|Posted on June 3, 2016 at 8:50 AM|
The Midwest Highland Cattle Association (MWHCA) held its annual meeting at Skye High Farms, hosted by Skyler Anderson and his parents, Marion Belding and Jim Anderson. There was an excellent turnout of about 60 people, including members and potential members. We had participants from Ohio, Indiana. Pennsylvania and Michigan! The person driving the farthest was actually from Michigan, Steve Palosaari (MWHCA Secretary), who lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, about 560 miles from Coldwater, MI! Two farms joined the MWHCA at the meeting! Despite early snow flurries, and gusty winds, everyone had a good time and enjoyed lots of great food including 100% Highland Beef Sweet Italian Brats, supplied by McLaughlin Farm.
The event included several educational opportunities, including a presentation by Pat White explaining the value of having registered Highland Cattle. Pat also did a demonstration concerning how to give proper injections and handling techniques. Rick Millimen did a hoof trimming demonstration, using a hoof trimming chute that he and Eddie Mackay built. This exhibition was very interesting. The McLaughlin’s brought their beef sales trailer which they use at farm markets and spoke with interested members about their Highland Beef marketing business. Throughout the day the attendees were able to participate in pasture tours and hayrides led by Skyler.
One of the highlights of the event was the honoring of long time MWHCA member, Eddie Mackay. Eddie is a past President of the MWHCA and of the American Highland Cattle Association (AHCA) and is member of AHCA’s Hall of Fame. The MWHCA commissioned a new logo which incorporated the Modern Mackay Tartan into its logo. Eddie was presented with a shirt and hat with the logo, and a new banner Association banner was unveiled which will be used at various events, including shows. All members that attended the picnic also received a hat!
A short business meeting was also held, immediately after lunch, at which time two new board members were elected: Kelly Cheatwood and Pat White. Pat is known to many in the Highland Cattle world. Newcomer Kelly Cheatwood from New Carlisle, Ohio (west of Columbus, OH) also joined the board. Kelly is a relative newcomer to Highland Cattle, having started a small herd with her brother Ryan Howard. Kelly and her husband Eric manage the cattle as Ryan is on active duty in the US Coast Guard. Kelly and her 5 year old niece enjoy the cattle and hope to show. Kelly is a Public Safety Specialist (dispatcher) with the City of Vandalia. Eric is a fire fighter and paramedic, and is working on a Master’s degree in biomedical engineering. Kelly showed rabbits and cattle during her 12 years in 4-H. She was most familiar with Simmental and Angus, but she says she is getting used to Highlands and their horns! We are looking for others from Ohio and Indiana to get more involved with the MWHCA and help us promote Highland Cattle throughout our region.
The MWHCA is making plans for 6th Annual Cow Camp, to be held on July 8-10, 2016 at Chris and Dawn Manthei’s Maple Hill Highlands in Stanwood, Michigan Cow Camp has proven to be a great experience for all the people involved, including the kids! All kids participate with a parent or guardian, the youngest was 4 years old, there is no upper age limit. This year a picnic will be held on Saturday, July 9th which is open to all MWHCA members! Everyone is encourage to attend, including adults wishing to learn more about handling their cattle as well as showmanship. All attendees are asked to bring a passing dish. It should be fun participating or simply watching the kids! This is a great opportunity for those that have never shown cattle to get instruction on showmanship prior to the Association’s two shows, which are both in September. See the MWHCA web site for more details and the application for Cow Camp 2016.http://www.midwesthighlands.org
The MWHCA will once again sponsor an AHCA point show, the MASH on September 3, 2016 in conjunction with the Michigan State Fair. The fair is held in Novi, Michigan at the Suburban Collection Showcase and runs from Thursday, September 1-through Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016. MWHCA participated in the State Fair in 2015 for the first time and everyone that attended (both as exhibitors and as attendees) thought it was a great venue. Thousands of people pass through the barns and watch the shows going on in the various arenas. One highlight for the cattle and their handlers, is that the arena is air-conditioned! It is hoped that by 2017 the venue will be expanded with a new arena and then MWHCA can increase the number of animals to be shown.
The Centreville show (St. Joseph County Grange Fair) is held 2 weeks later from September 18th through the 24th. This is a wonderful county fair, with lots to do and see. Highland cattle are very well received at this fair, and last year had the most animals and exhibitors of any breed. It is a good venue for newcomers to show as well! It is expected that the MWHCA will have a potluck dinner the evening of the show. Because animals are required to stay on the premises for the entire week, the MWHCA arranges for a small team workers to take care of animals during the week so their owners do not have to devote the entire week to the fair.
Check the MWHCA web site at: http://www.midwesthighlands.org for more information.
In summation, we are looking forward to an active summer in the Midwest region. We have a “travel team” of volunteers (people and cattle) willing to bring educational programming to your area! We know that there are growing pockets of Highland owners in central and western Ohio, as well as in Indiana. You are encouraged to help us promote Highland Cattle in your area by hosting a picnic, or arranging for a faculty (perhaps a fairground) where another picnic can take place.
We thank you for your support.
John M. McLaughlin, Jr.
McLaughlin Farm Ltd.
President, Midwest Highland Cattle Association
Photos from the event can be viewed in the Photo Gallery Here