Page 1

Since 1916, we’ve been here for New Mexico’s ranchers and farmers. We don’t just offer financial services, we also get where you’re coming from. That’s why we can help you with loans, insurance and other services that fit your unique needs. At Farm Credit of New Mexico, we’re with you every step of the way.

C A L L 1 - 8 0 0 - 4 5 1 - 5 9 9 7 o r v i s i t W W W. F A R M C R E D I T N M . C O M ALBUQUERQUE






Livestock Market Digest

When it comes to working cattle,

ONE NAME STANDS OUT 2nd Annual Bull Sale – April 2012 300 Bulls – Yerington, Nevada


400 Bred Heifers For Sale This Fall Black & Red • Available on October 1st AI'd to Black & Red Calving Ease Bull

• Hydraulic Chute • Circle Working Facility • Palpation Cage • Combined Working Area and Loadout

At T Bar T Bar we produce seedstock for real world cattlemen using proven Angus, Red Angus & Gelbvieh Call or visit our website: It's hard to improve upon what you do not measure.

America’s Premier Cattle Handling Equipment Bowman Livestock Equipment Company 785/258-3991 P.O. Box 345, Herington, KS 67449 Email: Web:

Make YOU & your BULL happy today!

With the new

“California Bander” Bulls don’t like being in a chute too long! You don’t want to be under the bull too long! Easily places bands in just seconds! The price will make you even happier!

Hear what one of our customers has to say!

“The easiest of all the banders we have used.” — Gary Fritsch, Fayetteville, TX Money Back Guarantee CALL TODAY 1-800/847-2533 See video at or call for a free demonstration DVD.


Livestock Market Digest

Fall Marketing Edition

September 2011 Volume 53, No. 10

Riding Herd


(ISSN 0024-5208)

(USPS NO. 712320)

is published monthly except twice in September at 2231 Rio Grande Blvd., NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114, by Rainy Day, Inc. Periodicals Postage Paid at Albuquerque, New Mexico. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: LIVESTOCK MARKET DIGEST P.O. Box 7458, Albuquerque, NM 87194

BY LEE PITTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Digest 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 8 10 11 13 14 15 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 34 35 36 37 38

Livestock Digest

Johnny Smith South Dakota . . . . . Wesley Grau New Mexico . . . . . Dr. Robert Miller California . . . . . John Falen Nevada . . . . . Pete & Sarah Gnatkowski New Mexico . . . . . Heather Thomas Idaho . . . . . Jack Gilstrap Colorado . . . . . Soreide Charolais North Dakota . . . . . Livestock Board of Trade Missouri . . . . . Treasure State Quarter Horses Montana . . . . . Jeff Witte New Mexico . . . . . Slagowski Family Nevada . . . . . Schohr Herefords California . . . . . Monroe Magnuson Utah . . . . . Heartbrand & Akaushi Cattle Texas . . . . . Edward Avalos Washington, D.C. / New Mexico . . . . . Acord Ranch Idaho . . . . . Daren Williams Colorado . . . . . Rex & Carol Wilson New Mexico . . . . . Joe & Louise Leathers Texas . . . . . Western Legacy Alliance Idaho . . . . . The Delk Band New Mexico . . . . . Pajamas Media The World . . . . . Alturas Ranches California . . . . . Steve Teichert Idaho .....

Buyers’ Guide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 The Real Estate Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

For advertising, subscription and editorial inquiries, write or call: LIVESTOCK MARKET DIGEST P.O. Box 7458, Albuquerque, NM 87194 505/243-9515 • fax 505/998-6236

Editorial and Advertising Staff Caren Cowan Chuck Stocks EXECUTIVE EDITOR: .......Lee Pitts PUBLISHER: .......


FIELD EDITOR: .......Delvin


580/622-5754 1094 Koller Rd. Sulphur, OK 73086

Administrative Staff OFFICE MANAGER: .......Marguerite


Production Staff PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: .......Carol

Pendleton ADVERTISING DESIGN: .......Kristy Hinds Martel EDITORIAL DESIGN: .......Camille Pansewicz

On the Cover . . . “EVENING GLOW” a 16x24 oil by Tim Cox. For more information in this original and more of Tim’s great works, including prints, calendars, checks and more, contact: Tim & Suzie Cox, 891 Road 4990, Bloomfield, NM 87412, 505/632-8080, or visit

Advertisers’ Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 2011 Fall Marketing Edition


RidingHerd By LEE PITTS

Anyone Seen Al? Dear Al,


ong time no see. Where are you? I have some important news for you that might spoil your business plans. Al, I don’t know how to break this to you but you may want to sell all your carbon credits. And wherever you are, I heartily recommend that you put on your heavy jacket and mittens or you’ll catch your death of cold. I’ll stop beating around the bush and just tell you: Al, it’s NOT getting hotter like you said when you caused a bigger scare than the whole Y2K bust. It’s getting colder! Brrrrr! You must be hiding from angry officials who demand that you give back your Academy Award, Emmy and Noble Peace Prize for getting everyone worked up over global warming with your slide show, An Inconvenient Truth. Al, this news may come at An Inconvenient Time for you but we could be on the verge of An Inconvenient Ice Age! I know we haven’t spoken lately but this is a planetary emergency and the greenies need their leader. I haven’t seen you in awhile and when I saw you on the television recently it looks like you had the carbon footprint of a Boeing 747. Just a thought, Al, but maybe your body is blocking out the sun and causing global cooling! You might want to cut back on the cupcakes and triple whip cream latte frappacinos. Or whatever. Recently I was surfing the Internet, you know, that thing you invented, and I came across this website: It gives hundreds of facts in support of global cooling. It seems like we may have all gotten worked up for nothing. For instance, did you know that our planet has been in a cool-down phase the past eleven years? Or, that last year the southern hemisphere experienced its coldest winter in 50 years? If you didn’t go skiing you may not have realized that the winter from October 2009 to March of 2010 was the snowiest on record in the northern hemisphere. And here’s the real

bummer Al, temperatures in the U.S. cooled off in five of the last seven decades just as greenhouse gases were increasing. Ocean temps are decreasing, there is decreased sunspot activity and something called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation has begun a 30-year cooling phase. An Inconvenient Truth could turn out to be An Inconvenient Lie! And about those polar bears you were so worried about: don’t lose any more sleep over them. The same people who counted the spotted owls must have “counted” the polar bears because the polar bear population is at at all time record size and has increased 300 percent since 1950. Al, doesn’t it stand to reason that if we needed to reduce our carbon footprint to cool things off that we’ll need to enlarge it to heat things up? Shouldn’t we be burning more coal and give cash incentives to everyone who buys a Cadillac Escalade? Instead of cash for clunkers, shouldn’t we be paying people to get their Priuses and Smart Cars off the road? Al, I’m getting ready to go on a Carnival Caribbean Cruise for singles but I’m thinking of canceling for fear of hitting an iceberg. I know that global warming was going to help those nasty farmers and ranchers produce more food, but scientists say that global cooling could produce worldwide famine. If that’s the case, and cow flatulence really did warm things up like you said, shouldn’t we all go on an allbeef diet and repopulate the wilderness with cows. Al, I know your career is in a deep rut and another slide show could make possible a big comeback for you. And I know you understand cold because it got absolutely frigid in the Gore household prior to the divorce. And just think of all the money you could make on another crises. And we both know you’re going to need the money. Sincerely, Your ex-wife, Tipper

I f you would like to nominate someone who has made a difference for next year’s Digest 25 feature . . . PLEASE CONTACT CAREN COWAN AT 505/243-9515 EXT. 24, OR EMAIL: CAREN@AAALIVESTOCK.COM


Livestock Market Digest

Company s e l a S – Mist Sprayers –

We offer a complete line of low volume mist blowers. Excellent for spraying: LIVESTOCK, tall trees, American Made orchards, vegetables, vineyards, nurseries, mosquitoes, chicken houses, etc. Low Maintenance High Performance

References available in your area

For free brochure contact:

Swihart Sales Co. 7240 County Road AA, Quinter, KS 67752

2011 Fall Marketing Edition

Motor Models available

785-754-3513 or 800-864-4595


Digest 25 LivestockMarket Digest’s

FEATURING 25 individuals, businesses and organizations that are making a difference for the American livestock industry.

COMPILED BY: Lee Pitts, Heather Smith Thomas, Callie Gnatkowski-Gibson, Carol Wilson, and Caren Cowan

Johnny Smith South Dakota


here was no gray in Johnny Smith’s personal color palate. Everything was black and white with him. Right or wrong. There were no gray areas. My trustworthy friend never was one to compromise on the truth or to sacrifice his integrity. The beef cattle industry lost a courageous fighter for the rights of the cow-calf producer when the Fort Pierre, South Dakota, auction yard owner, announcer and auctioneer died in May of this year. Johnny was a co-owner of the Fort Pierre Auction Market, and if you’ve ever been there you know it’s one of the best auction yards in the country. I visited there when they hosted LMA’s World Auctioneer Championship and I saw more outstanding loads of country fresh cattle than I’ve ever seen at a sale in my life. They raise ‘em good in South Dakota . . . both the cattle and the people. Johnny was 66 years old and felt lucky to get that far in life for, besides battling for a fair cattle market for a good portion of his life, he also battled full blown diabetes and kidney disease. But don’t let that fool you: Johnny Smith, the man, had no weaknesses and when you shook his hand you got a sore paw of your own and an honorable man’s word you could take to the grave. Perhaps Johnny’s friend and advocate for justice Mike Callicrate said it best: “Johnny Smith was “one of a kind,” said Callicrate. I don’t know of anyone who has worked harder for truth, justice and the well being of independent cattlemen than Johnny Smith. His death leaves a massive void in our hearts and in our industry. From the sale ring to the kill floor to the court room and Congress, Johnny constantly fought corruption and spoke the truth about abusive power.” Johnny was there when R-CALF was first founded and was active in getting a new law


in South Dakota, SB95., which sought to outlaw anticompetitive bidding practices. “The price discrimination, captive supplies, secret deals, and overall abusive market power has to be stopped,” said Johnny. Johnny was also one of the brave group of men now known simply as “The Pickett Plaintiffs. They had the nerve, and the courage, to take IBP/Tyson to court for Packer and Stockyard violations and anticompetitive big behavior. Johnny always told me that if they could just get in front of a jury that they would prove that Tyson was using captive supplies to stay off the market and drive down fat cattle prices that sold in the open market. And darned if the Pickett Plaintiffs didn’t get a jury trial and darned if they didn’t win. It was a huge class action victory for ranchers everywhere. Sadly, it was a short-lived victory because a judge overruled the jury and their verdict. It took guts for Johnny and the other Pickett plaintiffs to stand up to the packer but every cell in Johnny’s diseased and weakened body was plumb packed with courage. Both diabetes, and anyone who would try to cheat his friends and customers out of a fair price for their cattle, knew they were in for a battle from Johnny. “There are a few people who have the power and wealth to exploit others and are willing to do so,” said his friend Mike Callicrate. “Then there are those who are fascinated and attracted to this abusive wealth and power. They want to be close to people who have it. They are part of the problem. And, there are those who are willing to look the other way and do nothing about it, nor give any assistance to those who are injured. Some are just too afraid to say anything. And then there are the very few, like Johnny Smith, who are willing, at any cost, to con-

front it and defeat it – always putting others before power and money.” Another of Johnny’s good friends was actually a competitor in the auction business, Herman Schumacher. But Johnny put his friendship for Herman above any auction yard competition and the two of them traveled all over the country together to gather support for needed improvements to the U.S. cattle market. Herman was one of the R-CALF founders and is another courageous man who put the needs of ranchers above any of his own. He said of Johnny, “I don’t have the words to describe our loss but Johnny touched more people than any other person and convinced a good many of them to begin standing up for their industry. And, that’s why we’re beginning to see actual reforms coming from Washington, D.C.” Bill Bullard the R-CALF CEO fought a lot of battles standing side-by-side with Johnny and of his friend he said, “Where others in our industry received recognition for building personal financial empires, Johnny built an empire of close friends across the country and his legacy is a long trail of exhibiting unparalleled compassion for his fellow cattle producers.” Past R-CALF USA President Max Thornsberry, D.V.M. said of Johnny, “When the largest of meatpackers began squeezing cattle-producer profits and eliminating opportunities for Johnny’s auction-yard customers, he began using his weekly, market radio program to encourage marketplace reforms to eliminate the abusive market power of packers. Johnny initiated this long before R-CALF USA was formed and he was instrumental in the establishment of R-CALF USA so his localized battle could be effectively fought on a national level. Johnny epitomized the positive image that many people have for western ranchers: honest, straighttalking, strong and unwavering in the face of monumental challenges; and he was genuine. Johnny was so genuinely concerned for the future of independent cattle producers that he was willing to fight and be an outspoken champion for all of their futures, even at the risk of foregoing financial gain in his public Livestock Market Digest

auction-yard business.” Mike Schultz, cattle producer from Brewster, Kansas, and R-CALF USA COOL Committee Chair said “Johnny Smith truly cared about competition and every rancher’s success so they could continue a great way of life. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to listen to, watch, and learn from his compassionate commitment to the cattle industry and the United States of America.” Johnny was born on July 3, 1944 in Presho, SD and was raised and schooled in the state of his birth. After graduation from high school Johnny attended South Dakota State University until the time he went to the Fort Smith Arkansas Auctioneer School. He served as a member of the South Dakota National Guard from 1966-1972. After that he went to work for Leif Hanson at Fort Pierre Livestock Auction. He then partnered with Jess Shaull, Nathan Shaull, and Hoss Roseland at the Highmore Sale Barn before returning to the Fort Pierre Livestock Auction in 1984, where he remained a fixture until his death. Johnny’s roots went deep in the South Dakota soil and he went by many aliases. He was called “Mr. Fort Pierre” in the South Dakota Magazine and “Johnny Claus” by many local children. Christmas was one of

his favorite times of the year. Anywhere from shopping at all hours of the night to stringing Christmas lights with the help of his recruits, he enjoyed it all. You didn’t have to be family to get a gift as he supplied presents to children who may have otherwise not had a Christmas. Johnny was proud of his South Dakota heritage and the state’s reputation for fostering the best rodeo stock riders. If you asked him, one of his greatest achievements in life was helping the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center come to fruition and he proudly served on its board. He was working right up until his death to commission a bronze statue of Billy Etbauer and the great horse Painted Valley. Johnny always tried to help by announcing any event he could, and you could hear his voice over the speakers at many 4-H rodeos, the Casey Tibbs Match of Champions, horse races, benefit auctions, 4th of July rodeos and parade, as well as the sale barn, doing what he loved best. He could be heard every Saturday morning on the radio with the cattle report and, of course, his undying support for the good folks in agriculture. He was president of the South Dakota Livestock Auction Markets Association from 1996-1998. R-Calf honored him for outstanding Service and support of the U.S.

