Well, we finally got to attend a real Dexter AGM, Show & Sale! It was a lot of fun to meet breeders from across the country and see all the nice animals that were present. Although the weather was quite hot, things went very well. Thursday was a day for exhibitors to arrive & get cattle settled in, while the Board had meetings all day. The facilities in Stillwater were really nice, even if not in the most convenient location to fly to, for those of us who didn’t take cattle. There were several vendors set up for the weekend, and also a display of all the pictures entered in the photo contest.
Friday morning we arrived on the grounds to find things in full swing outside the barn. Last minute baths, blow-drying, and grooming all around. Then it was Show Time! Things kicked off with the Youth Show, for ages 7-18. The young people all did quite well with their cattle, and the judge did a great job interacting with the competitors. Next came the Showmanship Classes, which are more about how the exhibitor handles the animal. Last was the Open Show, which this year was open to ages13 and up. There were many high quality animals and well-deserving winners.
After the Show was over, there were some fun activities for the kids in the afternoon. This included the Prettiest Cow Contest, for which they could dress up their cow in a costume. Some of these were pretty creative, my personal favorite being the pig costume, which also was the contest winner.
After dinner Friday evening was the White Dexter Auction. People donate items for the auction, which is then a fundraiser for the Association to help cover the costs of the AGM. This proved to be, well…interesting…and a lot of fun. But, boy, some of these people get competitive with their bidding…all in the name of fun & a good cause, of course.
Saturday morning was the Dexter Sale, with about 40 animals brought through the sale ring. This provides an excellent opportunity to purchase animals, and therefore new genetics, from breeders farther away than one would normally go for new stock. Unless, of course, you got there on an airplane…which is probably good in my case or else I would’ve been spending money we don’t really have right now!
The Annual General Meeting was held Saturday afternoon, during which committee reports were made. The members were also made aware of decisions currently facing the Board and given time for questions & comments. Afterwards, there was a wrap-up meeting for the Board of Directors. At this meeting, Robert Seddon resigned as Region 9 Director, and the Board appointed….me, Kim Newswanger, as Interim Director for the remainder of his term. I had previously expressed to Robert an interest in getting involved, so he had already recommended me as his replacement. Elections for Region 9 are scheduled for next fall, so I have until then to decide if I really want to keep the position.
Saturday evening after dinner, Baxter Black was our entertainment. And let me tell you, he sure is entertainment! After many years of experience as a rancher & vet, he has quite the collection of stories, some of which you have to be a cattle person to understand. His combination of humor & poetry kept us rolling with laughter. Of course, time flies when you’re having fun, and before we knew it, it was time to wind down for the night & head back to the hotel.
Overall, it was a great weekend and we came away with new friends & a better knowledge of our favorite little breed of cattle. Oh…and also several ribbons from the photo contest, a gallon of maple syrup from the White Dexter Auction….and plans for next year. The 2012 AGM will be held in Fort Wayne, IN….close enough that we can take some animals & give showing a try. If you’ve never attended an AGM, I strongly encourage you to get involved next year. You won’t regret it. Even if you’re not sure about showing, you can still enter photos in the photo contest, donate something for the auction, and just attend & join the fun. Hope to meet you there, if not before!