Archive for December 29th, 2017

Top 5 Showmanship Tips from the Experts

Friday, December 29th, 2017

The Head of a Cattle Champion Simmental Cow.Countless hours are spent preparing a project heifer or steer for show day.

Early mornings and late nights are consumed washing, feeding, clipping and practicing. All of that work accumulates for ‘5 minutes of fame’ – the brief time when an animal walks into the ring and gets a chance to impress the judge. After a few laps around the ring, exhibitors get a chance to display their animal’s side profile, then animals are pulled in, placed and the class is over.

When all is said and done, exhibitors and their projects have only been in the ring for a few short minutes, even in large, competitive classes. How can exhibitors make the most of those few minutes, while the judge contemplates his or her decision? How can they make sure their animals are presented to perfection during that time, giving the judge the best look possible?

Honor® Show Chow® Ambassadors Dave Allan, Bob May and Kirk Stierwalt have had decades of combined show industry experience and all have had the opportunity to judge showmanship on a regular basis.

Now, they are sharing their top five showmanship tips based on their expertise and experience to help exhibitors and their projects excel in the ring:

1. Teach cattle manners.
“Cattle need to know the cues and fundamentals to be shown properly in the showring,” says Stierwalt. “It’s hard to win, even if you have a good calf, if you can’t get it set up.”

Practicing at home and in various environments is critical. The only way for an animal to learn cues and get comfortable showing is to practice. Practicing in variable environments – whether that be indoor or outdoor, individually or with a group, with background noise or without – can help prepare your animal for a situation they might encounter in the showring.

2. Know your animal.
“Not all cattle are set up the same,” says Stierwalt. “You need to know what your calf looks like from a judge’s point-of-view to show them with the best result.”

For some exhibitors it may come naturally to correct flaws with their project, while for others it may take some time to see what the judge sees in the showring. While one animal may need it’s head held a bit higher, another might need it’s back touched down just a bit more. Practicing both on the halter and off, can help exhibitors identify flaws and learn how best to correct those flaws in the ring.

3. Walk into a staggered position.
One of Dave Allan’s top tips is learning how to walk your cattle into a staggered position to minimize showstick use for feet placement.

“Practice at home by taking the last several steps, switch hands while walking backwards looking at the back feet, and walk them into staggered position,” says Allan. “By doing so, most of the time you’ll only have to move the left front foot. You’ll be set up quickly and avoid a lot of time spent on unnecessary shuffling of the feet.”

Allan adds that learning the in’s and out’s of halter pressure will help when the need does arise to shuffle feet.

4. Set, and don’t forget.
Both Allan and May emphasize that while many parents tell their kids to watch the judge and smile, too often young exhibitors end up staring the judge down and disregarding presentation of their animal.

“Exhibitors spend months preparing for a show. To be competitive you need to watch your animal. First and foremost you need to get them set up, then look for the judge,” says May.

Allan adds, “You need to know where the judge is to correctly set your animal up and watch for cues to get pulled, but priority should be on making sure your animal is set up properly.”

5. Never be late. 
Whether the class is showmanship or the animal’s actual class, May advises exhibitors to always be on time. Be aware of how quickly classes are going, keep a close watch on the showring as your class approaches and be ready to enter the ring once the previous class is in.

If a judge has to wait for a late arrival or is already in the midst of placing the class, exhibitors late to the ring often won’t get the look they worked hard to receive.

An exhibitor may have a potential class-winning animal, but if not properly presented and fed, that animal may not rise to the top. Practicing and perfecting showmanship skills are critical for giving the judge the best look on show day, as is a high-quality plane of nutrition.

For more showring tips join the online community of show enthusiasts at www.facebook.com/HonorShowChow or at www.twitter.com/HonorShowChow.

Article Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

Planting Potatoes, Onions and Other Cool Weather Vegetables

Friday, December 29th, 2017

PotatoesInDirtSeed Potatoes and onion set arrive mid-January at J&N Feed and Seed. Planting potatoes and onions are at the top of everyone’s gardening list this time of year. As everyone in North Texas knows, our late January and February weather can be a gamble— temps can be spring-like one day and fall below freezing the next.  But, the weather extremes should not deter gardeners from planting during these months.  Potatoes are top of the list for planting this time of year.

Other good go-to cold weather vegetables are root produce such as turnips, beets, and carrots as well as hardy leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, kale, and chard. Bulb veggies (onions and garlic), as well as asparagus crowns, can also be planted at this time.

