It’s about to begin

I’m sitting at the airport, getting ready to board a flight to Denver. What awaits me is the 2012 Young Cattlemen’s Conference. Over the next 10 days, I’ll be learning everything there is to know about the cattle industry in the United States. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association holds this conference to help train young leaders in the beef industry. Each year, one media representative is allowed to tag along on this experience and this year, I’m it. I couldn’t be more excited.

So while I’ll be hanging out with a bunch of cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country, I’ll be leaving this little cowboy at home.


And his big brother who seems to hang out at the barn a lot taking care of his 4-H animals. (Photo by


And this guy. . . I couldn’t be gone this long without him.


I’ll miss some things while I’m gone – like the local livestock show, T-ball games, and wheat harvest. But I’m excited. It will be a good trip. And I’m glad you’ll be following along.


Hello, there.


So long about March, my boys and I – all three of them: the big one AND the two smaller ones – went on what I called the “Pig-scapade.” We loaded up in the truck and pointed east. We have friends that live in Ohio and raise pigs. We, or more accurately, Campbell shows pigs. We decided to combine a family trip to visit friends with a pig shopping trip.

Normal people go to the beach for Spring Break. We go pig shopping.

As we pulled out of the driveway and headed down the dirt road, I pulled up Facebook on my phone and say, “We are embarking on the Martin Family Pig-scapade of 2012. I envision something similar to the Griswold Family Vacation.”

And I was right. No, there was no Aunt Edna strapped to the top of the car, but there was a pig box strapped in the pickup bed. Does that count?

A few of the Pig-scapade updates:

Pig-scapade update: stayed the first night at a trucker motel with a security guard, down the street from a strip joint and near an ‘adult super store.’ I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say this isn’t a common stop for families.

Pig-scapade update: A tip on how to annoy your sons in the backseat Crank up the 80s rock music and sing so loud they can’t hear their iPods.

Pig-scapade update: Lincoln is trying to learn the words to his “new second favorite song” Beer for my Horses. He listened to it on his MP3 player 27 times and sang every word. Every. Last. Word. 27 times. His brother is not impressed.

Pig-scapade update: It does not take near as long to drive across the state of Illinois as it does the state of Kansas. Just so you know.

And that picture up there? That’s my favorite picture from the trip. Hello, there, you adorable little pig you.