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South Carolina Angus Association News

Sharon Furr
February and March, 2018

Happy Hearts Day – and if you’re just now reading this in the Cattle Connection, Happy Belated Hearts Day!

Being SCAA Secretary, I’ve been on the road all over the place in the last month, traveling to different sales and different farms. My days spent with you, looking at your cows and your operations, well it’s just been beautiful. As many of you know, March is always the month for Spotlighting Angus, and for me it’s always just such a wonderful time of year. My list of unbelievable amazing people, well it’s pretty long and year after year after year, I find myself picking and choosing very carefully, there are so many wonderful Angus Producers in our State, that I think so much of, that I just love, and that I want to know more about, that sometimes, just sometimes, it’s hard to decide!

This year – I have decided to do the article just a little different than years past. I want to not only SPOTLIGHT an Angus producer, but a woman, and so here is where I’ll begin...............

I’ve always wanted to do a story on a young woman, that in many ways, reminded me of myself, of course the younger version of me................a young woman that has given all she has to make a difference in farming and in cattle, in one way or another...................and a young woman that is going places and making it better all along the way.

The young woman that I choose for this year’s spotlight on Angus, really needs no introduction. It’s truly hard to define her in just one word, but if I had to choose just one word, it’d have to be - extraordinary. She not only has captured many of your hearts as you’ve watched her grow into a beautiful young woman, but she has as well, captured not only my heart but my attention for being an amazing young woman, doing amazing things in our industry!

Allison Harman is 19 years old and is a Sophomore at Clemson University, majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Agribusiness. She can’t remember a time she hasn’t loved cows! As far back as Allison can remember, she has loved animals and agriculture. From the beginning when her granddaddy had a farm with everything, cows as well, to first grade when she wanted to be a vet, to her love of horses during primary school, to her judging dairy cows at the age of eight, to telling Phil Perry, her Clemson Extension agent, she wanted to show cows, to at age 9 showing her first Hereford heifer at the Saluda 4-H Show and winning Grand Champion Hereford Heifer, until now, 10 years later, she’s still showing, and loving it and is hooked! As a little girl one of her favorite things to read, her daddy told me was called; Inheritance of Color and Polledness in Beef Cattle. At 6, she could tell you all about recessive traits and gene expression. He also went on to tell me she loved looking at the beef semen catalog even before she really knew what she was looking at. She wants to graduate from Clemson, continue for her Masters, and then her PhD, and you’ll never believe what in................... Cattle Genetics and Reproduction!!!!

OMG, where did you come from, can I have you, I love you?!?!

In high school, she started her very own 4-H Agriculture Advocacy project. She would load up a cow or heifer and go around teaching about cattle and agriculture, to elementary, middle, and even high schoolers. During her high school years, she was extremely proactive and solely responsible for getting a dairy cattle judging team into the Gilbert FFA Chapter. She is a teaching assistant for the Beef Exhibition class at Clemson, and has received oh so many scholarships, not to mention she received the Little North American Cory Watt Memorial Scholarship, which is awesome, and extremely humbling. She is currently the SC FFA State Secretary, which is an honor, and her grade point average is 3.89, OMG I could barely keep a 2.0, and she works constantly with others showing them the ins and outs of cattle handling and husbandry. Dr. Temple Grandin is someone she admires, and she can’t wait to go to the April 5th and 6th SCCA Annual meeting where she will get to experience her teachings first hand. She told me she has had that on her calendar since the minute it came out! Awesome, right!? And if all of this was not enough.................my afternoon with her was even better!

Saturday afternoon, as I pulled into Black Springs Farm, in Leesville S.C., I felt at peace, I felt like I belonged, I felt very much at home. As I got out of the car and walked around the side of the house, there stood Allison Harman with two buckets of feed and that beautiful smiling face. At that very minute, I knew I had made the right choice of my spotlight on Angus candidate!

When I walked up, she immediately started telling me all about her show heifers, that she was feeding at the time, and how no, ‘they aren’t all black ones, because we show multiple breeds to get in more classes and competitions, is that okay’, and I just laughed when she asked me that, thinking to myself, it’s your love of cows that makes me want to tell your story baby, and sometimes, believe it or not it has nothing to do with color, but a lot to do with the person! (Isn’t that true of everything in life pretty much.) She went on to tell me how much she enjoys the different breeds from Shorthorns to Herefords, but that her true love, and her true passion is Angus.

Before we could even finish our conversation at hand, she immediately started walking towards an 8-acre field, right beside the house and barn. She was ecstatic about this piece of ground, as she began to tell me that this was her latest improvement project, sprigging Tifton 85, and that it would help them be able to nearly double their herd size, and that this one swatch of ground would be able to accommodate 16 mamas for a 2 head/acre carrying capacity. As she told me about them clearing the land and disking and planting, she became overwhelmed with the great feeling of accomplishment and sacrifice made to enhance her farm. As she continued to tell me about it, it was if she was standing on a pot of gold, it was one of the most wonderful things to see for me, because that is how I have always felt when I made such a huge sacrifice for something I loved, and saw the outcome of my labor and accomplishments and was able to share that with others. I loved seeing, just for that instance, the sheer joy on her face and in her heart.

Next, we went over to the field which houses her main cow herd. She knew not only every cow and calf by name, but also knew their number, and their sires and their dams, and just about anything else you wanted to know about them. She could spill off all their EPD’s and their genetics, and started telling me what she was going to breed this one to, and what she had bred that one to and so on and so forth. A girl after my own heart! She was fascinating really. I see this occasionally in other cattle producers, but never in my life have I ever seen this in a young woman. I know there are people who run numbers and look for EPD’s, I’m one of those people, but never from a 19-year-old! It was beautiful really.