Cattle Industry in 2006 and he received the SDSU Friend of the Beef Industry Award in 2006. He was inducted into the Casey Tibbs Hall of Fame in 2010 as a rodeo promoter and was also honored for his 36 years of announcing the 4th of July Rodeo in 2010. More than anything though, Johnny was a much-respected ambassador for the cattle industry logging many miles from coast to coast, most of the time paying his expenses out of his own pocket. After Johnny’s death there was a big twoday celebration of his life and it was only fitting that the visitation, and a celebration of his life, were held at the Ft. Pierre auction market, and the funeral service at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center. It was raining on the day of his service and the cattle market was at an all time high. And while I can’t credit those things directly to Johnny, I have a hunch he had something to do with both of those phenomena. In the plain language that Johnny liked to use my friend Johnny Smith was a cowboy in the old tradition who simply wanted to leave this world in better shape than he found it. In other words, Johnny Smith was one of us. Only better. — by Lee Pitts

Custom Cattle Feeding at its finest

Bar-G Feedyard ' "), 8 MILES SOUTHWEST OF HEREFORD, TEXAS FINANCING AVAILABLE &!%%, (&)) ( President – General Manager Res: 806/364-1172 Mobile: 806/346-2508 Email:

+"% *% ! Assistant Manager "# "#

$ "( Comptroller

%)!&%, Shipping/Receiving


2011 Fall Marketing Edition


Wesley Grau New Mexico


esley Grau burns his ranch brand into the smokey hide of a calf with purpose and intent, and he brings that same sense of purpose to his new position as chairman of the Cattleman’s Beef Board. The Grady, New Mexico native is a descendant of a German immigrant who homesteaded the site where Wesley now lives. Although Grau means “gray” in German, Wesley acknowledges that he sees most situations as black or white. He leads with the same vision and conviction. “Knowing that there is a job to be done that needs to be done right is what drives me to serve,” he noted. “If you don’t pull your chair up to the table, you have no right to complain. The world is run by those who show up.” Grau has been in a lot of situations calling for diplomacy and leadership. He was president of the New Mexico Cattle Growers from 1993 to 1995, past president of the Grady School Board and Mesa Redondo Cowboy Camp Meeting Association, as well as being a board member of both the National Cattleman’s Association and the Cattleman’s Beef board. After serving as Cattle Growers’ president, Wesley served the 42nd and 43rd sessions in the New Mexico House of Representatives, where he helped organize the “ag group” to give agriculture a stronger, more cohesive voice in the Legislature. “We are dealing with lots of people who don’t have a background in agriculture and don’t understand things like endangered species, water rights and individual rights and liberties which we take for granted, but town people think they can run over,” he noted. Wesley often had to make hard choices, like whether to stay home when his cattle were out of water or drive a couple of hundred miles to visit with his constituents. He watered the cattle, but many of the constituents didn’t understand. “After I weigh facts, I usually take a stand,” he stated. “I don’t believe in sitting on a fence. I don’t believe in gray areas.


There is a right and a wrong, and it sometimes takes a lot of diplomacy to get others to do what you want them to do.” Wesley is willing to make the sacrifices to represent the industry because he is keenly aware that as a cowman, he is a keeper of a legacy. And as a cowman, he is very intentional about passing a legacy of family, friends, faith and functional cattle to the future generations, both of the Grau family and generations of cowmen all over the West. In Wesley’s lifetime, he and his brother, Lane, and their father, Lloyd, have built an international reputation around Grau Charolais cattle. Wesley knows that the people who buy Grau genetics are really buying their belief in the Grau program and their wisdom as genetic producers. So they use the latest tools, like Genetic Progress Differences (GPDs) which show how their bulls test for quality grade, tenderness, and feed efficiency. They also line breed their herds, so the calves will be predictable and resemble the bull. As their international business grew, Wesley learned Spanish so he could communicate with his Mexican customers. Raul Tellez, marketing specialist for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, is proud of the fact that the Grau family has sold 1,515 breeding animals to producers in Mexico in the past 20 years. “Wesley stands behind his cattle,” noted Tellez. “Once a rancher called to tell me that two of the heifers that he bought from Wesley didn’t breed. Wesley and I drove to Mexico and he sleeved the heifers, determined that they were freemartins, and paid the rancher for the animals. We drove back toward the border and stopped at a little diner to eat. I walked in and a good friend of mine asked, in Spanish, ‘is that Grau with you?’ I replied, in Spanish, that it was. My friend told his tablemates the story of Wesley making good on the two heifers. I asked how he knew the story and he said, ‘good news travels fast, my friend.’ I tell the story just to show you that Wesley Grau stands

Wesley Grau

behind his cattle. You can’t sell 1,515 breeding animals and only have to replace five of them without having extremely good animals.” Wesley and Elnbeth raised two daughters and a son while they were building their herd and stewarding the land. They also stayed active in the community. Wesley sings in the choir that Elnabeth directs at the local church. Branding at the Grau ranch is always a treat because Wesley cooks an early morning breakfast at the chuckwagon for the crew. Elnabeth is a counselor at a local school, and Wesley teases that his biggest strength is that he gets plenty of counseling as well. However, as busy as life can get, Wesley and Elnabeth always remember to put their family first. Many times, this is a deliberate choice. The Grau’s son, Marcus, lost a battle to cancer in 2008, leaving a gaping hole in the fabric of the Grau family life. As they grieved, Wesley and Elnabeth set priorities. The first is faith. The second is family. The third is functional cattle. And they are mindful of the legacy they are leaving. The Grau family escapes to the mountains yearly with their grandsons, just to spend time and create memories. They serve others, and give with open hands. They make time count, and they strive to brand their life with the one symbol that will outlast it, the cross of Jesus Christ. — by Carol Wilson Livestock Market Digest

Dr. Robert M. Miller


obert Miller is a fairly common name, right? So it was quite natural (at least to me) that I thought that the artist who drew the funny cartoons I enjoyed in Western Horseman for years, the scientist who pioneered imprint training in foals, the brilliant book author, the horseman who was one of the leaders in the new way to “break” horses, and the veterinarian for circus and zoo animals in a town near where I was raised, were all different Robert Millers. No single person could possibly do all that. Imagine my surprise when I learned that they were all the same person! Yes, Dr. Robert Miller has worn many hats in his long and productive career but one thing about those hats, they were all of the cowboy variety. How does someone accomplish that much, and more, in just one lifetime and where does one begin to tell his story? To give you a little insight into the “can-do” attitude of Dr. Miller we could start with the 9,000-pound bull elephant he helped castrate one time. In the little burg of a town where I grew up hardly any of us had ever heard of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. No, in our neck of the woods, Circus Vargas was the biggest show on earth (with apologies to Barnum and Bailey). One day the owner of Circus Vargas called Dr. Miller because he had a


highly trained and valuable bull elephant that was becoming unruly with age. (Don’t we all?) The circus owner wanted Dr. Miller to castrate the pachyderm. Now young Dr. Miller had worked on horses, cattle, pets, circus and zoo animals galore. He’d treated a lion that swallowed a cane, a kangaroo that hit an oncoming car, and a sunburned whale. He’d even worked his magic on a constipated elephant. But he had never castrated one before! At that time only one man in the world had. But Dr. Miller had operated on whales and barely escaped with his life treating chimpanzees. He’d once even treated a whale and a hummingbird on the same day! So, naturally Dr. Miller told the circus owner, no problem. We’ll make less of a man out of your elephant. One thing that will become obviously clear during this story is that Dr, Miller is an exceptionally bright guy. He’s no dummy, so naturally he invited the one veterinarian in the world who had castrated an elephant to come help: a Dr. Fowler. Now you ranchers out there are probably saying to yourselves about now, castrate an elephant? No problem – just make a bigger loop with your rope, check the cinch on your horse and sharpen the old pocket knife a little more than usual. But what makes it difficult is that an elephant’s family jewels are carried in his abdominal cavity and it requires a special instrument. A problem developed when airline authorities delayed Dr. Fowler from boarding the airplane with that instrument when he told them what it was for. Keep in mind this was even before the full body pat-downs you get at airports these days. They didn’t believe that anybody would want to do

Dr. Robert Miller

such a thing to a poor elephant. But the job got done, which is what you could say about every other job Dr. Miller has attempted in his life. After getting his B.S. degree in Animal Husbandry from the University of Arizona in 1951, a stint in the service, and acquiring his D.V.M. from Colorado State in 1956, Dr. Miller settled in Thousand Oaks, California, where he founded a 500 square foot hole-in-the-wall pet clinic. That’s where I first heard of him, for I lived half an hour away from his Conejo Valley Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Miller had picked his location wisely for he was close enough to the Hollywood community that they brought him all sorts of star attractions, of the animal variety. He was also close to a compound of circus animals, which is one of the places where I first fell in love with animals. He was their go-to guy. But more importantly, at least so far as Dr. Miller was concerned, it was horse country and there’s never been an animal that captured Dr. Miller’s fancy as much as the horse. What started out as a little 500-squarefoot pet clinic a half century ago turned into a 12-doctor group with a beautiful new animal hospital that won the Veterinary Economics Hospital of the Year award. Dr. Miller was the founder and Chief-of-Staff in 1987 when he quit at the top of his game. He left the hospital in good hands with his partner, a man named Dr. Kind, and if ever there was a better name for a vet I have yet to hear it. Why, after 31 years and a worldwide reputation as a renowned veterinarian and an expert in ethology (the study of animal behavior) did Dr. Miller just up and quit? As is usually the case, Dr. Miller quit because he got caught in a love triangle. Oh, it’s not what you think, Dr. Miller is a onewoman guy. It was for the love of the horse that Dr. Miller walked away from one of the very best animal clinics in the country. According to Dr. Miller, he left his practice in 1987 in order to devote himself fully to encouraging the revolution in horsemanship, best known today as “Natural Horsemanship.” He wanted to write and teach and spread the message that you don’t have to “break” a wild horse. You may have heard about Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt and how they started the revolution in horsemanship that began in the Western United States in the late 20th Century, and is now a worldwide phenomenon. To their names you can write next to them Dr. Miller’s moniker, for continued on page 12

2011 Fall Marketing Edition


he too played a major role. “I had a selfish motive,” says Dr. Miller. “I was hale and active at 60 years of age, but none of us know how long we are going to live. As a medical practitioner, I was well aware of how an unanticipated disease can abruptly and unexpectedly bring life to an end. I wanted to see the revolution in horsemanship succeed while I was still alive.” Thanks to his help, it has. Dr. Miller literally wrote the book on imprint training of the foal, for not only did Western Horseman publish Dr. Miller’s cartoons, they also published the book that taught horse lovers around the world about imprint training, which if done correctly, is the fastest, and most profound method of permanently shaping a horse’s responses and attitude. His first video, “Imprint Training on the Newborn Foal,” was produced over 25 years ago and now, thanks to Dr. Miller and his book, lectures, video, and demonstrations, imprint training is now in use all over the world. Dr. Miller has also become a mentor to natural horsemanship clinicians around the world and he has been a driving force in the movement towards better, more humane, and more effective training of horses. The whales, elephants and hummingbirds

piqued his natural curiosity but it is the horse that stole his heart. “The horse was always of greatest interest to me,” wrote Dr. Miller. “The horse is unique among all animals. No other creature born in the wild and deprived of any human contact can, in a matter of hours, be tamed and bonded to a human as quickly as can a captured mature wild mustang. It is this absolutely unique quality that endeared me to horses early in my life, when I worked with such terrified timid flighty animals and converted them within hours to trusting, willing and cooperative friends.” One of the ways Dr. Miller has spread the revolution in horsemanship is through a four-day seminar he calls Light Hands Horsemanship. Dr. Miller defines “lightness” as immediate and full response to an absolutely minimum amount of stimulus (signals). Lightness in the use of the reins, hands, seat and legs.” This year, in its fifth installment, the Light Hands seminar celebrated the ways of the California Vaquero and was held in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley at the park-like Intrepid Farms. All presenters during the event focused on a “soft approach” to training and interacting with horses. Says clinician Jon Ensign, “Light hands offers the ability to reach the


Complete Working Facilities for Cattle and Bison Heavy, rugged construction — Built to last!

