This is definitely one of the hardest posts that I will ever write. And I am only writing it because both my mom and sister have wrote posts about this, but as good as they are, they just don't capture my true feelings.
Ruffles has been many things to be over the last 11 years. She has been my 4-H project, summer show companion, helped me win a Supreme Showmanship award, a great producer, the backbone of my herd, my favorite cow, and my best friend. I loved Ruffles as much as other people love their dogs.
With Ruffles we won countless 4-H awards, showmanship classes, and just had a good time in the 3 years that I got to show her. There was something about her that really made her special, and it wasn't just her conformation.
After her show career was done it was time for her to be like every other cow on the farm. Her job was to produce a calf each year, hopefully of high quality. The bulls would be marketed and sold, and the females would either get sold or remain in the herd. She knew her job, and she did it well. When I bought Ruffles, she was a $3000.00 investment. In the end she made me well over $15,000.00 and left me 3 daughters in the herd. You can't ask much more of a cow then that.
Today Ruffles got on the truck to go to town. This time she would not be returning. It is part of the cattle industry, and with Ruffles only having 1 calf in the last 3 years, it was just not cost effective to keep her around anymore. She leaves behind 3 daughters in my herd to take over her legacy, with her last calf being born being one of the best ones she had ever raised.
Going to the farm will be hard this weekend. It will be sad to walk out into the cows and not see her there. We lost our lead cow, and sometimes the most stubborn cow. But no matter what anyone says she was part of the family. Even though he probably will not admit to it, I am sure even dad loved Ruffles some.