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January 2020

Greed is all around us Horace McQueen See page 3

He wondered how he’d tell her Baxter Black See page 5

Game Warden Field Notes Texas Parks & Wildlife See page 7

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site reopens By Jo Anne Embleton Jacksonville Daily Progress

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ith a raised fist clenched full of red dirt, Chief Ron Black Eagle Trussell of the Texas Cherokee offered a blessing over the planting of a cedar tree in Snake Woman’s Garden during a Jan. 11 reopening ceremony at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site outside Alto. This simple act was a symbol of hope for not just the 75 people present at the ceremony, but for future generations who would once again enjoy learning about the history of the Caddo Nation through the rebuilding of a visitor’s center and other displays that were destroyed this past April by an EF-3 tornado. “After the tornado, our tribe donated some money to help restore (the site) and we wanted to come out and see” the re-opening, he said, beckoning to his wife Linda, as they waited for the ceremony to begin. “We wanted to give our support. It was a shame that everything was lost in that period, especially a lot of the artifacts – I know they were replicas, but it still had meaning to them,” he said, adding that his hope is that the site is rebuilt to its former glory. “But it’s about heritage, also; we need to let more people know that we are here and

we’ve never left. It’s a cultural community effort to educate people,” about Native American culture, Trussell said. The site – located at 1649 Texas Highway 21, west of Alto – is a Texas Historical Commission property, comprised of the remains of a large village and ceremonial center built by a group of Caddo Indians known as the Hasinai more than 1,200 years ago on the prairie overlooking the Neches River, according to a release. The 397-acre site first opened to the public in 1982, and gradually included walking trails, a new visitor center featuring displays and exhibits on everyday life of the early Caddo people, and a grass house erected in 2018 by volunteers led by two members of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. However, one of three tornadoes that ripped through the area on April 13, 2019, damaged the site and state officials estimated the cost at approximately $2.5 million to rebuild the visitors center, replace vehicles, equipment and perform necessary repairs. Site manager Anthony Souther told the crowd gathered outside the garden that “this is a day I’ve been waiting for, for months now … before, when we renovated, we kept the grounds open but we could not even be back this time.” See Caddo Mounds on Page 3

TJC professor earns scholarship to study effects Offering opportunities in community college of microplastics on rivers

TVCC Rodeo Team By Rich Flowers

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Athens Daily Review

ebruary may bring a bit of a chill, but each year it’s a hot time for the Trinity Valley Community College Rodeo. Brent Bratton, TVCC rodeo coach, said the Trinity Valley Rodeo has been well supported by the community since it began a dozen years ago. “We would like to thank everyone who sponsored and helped make the rodeo a success and a whole lot of fun,” Bratton said after the 2019 event. “A special thank you to Trinity Valley Community College and the city of Athens for making this rodeo possible.” The competition returns to the Henderson County Regional Fair Park Complex Friday, Feb. 7 and Saturday Feb. 8. All proceeds generated by the rodeo are given back to the students to further their education. More than 300 students will be coming to Athens to compete. Last year, TVCC made a strong showing, with its mens team earning a fourth place finish. The event is part of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association series. The top three contestants in each event from each of the NIRA’s 11 regions qualify to

compete in the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. The top two mens’ teams and womens’ teams also qualify from the regions. TVCC is in the southern region. Contestants compete in saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying. Bratton said some members of the current team are making a strong push to get to the National Finals at Casper. Cassidy Loussa Pineda is a contender in Breakaway Roping, Cutter Carpenter Cash in Tie-Down Roping and Kyle Lane McDaniel in Bull Riding. The team members come from places like Kirbyville, Shreveport, Garrison, Fort Worth and Freeport. Malakoff is also represented on the team. “We don’t only look for the best athlete, but also a good student,” Bratton said. “If a high school student is interested in finding out how to be on the team they can contact me. It’s a way to get an education while doing what they love.” Trinity Valley Community College, offers some scholarship opportunities for rodeo participants. The primary criteria for judging and application are work ethic and character. Individual scholarships are awarded in varying amounts. See TVCC Rodeo on Page 3

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yler Junior College Geology Professor Rebecca Owens has been named a 2020 Mills Scholarship recipient by the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). The TWRI is affiliated with Texas A&M University, where Owens is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Water Management and Hydrological Sciences.  The Mills Scholarship will allow Owens to conduct a study on the impacts of microplastics on urban rivers. Microplastics are plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in diameter.  “In 1967 there was, indeed, a great future in plastics, as Mr. McGuire foretold an ambivalent Benjamin Braddock (in the feature film, ‘The Graduate’),” Owens said in her Mills Scholarship proposal.  “Half a century later, plastic pollution is a major environmental concern at all scales of observation. The presence and impact of microplastics in the marine realm has gained attention as a serious threat to ocean ecosystems.”  She continued, “Very little is known, however, about microplastic release on land, storage in soils and sediments and transport by run-off and rivers. This represents a major oversight, as river systems are the source of a great amount of microplastics and are a transit route for microplastics headed to the ocean. The proposed research will assess the presence of microplastics in the riverbed and bank sediment from select urban rivers in Texas.”  She said sediment samples will be analyzed using a Raman confocal microscope for microplastic presence. The samples will be collected from urbanized portions of at least two rivers and downstream for approximately See Professor on Page 3


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East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

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January 2020

Protein-rich supplements, forages, needed after drought By Lisa Tang

Palestine Herald-Press

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ith this year’s drought affecting hay quality, agriculture experts worry about nutrition for cattle this winter. Cattle typically need higher protein supplements during winter, but low hay quality and dormant forage in winter months can deprive cattle of important nutrients before the spring calving season. Nutrition experts and extension agents have some advice for increasing cows’ health and fertility. Truman Lamb, of the Anderson County A&M AgriLife Extension Office, said ranchers should monitor beef cattle’s reproductive ability and health. Lamb recommends a body condition rating of 5-7 on a 1 to 9 scale for healthy cattle; a rating of 5

or below indicates the need for better nutrition. For cattle with little hay or standing forage, Lamb recommends forages on green winter crops with lots of protein, such as winter wheat, oats, or legumes like clover, to provide nutrients. “It allows your cattle to come back into estrus to re-breed,” Lamb said.  Winter is typically time to consider supplementing cattle diets with protein, but this year’s drought has increased the need. Though high in cost, supplements may be necessary for ranchers looking to grow their herd.  The drought has led to poor forage, which occurs when grass is dormant and only standing hay is available, said Robert Barrett, nutritionist for the Producers Coop at Texas A&M University in College Station. In this

scenario, a lactating cow needs a supplement of two pounds of hay per day, Barrett said. A blood test by a veterinarian or nutritionist can determine whether a cow needs nutrition supplements, which are often purchased at a feed store. Protein supplements come in many forms – cubes, tubs, meals, or liquids – but all are equally effective. As hay quality increases, however, cattle need less protein to supplement their diet. Mineral and vitamin supplements and ensuring plentiful fresh, clean water that is not stagnant are other ways to supplement a cow’s nutrition. “If you’re having to haul water to the cows, they’re probably not getting enough to drink,” Barrett said.  Ranchers concerned about their cattle’s nutrition should talk to an extension agent or a nutritionist.

Avoiding the pernicious Regenerative landscaping Creating jobs that re-green our planet path of plastic By Sheyl Davis

By Sheyl Davis

Palestine Herald-Press

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toast to another successful year of (fill in the blank). Everyone raises their plastic champagne cups, drinks them dry, then tosses them into the garbage. The next day, workers take out an industrial size garbage bag of cheap plastic and tosses it into the dumpster. The garbage truck picks up the load and takes it to the landfill. A bull dozer pushes the garbage around. A storm comes and water seeps into the garbage. Champagne “glasses” break free from the garbage bag and are carried downstream: First to the culvert, then to the rivers feeding the Gulf of Mexico, and finally to the oceans. This sequence is happening now with countless plastic products (and their packaging). The equivalent of one garbage truck full of environmental pollutants per MINUTE finds its way to our planet’s oceans and into the food supply. Can we stop it? I don’t know, but I know we can do better.

True enough, if we each do our little part, here and there, progress will ensue. But how much? It is difficult and challenging to give up our creature comforts for the good of the whole. We all have our shopping lists, our go-to items, our guilty pleasures. That is not going to stop. Recycling helps (if and when it is done correctly), but it alone is not enough. I think we need a massive movement toward alternative materials and corporate accountability, including temporary government subsidies for corporate transitions to sustainable practices. What are taxes for if not for the good of the people who

PAY them? We must join to save ourselves and our homes. We need a consumer conscience that rewards businesses that participate – and calls out those that don’t. How do we clean up the mess that’s already here and turn it into a solution? Plastics extracted from the environment need permanent uses, like building or insulation materials, so they don’t wind up back in the oceans. The task is formidable but not hopeless. Amazing people are organizing clean up efforts. Find and join them, if you can. No problem is more urgent than cleaning up the degradation of our home.