National Distributor for Tru-Test Scales INFORMATION OR BROCHURES:

PEARSON’S, INC. 90 COURT ST. THEDFORD, NE 69166 308/645-2231


horse’s body through his mind; it's a greeting of sorts, a handshake of the heart." This years “Masters of Lightness” included Richard Winters who won the 2009 Road To The Horse, Sheila Varian, a member of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Ernie Morris, an artist, braider and authority on the vaquero, Rick Lamb host of the Horse Show on RFD, and Jack Brainard a legendary Texas horseman The Light Hands clinic also features a full dose of Dr. Miller in a role he has become very proficient at since leaving his vet practice. He has given over 400 lectures since 1964 to universities, veterinary associations and animal organizations on various aspects of veterinary science, horsemanship, ethology, animal behavior-shaping, and veterinary management and philosophy. He has taken his message to every continent, to South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand and has been on the editorial staff of Veterinary Medicine, Modern Veterinary Practice, Veterinary Forum, and Western Horseman and other horse magazines. By my count he has written at least seven non-cartoon books including two favorites on my bookshelf, Yes, We Treat AArdvarks, and The Passion for Horses & Artistic Talent: An Unrecognized Connection, in which he presents convincing evidence that there’s a genetic factor in some people that leads them to make horses a central theme in their lives, and that this genetic factor is also linked to artistic talent. As if that’s not enough, Dr. Miller has done four books of his funny cartoons, has produced seven videos, with more in the works, and currently has three web sites spanning his communications mini-empire. He has written over 50 scientific papers since 1959 and 350 magazine articles since 1955. No wonder I thought Robert Miller was at least five different people! In retrospect, we suppose Dr. Miller could have stayed at the vet clinic and saved and doctored thousands of animals. But we too, who also love animals, are most fortunate that he became a renowned author, speaker, cartoonist and one man advocate for the horse, thereby helping untold millions of animals. All his life has been about making life better for animals, and in the process he ended up making life better for humans too. For information regarding Dr. Miller's books and videos, or for information on his Light Hands seminars go to — by Lee Pitts Livestock Market Digest

John Falen Nevada

“There is no problem in disagreeing, as long as you just aren’t totally disagreeable.” — John Falen


ot a day goes by that John Falen doesn’t have a conversation with someone regarding a problem. The morning the Digest caught up with him, he’d started the morning at 4:00 a.m. laying out hay fields, getting ready for one of his hands to start mowing. He’d had a conference call at 6:00 a.m. with, among other participants, his daughter-in-law, noted western resource lawyer Karen Budd-Falen. After an hour and a half of points and counterpoints, he’d gone back to open up another field for mowing. His cell phone rings regularly, with updates from lawyers, advocates, ranchers, family, and neighbors. As president of the Public Lands Council, Falen is never out of touch. A banker friend once told John Falen that he got concerned when his clients got really involved in something like Farm Bureau or the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, because that time away from their business showed in their bottom line almost every time. Falen can’t help but think about his banker friend’s warning from time to time, because the Humbolt County rancher is very involved, as past-president of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, past region VI vice president of the NCBA, current president of the Public Lands Council, and the spokesperson for the livestock industry on the issue of wild horses and burros. But Falen is a man of strong convictions, and he has to put feet to those convictions. Falen at first comes across as a soft-spoken rancher, but when he begins to speak on issues that face the western rancher, and especially the public lands rancher, it becomes obvious that he speaks from experience and a great depth of knowledge. Falen grew up on a ranch in Jordan Valley, Oregon, and first came to the vast landscape that would become his home as an order buyer. He spent more and more time in northern Nevada and decided that it would be a pretty good place to run cows. He eventually leased a ranch in Nevada, and then bought the place 34 years ago. 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

Falen and his wife, Sharon, called the Nevada ranch the Home Ranch, and raised three daughters and a son. Two of the daughters, their husbands and families, now live on the ranch and work with the Falens. Judy and Hank Kershner and Cindy and Loyd Sherburn help on the Home Ranch and the UC ranch. Daughter Johnna and her husband Tom Bruhn ranch near Logan, New Mexico. Son Frank and his wife, Karen-Budd Falen, live in Cheyenne. Seven grandchildren complete the family roster. “When we get together, we have a group of people that have pretty strong opinions on things,” he noted. “Some people would say that they come by those strong opinions naturally. But it is good to know where you stand.” The Falen outfit runs about 3,200 mama cows in the high desert that they call home. They put up native grass hay and irrigated alfalfa hay, using what they need in the winter and selling the rest. Falen does all the buying of replacement cattle and the marketing, but he quickly credits his family and the 8-10 full time employees of the ranch for just picking up and keeping going. “With today’s electronics, you are never out of communication with people,” he noted. Falen’d deep concern over the direction that the ranching industry is headed prompted his involvement in the public lands issues. He has seen overzealous environmentalists spending a lot of time trying to get into ranchers pockets, and he knows that those same individuals would be pleased to put ranchers out of business. “They can do it if we lie down and don’t stand and fight for our rights,” he noted. “If we fight for our rights, and really believe in what we are doing, and ensure that we are being good stewards of the land, then our families will be on these ranches for a long, long time. It won’t be easy, but we will be here a long time.” Although Falen doesn’t have any wild horses or burros on his ranch, he works continuously to get the government to live up to the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act. As he explains the problems, “the Act said that they would maintain the horses and the number of horses in the place where they

John Falen

were. When horse numbers went over the Allotment Management Level, they would either adopt them, sell them or send them to a processing plant. But now the processing plants are sold and public pressure has kept the Bureau of Land Management from selling the horses and burros. The adoption program only adopts out 3,000 to 4,000 horses a year and they are making 8,000 to 10,000 babies a year. Right now the government is putting the extra horses in long-term holdings, paying someone close to $500 a year to keep the horses. We just want the BLM to adhere to the law and keep the horses at the numbers that they agreed upon in 1971.” The horse herd, which is multiplying at 25 percent a year, according to Falen, consumes the forage and water which were intended for cattle. Additionally, their presence and competition for resources runs off the wildlife. Half of the wild horses in the the 13 western states are in Nevada. Although the horses aren’t a problem for Falen personally, he is known as a leader who represents the public lands ranchers and the Public Lands Council with integrity and fidelity. Presently, the Public Lands Council, under Falen’s leadership, is preparing documentation to counter the Department of Interior’s claims that livestock grazing contributes little to the economy of western states. John Falen has learned the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable. The Nevada rancher always conducts himself as a gentleman, but never forsakes his passion for an industry he loves and his strong desire to see the public land rancher survive. — by Carol Wilson


Pete & Sarah Gnatkowski New Mexico


ete and Sarah Gnatkowski ranch in the shadow of Jacks Peak, New Mexico. Travelers have to cover mile after mile of rocky, rutted road to get to the HallGnatkowski ranch, but Pete and Sarah are anything but isolated. From this remote, rural ranch, the self-effacing couple has raised lambs, calves and kids, coached innumerable award-winning wool teams, and promoted sheep and wool products across the nation. The Gnatkowskis are called “salt of the earth” by their many neighbors and friends. They represent what is best in rural America, always ready to lend a hand, cook a meal, help a neighbor, or assist a youngster. And, though they didn’t really want to, they have become adept at representing themselves and their industry, responding to attacks by environmental associations and a well-meaning public that truly doesn’t understand what it takes to be the rancher who produces food and fiber for a nation. Their children, John and Callie, grew up making countless trips to Santa Fe to lobby for the sheep industry. Both modeled wool garments and fed doggied lambs from the time they could walk and talk. At one point, John began to question the productivity of testifying before the legislature, driving all over New Mexico, and the constant time and money his parents put into the defense of the sheep industry. “I asked my Dad if it all made any difference,” John remembers. “He said, ‘I don’t know, John, but it is the right thing to do.’ That made an impact on me.” Pete grew up in the sheep business. The Gnatkowski family has run approximately 1,300 Rambouillet-Columbia ewes in the high desert of south central New Mexico between Carrizozo and Corona for four generations. He left the ranch for a short time after college to work in Mexico and start a 4-H program in a neighboring county, before bringing his bride, Sarah, back to the ranch. Sarah used her nursing skills on babies, both human and ovine, and quickly learned the ranching business. The whole family tagged lambs, hunted coyotes, fixed


pipelines and chopped ice. “Mom and Dad taught us that if something were worth doing, it was worth doing right,” Callie remembers. “It doesn’t matter if it is feeding a baby lamb or testifying before a committee or fixing a busted pipeline, there is a certain way to do things. It doesn’t matter if it is a small thing or a big thing. Sometimes John and I would get into trouble for not doing something the way they thought we should. But looking back, I’m glad because there is a good way to do things. I hope we can teach my kids the same things I learned from my parents.” While raising the kids and lambs, Pete and Sarah took time for others. Pete, who is known as Mr. Wool in New Mexico, sometimes coaches three or four FFA wool teams at a time. He is the Extension Agent for Lincoln County, but will coach any 4-H or FFA team which is willing to learn. But youth aren’t all that benefit from the Gnatkowski’s extensive knowledge of the industry. Pete became an American Sheep Industry certified grader 15 years ago. His expertise helps make wool more attractive to buyers and brings top dollar for his fellow sheep producers. The Sheep to Shawl program at the New Mexico State Fair, which was a brainchild of Pete’s parents, is known as the most educational, consumer friendly display at the fair. Such a display took hours of organizing, ordering, carting and sorting, but Pete and Sarah were never known to be afraid of hard work. When the kids got tired, they fell asleep in their strollers or on an available wool blanket while their parents got things done for the industry. If Sheep to Shawl weren’t enough to keep them busy during state fair time, Pete has also been Wool Superintendent of the fair for years. “His expertise is second to none,” relates David Lucero, director of the Market and Development Division for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. “And he and Sarah are never afraid to get their hands dirty and pitch in to help.” One of John’s earliest memories of growing up on the ranch was the neighbors, some

Pete & Sarah Gnatkowski

from as far away as Corona and Arabella, waiting at the Gnatkowski ranch for the fog to lift so they could hunt the coyotes that had been killing the family’s sheep. Many times they would have to go home without hunting, but once in a while, the fog would lift and the day turn calm and clear so the sheep-killing predators could be hunted. “The next morning, we’d get up and ride around and look for more coyote kills,” related John. “We’d usually find one or two and then have to start over again. Sadly, the increased and persistent pressure from predators was one of the things that forced the Gnatkowski family to leave the sheep business in the 1990s. “It was obviously one of the hardest choices my family ever made,” John related. “We’d lost a lot of money. But sheep had been part of the heart and soul of my family for generations. We did all we could to make the business work, but in the end the predators were just too much for us.” Callie added, “Now they work just as hard to make the cattle a better operation. They go to seminars and buy better bulls and keep learning, always trying to make things better if they can.” But Pete and Sarah are still stockmen, and the fact that they don’t presently own sheep doesn’t mean that they aren’t still active, ardent spokespersons for the industry. They still know what sheep people need and can stand up and do a good job of communicating those needs. The commitment to doing the right thing and doing things right are twin hallmarks in Pete and Sarah’s lives. They represent the best of their profession and are truly a couple who represent the best in all of us. — by Carol Wilson Livestock Market Digest

Heather Thomas Idaho


think it’s safe to say that the livestock industry has never produced a writing machine like Heather Thomas. So far the tally is 20 books and 10,000 articles and the Salmon, Idaho, rancher/writer shows no signs of letting up. And if you don’t think 10,000 magazine articles is a lot just think back to high school when you were assigned just one term paper. Do you remember the dread and downright fear of the deadline just that one term paper caused? Now multiply that by over 10,000 and you get some idea of the absolute brilliance and ability that resides in Heather Thomas. I know the name rings a familiar bell. Pick up any publication even remotely related to livestock and there’s a good chance that there is an article by Heather in it. At last count her byline has been seen in some 255 different publications! (I didn’t even know there were that many!) Heather says that, sadly, many of these publications are gone, but therein lies another astonishing fact about Heather’s career: as the Internet and the economy have made the publishing industry one of the worst business to be in, her career seems to only gain in strength. Good editorial content is a common denominator of the publications that do remain in business and “good editorial and content” and the words “Heather Thomas” should be listed in Roget’s Thesaurus as synonyms. You can’t write 20 books and 10,000 articles without starting your career early in life, and certainly Heather did. While most of the adolescent girls were studying boys and the proper use of makeup, Heather had more of a deep abiding love for horses and cattle. And she felt a need for sharing that affection with others. “When I was in grade school,” says Heather, “I wrote stories about horses and other animals, just for fun. When I was in 7th grade (1957) my dad (a Methodist minister) sent one of my stories to our church’s national Sunday School paper and it was published in November 1958 — and I received a check for $10. I was hooked! I discovered that I could actually earn money doing something I enjoyed.” After that she sold numerous horse stories to several children’s magazines like Highlights for Children, Golden Magazine, 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

Original Health Food (1984). We don’t want to give the impression that Heather never enrolled in the study of boys: in 1966 she married a local boy, Lynn Thomas, who grew up on a ranch on the other side of town. “He was a year ahead of me in school,” recalls Heather, “but it’s a small school/small town, and we sort of knew each other in high school. My dad bought a horse from him.” Evidently the horse deal turned out okay because the two eventually married and then started trying to explore ways in which to make their shared dream come true: to become ranchers. “We put together three little ranches that by themselves were not big enough to make a living on, and made it work, running 170 to 185 cows, utilizing BLM range for summer pasture.” It’s not hugely productive country, some might call their place a “starve-out outfit,” but the pair eventually was able to put together a herd of fertile, hardy crossbred cows that could thrive on marginal land. Like most ranchers they succeeded partly because the wife had a job in town. Only Heather didn’t have to make a long commute. She just woke up and started writing. “After I was married and my husband and I were raising cattle,” says Heather, “I started writing for more ag publications — partly because we needed the money and partly because of my passion to share our experiences and the things we were learning about raising cattle. Even though we both grew up on ranches, we learned a LOT more — often the hard way — after we started raising cattle on our own.” Heather’s writing came at a good time for this humble reporter. Although I’d raised a few cattle and had a degree in animal sci-