Preparing and Planting Potatoes 

When purchasing seed potatoes, look for certified seed potatoes. These are seeding potatoes which have not been treated with growth retardants to prevent sprouting. Conventional potatoes in grocery markets are typically treated with retardants.

After you have planned and prepared a garden spot with well-drained, loose soil, the seed potatoes can be prepped for planting:

Cut each seed potato into quarters (sulfur dust can be applied to the fresh cut ends) and let the potato quarters set out overnight or longer until cut sides callus over.  Seed potato quarters are then ready to plant— for a good rule of thumb, potato quarters should be planted 3” to 4” deep and spaced 12” to 15” apart. To provide plants plenty of growing room, make sure rows are spaced 24” to 36” apart.

Caring for Potato Plants

Potatoes need consistent moisture, so water regularly when tubers start to form.  Before the potato plants bloom, hilling should be done when the plant is about 6 inches tall. Hoe the dirt up around the base of the plant in order to cover the root as well as to support the plant. Bury the plant base in loose soil. Hilling will keep the potato plants from getting sunburned, in which case they turn green and will taste bitter.  You will need to hill potatoes every couple of weeks to protect your crop.

When the potato plants have bloomed, new potatoes are ready for harvest.  For larger potatoes, harvest only after plant tops have fallen over. For more information on planting seed potatoes, visit the Texas A&M website.

Other Cool Weather Vegetable Plantings

Lettuce, spinach, and cabbage can be planted at this time either by seeds or plant starts. For reference, these vegetables can be planted in February with seed or starter plants.

Stop by J&N for your seed potatoes, onion sets, and other cool weather vegetables.

 

January Garden Tips

Friday, December 29th, 2017

January Garden Tips

It may be chilly outside at this time of the year, but winter is a perfect time for a number of outdoor chores. Just consider how much better outdoor chores like soil preparation, planting, transplanting, and pruning can be done without toiling in hot summer temperatures.

January Garden If you need to move a plant to a different spot in the landscape, this is the month to accomplish this job. Most plants move best when they are fully dormant as a result of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Remove some of the top growth to compensate for the inevitable loss of some of the roots. Once the plant is moved, water thoroughly, apply root stimulator, and a few inches of mulch over the root area.

January is a great month to accomplish pruning of fruit trees. Annual pruning keeps the harvest within reach, thins crowded branches, allowing more light to penetrate developing fruit and stimulates new growth for next year’s crop. Shade trees can also be pruned at this time.

Fruit trees and vines can be planted at this time as the ground usually does not freeze here in north Texas. You can also prepare the soil for new flower, rose or shrub beds by mixing plenty of organic material like compost or a flower or shrub mix. This way the soil is ready for immediate planting when temperatures get a little warmer.

Fertilize pansies to keep them actively growing. Houseplants can be fertilized with reduced rates of water-soluble fertilizer this month. Do not over-water your houseplants.

Birds of all kinds appreciate a constant source of seed, suet and water during the winter and you will enjoy the activity they create in your backyard. Just remember once you start feeding, you should keep it up through the winter.

Case Knives 10% off in December

Friday, November 17th, 2017
Dec ’17Dec
131

Case KnivesCase Knives are 10% off in December at J&N Feed and Seed! Get Dad what he really wants for Christmas this year!

J&N Feed and Seed is your official dealer of Case Knives.  Case knives are premium pocket knives hand-crafted with care. When you purchase a Case pocket knife, you are investing in more than just a name, you are buying quality.

What makes a Case® knife different?

Made In The U.S.A. Since 1889 every Case Knife is made with pride in the United States.

Hand-Crafted. Every knife is handcrafted by the most skilled artisans and cutlers in the business.

160 steps. Each knife takes over 160 manufacturing processes to complete.

Tradition. Case knives are cherished possessions passed down through generations and hand crafted to stand the test of time.

Tested XX. A symbol of Case’s commitment to quality which can be traced back to the early days when blades were tempered and tested not just once (X), but twice (XX).

Collectable. 19,000 plus members of the Case Collectors Club attest to the fact that Case knives are the most collected knives in the world.

Natural Handles. Case stretches to the far corners of the earth to find the finest natural handle materials available.

Premium Knives. Case is dedicated to making the everyday tool into a valuable treasure for discerning men and women who want more than just a knife.

Experience. Case has been making pocketknives since 1889. With over a century of experience, we know how to make a premium pocketknife.

Whether you are looking for a small or large knives for a variety of uses, J&N Feed and Seed is your best source in Young County  for quality knives. Visit us today— our knowledgeable staff can help you select the best knife product for you.

To learn more about our wide selection of knives, please click here to visit our contact page. We are more than happy to answer your questions!

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