Palestine Herald-Press

egenerative landscaping could create jobs and ease global warming before it becomes a climate catastrophe. Regenerative agriculture can temper the ecosystem back into its natural rhythm. Soil and rain produce vegetation. Now, flooding erodes topsoil. Drought dries out vegetation and makes it susceptible to wildfires. That speeds up erosion, ultimately promoting more floods. Transpiration – the transferring of water from the soil through the root of a plant and back into the atmosphere – could play an important role in restoring natural rain on West Coast land that has been devastated by drought and wildfire. We need a strategy to re-green those affected areas, a pathway for the cycle of rain to forge further inland. More regular rainfall will cool temperatures. Stable

vegetation will sequester countless tons of carbon back into the ground for healthier soil. We need a master plan for regenerating the U.S. landscape, starting with California. Earth-working techniques, such as shaping berms and swales on contours of hills, will slow water, prevent erosion, and sink more water into the ground. But not even a well-intentioned environmentalist can drop everything to save the world with no money. We always talk about creating jobs, but we must also think about the kind of jobs we are creating. Here’s one way to create jobs: California needs an army of people akin to Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, who can undertake a re-greening project this big. Hope for our planet remains alive, but future generations depend on what we do today.

Anderson and Cherokee County Farm Bureaus both advanced to the national convention, where representatives displayed their separate programs as finalists in the County of Excellence contest. The honor was shared with only 20 other counties nationwide. Courtesy photo

Anderson County Farm Bureau (from left): Ted Britton, president of Anderson County Farm Bureau; Preston Sturdivant, AFBF Vice President Scott VanderWal, and Jeff Croft.

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Cherokee County Farm Bureau (from left): Jake Ocker, secretary/treasurer; Kelley Hutchinson, District 9 Texas Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher committee chair and ag teacher at Rusk schools; Abigail Grider, Cherokee County Farm Bureau YF&R committee and ag teacher at Alto schools; and, Nolan Jeske, Cherokee County Farm Bureau board member.

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January 2020

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3

Greed Is All Around Us!

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oo many folks want it all---and that means yours is next! This is not just a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Super-rich businessman Warren Buffett is worth billions of dollars, and always wanting more. His myriad of companies is one of the largest players in the taking of taxpayer dollars to build wind and solar farms. And there is Google, a company that made its’ fortune off the internet and now has more dollars than King Midas. But always wanting more! Then there are the real bottom feeders using paid lobbyists to get their particular legislation

through state houses and the U.S. Congress to add to their fortunes. And we have a multitude of school teachers who educate our youngsters on salaries that are tiny compared to the greedy and corrupt office holders and their minions. When a football coach makes a guaranteed ten million dollars a year to coach a college team—while professors make do with a tiny percentage of that-something is rotten in Denmark! One remembrance dates back to the 1980’s when a major interstate highway was planned for the Texarkana area. I was told

by a city official that the plans were about complete—and that a sitting U.S. Senator from a western state had just purchased a piece of property that would be bought for the new interstate. Having advance knowledge of what city, state and national planners are going to do often is a gravy train for those getting a “piece of the action”. I recall an old Lyndon Johnson statement when a reporter asked how he and his wife became millionaires on his salary as a public servant. His answer was short and sweet—“good investments”!

Caddo Mounds, continued from page 1

Here at home we see the “insiders” using their talents, and connections to purchase land and improvements that will become warehouses for “big box” stores or provide building sites for new industry. Too often these outfits buying the land are also abusing our local schools and counties by getting tax abatements and benefits ordinary folks can’t obtain. The old adage that “whatever goes around comes around” isn’t always true! That’s my story and I am sticking with it? Horace@valornet.com

Professor, continued from page 1 five miles, allowing for assessment of the transport and settling rate of microplastics in the river environment. A native of Huffman, Owens earned her Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies and Master of Science in geology from Texas A&M University. She joined TJC as a professor in 2012.  The Texas Water Resources Institute has helped solve Texas’ water issues through research, education and outreach for 66 years.  Established in 1952, TWRI became the state’s official water resources institute in 1964. Today, it is one of 54 institutes within the National Institutes for Water Resources, supported by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Progress photo by Jo Anne Embleton

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site manager Anthony Souther (left) prepares to plant a native muscadine grape under the watchful eye of Marilyn Threlkeld of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.

Snake Woman’s Garden – where a cedar tree and a Muscadine grape vine were planted during the Saturday’ ceremony – survived the 2019 tornado, coming back in full glory soon after the disaster. Site manager Rachel Galan said that the garden initially was created for education and interpretation out at the site, set up as a timeline of Caddo agriculture, “it’s basically a cautionary tale for children … it’s Snake Woman who brings seeds to the Caddo people and teaches them how to garden and respect the plants. “It’s been a great experience, and it’s turned into something really important for us,” Galan said. “It’s become a real symbol of renewal and resilience after the tornado, because the gardens still stood. We gathered for the first time in July, all of us, our community, our Caddo community, the garden was here and blooming and producing. It has a really special place in our hearts right now.” Marilyn Threlkeld, a member of the Caddo Nation, traveled from the tribe’s home office in Binger, Oklahoma, for the ceremony. She has visited the site since the 1970s, watching the development grow to include a newly refurbished visitors center and museum that reopened in 2015, and a Grass House erected in 2018 by volunteers led by two members of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. The state historic site on Texas Highway 21 was well-known to members of the tribe, she said, and the loss from the tornado nine months ago was devastating. Saturday’s ceremony, with the planting of the tree and the grapevine – Threlkeld assisted by sprinkling tobacco into the holes into which the plants were set, a gardening tip utilized by the Caddo people – was “a symbol of hope for our tribe and for new generations, too,” she said. “We want to tell them that we’re all over Texas, and that we’re proud to preserve (Caddo heritage).”

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site is located at 1649 Texas Highway 21, west of Alto. A temporary visitors center that houses a small display and gift shop, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $2 adults and $1 for children and students up to age 18. To learn more, call 936-858-3218, or visit the Facebook page, “Caddo Mounds State Historic Site.”

Progress photo by Jo Anne Embleton

Wells resident Tessa Benton learns more about Caddo history from a display set inside a temporary visitors center at the state historic site. Last year, one of a small handful of tornadoes that struck the Alto area decimated a visitors center and a grass house, both constructed within recent years.

TVCC Rodeo, continued from page 1 Each NIRA member college has its own rodeo club composed of student members and sponsored by a faculty advisor who supervises the club’s activities. Each year, a men’s team consisting of six members and a four-member womens’ team is chosen from each school. These team members travel to the regional rodeos competing against other NIRA member schools. Those not chosen for the team may compete on an individual basis and still be eligible for all prizes except those given to the team. Before he began heading the TVCC rodeo program, Bratton worked in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, where he worked 16 years managing broodmares and stallions and breaking colts. That, on top of his years entering college and open rodeos, made him a natural choice to head the rodeo program at TVCC. “I’ve been here for 12 years and have enjoyed it,” Bratton said. Since his arrival he’s been pleased to find the level of support the program has gotten from the school and business community. NIRA got its start in 1949. That year, three regions were formed; Southern, Northwest, and Rocky Mountain. There were 13 member schools at this time,

Trinity Valley Rodeo Friday, February 7 Saturday February 8 Henderson County Regional Fair Park Complex

representing Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, and Texas. By the ‘80s, college rodeo was at an all time high with member schools totaling 155. Now, there are still more than 100, including 11 in the Southern Region, which includes TVCC. After the TVCC rodeo, the team has competitions at Texas A&M Commerce, Texas A&M at College Station, Hill College in Hillsboro and Wharton County. The local rodeo is well supported by the community, Bratton said. He also appreciates the backing he’s had from the college board, officers and staff for the program. The college rodeo facilities are located in the Tri-Cities area on Farm-to-Market Road 753.


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January 2020

East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

Support Agriculture Businesses... They are the Heartbeat of Our Economy

Seed, and Dream, season I

t is seed season in our neighborhood. Time to shop, and to dream. If you are anything like me, you are thinking of what varieties of tomatoes you will grow this year. We have a tremendous selection of tomato varieties in transplants here in Cherokee County due to growers like Guinn Plant Farm, Joe Smith Plant Farm and Dover Plant Farm, who cater to our tomato tastes. They frequently grow varieties that we cannot commonly get from the big box stores, and that gives gardeners some additional freedom to play in the garden. Sometimes, though, it is hard to decide which varieties to grow. And what if you want to grow something unusual? You might want to grow them from seed yourself and will swiftly find yourself reading about openpollinated, heirloom and hybrid varieties. So many choices!