Jack and Jill — mainly informative pieces about horses, breeds of horses and horse terminology. In high school Heather decided to step it up a notch. “My first article for an ag magazine was about our 4-H horse club (the first one in Idaho), called the 5-H Wranglers. I sent it to Farm Journal in December 1959 and they bought it for $100 (an enormous sum in those days, to a 10th grader!) and it was published in May, 1961, under the title, “Like Horses? Start a 5-H Club”, with me and my yearling filly on the cover.” Stop the presses! We’re talking about the Farm Journal folks! Just the biggest and most respected name in journalism back then. And the teenager from Idaho not only had a feature story in the magazine but was also featured on the cover! To anyone who makes their living as a writer that’s like hitting a home run in your first at bat with the New York Yankees! While still in high school, no less. After that, Heather sent a few more articles to Farm Journal and started writing for other ag publications. At first it was mostly horse related articles and then, as she gained in confidence, she started submitting articles on cattle care, for which she is probably most well known. Her first book was written in 1964 during the summer between her sophomore and junior year of college and some of her more recent books include Cattle Health Handbook (2009), Essential Guide to Calving (2008), Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses (new edition 2009), Storey’s Guide to Training Horses (new edition 2010), Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle (new Heather Thomas edition 2009), Stable Smarts (2005), Getting Started With Beef and Dairy Cattle (2005), The Horse Conformation Handbook (2005), Understanding Equine Hoof Care (2006) Care and Management of Horses (2004). Grateful cattlemen and cattlewomen will remember an older book of Heather’s called Red Meat: The

continued on page 16


ence with advanced studies in Australia, that doesn’t adequately prepare you to become a real rancher. Over the years I had a lot of questions I felt too embarrassed to ask and nine times out of ten I found the answers in one of Heather’s articles. Heather is such a great writer because she’s been there, done that. “One of my goals, she says, “has been to learn all I can about horses and cattle — to care for them as best I can and keep them healthy —and then share that knowledge with others.” Heather has the rare ability to take complicated diseases or procedures and make them simple. Her secret? “I think any topic can be made more palatable by simple English and fewer big words. I have a simple mind myself. I figure that if I can write something in terms that I can easily understand, then probably my readers can understand it, too. I often consider myself a “translator” or intermediary between the veterinary/medical terminology/language and the average lay reader who prefers simple words. No one wants to have to use a dictionary when reading an article!” Heather never suffers from writer’s block but if an editor assigns her to write an article that doesn’t directly apply to livestock or horses her mind rebels a little. But that does-


n’t mean the editor doesn’t receive more than what he asked for. I became a huge fan of Heather’s writing years ago. Other than the Digest, the first publication to ever carry my weekly column was a great newspaper out of Canada called Grainews. One of the reasons that I loved the paper so much was that they sent me a free subscription and once a month I got to read a diary of what was happening on Heather and her husband’s ranch, the goings-on in her life and all the animals they raised. And every one of those animals had a name! Even when they were having 185 calves per year every animal was named! There was Kachoozy, Clariberry, Nick Nack Paddy Whack Jack and Sophocles. The cow Jill had Jillie and Jillie had Chillie, Millie, Willie, Woolly and Wally. “Cherry Dumpling had Cherry Pie, Cupcake, Cinnamon Roll and Cookie Monster. Melody had Operetta, Mandolynne and Banjo. Bobbie had Bibbidy, Bobbidy and Boo. Flibberty had Gibbit. Big Kat had Little Kat, Kat’s Pajamas and Little Cat Panther. Star Face had Starlight, who had Orion, Twinkle, and Star Bright, who had Starsky. Buffalo Girl had Buffalo Chips, Buffalo Billy, Buffalo Jack and Buffalo Baby. You get the picture. And readers related


Made of Solid Brass For more information on our electric dehorners and other livestock branding equipment, please write, call or visit our website listed below.

This super cold brander, when applied to an animal, turns the hair white or colorless in the design of the brand, making it easily read from any distance. Numbers available in 1" thru 6" size. Most custom designs available.

L-H BRANDING IRONS P.O. Box 639 • Mandan, ND 58554 • 800/437-8068

to her stories. As I recall, Grainnews conducted a survey and found that the most favorite thing in their paper was Heather’s diary. And keep in mind this was a huge paper with countless columnists. During the course of writing her diary an event occurred that deeply impacted Heather and everyone who read about it. I know it still sticks in my mind. There was a fire. It occurred on the night of July 5, 2000, and was started by fireworks on a friend’s place. “The friend’s dog grabbed a rocket as it was lit, and it went the wrong direction and ignited dry grass and sagebrush on a mountainside,” says Heather. In an attempt to put out the fire Heather’s daughter, Andrea, and a friend took a crawler tractor up the steep mountain to try to create a fire line. The wind changed and trapped them and the only way out was back through the blaze. Andrea was severely burned and ended up with very serious impairments, such as the thickening, contracting scar tissue from the skin grafts. “She also has serious lung damage from the pneumonia that nearly killed her in the burn ICU,” says Heather, “along with circulatory problems; the burns were so deep that they destroyed flesh (and blood vessels) as well as skin, and some blood vessels eventually rerouted [the body is amazing! Some veins became arteries] so she has a few arteries right under the grafted skin, that are easily nicked. She endures constant pain and continues to have surgery to this day. Recalls Heather, “A whole bunch of miracles lined up just right or she would not have survived long enough to be flown to Salt Lake. Andrea has endured it all with a very strong spirit and she continues on with her life with cheerful enthusiasm, taking care of her kids and helping other people. Very few people realize what she endures.” Perhaps for her own therapy Heather wrote a book about the entire experience. “I felt compelled to share our story, in hopes that it might encourage and inspire other people who are suddenly facing a traumatic detour in life.” The book is titled Beyond the Flames: A Family Touched by Fire. It was published by Oak Tree Press in 2004 and in many ways is her best work as a writer. These past 10 years Heather says that she and Lynn have slowed down a bit. “We no longer lease the extra ground, and we’re letting our son and his wife use part of our ranch and the range; we cut down our cattle numbers to allow them to build up their herd.” Her passion is still horses and cattle continued on page 31


Livestock Market Digest

Jack Gilstrap Colorado


s a young man, Jack Gilstrap dreamed of becoming a cowboy. A lifetime of hard work made that dream come true for the Branson, Colorado, cowman and proprietor of Jack’s Ranch Supply in Branson, where he sold Pearson Livestock Equipment across New Mexico and Colorado for many years. Born in Mountainburg, Arkansas, Jack and his family moved to Branson in 1932 after selling their farm near Cunningham, Kansas. The family, including 13-year-old Jack and four brothers made the three-week trip in spring wagons, choosing Branson for both the opportunity for a fresh start and because they had family in the area. It was not always an easy life for the young Gilstraps, who lost their mother when Jack was seven years old. “They came here without much,” said his son, Terry. “I remember him talking about one of the houses they lived in as a kid being built on top of a den of rattlesnakes. They spent quite a bit of time getting rid of those snakes.” Jack was a member of the Branson High School basketball team for four years, graduating in 1937. He and his wife, Branson native Dorothy Deane Louden, then moved to Trinidad where Jack went to work delivering Dr. Pepper. “Dad still likes Dr. Pepper,” Terry said. The couple didn’t really like living in town, and Dorothy’s father, R.D. Louden, needed help running the ranch, so in 1940, Jack and Dorothy and their two young sons moved back to Branson to stay.”I am thankful for the turn that their lives took,” Terry said. “We were fortunate to be able to grow up on the family ranch.” Like many in the ranching business, Jack needed a second income to make things work. Before he started handling the livestock equipment, he sold petroleum products, like commercial greases and lubricants, for Southwest Petroleum Corporation in Ft. Worth, Texas. “Dad liked selling. He wasn’t a high-pressure salesman. He just got along with people, thought the products were good, and could move them,” said his son Larry. 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

Jack is long-time member and supporter of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association (NMCGA), the Southern Colorado Livestock Association (SCLA), his local Soil and Water Conservation District and the Las Animas County Livestock Association, and was awarded lifetime memberships to both the CCA and SCLA. For many years, he provided a Pearson chute to the winner of the CCA and NMCGA membership contests. In fact, the last chute delivered by Jack’s Ranch Supply, which the family closed down this year, went to the winner of the CCA’s membership contest. As a Pearson’s dealer, Jack spent quite a bit of time on the road, attending fairs, conventions, stock shows, and other events. “He worked so hard, and traveled so much, that he wasn’t as involved with us as kids as some people are, but he instilled a strong work ethic and gave us a good start in life,” Larry said. “He was out on his own at an early age, and has always been a hard worker,” he continued. “When he was home, he was always working on the ranch — fixing fence or working cattle.” The family also found time for fun, and for Jack to share his love of fishing with the family with an annual fishing trip to the Conejos Valley every August. Jack and Dorothy attended church every Sunday they could, and raised their family with religion as an important part of their lives. Jack also helped with maintenance at a local church camp, Camp Salvation. Today, Jack, son Larry and his wife Nora, and son Terry live on the family ranch east of Branson, which has been in the family for over 100 years. Larry manages the cattle, while Terry lives with and cares for his father. The Gilstraps run a commercial Black Angus cattle operation, calving in May and selling the calves as long yearlings the following September. They do very little supplemental feeding, and calving in May lets him avoid feeding the cows through the winter — although they do feed hay in heavy snows. Calves are marketed through Superi-

Jack Gilstrap

or Livestock Auction, which allows the Gilstraps to sell their calves from home and gives them more marketing options. The ranch, which includes plains, mesa and canyon country in southern Colorado, has been a family operation since it was established by Dorothy’s father in 1908. Over the years, the family tried several different breeds, including Charolais, Hereford, Simmental and Gelbvieh. In 1982, Jack and Larry split the ranch with an uncle and cousin, forming JL Cattle Company, a father/son partnership. In 2007, JL Cattle Company received the CCA’s Outstanding Commercial Producer Award. Since 1982, the Gilstraps have run Angus cattle. That decision was based on economics, Larry said. “Mainly, the blackhided cattle sell better than anything else. They also have good marbling, and a higher percentage of the carcasses grade choice.” The Gilstraps used artificial insemination (AI) on their cattle for several years, and sold some club calves, but got out of that market in the early 1990s. “That market is kind of fickle,” Larry explained. Jack’s legacy — including a love of the land, dedication to the industry, faith, and hard work — lives on in the next generations of his family. He and Dorothy, who passed away in May, raised six children on the ranch, J.R., deceased; Larry; Zita Coombs, Rifle, Colorado; Jane Jacobsen, Eaton, Colorado; Cheri Ruark, Rifle; and Terry. They are the proud grandparents of twelve, and great-grandparents of eight. — by Callie Gnakowski-Gibson


Soreide Charolais North Dakota


he Soreide family has been ranching northwest of Bowman, N. Dak. for 100 years, now working on the 5th generation. Jay and Lynn Soreide are currently involved with the ranch, along with their daughter Joy and son-in-law Zach Kinsey and their three young children. “My grandfather homesteaded this place, and we’ve had Charolais cattle since my dad bought our first Charolais bulls in 1962,” says Jay. “My dad and his father ran Shorthorns. Dad saw what crossbred calves were doing in the early 1960s and bought a Charolais bull to put on his Shorthorn cows. This made an excellent cross. Shorthorn cattle had a lot of milk, and produced big buckskin calves — similar to the red Angus/ Charolais cross today,” he says. “We bought our first registered cattle in 1978. Today we run about 250 registered females, with a bull sale in January. We’ve had production sales here on the ranch since 1984 and sell about 65 yearling bulls every year,” says Jay. About 90 percent go to return customers. Bulls are semen tested and guaranteed, sold in January and delivered in April. “Our customers appreciate this and so do we, because January isn’t a good month to deliver bulls,” he says. Their customers appreciate having the bulls fed and taken care of until closer to turn-out time. “We learned years ago when we started this program that we can develop these bulls for another 60 days and deliver them, and eliminate a lot of returns. The bulls can have the same conditions and rations until they’re semen tested. By the first part of April there’s green grass coming, and the bulls are more ready to go to work. If there are any problems during this stage they can be taken care of,” he explains. “Most people appreciate the delivery, and this is one of the best services we can do because it puts us on the customer’s ranch. We can drive into the yard and have a cup of coffee and visit. Many people have been buying bulls from us for 25 years, and if they’re busy they don’t have to be there; we know where to put the bull. We are familiar with their places and their operation,” says Jay. If a customer has a problem and comes


up short a bull, they can always call. “We usually have a few bulls left and can bring one immediately. It’s nice to sell all your bulls early, but if a customer has a problem then you’d have to give him a check or help him find another bull,” he says. “Last year a customer called at 8:30 in the morning with a bull problem and by 2:00 p.m. we had another bull in his yard. He lives 70 miles west, but we just took care of it. Customers are the backbone of our operation. Many of them are our best friends because we’ve known them for 25 or 30 years.” Their ranch is semi-arid short grass country. “Our cattle run on native and tame grass pastures during summer, and crop residues in winter. We farm a little — and also run a feedlot.” They feed their own calves and custom-feed calves for other ranchers, including some of their bull customers. They also purchase some of those calves to feed. This gives customers options for marketing their calves and provides data about feed efficiency from their bulls’ progeny. “We don’t fatten and finish calves; we just background them. We feed so many of our own that we decided we’d just as well feed somebody else’s at the same time. We grow most of our own feed; all the roughages are raised here on the ranch. We have some good farm ground, but it’s used for growing cattle feed. Most people in our area grow wheat to combine, but we plant corn, barley or something else that cattle will eat. Everything we grow is marketed through our animals. We purchase some grain from a neighbor, but otherwise our program is self contained,” says Jay. He doesn’t use much commercial fertilizer since the ranch produces plenty of natural fertilizer from the feedlot. “We’re also experimenting with cover crops on the cropland, to increase soil fertility and beneficial bugs in the soil, etc. so we have more grazing in the fall,” he explains. Winter weather varies from year to year. “We have some nice open winters where it doesn’t get below zero, and some winters with 10 days of 20 below. We have to be

