Rick and I had the opportunity to attend the Northwest Lowline Association's First Annual Expo held at the Idaho Lowline Cattle Company's ranch. Hayden, Idaho is a beautiful setting and the ranch is amazing. It was a fun weekend with nice people and I can't say enough about the great job both the NWLA and the ILCC folks did to put on this event. As you can imagine hosting something like this is a lot of work and they made it look easy. You can learn more about the Northwest Lowline Association on their website here. The Expo consisted of speakers on different cattle topics, hands-on workshops, cattle on display and a few for sale and generally a great time to meet and share information with other cattle folks.
There were lots of new faces in the crowd. Participants came from Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Victoria, B.C. Mostly new members of the NWLA which was very nice to see - well over 80 participants in all. I had the opportunity to visit with many of them and what a nice group of people! It is always interesting to hear the different plans and programs each individual ranch or farm has. Some are interested in breeding and show stock, a couple were retired folks who wanted great animals for their "hobby" farms, a few concentrate on producing grass fed beef - as we do - and some are large cattle breeders who are looking to maximize the production of their herd; and Lowlines work in all those applications. It is hard to beat them for both their performance and versatility.
We had speakers on various cattle topics and hands-on demonstrations too. One of the most popular was the junior showmanship workshop. Some of these kids had never really been around cattle much, but they all learned a lot and had a great time. Their instructor was Beverly Shirts who is the Youth Board Member of the NWLA and she did a wonderful job of making it a fun event for everyone. Beverly is a youngster herself - at least compared to the rest of us more "mature" members - but she has a lot of showmanship experience under her belt which she shared with the group.
One of the nicest things about the Lowline Cattle events is that they are family friendly. Our members range in age from Grandparents to their Grandchildren and everything in between. Newcomers and experienced cattlemen, we have it all.
Of course the weekend wasn't all about demonstrations and lectures, we had to eat! Rick was in charge of the BBQ and grilled grass fed Lowline Angus burgers for us and they were delicious. Once you've tasted the flavor of great grass fed beef you won't ever want to go back to eating grain fed beef again.
It was a great weekend of learning, catching up with old friends and making new ones in a beautiful setting. If you are at all interested in Lowline cattle I encourage you to attend next year's event which is already being planned, or catch us at one of the shows. The North Idaho Lowline Show, in Coeur d'Alene, ID- 8/22 - 8/26 or the Northwest Lowline Classic, in Spokane, WA - Thurs 9/6 - Tues - 9/11. Join us and see what is happening in the Northwest Lowline world. If you can't make one of the shows, just give us a call and come by our ranch - we'd love to show you around.