What is the difference between open-pollinated and heirloom in the first place? Are they the same thing? Well, the short answer is yes – and no. Open-pollinated varieties refer to seeds that are generated through natural pollination – wind, insects, animals or self. Those seeds will be true to the parent plant (aka ‘come true from seed’), meaning they will carry on the genetics of the parent plants and will produce offspring typical of previous generations. So where do heirloom varieties come in? All heirloom varieties are open-pollinated, but not all open-pollinated varieties are heirlooms. Yet. Most people would agree that in order to be ‘heirloom’ a variety must be old. Some people would also say that it needs to pre-date the first commercial hybrid lines (introduced in 1951), and others would say simply more than 50

Kim Benton

Cherokee County Horticulturist years old, while some even prefer that only those that have not been in commercial trade, no matter how old, be considered heirlooms. By and large, however, the consensus is ‘old’, and you will see some variation in how seed catalogs refer to some varieties. What about hybrids? Are those ‘bad’? Absolutely not! A hybrid

plant is merely the offspring of two genetically different plants. This genetic crossing can occur naturally by chance; however, hybrids are often the result of cross breeding selective parent plants carefully to produce seeds that will carry on specific characteristics. Hybrids, due to disease resistance and improved performance, can make it possible to garden in areas where previously it was cost-prohibitive or difficult due to wilts and other diseases. Hybrid seeds do not ‘come true’ or produce ‘true to type’ though. If you did save the seeds from a hybrid tomato, the fruit produced by those seeds (if any) will not resemble the parent fruit. Looking at the history of tomatoes, it is interesting to see how some hybrids (like Marglobe and Rutgers for example) were ‘stabilized’ through several generations until they became

Area boy bucks his way to Vegas for the win By Shelli Parker

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Athens Daily Review

rant Cookston is a humble small town boy who makes straight A’s at Trinidad Middle school. He has mastered all levels of the STAAR test since third grade, but his true passion is rodeo. Cookston was born to rodeo parents. His father Matt Cookston of Mabank is a horse trainer/roper. Cookstons mother is Jasey David of Trinidad who trains her own barrel horses and has competed in barrels since she was 5. Needless to say his rodeo roots run deep. It is no surprise that he started riding at the age of 2. He was 5 years old when he became interested in riding bulls. “I woke up one day and wanted to ride bulls,” Brant said. In spite of his mothers own rodeo experience she still hoped to discourage bull riding. Hoping to get it out of his system she put him on a tough calf for his first run at the United Professional Rodeo in Terrell. “He bucked pretty hard and slammed me in about two bucks,” Brant said. “I got back up and said I want to do it again.” Even though she was initially against it, Cookston’s mother has become his biggest fan, support, coach and always has his back. She puts him on every bull and horse, earning her the name “Chute Momma.” in a man’s world. The pair share a very special bond with a mutual passion for rodeo. They competed in an event in Athens where he rode his first bareback horse at 7, and he absolutely loved it according to his grandmother Kasey Flowers. Currently he is riding steers, saddle bronc, bareback horses and roping. Brant tried to describe what it feels like to ride. “It feels like you’re riding a roller coaster, you don’t know what it’s going to do, so you just hold on,” he said. This was Brant’s fourth year to compete in the Las Vegas Junior World Finals which are held in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo. This year he won AllAround Highpoint Champion. Cookston beat 833 other competitors from 8 to 18 years old in all events including roping, poles, barrel racers, everything. He also won 10 to 11 year old World Champion in mini bull riding, Reserve World Champion in bareback and top three in saddle bronc. He is the first junior kid to qualify in all three roughstock events this year and the first roughstock kid to win the highpoint trailer. Over the past four years Brant has won numerous titles, buckles and saddles, but this was his biggest win yet. “I didn’t think I was going to win,” he said Last year Cookston set a goal to qualify for Vegas and win all three roughstock events, hoping for all-around. He met this goal and exceeded his own expectations. Later in spite of his success Brant showed his humble attitude after competing, when someone asked him How

effectively open-pollinated varieties, which is how you would find them advertised today. In the plant world, Mother Nature often gets the last word. In Cherokee County, our average last freeze date is March 16, and in order to have some six-week-old transplants ready for the garden at that time, you would need to plant your seeds at the beginning of February. Also keep in mind growing some tomatoes out for the 2020 Tomato Fest in Jacksonville. The Best Homegrown Tomato Contest is eager to see what you grow! Contact the Cherokee County Extension office for information on growing tomatoes, saving seeds, the Best Homegrown Tomato contest or any other questions you have about your garden.

Financing Farm & Ranch Real Estate By Renee Caperton at once from the sale. Real Estate Broker

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did you do? Cookston replied with “I did OK.” Cookston found out he won the four horse Elite trailer provided by Rodeo Rigs of Montana, after returning home. Mom didn’t hesitate to turn around for the two day trip back to Vegas in order to pick it up. To get to this point in the competition, you run a circuit and it’s a year long process that requires yearly qualifying. “He has spent the past year on a Pro Bareback/Saddle Bronc Tour where he competed in Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, and Wyoming,” Flowers said. This tour is what led him to his qualification in Vegas at the Junior World Finals. According to Flowers he qualified for the bull riding through Branded for Christ where he competed all summer. He won the bareback at Cheyenne Frontier days and competed in Overland Stage Stampede in Wyoming also winning. His rodeo schedule is a weekly commitment. In his small amount of free time, Brant also enjoys hunting, fishing and roping. When asked about his future plans he said he wants to go pro and win the “big show” in Vegas. “When he goes pro big time, I’m going to go with him,” his mother added. “I hope to start my own professional career back up at that time.” He is currently being coached by Lonnie Austin, owner of the Austin Arena in Myrtle Springs. Brant has been training with Austin since he was 6. Luke Butterfield of Brownsboro assists with coaching him in Saddle Bronc. Cookston and his family wish to thank the sponsors which include: Elder Dodge, Smith Pro Rodeo, Phillips Concrete, Rafter G Rodeo, Melton’s Custom Fencing and Welding, As Tuff Leather, Merritt Insurance, and Trent Ward Saddlery.

hen you’re ready to buy land, with home or without, unless you pay cash, how are you going to finance the purchase? There are several great options available. You can go to your local lender where you normally do your banking if they make rural loans. However, some banks are not in the business to make long term land loan commitments or they may require a much larger down payment for raw land. Your banker will be able to guide you through the process and provide their typical land loan requirements and estimate the cost of the loan for you. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare the terms of lender cost, down payment and interest rate for any loan. Land banks speciali zing in rural loans is another option. You can get financing with competitive and favorable terms with a small down payment and long-term amortization. They also have many other options depending on what you are looking for. If needed, they also offer farm and livestock loans, agribusiness loans and equipment loans. A land bank could possibly be a one-stop shop if you are buying acreage for farming or ranching. Be sure to ask if they offer insurance for crops due to loss if you’re in an area that is prone to drought. Some banks offer this for a reasonable cost. Another option that can be a win-win situation for the buyer and the seller is to take advantage of seller financing when available. Often, the seller may favor financing the property himself for future income and to assist with lower tax consequences instead of receiving all of the funds

This can be beneficial to the buyer, depending on the seller’s demands for making the loan. A buyer could potentially save a lot of money in loan fees, although the seller may charge a higher interest rate. Comparing all of your options will give you an idea of the amount of upfront money you will need and how much the loan will cost you after pay out over many years. I’ve had numerous buyers and sellers benefit from the 1031 like-kind exchange of funds when reinvesting money from the sale of other property. This is an advantageous tax deferred tool that can be utilized if followed within the rules and laws of such. You can use this method if done through the proper channels with a third-party company and within the time frame for identifying and closing the transaction during the time limit. Your accountant should be able to determine if this is a beneficial route for you and answer any questions you may have. There are many creative ways to finance properties today with various loans available. You can easily compare all of your options to find the one that is right for you. Your lender may recommend FHA, VA, USDA or Texas Veterans Land Program financing if you and the property qualify for such.