Lynn and Jay Soreide

prepared for whatever Mother Nature gives us. We’ve had tremendous snowstorms the last few years and had to deal with that, and we’ve also had winters where the ground was barely covered.” The cows start calving about the 20th of February. “February is usually our best month for weather. Traditionally mid-March in this country isn’t very good, and we get some really cold weather in late March, with a lot of wind. We have calving barns and are prepared for whatever comes. We’re set up for it and don’t try to outsmart Mother Nature,” says Jay. Their breeding program emphasizes calving ease and maternal growth. “We try to get as much growth as we can, in our environment. We breed for the environment we have, rather than try to supplement.” The cows are matched to where they have to work. “We’re not afraid to sell open cows. If a cow is open this means something wasn’t working. We don’t supplement cows out on the prairie and we don’t creep feed. We expect cows to bring in 7-weight calves, born in February and weaned in September. They have to do it like they would in customers’ herds. I see purebred breeders buying high-powered feed and mineral to get cattle bred, but in the long run it hurts their customers. Our cows have to run under commercial conditions. It’s just that simple. If they come up open, we send them down the road and don’t give them any excuse.” All females are ultrasounded for pregnancy and calving dates. “We also use ultrasound for carcass data on our bulls. We use all the modern technology we can, and were one of the first breeders in North Dakota to use ultrasound. Ultrasound carcass data is hard for many commercial people to understand, but it gives them another tool to look at,” says Jay. The Soreides are looking forward to their 29th bull sale in January and excited about the fifth generation of their family coming up. — by Heather Smith Thomas Livestock Market Digest

Livestock Board of Trade Missouri


ne of the biggest livestock news stories thus far in the 21st century is the default and bankruptcy of Eastern Livestock. It was big because they were the largest order buyer of cattle in the country. When GIPSA and the Packers and Stockyards Administration finally got around to shutting Eastern down, the company owned more than $130 million to 743 sellers of cattle in 30 states from one end of this country to the other. Those 743 sellers alone received $81 million in worthless checks issued on Eastern’s account in just one week in November. From the outside looking in, Eastern appeared to be a robust company and on a roll, being the biggest buyer of cattle on most of Superior’s video sales, and their revenue tripling during the preceding 12 months. They were also a huge country trader. In the tradition of Bernie Madoff, is was all a sham. To get the favorable financial numbers Eastern had been trading with itself . . . kiting checks so its money movement looked like it was at least three times the true volume. Eventually even the banks caught on, and that’s when the collapse came. Ranchers weren’t the only ones staring at a cash crunch. Even though Eastern didn’t pay the auctions for many of the cattle they bought, those auction market owners dug deep into to their pockets to get everyone paid. It’s estimated the markets were left holding about $30 million in unpaid invoices and much to their credit, to the best of our knowledge not one customer of an auction market lost a dime due to Eastern’s failure to pay the markets for the cattle they bought, but never paid for. The auction markets are now in a long line of creditors to try and get the money owed them. And due to the other Golden Rule, the one that states, “He with the most gold makes the rules,” far too often they are in the back of the line, and the bankers (who deserve a share of the blame) are in front of them. This sort of thing would happen a lot more if not for one institution that quietly goes about its business of informing the auction markets of the bad apples that lurk in the shadows of the livestock trade. That firm is the Livestock Board of Trade and we’d be willing to bet that 99 percent of ranchers 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

today either do not know who they are, or what they do. And yet anyone who buys and sells livestock owes them a big thank you and more than a few “attaboys,” or “attagirls,” since the “man” in charge happens to be a lady. While you may not have ever heard of the Livestock Board of Trade we’re sure you’ve heard of its parent company, the Livestock Marketing Association. The LMA is probably most famous for its annual World Championship Livestock Auctioneer contest and for nearly 50 years they’ve put on this annual celebration of price discovery. Or you may have heard about the LMA because of the role they play as an industry watchdog. In more ways than one! Not only does their Livestock Board of Trade help to identify the bad actors in livestock marketing, the LMA has also played a big role in keeping other industry groups in line. You may recall a few years ago when they led the referendum on the checkoff to put it to an industry vote because they saw far too much hanky-panky going on. They got the required number of signatures but the much politicized referendum was denied. Interestingly, much of what the LMA was saying back then about the checkoff is now making major headlines. The LMA was right all along. The main role of the LMA, however, is to serve over 800 livestock marketing business members from across North America. Their membership is composed of auction markets, video auctions, internet auctions, livestock dealers, order buyers, feedlots and other allied industry businesses. All their members have one thing in common: a desire to keep true price discovery alive through the auction method of selling. LMA is THE voice for the auction method of selling and gives livestock marketing businesses a strong presence in public policy, legislative and regulatory issues on Capitol Hill, and in their own back yard. In addition, LMA members have access to a valuable package of services designed to assist them in their daily business including legal assistance, industry information, custom printing, the technology of online auctions, and an array of insurance products. They are the largest insurer of auction markets in the country through their insurance

subsidiary. Another of LMA’s service companies, is the nation’s leader in providing bond coverage and designing insurance protection exclusively for livestock markets and dealers. But perhaps no endeavor they engage in is more important than the work done by one of their service companies, the Livestock Board of Trade. Needless to say, the sale of livestock is a big business with huge risk involved. The Livestock Board of Trade helps LMA members reduce this risk, and protect their interests and that of their consignors, by staying informed about the trade reputation and financial responsibility of their customers. Each full-service LMA member is allowed to contact the Board of Trade 400 times per year to ask about a potential buyer or seller. For example, when a new face shows up at an auction to buy cattle, the auction owner can contact the Board of Trade and receive vital information regarding his reputation and bank account balance. (Every inquiry over 400 costs only $35 each.) That’s good value when you consider that just one crook could cost an auction owner hundreds of thousands of dollars. Says the Vice President of the Livestock Board of Trade, Joyce English, “The role of the Board of Trade is to provide members with sound financial information about their customers, which can have a major impact on the member’s profitability”—because, she said, “never has it been so important to know your customer.” In some of the largest cattle producing states as many as 80 percent of the cattle are sold through the auction and these auctions need to know who they’re dealing with. “Inquiries are increasing,” says English, “as more members have added Internet sales to their operations. Those sales are attracting new faces to the market’s business.” Critical to the success of the Livestock Board of Trade’s success is a form that potential buyers are asked to sign called a “registration and consent form.” This form allows the Board of Trade access to crucial banking information such as, “Do they have the money in their account to pay for any cattle they may buy.” English says that she’d be wary of a buyer who refused to sign the registration and consent form but, she stressed, the Board of Trade is a business information service: it doesn’t make judgments on, or “approve,” who markets should do business with. “We gather information and report it to the members, as they request it, who must make that judgment.” continued on page 20


In the case of Eastern, in November, 2009, Livestock Marketing Association members who called the Livestock Board of Trade, Inc., wanting financial information were given Eastern’s line-of-credit balance range within $100,000 for that day. By November, 2010, the volume of inquiries about Eastern was increasing to the point, that LBT began updating Eastern’s account balance information bi-weekly. “LBT was able to provide this information because they had obtained a signed “Buyer’s Registration and Consent Form” from Eastern owner Tommy Gibson. That allowed LBT to go to his banks, obtain the information and report it to LMA members only, who choose to use the service,” says English. “Not every buyer in LBT’s library of over 106,000 files (updated with each inquiry),


makes headlines like Eastern. And that’s good news for the industry,” English said. “But this is a volatile and ever-changing industry. That’s why we constantly urge members to call us about that buyer who just walked in the door, as well as longtime buyers. Let us tell you what we know about them.” Providing customer information is only one of the services provided by LBT. They also create and help members file the tariffs required by the federal Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration; answer questions about P&S regulations, and refer members who need legal services to LMA’s legal counsel, Van Hooser & Eftink P.C. More than one auction owner has told this reporter how the LMA lawyers came to their aid and helped them immensely through the legal tangle that passes for

our judicial system these days. There’s good news and bad news with this good market we are currently enjoying: the good news is your cattle are worth more. The bad news is, the crooks know it. One other responsibility of the Board of Trade is helping to recover stolen and missing livestock. That’s done by working with state and local law enforcement officials, cattle organizations and state brand and livestock health departments. The fact that you may never have heard about the Livestock Board of Trade is a good thing because it affirms the fact that they have very quietly gone about doing their job in helping to identify the crooks and shysters who have always been attracted to the livestock business. — by Lee Pitts

Livestock Market Digest

Treasure State Quarter Horses Montana


odd and Una Ford and Ted and Barb Crowley raise versatile Quarter Horses in the Bear Paw Mountains 30 miles south of Chinook, Montana. Their horse program, Treasure State Quarter Horses, is located on a 5th generation family ranch that was started more than 100 years ago, in the late 1800’s, by Winfield Young. This has always been a working cattle operation, with a broodmare band to supply the ranch with cowhorses to do the cattle work. Today the ranch produces commercial black Angus, some black baldies, and has a registered black Angus herd in addition to the horse breeding program. Four families make their living on the ranch, including Todd and Una (and their two small children), Una’s brothers and their spouses and children, and Una’s parents Barb and Ted Crowley. The ranch is 90 percent private ground, with some additional leased pasture. Teddy and Sara Crowley run registered black Angus and their operation is called Clear Creek Angus. “Our ranch is unusual in that so many family members are here working together,” says Todd. “In this day and age there are very few ranches in which everyone sticks together and makes their living on one place. We all live on the same ranch, and we all have our own niche. We’re able to make it work for each one of our families. Una and I run the horse operation with Ted and Barb, and they also have a commercial cattle operation. Clint and his wife Jacy run a hunting operation and help with the cattle and feeding. The ranch is roughly 15,000 acres and we all need various ways to make it work, to support four families, and so far we’re accomplishing this goal,” says Todd. “The ranch has always had horses, but we started selling some in the mid 1990s. Una started the horse-breeding program with a stud she purchased with 4-H money from calves her Grandpa (Bill Young) gave her. Soon there were more than enough horses for the ranch, and we started sellingsome at auction,” he says. They became guest consigners at Weaver’s annual production sale. Some of the bloodlines in Todd and Una’s Quarter Horse breeding program 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

today hark back more than 60 years to mares that Bill Young (grandson of Winfield Young) bred and raised. “Bill was Barb’s dad, and Una’s grandfather. Everything that makes up this ranch today evolved from Bill Young. He passed the ranch to Barb and Ted, and now their three kids — Clint, Teddy and Una — got their start indirectly from their grandpa.” The broodmare band is comprised of proven ranch mares, complemented by stallions carrying today’s top performance bloodlines. Offspring are a blend of proven cowhorses and performance horses (especially barrel racing and reined cowhorses). Todd and Una currently stand three stallions — PC Mr. Sun Peppy (a son of Sun Frost), Perks Status Symbol (a son of Dash for Perks), and Paddys Shota Merada (by Paddys Irish Whiskey and out of Mollie Merada). “All three of our stallions are proven in some aspect of performance. PC Mr. Sun Peppy was a three-time futurity champion in barrels. Paddys Shota Merada was an aged event winner in cutting. Perks Status Symbol was a money winner in barrels. Now as we try to improve our broodmare band, a lot of our mares are either money winners themselves or have produced money winners in some aspect of performance,” he says. They have all proven themselves in one way or another before they go into the broodmare band. “The way the horse market is today, it’s tough to stay competitive in the horse industry if you don’t have proven horses. I think the horse market is starting to turn around a little. There’s a good market for good, older, broke ranch horses (and our weanlings), but having top pedigrees always helps. Horses that come off ranches — that have done and seen a lot of things — are sought after,” he says. These horses are all-around versatile and dependable, and know how to put in a day’s work. “We run about 35 broodmares. This year is our 16th annual production sale, the 3rd Saturday in September, selling with Weaver Quarter Horses. The sale is held in Great Falls at the Expo Park Fairgrounds,” says Todd. “We still break all our own colts and use

Todd Ford on Paddy

them for ranch work. We do the cattle work horseback. Our breeding program emphasizes versatility and disposition. Some customers find us through our website: “We try to have the best performance and ranch horse pedigrees behind our mares and stallions. We sell a lot of ranch-type horses and many go on to be winners in performance events. We want horses that are versatile — that can go out and do anything. We have a big following of clients that barrel race, but our horses aren’t specialists; they are good at a lot of things. Many of our ‘barrel horses’ have a lot of cowhorse breeding. They can do about anything you put in front of them, including ranching,” says Todd. Their ranch is definitely a traditional outfit. The broodmares foal out in the hills on grass, and the colts grow up agile — to be good using horses. “We’ve tried to improve our program with modern breeding and proven pedigrees, with emphasis on performance, speed, and natural cow sense, without sacrificing conformation and disposition,” he explains. Last year they had a tough spring, with 15 feet of snow during April and May. “We ended up losing nine colts. It was a hard year for the calving operation, too. Our creek flooded, and we lost a lot of calves in the creek,” he says. This spring was a tough one, also. In spite of these setbacks, he feels their offering for the September sale is one of their best ever. Todd and Una have two children, Maise (age 4) and Ashlyn (2 ½ years). “Maise is already horse crazy and has a pony she rides. One of her favorite things is to go out and see the mares and colts.” This little girl will soon be an active part of the horse program. Todd gives Una’s grandfather Bill Young a lot of credit for the success of the whole operation. “None of this would have been possible without him; he was the start of it all, for all four families.” — by Heather Smith Thomas