Allison’s passion for her herd is next to none. But she really loves everything about genetics. She told me she was stoked when they came out, the end of last month, with the new foot score research on Angus cattle. She said, “I love breeding, and selecting different genetics to improve my herd. I love watching to see what the genetic combinations look like once they hit the ground. I love this one heifer I have brought in from Express Ranches, Eclipse – registered name – EXAR Frontier Gal 0346”, and of course she riddled all of that off to me and not off paper but off the top of her head!! Then she went right on to tell me this heifer was out of the donor female 1405 bred back to a PVF Insight, the top Angus show sire from Prairie View Angus Farms in Illinois. And to tell you the truth, her knowledge just kept going. It was truly amazing and wonderful to hear and experience!

Her true passion is genetics, she said her goal would be to work for a large operation like Express, managing reproduction, but she really loves teaching and is also thinking about academia. Next month, she will be traveling with the Clemson Block and Bridle to Florida to tour and experience Deseret Ranch, the world’s largest commercial cattle producer, and a cattle ranch that has been in the business for over 60 years. Their goals are aligned completely with Allison’s, to raise high quality calves and increase the productive capacity. Two things that were very clear while I spent time with Allison.

On many occasions, too many to count, I have seen Allison at sales, and shows, and to many other venues to remember. She has captured my attention for years now and after spending time with her, I feel privileged to tell her story. As Katie Perry sings; ‘This Girl is on Fire’!

As I started to pull out of the driveway Saturday way after dark, Allison said, “My future is really wide open”! Her big smile ran across her beautiful face, and all I could think of was, ‘yes baby it is, you will be that one girl who makes a huge difference in genetics and especially in Angus’!

Allison, you are wonderful. I had the time of my life with the entire Harman Family – thanks guys for allowing me into your home and onto your farm, it was just wonderful. Also, for letting me take up so much of your time. You guys have raised and amazing daughter, and not only will she do great things, but she will pay it forward time and again.



The second sale of the year for me was on February 3rd., where I found myself at the 2018 Clemson Bull and Heifer Sale at Garrison Arena, Clemson S.C. The place was packed with buyers. The bulls and heifers offered up, were amazing, not to mention having hamburgers and cheeseburgers being grilled right outside of the arena on a big cooker! Beef, it’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

The biggest highlight for the Friday night dinner and consignor event, prior to the sale on Saturday, was honoring Gary Burns. After over 35 years of working for and with Clemson University as their Beef Specialist, he is retiring. There is no one, and let me say that again, no one, who can or will ever be able to fill his shoes! There are no words to describe Gary Burns and what he has meant to the South Carolina beef producers, to our SCAA, and to our SCCA. In my opinion, you will never find a better man than Gary Burns!

Gary Burns you are an AMAZING man – thank you for everything, we can’t thank you enough!

Next up on my road travels was to Black Crest Farm Annual Production Sale in Sumter S.C. and the home of Billy McLeod. No matter that it was a dreary day, the field out front was packed with potential buyers, trucks and trailers. Praise God the rains held off until almost every buyer had loaded out, which was awesome! The offering of bulls and females was tremendous, the B.B.Q was delicious, but the company of wonderful cattle producers from across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia was priceless. It was a great sale day!


UPCOMING AND CALENDAR OF EVENTS:



March 16 and 17, 2018

47th Annual SCAA Banquet and Futurity Sale
Clemson S.C. – Garrison Arena

Mark your calendars for the 47th Annual Carolina Futurity Sale - March 17th, 2016 @ T. Ed. Garrison Livestock Arena, Clemson University – Clemson, S.C. If you need more information, please contact Ken Brubaker @ 540.908.5799 or ken@brubakersales.com.

Also, once again this year for our 47th SCAA Futurity, we will be celebrating our banquet on March 16th, at the Clemson Outdoor Lab, 415 Charlie White Trail - Pendleton, SC 29670 – Social time starts at 6:00 pm!

The 47th Carolina Angus Futurity is being dedicated to Gwen and Neil McPhail, Tokeena Angus.

The South Carolina Angus Association Officers and Board of Directors is very proud and pleased to dedicate the 47th Carolina Angus Futurity to Gwen and Neil McPhail of Tokenna Angus, in recognition of their accomplishments, service, leadership and contributions to the Angus breed, SCAA and beef industry locally, state wide, and nationally.


Remember – if you’re looking for some great Valentine, Easter and Mother’s Day gift ideas to buy or send out, buy local. Support SC farmers, SC artisans, and your local SC shops.

The Nut House and Country Market @ TheNutHouse@YonFamilyFarms.com or PHONE (803) - 685 – 5335. Specializing in pecans, gourmet pecan candy, and pecan pies. Their homemade pecan treats are made with pecans from their very own orchards in Ridge Spring, South Carolina.

You can also call or visit The Bush and Vine, home to the Hall Family, to buy fresh local produce, preserves, jellies, spreads, honey or some of their Angus beef, or to get on one of their monthly produce/fruit plans! For more info contact Bob or Sam at info@bushnvinefarm.com Phone 803-684-2732, or visit them at 1650 Filbert Hwy - York, SC 29745.

Please let me know if you know of other locals selling their products, services and wears, I would love to promote their business as well!!


If you need to reach me, or if you have something cool to share with me, or if you have any great pictures from any event you have been to, please don’t hesitate to call me, or text me, or email me – I’d love to hook up with you. Don’t forget SCAA dues have gone up to $50.00. You can mail your checks or just pay at the door the night of our banquet!

SCAA, c/o Sharon Furr - Secretary, 2049 Boyd Road, Blackstock, SC 29014, or to my email address below.

Contact information: 704.577.3639 – spanishoaks@truvista.net 

I can’t wait to see you on the road, but until then.............................................

 


Sharon





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