Renee Caperton is the broker/owner of Marrs & Associates Realty, since 1982, located at 711 W. Second Ave, Ste B, in Corsicana. She specializes in Farm and Ranch sales and is a member of the Texas Alliance of Land Brokers and Texas Land Brokers Network. You can contact Renee at renee.marrsrealty@gmail.com


January 2020

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East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

Support Agriculture Businesses... They are the Heartbeat of Our Economy

He Wondered How He’d Tell Her The rancher told his foreman, “Looks like things are gettin’ tough The price of calves is deadly, heck, there may not be enough To pay the note this winter, I’m already overdue What with buyin’ that new tractor, shoot, it wuddn’t even new ‘Course I’d bought the neighbor’s cow herd back when things were lookin’ good Then we had that bout with Anaplaz, which I never understood. We buckled down and rode it out

but luck weren’t on our side. You’ve worked for me for twenty years, you know how hard I’ve tried. I’m not worried for my own self, it’s mother and the kids I don’t know how they’ll take it, if they put us up for bids. The last two kids were born here, in that house where you live now We’ve raised’em right and taught ‘em all there is about a cow And now they’re off to college to explore a new career

But deep inside they’re plannin’ to come back and live right here. But that’s never gonna happen. The writing’s on the wall. It’s what I’ve always dreaded and today I got the call.

pickup payments left to pay He glanced up to his little house, his kids and wife and truck, And wondered how he’d tell her. But he said, “Boss, I wish you luck.”

Bankruptcy’s hangin’ over me. The lawyer says I’m through I’ve lost it all. A lifetime’s work. I don’t know what I’ll do.” The cattle foreman nodded. But his mind was faraway On doctor bills and braces,

Rein of hope Outreach promotes healing through horses By Shelli Parker

Athens Daily Review

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“Through the horses and volunteers, the people who come to The King’s Rein experience the healing and transforming power of love through acceptance and encouragement, realizing they have hope and a future,” The King’s Reign stated. The relationship between the horse and rider is very special. Horses are in the present and force the rider to be in the now as well. They do not judge you for your past, and they offer participants the chance to develop trust, overcome fears and feel unconditional love. “As participants take personal responsibility for the outcomes in their relationships with their horses, they begin to understand how their thoughts, feelings and behaviors affect all other relationships.” DeCraene stated.”The outreach is about experiencing healing through relationship. We merely use horses as a conduit to connect human-to-human and heart-toheart.” The way it does this varies depending on the group. In general, each group is started as if they are complete beginners. They start by allowing a horse to “choose them,” then proceed to a grooming station. After they master this they are taught groundwork and play trust building games easing both horse and rider into forming the bond and feeling more comfortable. As they advance skills such as saddling the horse, riding, playing games on horseback and eventually trail riding are taught. Each rider works to their own comfort and skill level. Some are happy grooming and being around them, never getting on a horse. It is up to them. Volunteers help guide the process which are trained according to the Parelli method as well. As the individual learns to be in the present with the animal, one bonus effect is they get to forget about their label for a while, but not only that it reprograms their emotional response. Being in the moment

nimals have a unique way of providing healing and soothing those in need. For the past five years The King’s Rein has been utilizing this as a way of helping those in Henderson County overcome trauma. Shannon DeCraene founder of King’s Rein has been involved with horses for over 25 years. She started riding for pleasure and trail riding then progressed to shows, training and breeding. “After a while it was like, oh it’s just one more show,” she said. “I needed something new and more purposeful done with horses. She knew that such magnificent animals must have a higher calling so she started researching on the internet and found equine therapy. She started studying the Parelli natural horsemanship method and equine psychology. “I was intrigued by the idea of using horses this way,” she said. In 2003 she began working independently as a test to feel the idea out. When her father sent her an article about an equine therapy program in Austin, DeCraene said she felt “struck in with the horse helps teach the heart.” cause and effect, self control, She decided to get the patience, love, trust and more. paperwork allowing non-profit As they learn these skills as they status, but needed a board of apply to horses, they transfer directors, which she wanted into their everyday life offering to grow organically and not true emotional healing and force by rushing it. She set the the desired outcome of living a paperwork aside, and proceeded happy and successful life. independently. One year later “Horses mirror reactions,” she received a phone call from DeCraene said. “They Norma Mullican, executive (participants) have to control director of Refuge of Light in their emotions and build trust in Tyler, which assists victims of order to build a relationship with sex trafficking. The girls started that horse.” coming to TKR and seeing Skills that apply to people as results. well. “It was really doing amazing “Our biggest priority is helping things for the girls,” DeCraene them overcome whatever they said. need to overcome. The focus is Up until this point, DeCraene on them.” was offering this service at her TKR also offers fishing, a own expense and giving any nature trail and off site field donations received to RoL. trips providing a chance for new “My girls need this, you can’t experiences and groups that be going anywhere,” Mullican said followed by an offer to become the third and final board member allowing TKR to file for 5013c status. When DeCraene pulled out the application she had not handled in a year, she could not believe her eyes when she saw written as the final board member Norma Mullican. She doesn’t remember doing it, but it was the confirmation she needed. As more people find out about the outreach it has continued to grow. Some of the people that benefit from these services are individuals, families and organizations who deal with mental, emotional and behavioral issues due to trauma. Victims We accept all Medicare Part D, WellCare & Humana. of domestic violence, sex Stop by and we’ll guide you every step of the way! trafficking, substance abuse, mental health disorders and City-Wide Delivery & Drive-thru post-prison transitional Palestine 903-729-3100 recovery for women benefit 101 Medical Dr. from the program. They also provide an opportunity for community service hours to be completed.

Hometown Pharmacy

may not be conducive to equine therapy. The program is unique thus allowing it to reach people in a way that some more traditional methods cannot. When you can’t trust people due to trauma, animals offer unconditional love and

acceptance with no strings attached. If you are interested in being a volunteer or finding out more information on the program please contact Shannon DeCraene at 903-714-0830 or visit www.thekingsrein.org


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East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

Support Agriculture Businesses... They are the Heartbeat of Our Economy

January 2020

Ranch Rodeo circuit keeps it simple

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odeo had humble beginnings in the Old West during the late 1800s when ranch cowboys congregated in a community and competed in riding and roping events that represented their work. But as the years passed, rodeo evolved into a very competitive athletic sport and became a way to earn a living for professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls who frequently hop on airplanes and travel fast and far to rope in big prize money. Today, rodeo athletes train very hard both in the gym and in the practice pen, similar to the way football and basketball players regularly work out in order to stay sharp. Today, it’s very difficult for a typical ranch hand to go head-to-head against a typical 21st century pro rodeo athlete. That’s why I’m a big fan of today’s well developed ranch rodeo circuit. It features working ranch cowboys and cowgirls who compete against each other. They don’t have to rope against Trevor Brazile, a Decatur cowboy who has earned 25 gold buckles on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit. They don’t have to

go up against a savvy pro roper such as 2017 world all-around champion Tuf Cooper who has homes in Weatherford and Decatur. Clay Timmons, who competes in ranch rodeos for the Pitchfork Ranch that’s near Paducah and Guthrie, said a typical rodeo cowboy has an advantage over a ranch cowboy at a modern day rodeo (that features events such as bareback riding, bull riding, and steer wrestling). “You’ve got guys and that’s all they do,” Timmons said of cowboys who compete in rodeos fulltime. “They practice and that’s all they do.” He said ranch cowboys “know they can’t compete” against full-time rodeo competitors at a typical rodeo. So, ranch rodeo is the answer for ranch cowboys who have a hankering to drive into town and ride against each other, similar to the way ranch cowboys went

about it in the late 1800s at rodeos in communities such as Pecos and Canadian. The organizers of the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo understand the significance of ranch rodeo very well. The 2020 Fort Worth Stock Show began its 23-day run on Jan. 17 with a Ranch Rodeo performance, which is representative of the way that rodeo began in the late 1800s when ranch hands held contests to see who could bust a bronc the best or rope a steer the fastest. The FWSSR’s Jan. 17-18 Ranch Rodeo featured the type of events that represented daily ranch work such as stock sorting, which requires a team of competitors to ride into a herd and separate three designated calves and drive them to a designated area. The other events were ranch vet, double mugging, wild cow milking, bronc riding and barrel racing. “These aren’t professional rodeo athletes,” said Matt Brockman, the Fort

Cattle producers cheer passage of USMCA Special to the Progress Fort Worth, Texas

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obert McKnight, Jr., president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate today passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA): “We applaud the U.S. Senate for passing the landmark United StatesMexico-Canada Agreement today, and look forward to the president’s signature, finalizing U.S. ratification of the trade deal,” said McKnight.  “Like the U.S.-Japan trade agreement that took effect at the beginning of the year, this is yet another historic trade agreement that will benefit American cattle producers for decades to come.  “Each year, billions of dollars of U.S. beef will continue to flow to Canada and Mexico thanks to the hard work of the U.S. House of Representatives,

U.S. Senate and Trump administration, especially U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud. We sincerely appreciate their work on behalf of American agriculture.” Background: In 2018, beef exports to Mexico and Canada accounted for almost a quarter of the United States’ $8.3 billion in total beef exports. U.S. beef exports to Mexico accounted for a value of more than $1 billion. Exports to Canada reached almost $750 million.  Since duty-free access to Canada and Mexico began in 1994, U.S. beef exports to the two countries have increased by 750%.  Texas, which has more cattle than any other state in the nation, has greatly benefited from this duty-free access. In 2018, more than $357 million in Texas beef was sold Mexico, making preservation of free trade essential to Texas cattle producers.

