Let’s Go Shopping. For Cows!

 

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Have you ever had the privilege of attending a cattle auction right on the farm before?  We are in the process of shopping for a few Momma Cows to add to our herd.

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So on Labor Day we attended a pure bred Hereford auction about 70 miles from where we live.  Like most auctions of pure bred cattle, it is held right on the farm and lunch is served.

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This farm served hamburgers and all the trimmings.  And oh my goodness, was it good.  And the sweet tea?  Wow was it sweet!

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Some of the cows my husband was interested in are the Black Herefords (called F1 in the cattle industry).  They had a good number of them and we felt that they might be a good fit being bred to our registered Angus bull.

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My husband looked over the sale brochure so many times, I’m pretty sure he had it all memorized!

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The auction started promptly at noon and luckily we had gone into the barn plenty early because there literally wasn’t a seat left in the sale barn!

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We all stood to sing The National Anthem.  I cried.  Do you cry when you sing The National Anthem?  I always, always do.

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They opened the door to the right of the Auctioneer and the first cow stuck her head in and just looked at everyone!  It was very cute.  Herefords are known to be very gentle and she just ambled in to the little show ring.

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I liked her.  I wanted to elbow my husband to bid!  But she quickly went way over our price range.

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They had a great set-up in the little show ring.  The cows came in one door and the farm hands kept them moving so everyone could see them and then they went out the door on the left side of the Auctioneer.  Usually there was only one cow at a time in the ring, but there were a few Cow/Calf pairs.

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I’ve always loved cattle auctions.  I used to go with my Dad when I was young.  And then our kids always had 4-H animals in the auction.  I think sitting back listening to the Auctioneer chant and the Ringers holler is one of the most fun things ever!

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After awhile, I left the sale barn and went out to see what their system was for bringing the cows in to the barn.  They sure were organized and had it down to a fine art.  And the cows were so sweet and gentle.

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Even the bulls that were lined up in the shoot were waiting patiently for their turn in the sale.

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It was a beautiful setting with a gorgeous red sale barn.  I love old barns that have been taken care of.  You could just about smell the fresh paint!

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We stayed until the last cow sold.  But we didn’t get to bring home any beautiful Momma Cows.  One thing about auctions; you’ve got to be really careful to not get too taken up with the bidding wars!  My husband is very cautious and so at least I never have to worry about what we might be going home with!

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There are always funny auction stories.  We’ve got a few in our family.  The funniest one was when we first moved to the South and my husband bid on some steers at the local cattle auction.  When he won the bid and they asked for his name, they could not understand him no matter how slowly and clearly he tried to pronounce it.  The last name “Troutman” got butchered into the craziest name you’ve ever heard!  My husband is quiet and rather shy, so the nervous sweat was pouring off his face as he tried, over and over, to get his name across to the Auctioneer.  My daughter, and daughter in law and I were with him and we were laughing hysterically at the whole crazy experience.  To this day we roar when we talk about it.  We’ve since learned that in the South you don’t say anything slowly and clearly… the faster you pronounce it, the quicker they get it!

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I’m quite certain a lot of you Farmgirls have a funny auction story, please share it – I’d love to hear it!

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Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.

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Dori

Leave a comment 16 Comments

  1. Dirtduchess says:

    It is so much fun. All the people rambling around. The excitement of the bidding. I don’t know where you live. In Texas there is always a big barbecue.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      I bet there are some of the BEST barbecues in Texas. At every auction I’ve been to here it has been hamburgers or steaks. Which are wonderful. But I bet a Texas barbecue would be awesome! :-)

      – Dori –

  2. This looks like fun! I’ve been to auction before and didn’t like the experience. Seeing the cows on green grass makes me smile. When others take pride in what they do that is a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hello Carole,

      I wonder if possibly some auctions are a better experience than others. The ones at the weekly sale barn aren’t near as neat as the privates sales held on farms. I think those are the fun auctions! And the food is free! :-)

      – Dori –

  3. Bonnie Ellis says:

    Thanks for the trip to the auction house. I could almost taste the hamburgers and smell the hay. You’re a great writer!

  4. Joan says:

    Oh boy, you brought back some great memories. We were mostly the seller – oh how I hated to see my ‘babies’ go but go they did so others could come. That was a beautiful surrounding but to me there isn’t a bad look’n spot in TN. – miss it terribly so your writings make me feel like I am there. Thanks and God bless.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Joan,

      I thought about that very thing at the auction as I watched those beautiful cows being sold – I bet there were some family members that were going to cry!

      I also think there isn’t a bad look’n spot in TN!!! I’m glad my writings can bring you home.

      – Dori –

  5. Ann says:

    I enjoyed this story very much although I don’t know the first thing about cows. They sure are sweet looking. I cry when I sing the National anthem, too. Thanks for sharing your auction story.

  6. Deb Bosworth says:

    Howdy Dori,
    Thank you for the shopping trip for COWS! I’ve never done that. I liked that first pretty lady too. She had such a sweet face. I would definitely have to let my husband do the bidding. I wouldn’t be able to control my self! What a fun day for you all and that red barn is so beautiful. I love any kind of barn. Freshly painted, falling down and everything in between. I cry whenever I hear or sing the national anthem. I get choked up EVERY time.
    What a fun post! But all of your posts are fun! :)
    xo Deb

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Good morning Deb,

      We have so many beautiful old barns in this part of the country. But sadly, our farm was originally a 600 acre farm that was broken into 100 acre parcels…. so our 100 acres did not have the old barn on it. :-( We always say how fun it would be to buy one, tear it down and re-build it on our farm. But that’s a pretty big dream!

      Thanks for your sweet words… you know you always make my day! :-)

      – Dori –

  7. Alexandra Wilson says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Dori! I’ve never been to an auction, but fear I would want to bid on every animal (this is how I feel at the animal shelter, too). Those Herefords are smaller than I imagined (not a bad thing, I always imagine beef cattle to be giant for some reason). What beautiful animals! I love how you captured her sweet eye in the first photo. There aren’t many live animal auctions up here, but I’ll have to find one when I’m “outside” sometime–you’ve inspired me!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Alex,

      Cows really aren’t that huge… at least the Angus and the Herefords. But our registered Angus bull??? He is HUGE! And even though he is the nicest animal and very, very gentle you can be sure we give him the respect that is due and keep our distance! :-)

      If you ever get “outside” Alaska and come to the South, we’ll get you to a cattle auction!

      Hugs,

      – Dori –

  8. Hi Dori!

    I want to come cow shopping with you! I have actually been to a few cattle auctions – my daddy used to take me to see them when I was small when we would head up to our ranch in the Texas hill country. I loved every minute, and your post brought back such great memories. We never had cows ourselves, but our neighbor friends did, and I still have a cow “collection”. You are living the life! I love reading your posts and I would so love to have a cow of my own! Great fun, Dori, thanks for jogging my fun childhood memories. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole (Suburban Farmgirl)

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Okay, so I didn’t write about it in my post but guess what I did for an hour of the auction? I drove to a little town a few miles down the road and literally did this fast run through 2 antique stores!!! Ha Ha! And got back to the auction and hadn’t missed a thing! :-) So yeah… you would’ve really loved to be with me that day! It was the best of both… cow shopping and fast antique shopping! (I even found a couple deals that I bought!)

      Wish you could come visit!

      – Dori –

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