Making Hay
Week of May 1st, 2005 | The weather was cold and freezing.

Mother cow with her new calf.

Mother cow with her new calf.

Happy Spring! It's been a very busy month with a lot of activities going on. This is the time of year when our cows are having calves. So far, we have four calves born.

This past month, Dad and I planted 85 acres of barley. The first week of April had good weather conditions. Dad and I started fieldwork one night and the next day we were planting barley. The ground conditions were just perfect for planting barley. While I was busy doing fieldwork, Dad followed me with the planter. We planted 68 acres of barley on our farm and 17 acres on a neighbor's farm, as a favor. We made a record on our farm, by planting about 70 acres of barley with a 12-foot wide drill (a type of planter to plant small grains and grass seed), in less than 24 hours! We were working hard through the days and up late at nights. I would take the evening shift after I got home from school.

A week after the barley was planted we received rain. The rain helped the barley out of the ground and now we have a nice stand.

Our church had its Annual Iowa Chop Supper. Mom and Dad were on the main committee with many hours spent planning and preparing. I helped with set up and working all day during the supper. Later, the same week, my parents and I attended my sister Jolene's piano recital at UNI. She was great! Another music student shared the recital with her. Afterward there was a small reception and than we took Jolene out for supper with her music professor and other friends.

I helped the New Hampton Theatre department put on a play by operating the lights at the auditorium during the second week of April. My classmates were in the play. I had a great time operating lights and I also enjoyed the performance.

The third week of April was a busy week for me. I left Sunday, April 17, at noon, to go to Iowa State University for the Iowa State FFA Convention. I enjoyed being a state delegate or a FFA voting member and seeing over 4900 people show up to the state convention. I voted for state officers, attended the sessions and had fun overall. I came home late Tuesday night.

I went to school Wednesday, then the next day, April 21, I left again to go on a music trip. This year, the New Hampton High School Band and Choir went to St. Louis, Missouri, for Music In The Parks competition. This competition included middle and high school concert bands, marching bands, jazz bands, swing choirs and mixed concert choirs. At the competition on Saturday morning, the concert band (I played the trombone) received an Excellent rating and 2nd place, the freshman choir received a Superior rating and 1st place, and the mixed choir received an Excellent rating and 2nd place.

We arrived at St. Louis over the noon hour on Thursday and toured the St. Louis Arch. It was exciting to go up the arch and look down at the city and the Mississippi River from 630 feet above the ground. That evening we went on a River Boat Cruise up the Mississippi River. On Friday we went to the St. Louis Zoo. Lions, and tigers, and bears, Oh My! I enjoyed seeing the animals and had fun at the zoo.

After the zoo, we went shopping at a mall. We spent a couple hours in the mall and then went to the St. Louis Fox Theater. The Fox Theater is over 75 years old and seats 4,500 people. The decorations and the size of the theater are indescribable. We watched the performance, "Big River: the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". It was exciting.

After Saturday morning's competition, we went to Six Flags to spend the afternoon. I went on a few rides, but it was cold out. After Six Flags, we spent the night sleeping in the charter buses while we went back home. We arrived back in New Hampton at 4:00 am on Sunday, April 24. I went home and slept for a few hours. I had a lot of fun on the trip.

While I was gone, my sister Jess came home for an overnight stay for her birthday. Dad and her went trout fishing. Between the two of them they caught six.

Farm Fact: Cattle were domesticated from the ancient oxen thousands ofyears ago in France. Modern breeds came from two species: the humped cattle ofAsia and the wild cattle of Europe. Most United States breeds come from Europe.In 1493, on Christopher Columbus' second voyage to America, he brought long-hornedcattle from Spain. These cattle are ancestors of the famous Texas Longhorns.

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