Jeff Witte New Mexico


orking with producers will be a top priority for Jeff Witte, who recently took the helm as director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) and New Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture. “It always goes back to the producers,” he said. “We have the safest, most abundant food supply in the world. Our producers are true American heroes. They feed themselves, the state, the nation and the world, and I don’t think we give them the credit they deserve.” Witte is no stranger to agriculture. Since November of 2003, he served as director of New Mexico’s Office of Agricultural BioSecurity and co-director of the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center, which has taken on the food safety and homeland security role for food and agriculture in the state of New Mexico. He grew up on his family’s cattle ranch between Santa Fe and Las Vegas on Rowe Mesa, and graduated from New Mexico State University (NMSU) with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management and master’s degree in agricultural economics and economics. He worked for the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau for seven years, first as Director of Government Affairs then took on the responsibilities of Director of Field Services, as well. In 1994, Witte was named assistant director of NMDA under then-Secretary Frank DuBois, a position he held until 2003. A desire to stay close to his roots is one reason he applied for the job. “My back-

ground, growing up on the ranch, is something special to me. I have always tried to remain involved in agriculture in some capacity, and am excited about this opportunity to have a positive influence on policy and issues impacting the industry.” Agriculture in New Mexico is a diverse industry, and Witte is optimistic about the future. “I believe that the future for agriculture in New Mexico is unlimited. We are facing some big challenges, like limited water supplies and policies that can affect the way we do business, but there are so many opportunities, like new emerging markets and new technologies.” “I am really looking forward to working with producers, which will be the fun part of the job. I want to help provide the energy and the drive to help the industry grow,” he continued. “I want to encourage youth to become more involved, to stay in agriculture, and maybe even change their focus to agriculture from another field. That’s what brought me back.” Witte’s new position is a unique one. As director of NMDA, he manages a state agency with diverse responsibilities, from regulating pesticides to developing state policy on natural resource issues to promoting New Mexico products. As Secretary of Agriculture, Witte represents agriculture on the Governor’s cabinet. “I am looking forward to working with Governor Martinez and her administration to promote agriculture and the food sector in New Mexico and the nation,” Witte said. One priority for Witte is working with

Jeff Witte (l) pictured with his family (l to r), wife, Janet; daughter, Jennifer; son, Jeremy; along with dogs Manea and Buddy.


other state agencies to make sure they understand and consider the impact of their decisions on agriculture. “We are going to be working closely with NMSU’s College of Agriculture to work towards building the agricultural sector in the state. We need to make sure everyone understands the challenges we are facing and work together to come up with the best possible solutions.” On the federal level, the 2012 Farm Bill will be a priority. “2012 will be a Farm Bill year. We will work to ensure that producers and processors in the state understand and have input into the process,” he noted. “In a state like New Mexico, where onethird of the land is owned by the Federal Government, we will be working closely with the Congressional delegation to ensure that federal policies are beneficial to New Mexico citizens,” he continued. He also plans to work closely with grassroots organizations, including the state’s 47 soil and water conservation districts and agricultural trade groups. “I want to promote a united effort that agriculture is the heart and soul of our state’s economy and infrastructure. When you look at raw commodity production, agriculture is by far the largest industry in almost all of New Mexico’s counties. On a county by county basis, agriculture is the backbone of our economy. No other type of industry has such an impact on the state’s economy on a local level.” “Agriculture is important,” he continued. “Without us, there is nobody there to protect the environment, and nobody there to provide structure for those local areas.” Input from citizens — positive or negative — is welcome, he said. “I want people to understand that I am available and accessible. This department touches the life of every citizen in the state in some form every day, whether it’s the weights and measures department, marketing products on the state, national, or international level, or petroleum inspections. The public needs to understand that we want to hear from them when they have ideas, or see something that they think is wrong.” May 16 is a good date for Witte. It was his first day as NMDA director in 2011, and his first day on the job as assistant director in 1994. And, it comes just two days after an even more important date — May 14 — the anniversary of the day he married his wife, Janet, 23 years ago. They have two children, Jeremy, 18, who will attend NMSU this fall, and Jennifer, 12. — by Callie Gnatkowski-Gibson Livestock Market Digest

The Slagowski Family

Slagowski Family



ave Slagowski, his brother Carl and Dave’s son Ira run about 900 to 1,000 cows in northeastern Nevada. Their ranch is 35 miles from the nearest town (Carlin, population 3,000), and about 50 miles from Elko. It’s been a family operation for three generations. “This is where I grew up. My parents still live on the ranch and Dad still ropes calves for us when we brand, at 95 years old,” says Dave. “This is winter country; we have to feed all winter. We try to raise all the hay we can, and usually put up about 1,100-1,200 tons. That’s usually not quite enough so we generally have to supplement it or send a few more yearlings to California to graze. It usually takes about 1,500 tons of hay per winter,” he says. Winters are cold, with sub-zero temperatures common from November through January. There’s not much snow, just cold weather. “Our summer pasture is 90 percent BLM. We run our first calf heifers on private pasture so that we can put the bulls in and take them out when we want,” says Slagowski. The range pastures are large. The range is 35 miles from one end to the other, and about 16 miles across. “During summer the cattle are on their own out there because we’re busy putting up hay. We are fortunate to have live water in those pastures (mountain creeks and live springs). We’ve developed most of the springs and pipe them into troughs. A small trickle can water a lot of cows. These springs have held up well during the dry years and we’ve never had a problem with water — and we’ve been here since 1942. When the cattle are on the range there’s not much to worry about because these are fenced allotments,” he says. There are many miles of fence to maintain. “Then the first of September we’re horseback until the first of December, just about 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

every day. We take our bulls out in September. Our calving season is four months. We want the bulls out after that. It takes a lot of riding to gather all the bulls,” he says. The bulls are replaced every four years. “We don’t run any bull longer than four years, and a lot of them don’t make it that long. Not keeping any bull longer than four years helps reduce the problems with trich. We use younger bulls and get them out of the cows — keeping them away from the cows for eight months, and that also helps,” he explains. The ranch uses registered Angus bulls. They used to run both Hereford and Angus bulls but eventually started using just Angus. The calves are weaned in September, out on the various allotments, with portable panels. The cattle are gathered into portable corrals, the calves are loaded into trailers, and brought home to green meadows. “After we put up the hay we get water back on those meadows and the regrowth is lush and green for the newly weaned calves. This has worked out very well for us,” says Slagowski. The cows stay on the range. Their range consists of mature grasses and sagebrush. The east side allotment also has juniper and some piñon pine. “We keep working the cattle down into lower parts of the valley, into crested wheat seedings, as we go into winter. By the first of December we have them in these lower pastures. Then if weather gets nasty we can feed them. But generally they rough through on native grass pastures in the bottom country. We keep the cattle off those pastures in summer and save them for winter pasture where we can give the cows about a pound of cottonseed per day through November until about mid-January, letting them graze as long as they can. Then we start feeding hay — and they start calving about the first of March,” he explains.

April 10 is the earliest they can turn out on BLM pastures. “From April 10 until early May we are hauling cattle out to the range. It’s too far to trail them with baby calves. We have all the calves branded when we turn out. Years ago we’d turn out and then try to brand later, through June, and that was pretty hectic. We also started having trouble with enterotoxemia in the young calves, so we now get the vaccine into them (and brand them) sooner.” In years past they did more riding and trailing cattle, but today it’s more efficient to haul the cattle. “When I was a kid we put in lots of miles horseback, and we had more horses. Now we have fewer horses, and we get more done just hauling the cattle. This is how we gather the bulls, too. We select for disposition, and all the bulls are pretty easy to handle. We can take a trailer about 10 miles into an allotment where we have good access, and a couple guys horseback can gather and load two or three bulls right into the trailer and haul them home. The bulls are used to being hauled and are pretty accommodating. Once in awhile there’s an exception, but usually in two or three hours we can get a lot accomplished,” says Slagowski. “For the past 25 years we’ve been trucking our calves to California by the first of December, to go on grass. We sell them in June and early July. Now we just send the steers and keep the heifers here. We spay some of them and run them here. The calves are all sold as yearlings — at about 900 pounds. The only exception might be if we have a truckload more than we have hay for, we may send them to market rather than buy hay to feed them,” he says. Efficiency is the name of the game, and these ranchers have figured out as many ways possible to improve their efficiency. — by Heather Smith Thomas


Schohr Herefords California


his family ranching operation has been producing cattle for more than 100 years near Gridley, California. Steven Schohr, fifth generation, says his great-great grandfather J. W. Browning purchased the present ranch in 1910. Currently, Steven’s young son (Joseph, 3 years old) makes the sixth generation in this historic cattle operation. In 1935, Steven’s great-grandmother Elna Browning Schohr inherited the operation from her father, and raised 11 children on the ranch. Doug Schohr, the youngest, is Steven’s grandfather, and along with his sons Carl, Jim and Bill was instrumental in starting a purebred Hereford program. “My brother Ryan and his wife Holly, my sister Tracy, and myself and my wife Melissa are very involved with the ranch, with help and lots of support from other family members,” says Steven. It has always been a family business, operated as a rice and cattle ranch. The ranch also produces olive oil from trees planted nearly a century ago. They have also been growing rice for nearly 100 years. Brownings and Schohrs raised commercial Herefords, black baldies, Shorthorn and Angus. It was sometimes difficult to find good Hereford bulls, and this eventually led to breeding purebred cattle to produce their own bulls. A herd bull was purchased from Chandler Herefords in Baker, Oregon. In 1973 when cattle prices were high, the commercial herd of 400 cows was dispersed, and Schohrs kept only the registered Herefords. With fewer cows to care for, thousands of acres of the farm were leveled and water infrastructure developed, to grow more rice. At the peak of the operation, they were farming nearly 8,000 acres of rice. In 1989 Steven started his first 4-H project with a steer and two heifers. With money from his first 4-H steer he bought his first registered heifer. “That heifer became a productive cow in our herd, until the age of 15, and had three sets of twins,” says Steven. “We currently run about 125 registered cows and 30 recip females for embryo transfers. About 100 of the registered cows calve in the spring and the rest in the fall, to produce bulls for customers who want 2-year-olds,” he says. “In 1993 we purchased TS Masterplan 1T33 (Spot) from Shaw Herefords. He was the leading bull at the Northwest Test Sale. This bull produced high quality females and sired some of the top bulls at the Heritage Bull sale for several years in the late 1990s,” says Steven. Over the years, the old bloodlines were sold, and top females were purchased at the American Royal and Reno Nugget Sale. “We added some new herd bulls, including MH Dakota 0230. His calves have been excellent performers, which kept commercial cattlemen coming back year after year for more. That bull’s daughters became the backbone of our cow herd,” says Steven. To further improve the herd with outside genetics, artificial insemination has been used, dating back to 1993 when Steven learned how to AI, at age 13. “We’ve also used embryo transfer to improve the quality of our cattle,” he says. Bull calves are taken at weaning to Snyder Livestock in Yerrington, Nevada for feeding and developing. Schohrs pride themselves on cattle with good feet and legs and lots of muscle — the kind of cattle their commercial buyers demand. The bulls have traditionally been marketed at consignment sales around the state, including the


Schohr Family

Breeder’s Choice sale in Oakdale, Bulls for the 21st Century in Yerington, Nevada, Heritage sale, Shasta, Reno, Red Bluff, Galt and Klammath bull sales, and many are sold private treaty. “Starting this year, we’ll have our own production sale and market 30 to 50 Hereford bulls and 30 or 40 Angus bulls. The first annual sale will be held at the Cattleman’s Livestock Market at Galt, on the 3rd Sunday in October and we will call it BullFest,” says Steven. “We’ll have several guest consigners, including a good partner of mine, Daron Spears, who helped us get some really good donor cows. One was the reserve Grand Champion female at the Western Nugget National Show in Reno in 2009. That cow, in early February 2011 was Champion Polled Female at the 2011 Fort Worth Stock Show,” says Steven. The Schohrs are starting to include some polled genetics in their herd. “Another heifer we purchased for a donor cow prospect was Reserve Champion female at the 2010 Western Nugget National Show. With the addition of new donor cows and more females, we plan to start an internet heifer sale this fall,” he says. For the past several years Steven has been a director for the California-Nevada Hereford Association. He was selected by the California Hereford Breeders to serve as a delegate to the American Hereford Association Annual Meeting. Steven also serves on the California Beef Cattle Improvement Association board of directors, and as a director on the Western Nugget National Hereford Show and Sale Committee. “I have to thank my entire family; they step in for me with the rice production on our ranch, when the cattle take me away,” says Steven. Steven’s wife Melissa is also a big help with the cattle operation. “She has been a major part of our team, as well as the driving force behind the show cattle. She is the one who feeds, rinses, blows and works their hair while I am busy in the rice,” says Steven. “We do a lot of showing, but the basis of this herd was always to produce good cattle for the commercial breeders. Our focus is to raise bulls that will go out and do the work. If we can make show animals out of some of these cattle, we take them to town, but that’s not our first goal,” he explains. The focus is to raise cattle that will help improve the commercial cattle. “That’s Grandpa’s rule. The showing is fun and we enjoy it, but it doesn’t pay the bills. It’s our recreation and enjoyment. We’ve had the opportunity to meet great people and travel the country.” He looks forward to having the sixth generation take part in the operation. Steven is grateful for the help of his parent, grandparents (who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in January 2011), brother and sister, and his wife Melissa. It’s always a team effort. — by Heather Smith Thomas Livestock Market Digest