Worth Stock Show Rodeo’s spokesperson. “They’re darn athletic, there’s no doubt about that. But they’re not going up and down the road trying to win a world team roping title, or a saddle bronc riding title. They go home after this thing [the FWSSR Ranch Rodeo] is over and they go produce the beef that gets put on our plates and they’re proud to do that. They certainly don’t mind being called weekend warriors because their full-time job is tending and caring for cattle and putting beef on our plates.” When the Fort Worthbased Ranch Rodeo concluded its two-day run on Jan. 18, the Tongue River Ranch of Paducah clinched the team title. “We do the same stuff out in the pasture, sorting cattle and roping cattle, and doctoring and moving stuff,” said T.J. Roberts, the Tongue River Ranch’s foreman. “We just get to come to town and do it in front of a lot of people that would make you nervous.” He was joking about becoming nervous. It’s become very apparent that the Tongue River Ranch has an accomplished ranch rodeo team that

can ride and rope well under pressure. During the Working Ranch Cowboys Association’s 24th World Championship Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo in November, the Tongue River Ranch finished second in the title race, as the reserve world champions, behind the Colorado-based Jolly Ranch and S&L Cattle, which clinched the 2019 world title. The 2020 Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo concludes Feb. 8 with the FWSSR’s PRCA rodeo’s final round. For ticket information on the 2020 Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo, visit fwssr.com or call 817-877-2420. PBR update On the Professional Bull Riders circuit, two-time PBR world champion Jess Lockwood snared the title at the Jan. 18-19 Unleash The Beast tour stop in Manchester, N.H. He earned $39,980. Lockwood, who clinched world titles in 2017 and 2019, turned in scores of 86.5, 90.5 and 92.25 (in the final round). Colten Jesse, an Oklahoma cowboy, finished second and earned $18,375. Joao Ricardo

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has reported on rodeos for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than three decades. Email him at bchoffman777@earthlink.net.

Vieira, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, came in third and pocketed $12,720. Lockwood was ranked No. 1 in the PBR’s 2020 world standings (on Jan. 19) with 275.5 points. Vieira was ranked No. 2 with 261. Brazilian Kaique Pacheco, the 2018 world champion who has a home in the Decatur area, was ranked No. 3 with 258. World class PBR competitors will be in Arlington on Feb. 15-16 to compete in the Global Cup, an international team competition at AT&T Stadium. For information, visit pbr.com.

Beekeepers school set for March 21 in Brenham

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earn how to produce your own honey and help save the bees by attending the Central Texas Beginning Beekeepers School on Saturday, March 21 in Brenham. The school is open to the public for anyone interested in keeping bees or that wants to learn about bees. Provide your family with this natural sweetener, increase the number of bees to help pollinate our gardens, and help the dwindling bee population by raising bees in your back yard even in populated areas. Most cities allow at least two bee hives per home depending on the size of your lot. You can contact your city offices for regulations in your area. The beekeeping school will teach you the parts of the hive, how to build or assemble your equipment, how to install bees, the proper procedure for lighting a smoker and how to inspect your bees. You will learn how to dress to minimize the possibility of being stung and what to do if you are stung. You will see how to extract honey and how to care for it before you eat it or give it to your family or friends. Weather permitting, you can even “suit up” and visit a live hive while a beekeeper examines it and shows you the queen,

larva, honey in the comb, and other parts of the hive. The cost is for the one day school is $65 for the first adult and $60 for additional adults in the family. Students, including college, are $25 while children under 12 are $10. The school starts at 8:00 a.m. and will be over at 5:30 p.m. Cost of the school includes a catered Bar-B-Q meal with Blue Bell Ice Cream and a “school book” with information about beekeeping. The school will be held at Brenham High School in Brenham. Everyone wins a door prize with major drawings, including complete hives and other bee related equipment, to be held at 5 p.m. To register or receive our newsletter, go to www.tinyurl.com/2020BeeSchool. For more information, call (979) 277-0411 or email: centraltexasbeekeepers@gmail. com. The Central Texas Beekeepers meets the 4th Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Anyone interested is welcome at the meetings. For further information contact Michael at (979) 277-0411 or centraltexasbeekeepers@gmail.com


January 2020

East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

Support Agriculture Businesses... They are the Heartbeat of Our Economy

Local youth scrambles to the win FSA Encourages at Fort Worth Stock Show Producers to Special to the Herald-Press

Enroll Early

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Special to the Herald-Press Washington, D.C.

SDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages agricultural producers to enroll now in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. March 15, 2020 is the enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year. Although more than 200,000 producers have enrolled to date, FSA anticipates 1.5 million producers will enroll for ARC and PLC. By enrolling soon, producers can beat the rush as the deadline nears. “FSA offices have multiple programs competing for the time and attention of our staff. Because of the importance and complexities of the ARC and PLC programs; and to ensure we meet your program delivery expectations, please do not wait to start the enrollment process,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “I cannot emphasize enough the need to begin the program election and enrollment process now. Please call your FSA county office and make an appointment soon to ensure your elections are made and contracts signed well ahead of the deadlines.”

alli Jo Sloan of Palestine, a member of Slocum FFA, caught a calf during the 2020 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo’s Calf Scramble, earning a $500 purchase certificate for a show heifer and the chance for up to $16,000 in scholarship awards. Calli Jo Sloan’s parents are Donald Sloan and Lacie Sloan. Calli Jo Sloan’s award was sponsored by Lone Star Ag Credit. One of the Stock Show’s most iconic and popular events, the Calf Scramble gives 20 students an opportunity to catch 10 calves during one of 22 performances of the legendary Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo held January 17 through February 8. Those not catching calves receive a pair of Justin Boots courtesy of the iconic western footwear maker. Justin Boots and Texas Mutual Insurance Company are overall underwriters for the legendary Calf Scramble Program. Since the Fort Worth Calf Scramble began in 1987, more than 7,600 4-H and FFA members were able

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to catch a calf in the rodeo arena for a combined $3.8 million in Heifer Purchase Certificates. Calli Jo Sloan will use the purchase certificate toward the cost of a heifer that [HE OR SHE] will raise and exhibit at next year’s Stock Show. Exhibitors that submit monthly reports and a final essay may be eligible for scholarship awards that can range between $500 and $16,000. Thanks to the efforts of the Calf Scramble Sponsors and Committee members, 1,478 of those winners received a combined total of $2.94 million in scholarships. Twenty-three days of fun-filled entertainment is on tap January 17 through February 8 at the legendary Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. Order your tickets and experience part of what makes Fort Worth the most awesome city in Texas. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.fwssr.com. Dream It, Do It personifies the Stock Show’s can-do spirit and celebrates a landmark achievement; the opening of our exciting new home for rodeo - Dickies Arena. This thing is legendary®.

ARC and PLC provide financial protections to farmers from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues and are vital economic safety nets for most American farms. The programs cover the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.  Until March 15, producers who have not yet enrolled in ARC or PLC for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office unless yield updates are requested. Additionally, farm owners have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields that take effect beginning with crop year 2020. If the owner accompanies the producer to the office, the yield update and enrollments may be completed during the same office visit. 

More Information For more information on ARC and PLC, download our program fact sheet or our 2014-2018 farm bills comparison fact sheet. Online ARC and PLC election decision tools are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc. To enroll, contact your FSA county office for an appointment.

Courtesy photo

Calli Jo Sloan won a $500 purchase certificate toward a heifer for a 4-H or FFA project for exhibition at next year’s Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. The certificate, presented by Stock Show Calf Scramble Committee Chairman, Paxton Motheral, was sponsored by Lone Star Ag Credit.

East tExas stock PricEs

ANDERSON COUNTY LIVESTOCK

EAST TEXAS LIVESTOCK INC.

