own set of rules for the FFA banquet.  

Decorations–limited.  Waste of time and money.  In all honesty, only a few mothers care about the decorations.  

Awards–hit the high notes.  Not every kid needs an award or a certificate.  Get the big ones announced, make it worthwhile and give the others something to shoot for next year.  Never be afraid to give more than one of the same.  For example, if you have two bad-ass freshman, give two star greenhand awards.  Plaques are cheap. 

Slide shows/videos–Keep it under 5 minutes.  Upbeat, cool music (of course).  Let the kids make the video, let them play it and let the advisor advise (give guidance and approve the final product).  

Statistics–This is where most coaches screw up and make an athletic banquet drag on.  If you want stats, pull them up online.  Likewise, an ag teacher doesn’t need to talk about every win, community service project or high salesman.  If the chapter reporter has done their job throughout the year, the people already know who did what.  Hit the high notes.  

Time–One hour and 15 minutes.  That is how long a banquet needs to last.  That includes the meal.  Opening ceremonies, invocation, then send everybody through the meal line and as soon as the last person is seated, start the video.  People can eat while watching a video.  Once you start nearing an hour & 30 minutes, attendees start getting restless.   –No guest speaker.  They take up too much time, cost money and in the end, nobody really wanted another speaker.  Attendees are there to see the kids.  If you want to see a good guest speaker, go to State FFA Convention or fire up some youtube videos.      

Meal–high quality meat items, some sides, some bread and some desserts.   Tonight was smoked brisket, smoked bologna and smoked Blue & Gold sausage.  Some corn and beans for sides along with some rolls.  Then cookies and cupcakes.  Nobody cares about the sides, the bread or the desserts if you have top shelf meat.  We are carnivores.  

Practice–don’t just tell the kids to know their parts, practice until you know for sure that they know their parts.  

       For the Shattuck FFA banquet, I took care of cooking and preparing the meal.  Mrs. Abbey took care of making the plaques.  Laser etched wood that looked really cool.  This is a good arrangement, because if the roles were reversed and I was in charge of awards and Mrs. Abbey was in charge of the meal…..well, the kids would get a sticky note with some illegible scribbles on it and we would have eaten store-bought PB&J sandwiches.  By both ag teachers putting in a lot of effort, it saves the chapter a pile of cash.  As a side benefit, the kids like knowing that their teachers put in the effort.  

      I’m not saying that we have the best banquets ever.  Some communities WANT a big production…it is tradition.  That’s great.  But, I do enjoy parents coming up at the conclusion of another FFA banquet and saying, “I wish that you would teach the coaches how to do a banquet. ”  

Another FFA banquet in the books.  Have a good one.


       Some days you just don’t want to think.  You want to wake up, do chores, drink an Eskimo Joe’s glass of orange juice and then sit on the throne for a bit.  That’s how a day should start.  Just thinking.  And then you think, that may have been the highlight of your day.  

    Tonight, while just driving and listening, a Night Ranger song came over the xm radio waves.  Night Ranger.  Seriously, how good was that band?  Bad ass….in my opinion which means that I’m right.  Sister Christian was WAY good in the 80s and has held up to the test of time.  The lyrics, the tunes and then the crescendo.  

      I don’t think that they are in the Rock hall of fame, but they should be.  Not the best ever but dang good for a number of years.  Of course, they had a hit called the Secret of my Success.  

       Most stock show people are always looking for secrets of success.  Some shady bastard needs to make a tube of paste called Secret of Success.   

        Here tonight and tonight only.  For this limited time, I will give you almost 4 of the 5 secrets to success in the stock show ring.   

1–First and foremost—Clean water.  Don’t make those critters drink water that you wouldn’t drink.  Seriously, if you can’t do this step, don’t bother having a show animal, or a pet or child.  Seriously!!  All of the chemical reactions required in a living being require clean, clear water REGARDLESS of the temperature outside.  Fresh water.  Most people can’t get past this first step.  