Monroe Magnuson Utah


hi West Cattle is a family operation near Castle Dale in southeastern Utah. Monroe Magnuson is a fourth generation rancher. “My parents started buying this place when they were first married. My father died when I was 5, and my mother kept it going until my brother and I were old enough to ranch.” His parents had Herefords. “My grandfather — my mother’s father — had one of the biggest cattle operations here. He had a range operation, running on the desert in winter and in the mountains during summer. He went to Arizona and bought Brahma bulls to put on the Hereford cows, back when that was taboo. Even though he got docked on the calves because of the ear and being crossbred, he made more money (due to hybrid vigor and extra gain). This is where we got first-hand experience to see that the crossbred or composite would really work,” says Magnuson. “When I was in junior high and high school, my mother (Ina Lee Magnuson) was on the local junior livestock show committee. Our show was open to anybody in Utah, and it had been years since anyone local had won it, so we started showing. We had a few Hereford-Brahma crosses at that time and those didn’t make good show steers, even though we tried. So we bought a few steers and heifers, and started raising our own club calves. That’s how we got into Chiangus.” He showed the heifers, then breed them to

raise more club calves. “After I left college I started my own club calf sale called the Style in the Rockies (in Ogden, Utah) and we sold a lot of show steers. Over the years I shifted into seedstock and became a sale manager for that sale. My main focus now is on the cowherd and selling bulls and a few show heifer prospects.” He has two breeds — Chiangus and Angus. With everything that’s going on in Angus right now, he’s a little leery about the purebred Angus business. Composites have a lot going for them. “When I look at the age and productivity of my cowherd, even though it’s easier to sell Angus bulls, on the female side the Chiangus cows walk all over the Angus, especially in longevity and as range cattle,” he says. “We’re a cow-calf operation and run on BLM winter range from October through January, and Forest Service permits for summer (June to October). We raise seedstock, but in a commercial way,” he says. “The Chiangus bulls are now well accepted, but it took awhile. When we sold bulls by private treaty, many people called about Angus bulls. When they got here to look at the Angus bulls, they couldn’t get past the Chiangus,” he says. Those bulls were more impressive than the straight Angus. He served two terms on the board of the American Chiangus Association. “The Association had feedlot and carcass data to prove the profitability of the Chi and Chiangus crosses as both feedlot and maternal cattle, but it was hard to get our message out to the cattle industry. The ACA is a small association and it’s hard to compete with the deep pockets of some of the major associations,” he says. “Chiangus are not universally accepted yet, Monroe Magnuson

but once people use one of these bulls, they’re sold on this composite. Most of our customers run cattle on range. Once in awhile we have a bull that’s special and we send him to the Midwest or syndicate him, but our main customers are ranchers who need good bulls,” says Magnuson. This is desert range country and cattle have to be functional and efficient. “This country wasn’t meant to be farmed. The best way to use it is with livestock. We farmed for years, but now I seldom put up any hay. I can buy a lot of hay (even when it’s expensive) for what the equipment and interest on it would cost to farm the kind of crops we grow here. Our ranch is mostly pasture.” He’s been moving from winter to spring calving. “We used to calve in January, then February. We started looking at data and realized March and April calves were as big in the fall as the February calves, so why bother with cold weather. I am slowly moving them back a few weeks each year,” he says. He runs part of his cows on public range shared with eight other ranchers. “I try to have everything bred before they go out the 10th of June. I synchronize and AI everything that’s at least 45 days post partum, then turn the herd bull in, and wait one heat cycle before we go to summer range,” he says. Running on range like commercial cattle, these cows have to prove themselves, and Magnuson tries to keep improving them. “It’s interesting how much the cattle have changed from when we quit showing and started raising more functional cattle that fit their environment.” He feels the best way to judge cattle is through the ears of a horse — following them through rugged country. “The important thing is making sure they fit their environment. The frustrating thing about that — even though we can collect all the data we want — is that it’s often years before we really know whether our analysis was right or wrong,” he says. “Years ago a well-known sheep breeder told me that Mother Nature will tell us when we’ve gone too far. Our environment gives us the constraints within which we have to function.” He sells bulls with two other breeders. Their sale, the Quest of the West Bull and Horse Sale, is held in Spanish Fork, Utah. Barker Cattle Company (Elba, Idaho) and Circle Four Simmental (Castle Dale, Utah) join with Magnuson to sell 100 bulls. Magnuson and Brock Truman also host an invicontinued on page 32

2011 Fall Marketing Edition


Heartbrand and Akaushi Cattle Texas Akauski Bull


he word Akaushi means red cow, in Japanese. Bubba Bain, Executive Director of the American Akaushi Association says this breed has been in existence for more than 150 years and is a national treasure in Japan, but only recently introduced to the U.S. Dr. Antonio Calles had the vision to bring Akaushi cattle to the U.S. in 1994. “He saw that the Japanese were extremely healthy. They don’t have problems with obesity or coronary heart disease like we do. He wondered what they were doing different. The Japanese eat fish, but also consume a lot of beef. Dr. Calles started researching this, because the Japanese had never done any studies on health aspects of beef. They had no reason to — since they didn’t have any health problems. But Dr. Calles did, and he began doing investigative research on his own, at Washington State University,” says Bain. “Dr. Calles found that meat from these animals had an abundance of oleic acid and mono-unsaturated fats. He imported 11 animals (8 cows and 3 bulls) to the U.S. so he could build a herd and do more research,” says Bain. Many of the cattle are now located at Harwood, in south Texas. “HeartBrand beef is the owner and in charge of the beef operation. HeartBrand sells cattle to other breeders and new members have now joined our breed association,” says Bain. “We started the Akaushi association in early 2010. We already had our branded meat programs established through USDA. Our members can utilize these programs to create premiums for the offspring and harvested carcasses,” says Bain. Akaushi is known for consistent, tender, flavorful, juicy, highly marbled meat. “Even though the end product is important, this breed has not sacrificed other important traits such as reproduction and performance. We have an animal that will put a good calf on the ground, give good weaning weight,


yearling weight, efficiency in the feed yard, and grade and yield well on carcasses — and give consistent excellent cuts of meat.” “Carcasses on fullblood cattle are highly marbled and prime or prime-plus,” says Bain. “We also have a lot of data on halfblood carcasses, since we’ve bred a lot of fullblood bulls to other breeds. They cross extremely well with all breeds. We can double the grade and improve the yield on any breed we put Akaushi on.” Bill Fielding is CEO of Heart BrandBeef. His background is in the packing and feedlot industry. “I was with Cargill for 26 years and president of Excel, the meat-packing part of their business. I ran their worldwide beef, pork and poultry operation. After I left Cargill I was president of that part of Swift’s business for two years, with ConAgra, and then president of Farmland’s meat business. I’ve had a lot of experience looking at different breeds of cattle. When I was at Excel we were the first major packer to do Certified Angus, and started a program called Sterling Silver to identify the upper Choice product,” says Fielding. “Lanny Binger was one of the top people in Excel who came up through the cattlebuying ranks. He’s an expert on cattle and recognized the qualities of Akaushi. He has part interest in a feed yard and gives us results on how they’ve fed. The bottom line is that Akaushi do a great job for the rancher, feed yard, and packer. The clincher for me was when I saw a group of red Angus crosses (50 percent Akaushi) that graded 80 percent Prime with no yield grade 4s and 5s. All the data we’ve seen shows that there’s about $200 per head in improved efficiency and value in premiums and net of cost. That’s $200 shared between the producer, the feedyard and the packer in picking up those efficiencies,” says Fielding. “The meat is of highest quality,” says Ronald Beeman (Eddy Packing). “Another thing we noticed, working with these cattle,

is that not only the quality grade goes up (that’s a given, with fullbloods) but yield grade is exceptional also. Usually when you get prime grade cattle you expect a lot of yield grade 4’s and 5s. With these prime cattle you get an average yield grade of 3,” he says. “We also noticed, when testing the crossbreds — Akaushi bred to Red Angus, Brangus, Beefmaster, Herefords, Charolais, etc. — the quality grade is always one grade higher than what you’re used to seeing. Just as important, the yield grade drops. These cattle put fat inside the muscle (marbling), not on the outside of the animal, so there’s less waste. This makes money for everyone in the industry,” he says. Beeman feels this is the most remarkable product he’s ever worked with. “I’ve been in the meat processing business for more than 30 years, and working with Heart Brand Beef and Akaushi cattle since September 1998. We’ve had people here who have been around cattle for more than 30 years, but none of them have seen beef with this kind of consistency and quality,” says Beeman. When he first was introduced to these cattle in 1998 he didn’t believe they could be this good, but said he would help with the processing end of the program. “I now feel this beef will change the industry,” he says. Fielding says health benefits are a big plus for the consumer. “Customers want healthy, tasty products — whether grass fed or all natural beef. People want a product with better nutritional value, something that will reduce bad cholesterol instead of increasing it. This is newsworthy, because we’ve been told red meat will increase cholesterol, and this is true for people who have a problem with cholesterol. “Now we must educate people to the fact that these fats are good for you and will make your body more healthy,” continued on page 33 Livestock Market Digest

Edward Avalos Washington, D.C. / New Mexico


dward “Eddard” Avalos, Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is no stranger to agriculture. Before he was appointed by the President in 2009 he spent 30 years with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA), working with all segments of the industry. “I absolutely see this position as an opportunity to make a difference, and to bring the perspective of rural America to Washington, D.C.,” he said. “We are fortunate to have a diverse agricultural industry in this country. Every day brings new challenges and new opportunities to do something to help rural America.” Eddard says he didn’t realize the scope or influence of the USDA until taking the position. “In my years with NMDA, I spent a lot of time with producers in the packing shed, the grain elevator and the ranch headquarters, and we’d laugh about the bureaucrats in D.C. Once I got here, though, I found out quickly that dialogue goes on and decisions are made every day that impact agriculture, rural communities and economies both in our country and internationally. “Now, I can have an influence on the decisions that are made,” he continued. “There are many hard working, well educated, very capable people that work for the agency who are dedicated and committed to doing a good job for agriculture, but don’t have first-hand knowledge of the industry. I can look at the issues from the perspective of rural America within USDA, and hopefully, my input will lead to more practical, workable decisions for the industry.” As Undersecretary, Eddard oversees three agencies that directly impact farmers and ranchers across the United States. The Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) addresses issues from international trade to animal welfare, including animal and plant health, biotech, and predator control. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) delivers market news, sets quality standards for fruits, vegetables and meats, provides marketing support, and has oversight of research and promotion programs like the Beef and Lamb Checkoffs. Responsibilities of the Grain Inspection, Packers & 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), include oversight of stockyards and domestic and international shipments of grain. One of the biggest challenges he has faced, he said, was that before taking the position as Undersecretary he had only visited the city once and knew very little about how the system worked in Washington, D.C., and within USDA. “In my time here, I have gained a good understanding. I am fortunate that my deputy undersecretaries and Secretary Vilsack have been so helpful. “The Secretary and I feel that agriculture has always been the backbone of America, and that when agriculture is thriving, our country is thriving,” he continued. “The challenge to the industry is to be able to continue to not only feed this country but to help feed the world.” Raised in southern New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley, Eddard spent his early childhood on a cotton and alfalfa farm. The family moved to Las Cruces after his father was injured, but Eddard continued to work summers on the farm through high school, harvesting onions, hoeing cotton and loading hay. He attended high school in Las Cruces, completed two degrees at New Mexico State University (NMSU), then went to work for NMDA. Moving to town from the farm as a kid was a big adjustment for Eddard, and words of wisdom his father gave him have stayed with him since. “He told me, ‘Son, in this world nothing stays the same. You need to learn to adjust and change to survive and be successful, but don’t forget where you came from, and take that knowledge with you throughout your life,’ I think that advice is applicable to agricultural industry in this country, as well.” Eddard takes a lot of pride in his agricultural background, and feels that it helps him do a better job for the industry. “Having grown up on a farm and worked in agriculture really structured how I think, my values and my work ethic,” he said. “I am fortunate to have spent my career at NMDA, where I spent a lot of time working side-by-side with the industry — the farmer, rancher, shipper, packer, processor, exporter and retailer. With that real-world experience, I can look at USDA programs and policies and under-

USDA Under Secretary for Marketing & Regulatory Programs, Edward Avalos

stand the potential impacts to the countryside.” Experience in working with many of the federal programs he now oversees, like Specialty Crops Block Grants, Federal/State Market Improvement, and research and promotion boards also gives Eddard a unique perspective. For instance, during his tenure with NMDA, the agency used Specialty Crops Block Grant funding to expand the domestic market for New Mexico green chile from four to 28 states, and used the Market Access Program to develop a market in China for New Mexico pecans. “A lot of people within USDA didn’t have the opportunity to work with these programs like I did,” he said. “Having been in New Mexico, working with the industry from the producer to the exporter, I have a good understanding of the programs and what they can do for the industry. I understand how important that little boost is.” “Working for President Obama and Secretary Vilsack is a tremendous honor,” he continued. “Their goals include support of rural America, revitalizing rural economies and increasing exports. With my experience I hope to help make that happen. I see this as an opportunity to do something for the industry that I love.” While Eddard has come along way from his New Mexico roots, you are just as likely to find him helping roast green chile as you are to find him at a high level meeting at the USDA. As much as he enjoys his work in Washington, D.C., Eddard’s ties to his home in New Mexico and his family remain strong. His mother, Eva, still lives in Las Cruces, and he has three children: Russell, who graduated this year from from NMSU; Alexandra Terrill, of Long Beach, Calif.; and Megan Skinlo, who lives in Phoenix, Ariz. — by Callie Gnatkowski