Updated: 1/15/2020 Head Count: 450 Buyers: 34 Sellers: 61

Updated: 1/28/2020 Feeder Calf Buyers: 19 Total Sellers: 189 Feeder Calf Companies: 33

STEERS

STEERS

200lb - 300lb

1.30

1.97

300-DOWN

1.50

2.12

300lb - 400lb

1.20

1.85

305lb - 400lb

1.41

2.10

400lb - 500lb

1.43

1.88

405lb - 500lb

1.35

1.865

500lb - 600lb

1.30

1.71

505lb - 600lb

1.30

1.82

600lb - 700lb

1.31

1.58

605lb - 800lb

1.24

1.55

700lb - 800lb

1.05

1.25

200lb - 300lb

1.44

1.75

300-DOWN

1.13

1.98

300lb - 400lb

1.31

1.74

305lb - 400lb

1.09

1.90

400lb - 500lb

1.30

1.65

405lb - 500lb

1.05

1.815

500lb - 600lb

1.20

1.21

505lb - 600lb

1.00

1.62

600lb - 700lb

1.00

1.68

605lb - 800lb

0.90

1.42

700lb - 800lb

0.85

1.15

HEIFERS

HEIFERS

SLAUGHTER

SLAUGHTER

Cows

0.52

0.65

Cows

0.46

0.68

Bulls

0.60

0.80

Bulls

0.79

0.88

PAIRS

$775

$1200

PAIRS

$875

STOCKER COWS GOATS

$260hd

$1200hd

$55hd

$105hd

TRI-COUNTY LIVESTOCK MARKET Updated: 1/25/2020 Head Count: 934

STEERS UNDER 300lb

1.50

2.17

300lb - 400lb

1.40

2.10

400lb - 500lb

1.35

1.82

500lb - 600lb

1.30

1.70

600lb - 700lb

1.25

1.58

700lb - 800lb

1.15

1.35

HEIFERS

BRED COWS

NACOGDOCHES LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE

HUNTS LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE

Updated: 1/23/2020 Head Count: 837 Buyers: 88 Sellers: 88

STEERS

$1275 $1200/hd

ATHENS COMMISSION COMPANY

Updated: 1/20/2020 Head Count: 730

STEERS

$650/hd

Updated: 1/24/2020 Head Count: 710 Sellers: 150

STEERS

UNDER 300lb

1.45

2.15

200lb - 299lb

1.00

2.11

300-DOWN

1.00

2.25

300lb - 400lb

1.45

2.15

300lb - 399lb

1.00

2.15

300lb - 400lb

1.00

2.05

400lb - 500lb

1.30

1.88

400lb - 499lb

1.00

1.93

400lb - 500lb

1.00

1.75

500lb - UP

1.30

1.76

500lb - 599lb

1.00

1.79

500lb - UP

0.80

1.60

600lb - 700lb

N/A

N/A

600lb - 699lb

1.00

1.59

HEIFERS

HEIFERS

700lb - 899lb

1.00

1.41

300-DOWN

1.00

2.00

UNDER 300lb

1.30

2.10

HEIFERS

300lb - 400lb

1.00

1.90

300lb - 400lb

1.30

2.10

200lb - 299lb

1.00

2.11

400lb - 500lb

1.00

1.55

1.40

1.90

300lb - 399lb

1.00

2.07

500lb - UP

0.75

1.50

UNDER 300lb

1.40

1.85

300lb - 400lb

1.30

1.70

400lb - 500lb

1.25

1.62

400lb - 500lb

1.25

1.50

400lb - 499lb

1.00

1.71

SLAUGHTER

N/A

N/A

500lb - 599lb

1.00

1.53

Cows

0.25

0.69

600lb - 699lb

1.00

1.45

Heavy Bulls

0.55

0.90

1.00

1.15

PAIRS Top

$900

$1150

500lb - 600lb

1.20

1.42

500lb - UP

600lb - 700lb

1.15

1.38

600lb - 700lb

700lb - 800lb

1.10

1.36

SLAUGHTER

SLAUGHTER Cows Heavy Bulls PAIRS BABY CALVES STOCKER COWS LOW-MIDDLE

Cows

0.40

0.70

700lb - 899lb

0.25

0.73

Bulls

0.70

0.89

SLAUGHTER

0.75

0.85

PAIRS

$800

$1775

Cows

0.20

0.64

Low-Middle

$500

$900

$1350

STOCKER COWS

Bulls

0.60

0.82

PAIRS

$720

$1380

STOCKER COWS

0.70lb

1.25lb

GOATS

$45hd

$250hd

$1150hd

BABY CALVES

$50hd

$200hd

NA

HORSES

$150hd

$500hd

$1050 NA $700/hd NA

$810hd

$1750hd

GOATS

$40hd

$235hd

$1250/hd

BABY CALVES

$50hd

$200hd

STOCKER COWS

NA

HORSES

NA

BABY CALVES

NA

NA

$225hd NA


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January 2020

East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

Support Agriculture Businesses... They are the Heartbeat of Our Economy

Game Warden Field Notes The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

Puff, Puff, Crash Two Henderson County game wardens received a call in the evening from a local landowner who said he and members of his church were conducting a bible study when an unknown vehicle sped through his front gate and crashed in the pasture behind his property. As the wardens arrived on scene, the driver of the vehicle fled on foot and couldn’t be found. However, the driver left behind his wallet and identification card in the car along with other personal items. After searching the area with no success, the wardens decided to continue the investigation the next morning. Early the next day, the landowner called the wardens saying he had gone deer hunting and as he was leaving the deer stand the driver appeared out of nowhere, smoking a cigarette. The driver asked him “Where am I? How did I get here?” The wardens responded to the call and found the landowner and driver sitting down by a fire having coffee. The driver told the wardens he decided to smoke some Kush cannabis after leaving his parole officer’s office. The driver spent the night outside in freezing temperatures and was so impaired he had no clue how he got to this ranch or where his car was.

Let Minnow How That Works Out A Navarro County game warden received a call from a local fisherman about multiple people cast netting and keeping everything they caught. The caller told the warden they had been recording them with their cellphone. When he arrived, the warden found the people and a white five-gallon bucket. The bucket was nearly full of fish. The warden asked them about the fish and one person said they were just minnows. The warden told them most of the fish were undersized crappie. When asked for fishing licenses and identification, one of the individuals said they would “just throw them back” and attempted to reach for the bucket. The warden stopped them and said the fish were now evidence and many of the fish looked dead. Upon further inspection of the fish within the five-gallon bucket, nearly 100 fish were identified. Of those fish, more than 70 were undersized crappie of which 61 were either dead or too injured to be released back into the water. There was also one catfish, numerous sunfish, shad and yellow bass. Many of the crappie measured between three and five inches in length, with the longest being nine inches long. Nongame fish were returned to the individuals, as they had current fishing licenses. Multiple citations were issued to the individuals.

Guilty Conscience A Cherokee County game warden was patrolling near Rusk when he found an open gate and fresh tire tracks. The warden continued into the property until the road ended at a gas well. A man and young girl dressed in camo were found as they were preparing to go hunting. After speaking with the duo, he found out they had been hunting the area for the past few weeks. When asked for their hunting license, the man handed the warden his license and said, “I haven’t tagged the deer I got two weeks ago yet!” The warden asked if he could see a picture of it and the man was happy to show it. A citation was issued for an untagged white-tailed deer and harvest log violation.

Getting Schooled Two Hood County game wardens were alerted by a TPWD Criminal Investigation Division (CID), motion activated camera that was triggered at 6 a.m. by two men in camouflage walking with bow and arrows on Acton School property. The camera had been set up in attempt to catch illegal hunters. When they

arrived on scene, the wardens spread out through the wooded area to search for the men. At 10 a.m., the camera was tripped again capturing a photo of one of the men exiting the property. One of the wardens ran to a different part of the property and found a vehicle driving through the school parking lot at a high rate of speed. The driver saw the warden and slammed on the brakes. Thinking the warden was one of their buddies, the driver stopped to pick him up. The warden approached the vehicle and the woman who was driving said she wasn’t in the area to pick up anyone hunting. After being interviewed further, she revealed she was picking up her boyfriend and his friend. She was instructed to call her boyfriend and tell him to meet her. The boyfriend told the woman he had left the property and went to the parking lot of a Kroger. After he was detained, he admitted to hunting on school property. He also admitted to hunting with his friend and said he told him to run when they saw the game warden. The TPWD K9 team was deployed and the second man was tracked for a long distance until his scent was lost. Further investigation revealed the second man was on parole and had previous convictions for hunting without landowner consent and his hunting license was suspended. Evidence was collected and the subject was later arrested on a parole blue warrant. The investigation is ongoing.

No Regrets A Henderson County game warden was contacted by a local landowner about some duck hunters who had been hunting during the closed season split. The landowner was able to provide the warden with the license plates of the suspected duck hunter’s vehicles. The wardens responded to the location but were unable to find the suspected duck hunters. As the investigation continued, the wardens were able to track down the hunters at their residence. During an interview, one of the hunters admitted to duck hunting and was proud to say it was his “best morning ever.” After the investigation was over, it was clear the hunters were new to duck hunting and were unaware of the split.