2–Manage comfort level–Not as important in cattle as in sheep/goats and dang sure a high level of importance with the swine projects.  Keep sheep/goats blanketed during cold spells.  Keep them warm and dry.  If they are cold, blanket them.  If you are wearing a hoodie while doing chores, they need a cover.  

3–Proper feeding.  It is not what you feed but how you feed it.  Feed high quality feedstuffs regardless of brand(s).  Manage feed intake to fit the animal.  Each animal is different.  Get feeding help from the breeder/jock from which you purchased the animal.  If they can’t provide proper instructions, BUY from a better source.  It’s that simple.  You get what you pay for.  If you are looking to change brands of feed every time that you go to a show, call me and I will sell you a rusty ice pick complete with instructions.  I would recommend a tetanus shot.   

4–Study genetics.  Don’t just study what Breeder/Jock is winning.  Don’t just study ads of winners.  Study the genetics behind the winners.  And then the proper feeding regiment will apply according to those genetics.  Talk to the breeder/jock that you are buying from.  If they don’t know, buy from somebody that does know.  Refer back to #3.  If they can’t help, buy from a better source.  However, you will not find a better source of rusty ice picks than right here.  Regardless of your age, these picks are built to pierce, puncture and hopefully stop the permeation of inferior genetics into the marketplace.  

5–I’m real sure that I said that I would give ALMOST 4 of the 5 secrets to success in the stock show ring.  And I gave you for sure, 4 secrets.  Buy from reputable sellers that give you help after the sale.  If they are dipshits, dicks or can’t help, find a different place to purchase your projects.  Ask questions before you write a check.  If you don’t, well, that would make you a dipshit, dick or pick a name.  Ask questions.  Explain your situation.  Ask questions.  State your goals.  Ask questions.  Have a game plan.  


Disclaimer:   If you are a low-rent tire-kicking POS that bought a leftover animal that was sired by a grandson of any said breeders animal from some 3rd party firm, or bought a sale barn trash leftover AND now want all the advice from the name brand breeder….go to the nearest corner and shove your own thumb up your own donkey.  If you don’t understand this step, keep repeating until something goes numb.  


     But tonight, and tonight only, for the lowly sum of $25 in cash money, I will give you that 5th and even the 6th secret to success in the showring.  

5 again–Make sure you have a badass showman.  If you aren’t sure, send $300 cash to my address and we will teach your showman to be really good.  And for $300 cash more, we will show them how to become elite.  (Seriously, a badass showman takes care of steps 1-4.)  And in all honesty, $600 would be dang cheap to develop a wicked showman.   Actually, that would be $625. 

And if steps 1-5 aren’t enough, contact this dude for any extra enhancements.  Call 666, zip code 91011 and ask for Bob Baffert.  He probably also has a residence in Texas.  I probably have that zip code as well.  He may or may not like Night Ranger but he has some Secrets of Success.  

       Looking back on this post, I don’t have any secrets of success.  Just some recipes that are tried and trued.  Passed (or Past) down from generation to generation.  I’m no sorcerer that deals in secrets.  But I am a bad ass cook that doesn’t normally even read a recipe card.  And things just work out.  Because all that we really want is to be able to Rock in America

      Don’t Tell Me You Love Me.  As a breeder, jock, ag teacher, whatever…..go show me.  Don’t tell me.  Just do it… properly.  Not for the money.  Just do it right.  

       When You Close Your Eyes and think about doing things right, it isn’t about a damn $.  I hope you make a pile but just remember what this livestock project deal was founded upon.  It was and IS about the next generation.  Not a damn $.  

       On any given night, given the chance, I can make a trip down Sentimental Street.  But tonight is not that night.  I’ve got too many extra rusty ice picks and there is a plethora of people out there, that need them.  


       As I re-read this, I am thinking……..1–I should be a promoter for Night Ranger.  2–I need to write a success book for stock showers (special ed version)  and 3–There has to be something, somewhere on the internet, that is better to read than this crap.  4–Nope.  If there was, you and I would be reading it.