SoFISHticated operation With the assistance of CID, Bexar County game wardens set up a buy with an individual attempting to sell six steaks of yellowfin tuna for $200. A time and location were set up and the wardens sat and waited outside of an HEB for the seller to show up. As they waited, they saw the seller standing outside the doors with a dog and a blue bag in a basket. As the wardens approached the man, he gave the dog to a woman and went inside the store. The woman then began to walk into the parking lot with the blue bag. Wardens then went up to the woman and asked where the man went. She said the man went inside of the store to shop. The wardens searched the blue bag and found the tuna steaks. One of the wardens went inside to retrieve the man and, once outside, he was interviewed. The man did not have the proper licenses to sell aquatic species. The individual was educated about the sale of aquatic species and issued a citation. The tuna was seized to be donated. Cases pending.

Fast and Furious A Bell County game warden received a call from a fisherman on Lake Stillhouse about a boat driving around and shooting at ducks. The warden, with assistance from an additional Bell County game warden, were able to stop the individuals as they were pulling out of the boat ramp. Upon further inspection, the individuals had more than 20 violations and had killed two buzzards along with three coots. Some of the violations included no hunting license, utilizing lead shot, rally and disturb, hunt from

a watercraft and no migratory duck stamp, just to name a few. Wardens issued multiple citations.

Stop Lying, it’s the Pits A Hardin County game warden and a game warden cadet were fueling up at a gas station near Kountze when they noticed a man in a nearby truck putting ice in a cooler and struck up a conversation. They learned the man was putting ice on a quartered deer he had just harvested, so they asked to see the head and the tag. The man explained he had left the head and the tag back at his hunting camp. When asked for his hunting license, he produced a license without any missing tags. The warden followed the hunter back to his deer lease to retrieve the deer head and complete the investigation. A citation was issued for possession of an untagged deer and a warning for failure to complete the harvest log. Case pending.

Lawn Enforcement On Jan. 3, a Newton County game warden completed an investigation into a hunting without landowner consent case. The case involved one subject who thought it was OK to mow two 200+ yard lanes into a neighboring landowner’s property and hunt them. The subject was caught in the act of hunting the neighbor’s property. After all necessary documentation was obtained, the subject was arrested and taken to the Newton County Jail and charged with hunting without landowner’s consent, a Class A misdemeanor. Case pending.

I’m Not As Think As You Drunk I Am On Dec. 14, a Montgomery County game warden was traveling behind a vehicle that appeared to be having a difficult time keeping his truck between the marked lanes on the roadway, but not enough for probable cause. The warden followed the truck into a gas station parking lot and saw a man exit the truck and fail to put it into park, causing it to roll back about 40 yards before he was able to stop it. Once the vehicle was stopped, the warden approached the man and noticed the zipper on his pants was down, his shirt had spills and stains on it, and there were several empty beer cans inside the truck. An intoxication investigation was completed, and the male was placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated. A blood specimen was taken, and toxicology and the case are pending.

Where They’re Going, They Don’t Need Roads

On Jan. 4, an Angelina County game warden responded to a trespassing complaint regarding two individuals who were found in their Jeep after it got stuck inside the hunting club. The driver was arrested for criminal trespassing and for a warrant issued by the Lufkin Police Department. Upon further investigation it was discovered the Jeep they were driving was stolen from a hunting club in Trinity County and used in the commission of a robbery. Additional charges were filed for theft.

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide On Jan. 6, a Somervell County game warden was checking fisherman on the Paluxy River in Glen Rose when he noticed two individuals put their fishing poles down and walk in the opposite direction of the game warden. As he started to approach the individuals, he noticed one of them start to jog away and duck behind a house. The warden was able to make contact with the other individual who said he did not have a fishing license and his driver’s license was in his father’s truck. The warden followed the individual to his father’s truck to retrieve the license, and during a check the individual was wanted

for sexual assault on a child. The warden directed the individual to place his hands on the vehicle, but he refused and started to run away. The warden was able to apprehend the individual without incident and during a search of the individual he discovered marijuana and a marijuana

short time later a vehicle drove up and the warden detained two male subjects in the truck after discovering two more white-tailed doe in the bed of the pickup. During a search of the immediate area, the warden located two ice chests containing what appeared to be deer meat. In addition to harvesting the four does, the two subjects

pipe. The other individual was located by the Somervell County Sheriff ’s deputies in a vacant lot claiming to be lost and was unable to produce a fishing license. Cases pending.

also admitted to harvesting the deer in the ice chests a few nights before. Both individuals were taken into custody and booked into the Bowie County Jail for hunting at night. Since then, game wardens have searched several areas of the farm and located additional deer carcasses. The investigation is on-going, and cases are pending.

Plenty of Guts, But No Glory On Dec. 19, a Gaines/Andrews County game warden received a tip from an anonymous caller about a mule deer that may have been shot illegally on a property about 20 miles southeast of Seminole. The warden contacted the landowner and found a gut pile on his property. The warden then contacted the neighboring ranch that is currently still in their Managed Lands Deer Program season and found an individual had shot a mule deer over their fence line and gutted it on the opposite side. The landowner determined he thought it was an honest boundary mistake and didn’t believe charges were necessary. The deer and head were seized, and the hunter was cited for hunting mule deer out of season and warned for improperly tagging that deer with an MLDP tag. Charges and restitution are pending.

For He’s A Jolly Bad Felon On Dec. 9, a Gaines/Andrews County game warden received an anonymous tip from a local contact who said that there might have been an illegal deer shot in the past year on a property southeast of Seminole. Upon interviewing four individuals, it was determined there were four mule deer bucks shot on the same property without the consent of the landowner. Through the investigation, it was also determined that two of the three subjects were convicted felons. Three rifles, four sets of small mule deer antlers, and deer meat was seized. Charges include unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, hunting mule deer without landowner consent, various warnings, and civil restitution on four mule deer bucks. Cases are currently pending.

How Shellfish On Jan. 6, Aransas County game wardens inspected a commercial oyster boat in Aransas Bay. The boat possessed 26 sacks of oysters and the cargo was determined to be 17.3% undersized. The oysters were returned to the water with an estimated value of $1,040.00. The captain and two deckhands were cited for undersized oysters. It was determined the captain had two prior convictions since 2017. The boat was escorted to the harbor and the captain was arrested for an enhanced undersized oyster case. The captain was transported and placed into the Aransas County Detention Facility. The case is pending prosecution.

Racked ‘Em Up At 1 a.m. on Dec. 25, a Bowie County game warden received information about possible illegal hunting activity on a farm in the northern part of Bowie County. The warden responded to the area and located two white-tailed doe and one feral hog laying near a residence on the farm. A

Up To No Good On the evening of Jan. 4, a Cherokee County game warden worked an area where several deer had been shot from the road in recent months. Shortly after getting in his “set,” he noticed a truck nearing his location, at a very slow pace and stopping twice. Through his binoculars, he could see a subject exit the vehicles passenger’s side and walk into the pasture where he was located. Using thermal imaging, he could see the subject walking up the hill adjacent to his location. A short time later the subject started shining a light, which led him to believe that the subject was looking for something. The warden approached the subject’s vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. When he approached the driver, he asked the driver what they were up to and the driver replied, “not any good.” The driver informed the warden that his buddy was out in the field looking for a deer he had shot earlier in the evening. The warden had the driver call his buddy and tell him it was in his best interest to return to the truck. Once the warden was able to make contact with the “shooter,” it was determined that he and his wife had been driving by, about 5:30pm, and saw a small buck on the hillside and the subject took a shot at the buck with his .17 caliber rimfire rifle. At the shot, the deer seemed to drop so the subject took his wife home and planned to come back and pick up the deer with his buddy. Despite searching by all parties, including the landowner, the deer was never recovered. Cases Pending.

Some Evidence Floats On Jan. 7, a Burleson County game warden observed an angler at Yegua Creek in Burleson County putting fish into a bucket near him. The man was later observed handing a fish to a nearby fishermen who started cutting it up with a knife. Upon making contact with the small group, the man picked up the bucket and started to dump the fish out. The warden told him to stop several times while making contact. Several fish floated to the top of the water as they were already dead. The man was detained while the warden used a cast net to get the dead fish out of the water. A total of 16 undersized fish (crappie, white bass, and largemouth bass) were collected. Multiple citations were issued to the man. The other parts of the group received citations for no fishing license and using game fish as bait. All cases are pending.


January 2020

9

East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

Support Agriculture Businesses... They are the Heartbeat of Our Economy

Open For Business

Toyota Sharelunker launches 34th season, anglers should use kid gloves By Matt Williams Outdoors Writer

T

he lunker bunkers at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center opened for business on Jan. 1. Not surprisingly, Tony Owens and his crew are anxiously awaiting their first finny customer of 2020. The TFFC is headquarters of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Toyota ShareLunker program. Currently in its 34th season, ShareLunker is a spawning and genetics research campaign aimed at producing bigger and better bass for Texas anglers to catch. The popular program has undergone a slew of changes in recent times meant to boost participation and heighten knowledge about big bass distribution across the state. Perhaps the most significant change came in 2018. That’s when TPWD launched a year-round format that offers prize incentives to anglers who catch big bass weighing upwards of eight pounds and electronically enter their fish in one of several categories. Entries must be accompanied by photos of the fish being weighed on a digital scale and measured on a rigid measuring board. Fish caught during a tournament must be supported by a weigh-in slip or website links for documentation, if photos are not available. Among the incentives offered to entice entries are chances to win $5,000 shopping sprees to Bass Pro Shops, ShareLunker branded merchandise, fishing tackle packages, etc. You can learn more at texassharelunker.com.  The expanded format has been pretty well received. The program has received close to 1,000 entries in the four weight divisions over the last two seasons. One facet of ShareLunker that remains unchanged, however, is the lofty benchmark on which the program was founded in 1986. Though smaller fish may qualify for other categories, bass weighing 13 pounds or more caught between Jan. 1 and March 31 are the only ones eligible for entry in the Lunker Legacy Class category. Legacy ShareLunkers are the heart and soul of the program. The fish are special because they are put on loan to the state for use in the department’s selective breeding program. The giant bass, which are always females, undergo genetics testing before they paired for spawning with male bass bred from former ShareLunkers. Those with pure Florida DNA are believed to be genetically superior to crossbreeds.  A portion of the offspring from pure Florida females are retained for use in the state’s Florida bass hatchery program — another new twist to the restructured format. TPWD’s goal is to one day assemble an entire army of brood fish

Photo courtesy of TPWD

The Toyota ShareLunker program launched its 34th season on Jan. 1. Anglers who catch fish weighing upwards of 13 pounds between now and March 31 can loan the fish to the state for selective breeding. that are descendants of bass weighing 13-pounds-plus. The idea of breeding super bass to super bass to produce more big bass makes sense. Dog, horse and cattle breeders have had success following similar steps to improve the chance of producing champions. Time will tell how well the theory applies with fish. Regardless, donating a Legacy Lunker is an exciting process that always begins with a phone call to ShareLunker point man Kyle Brookshear on the program’s 24/7 hotline, (903) 681-0550. Brookshear races to the scene in a TPWD hatchery truck decked out with a slick ShareLunker motif. The wrap is accented by the program motto “Bigger Better Bass.” It’s Brookshear’s job to evaluate the health of the fish, complete the necessary paperwork and take a quick photograph of the angler with their prize catch for distribution on various news and social media outlets before transporting the big bass back to the TFFC.  That’s where Owens takes over. Owens, 58, is a veteran fisheries biologist with ShareLunker roots dating back to 1989, when he began work at the now defunct Tyler Fish Hatchery. Owens, who promoted to hatchery manager at the TFFC in 2015, worked alongside the late David Campbell until the longtime program coordinator retired in 2012.  The scientist has spent much of his career working as a caregiver to world class bass, some with health issues that many anglers have never witnessed or may not even know to exist.

the fish he had caught that day. Curious to learn what the fish weighed before he cleaned it, he took the big bass to a nearby marina. There, Runnels was approached by a group of other anglers who offered to trade him several smaller fish in exchange for the big bass, which was still alive at the time. Runnels gladly accepted the offer and handed over the trophy bass, which was quickly placed in an aerated minnow vat. Amazingly, the “bucket bass” survived the ordeal and was entered in the Toyota ShareLunker program.  “He was a really cool guy,” Owens recalled. “His wife was there with him when we took the fish back. They released it off the pier right where he caught it.” Owens says he has learned a lot about the dos and don’ts of handling big bass over the years. Much of the knowledge has come through trial and error. “There’s a lot we take for granted today that we didn’t know anything about 20-25 years ago,” he said. “It’s definitely been a learning curve for everybody. We’ve learned a lot. Plus, the anglers are much better educated.” One factor that can’t be stressed enough is that a 13-pound bass is not near as tough is it might look. Such a fish about 10 years old. It’s more vulnerable to injury and stress than a younger fish. Think of big bass like senior citizens.  “A 20-year old man can get hurt and bounce back pretty quick, but it may take a 70-year old 3-4 months to get over the same injury,” Owens said. “Some may

never get it over it. Big bass are same way. They all have a threshold of how much they can take. Each one is different.” Owens is a pro at what he does, but he can’t work miracles. Anglers lucky enough to catch a Legacy Lunker can do the bass and the biologist a favor by handling the fish with kid gloves before turning it over to the department. This will optimize the bass’ chance of spawning successfully and being returned to the lake unharmed. Owens offered 5 key tips for big bass care: • Hands Off: Handle the fish the least amount possible. Excessive handling can cause stress and kill the fish. Take pictures after TPWD arrives. Support the fish with two hands, one gripping the lower lip and one under anal fin. • Aeration: Place the fish in an aerated livewell and transport it to an official Toyota ShareLunker holding station or bait shop with an aerated minnow vat as quickly as possible. Never keep the fish out of water longer than 30 seconds. • Keep Things Wet: Always wet your hands before holding the fish. Handling with dry hands will remove protective slime and could cause skin infection to set in. Avoid contact with boat carpet. • Bag It: Place the fish in a weigh-in bag when moving it around the fish. Make sure the bag has enough water to cover the fish. • Make the Call: Call the program hotline (903) 681-0550 immediately.  Matt Williams is a freelance writer based in Nacogdoches. He can be reached by e-mail, mattwillwrite4u@yahoo.com.

“I was there back in the program’s hey days,” Owens recalled. “I can remember times back in the 1990s when Lake Fork was kicking out big fish left and right. There were times when we might pick up 5-6 fish in a weekend from several different lakes. It got pretty wild at times. You just never knew what was going to happen and when.” One of Owens’ favorite ShareLunker memories dates back to Feb. 1990, when Dallas crappie fisherman Jesse Runnels caught an enormous bass while fishing from the public fishing pier at the Lake Bob Sandlin Recreation Area. Runnels’ bass, a 14.31 pounder, still ranks as the lake record largemouth for Bob Sandlin. Photo courtesy of TPWD

TFFC hatchery manager Tony Owens has spent of most of his TPWD career acting as a caretaker to Toyota ShareLunkers.

There is some good humor in Runnels’ story. Runnels, who was fishing with his wife at time, reportedly placed the big bass in a five-gallon bucket along with the rest of

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East Texas Farm & Ranch Living

January 2020

Things to consider before building a greenhouse Support Agriculture Businesses... They are the Heartbeat of Our Economy

Special to the Herald-Press

A

vid gardeners may be enticed by the idea of a greenhouse that allows them to explore their passion for plants year-round. While it’s true that greenhouses afford this luxury, there are important things to consider before erecting a greenhouse in your yard. Greenhouses require ample time to maintain. Greenhouses are not selfmanaging; they require heat, water, venting, electricity, and maintenance on the part of gardeners. Individuals need to determine how much time they have to devote to a greenhouse and then consider their options. Start by choosing the size of the greenhouse. Many experts, like those at the home and garden information site The Spruce, suggest getting the largest one you can afford and fit into the yard. It is much easier to fill a large greenhouse than try to expand on a small one later on. Next, consider whether you want to build the greenhouse from scratch or utilize a prefabricated kit that can make easier work of the job. Kits typically contain all of the materials needed, and are easiest for someone who is a construction novice. Look for “grower greenhouses,” which are all-purpose options with adjustable shelving and space for growing plants full-term. The next step is deciding where the greenhouse will be located. The goal is to have a consistent amount of sunlight year-round. A south-facing locale is ideal, and structures should remain north of the greenhouse so they do not cast a shadow on it. The building, cars and technology resource Popular Mechanics advises gardening enthusiasts to take into consideration the angle of the sun during all seasons before choosing a location.

Greenhouses can be a great addition to a yard for those who know what to expect. Doing so ensures that the sun is not obscured in the winter or fall. Select a spot that also has ample drainage, as you will not want water pooling up along the sides of or underneath the greenhouse. Raise the greenhouse on footings to alleviate flooding concerns. Consult with a gardening or agriculture

expert about the best way to heat the greenhouse. Options abound with electric-, gas- and propane-powered heating sources. Some systems will require venting. You also will need to know what is available and legal in your area. Check to see if you need a building permit for the greenhouse and any accompanying heating elements.

Courtesy Photo

Once the greenhouse is situated, you can begin to add other items, like benches, additional shelving, hooks for tools, and even an automated watering or misting system. Greenhouses take commitment, but the reward is the chance to enjoy gardening all year long.

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Farm & Ranch Living January 2020  

A special publication of the Palestine Herald-Press focusing on Farm & Ranch Living in East Texas.

Farm & Ranch Living January 2020  

A special publication of the Palestine Herald-Press focusing on Farm & Ranch Living in East Texas.

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