Acord Ranch Idaho


he Acord Ranch, across the Payette River from New Plymouth, Idaho (on the Oregon state line) produces outstanding Charolais seedstock. The ranch has been owned by Bill Acord and his family in Salt Lake City, Utah, since the early 1970s. John Verbance has been the ranch manager since November 2001. “When I arrived, the ranch had a few purebred Charolais and purebred Angus, and commercial cattle. Bill wanted to switch to a purebred operation. Now we are running about 120 Charolais cows and 50 Angus, and some cows for the embryo transfer program. When we index the cows, if any of them are not doing exactly what we want them to do, we use them as recipients for embryo transfer.” When he arrived, the Charolais were 1,800-pound cows, and he had to get them down to more moderate size. “Our breeding program stresses moderation in everything, especially in the Charolais. It’s a little more difficult to do in this breed because genetic selection is more limited than in Angus,” he explains. “We’ve downsized our Charolais to where they average1,350 pounds — about the same size as the Angus cows. We have a few 95-pound-plus calves, but my first selection criterion is birthweight. Any calf over 100 pounds becomes a steer immediately,” says Verbance. “When you see big steer calves in the fall that outweigh the bull calves by 125 pounds at weaning, and people ask why a certain calf got cut, I explain that he weighed 120 pounds at birth and I can’t sell bulls with birthweights like that. I’d rather have a

small live calf than a big dead one,” he says. Big calves and calving problems can also ruin a cow’s future productivity. Fertility is important in the selection process. “We synchronize and AI every cow on the place or put an embryo in them. I do all the AI and synchronizing. We start the middle of May and have a 45-day breeding season,” says Verbance. This helps select toward more fertile cows; if they can’t breed and settle in 45 days, he doesn’t want them in the herd. He also doesn’t want cows with too much milk because this becomes a factor in fertility problems and bad udders. Every year Verbance picks at least one or two young sires to use on second calvers. “For older cows we use high accuracy sires that have a proven track record. I know what I’m going to get with them, but by using a few new sires I can bend the curve a little.” The ranch sells 2-year-old bulls in a production sale the first Wednesday in December, at the Treasure Valley Livestock Auction in Caldwell, Idaho. The bulls are coming 2-year-olds at that time, and will be 28 months old by breeding season. Many of the bull buyers run cattle on rangeland. “Ranchers here like the 2-yearold bulls because they breed more cows and hold up better,” says Verbance. This year will their third sale, on December 7, 2011. They also sell bred heifers. Last year, their bred heifer sale was the best Charolais bred heifer sale in the U.S. He has brought the breeding program a long way in the past 10 years, and also cleaned up a Johnes problem. “We instituted Acord Charolais

a comprehensive Johnes testing program eight years ago. For the past four years we have been level-1 Johnes free, and we may be the only ranch in Idaho that does wholeherd Johnes testing,” says Verbance. There is no question about the health status of the animal when a person buys a bull or female from this ranch. “Our herd health program is second to none.” The ranch uses modified-live virus vaccines and during calving season uses a modification of the Sandhills calving program (always moving calving cows to clean ground). An oral vaccine paste is given to every calf at birth, and he hasn’t had to treat any for scours. The ranch recently initiated an earlyweaning program, the first of September, and utilizes fenceline weaning. This has worked well and seems to reduce health problems in calves at weaning time. Verbance has been working with cattle for 40 years and has always been a strong believer in good health management. “If you can prevent illness, it’s much better than treating it. So we try to keep the pastures as clean as we can. By the first of August I remove the cattle from three or four pastures and those pastures have at least 60 days with the sun baking on them, and no cattle.” This cleans them up and kills most pathogens. “I rotate my calving pastures and use a new one every year. One of the former employees told me that the year before I arrived they lost 49 calves. I haven’t lost that many calves in the whole 10 years I’ve been here. It’s all management, and nutrition. In any kind of a problem, nutrition plays a role,” says Verbance. A calf won’t have a strong immune system unless the dam had adequate nutrition. His third year at the Acord ranch, he attended the Lost River Grazing School at the University of Idaho’s Nancy Cummings Research Center at Salmon, Idaho, taught by Jim Gerrish. “We implemented a rotational grazing plan on half of the place, dividing it into 23 cells that we rotate through in the summer,” says Verbance. His wife Tamie is an RN, his daughter Caitlyn just finished high school and his son Jack is a sophomore. “My kids are basically my help right now. We do it all, since we cut back our labor force from four or five employees. My outside interest is coaching 8th grade girls basketball in New Plymouth. The girls I’ve coached are all like family, so we don’t miss continued on page 29


Livestock Market Digest

Daren Williams Colorado


ave you ever watched a marathon or triathlon and seen an athlete wearing a Team Beef jersey? Have you ever logged on to Facebook and seen people bashing beef, or beef producers, and not known how to respond? Have you ever been proud when someone did defend the rancher with the facts? If Daren Williams has his way, more and more people will be willing to speak out as trained advocates of the beef industry. Williams, as executive director of communications of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), is in charge of developing spokespersons for the beef industry. His goal, indeed his mission, is to empower America’s grassroots producers to tell their story and have the confidence to engage in conversations about food. These conversations can be face to face, over the social media, and with the general media. Williams has spent his life trying to help tell the story of American agriculture. His grandfather was a wheat farmer back in the early 1900s when wheat farming was a very tough business. He cared for the land, increased the productivity of the soil, and belonged to a group of people who quietly did the right thing and never worried about whether anyone else would notice. However, the world has changed, and Williams pointed out that there are now so many critics of the food production sector that the ranchers who are involved in food production every day need to become engaged, sitting at the same table with consumers and

Acord Ranch

having open dialog. Williams learned the concept of the grassroots network when he was working on Bob Dole’s New Hampshire presidential campaign. “I was tasked with calling each Republican voter, and I learned that one person can only do so much,” he remembers. “I could have sat in a room for days, even months, and not gotten the job done, but by employing a network of volunteer advocates all across the state who made phone calls in their own communities, we got the job done. It was a life lesson for me, because I saw the power of enabling and mobilizing a grassroots network.” The term “agvocacy” was first used about 10 years ago as a descriptor of agriculture people advocating for themselves. All across agriculture, more people are becoming involved in the effort of reaching consumers, and the Masters of Beef Advocacy program, of which Williams is the Dean of Students, is simply the beef specific portion of the agvocacy effort. The Masters of Beef Advocacy program is a series of on-line courses covering topics such as beef nutrition, safety, animal care, and environmental stewardship. Each module addresses consumer concerns in the area and what the beef industry is doing to address these concerns. Ranchers, farmers, dieticians, teachers, and chefs have all completed the program, which is available at After completion of the on-line courses, the agvocate should be equipped to talk to

continued from page 28

very many basketball games. I’ve had to modify my calving season a little!” “I’d actually calve in April if I wasn’t worried about trying to get cows bred in the heat of July — when it can be 115 degrees,” he says. He’s thought about creating portable shade structures, or doing the AI at night, but the bottom line is that July is hot and there’s always risk for embryonic death. “With our embryo program, this can be an expensive thing. Last year we got 66 percent conception on our embryo transplants. Most people who do this feel that if you get 50 to 60 percent you’ve done well, so we did exceptionally well,” he says. Verbance enjoys his work at the Acord Ranch and feels this has been a good place to live and raise his family. Working with the cattle and improving the health and quality of the herds has provided a lot of satisfaction. — by Heather Smith Thomas 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

Daren Williams, Boise Ironman Finish

consumers about the issues. If they wish to be further trained, they can go through the day-long program in which Williams gives an overview of how to advocate for the beef industry on Facebook and Twitter and how to start a blog. “It helps people make the best use of their time and shows them how to engage,” Williams noted. Williams has already seen many successes. One of his graduates is a rancher who runs a blog called Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch. Through the blog, the rancher engages people from around the world and answers basic questions about calving seasons, tall grass prairie management, and what it means to take care of animals. “We are showing them that beef is really about families, and that farmers and ranchers care about the food that we produce,” Williams noted. Another MBA graduate, Cassie Payne, has given more than 30 presentations to dieticians at different colleges. Cassie was teaching school in New York City several years ago and bought into the popular culture version of modern food production. She went to Texas A&M to get her masters degree in Animal Science and seek the truth of food production. At A&M, she actually did learn why things are done the way they are, and now she helps educate dieticians around the nation concerning modern beef production and beef’s role in the diet. Daren is another example of someone who practices what he preaches. By the time he was 30 years old; he weighed 270 pounds and realized he needed a lifestyle change. He began to manage his weight with lean beef and healthy fruits and vegetables and took up cycling and running. His life style change is chronicled in his blog, The Beef Man continued on page 39


Rex and Carol Wilson


n New Mexico, where politics is personal, the “lobbyists” are often unpaid, and are usually engaged in the business they are lobbying on behalf of. Take Rex Wilson, for example. Rex has been on the Board of Directors for the New Mexico Cattle Growers for the last 24 years and is currently the group’s First Vice President. In New Mexico this position is extremely important because the vice president serves as the Cattle Growers’ legislative liaison. As such, Rex had to move to the state capital, Santa Fe, for both the 30-day session and the 60-day session that the state’s legislative body convenes. Now keep in mind that Rex is also a rancher and has a job where he puts on 85,000 miles a year. How does one take care of the ranch while being gone or on the road so much of the year? Like a lot of us do, he has a very capable wife back at the ranch. (Who also has a full time job!) Carol Wilson remembers one time Rex was in Santa Fe and she was in charge. A heifer was having trouble giving birth and Carol was having a heckuva time getting the big bugger out. (Carol says that for some reason the Wilson heifers always start calving when the legislature starts.) Carol was giving her best effort, as she always does, when the calf-pulling chain broke. “I didn’t have another one and couldn’t remember how to tie the rope around those front legs. I was frustrated, tired and cold.” So what did she do? What would any rancher do? She called the state capital for help, of course! (Imagine doing this in California or New York.) Carol called the Ag Situation Room in Santa Fe and got Bebo Lee on the phone. Bebo was Cattle Growers President at the time and has pulled his share of calves. Needless to say, Carol got the help she wanted. In the modern history of politics it’s the only time I know of when someone has called their state capital for help and got the assistance they needed! Carol always had help when Rex was gone, three of the most proficient young cowboys you’ll ever meet . . . the Wilson boys. For years Carol ran the ranch with them tagging along. “I remember once when Rex was out of state with Newt Gingrich and the Western States Tour,” recalls Carol. “We had water problems. The little boys and I spent the night at a pump jack miles away from home, nursing the jack so that


New Mexico the cows wouldn’t run out of water.” They all slept in the front of a single cab pickup. Another time the boys were little Carol discovered a cow that had waded out into the mud to try to get to the little last bit of water in a stock tank and had bogged down. “I don’t have roping skills,” says Carol, “but my 7 year old roped that cow and we rescued her.” Carol doesn’t know why the Wilson family settled in these parts when they had the whole wide west to choose from. The water is DEEP in the earth, the rain clouds are few and the ranch is in what are called “desert mountains.” Which sounds like a contradiction in terms. Says Carol, “I love it but I remember when I studied New Mexico history I thought that “desert mountains” were a misnomer. Now I live in them.” Carol herself has deep New Mexican roots. She’s a 5th generation member of a New Mexico ranching family. One of her grandmothers was born in New Mexico territory before it became a state in 1912 and her three other grandparents moved there either before it became a state or very soon after. Most of them homesteaded land in northeastern New Mexico. The Wilson boys are 6th generation New Mexico ranchers and the fifth generation on the ranch the Wilson family calls home. Carol and Rex are passionate about a lot of things but their favorite topic of conversation is their three boys. And rightly so. All three of them have done it all, 4-H, FFA, showing steers, National Honor Society, church activities and football. More importantly as it relates to this story, they have earned the proud title of New Mexico cowboys, and in this state you can’t be given a higher compliment. The oldest Wilson boy, Justus, is 24 years old and is working for an Albuquerque businessman while he pursues his dream to become a commercial helicopter pilot. “He flew over the ranch last fall,” recalls Carol. “He flew in so low that we could see into the cockpit. It brought tears to my eyes. He flew directly over the corrals where we had a bunch of weaning calves. I thought we’d lose the corrals when that big bird flew over, but they never ever even looked up.” Marshal is 18 years old and will be entering New Mexico State University this fall to study Ag Business. “Marshall wants to work

in foreign ag services,” says Carol proudly. “Marshal is a leader. He served on the 4-H state leadership team and just retired from the FFA state leadership team.” Marshall will join his 21-year-old brother at NMSU. Kendal is a Senior there, an honor student who’s not your typical college student who lives on, or near, campus and only has to worry about getting good grades, and perhaps finding a suitable mate. In Kendal’s case, he also has a ranch to manage. Kendal is a commuter student. “It is a two and a half or three hour drive from our house to NMSU,” says Carol, “but he makes that drive every Thursday night, works Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and returns to Las Cruces on Monday night. We don’t know when he studies. We all call him the ranch manager, because he is. He orders the feed, determines when to move pastures, studies the bulls before he orders the semen. He is also a highly respected, in-demand horse trainer.” In 2007 Kendal won New Mexico’s Star State Farmer award in Agribusiness. He did it by turning his love of horses into a thriving horse training business. Kendal has broken a lot of horses for such a young man . . . but they almost broke him. Kendal has been training and breaking horses since he 11 years old, both at the home ranch and for Bar W Ranch near Carrizozo. Now before we proceed with our story about the Wilson family it’s important to note just exactly where the Wilson ranch is. An apt description would be, “it’s out in the middle of nowhere.” But we don’t want to offend the few residents of Ancho, New Mexico, so let’s just say it’s in south central New Mexico, where, Carol says, “The prairies meet the mountains and the mountains meet the sky. We are 30 miles north of Carrizozo between Carrizozo and Corona, six miles off of highway 54. We are three miles from the small settlement of Ancho, which consists of a row of mailboxes, a church which was originally the Ancho school, and one home.” I think my description of being “in the middle of nowhere” is more apt, but I’d never argue semantics with my former editor. I think we can agree it’s a long way from a hospital or ER room. When Kendal was nine he fell from the barn roof. For three days he was able to hide his pain because he felt that if he told his father he wouldn’t be allowed to rope when the family worked their calves. But Rex sensed something was wrong, Kendal confessed, and he was allowed to rope anyway. Only then did they find out that Kendal had broken his back in Livestock Market Digest

within minutes of dying. But Kendal got right back on because that’s what cowboys do, and the Wilsons are definitely cowboys, of the highest kind. One reason the Wilsons are looked upon so favorably by the Digest is that they both worked for the paper when we first started pubThe Rex and Carol Wilson Family lishing it. In fact, Carol was our first that fall! Did we mention that the Wilson editor. And what an editor she was! To this boys were tough? The Doctor told the par- day the most requested piece ever to appear ents two important things: that Kendal had in the paper was an essay she wrote coma very high tolerance for pain and that he paring the price of beef per ounce compared should start riding horses for several hours to other food. But that’s just one example of each day. There was no gym at Ancho to go her brilliance. Every week her front page work out and the Doctor said that in lieu of story was the best livestock writing to be that, riding horses builds core muscle read anywhere. Alas, we couldn’t keep the Wilsons from strength better than any other form of exerfulfilling their dream of going back to the cise. ranch and raising a family. I thought the Who knew? Now telling a Wilson kid to ride more newspaper would die a slow death when horses is like telling a first grader to eat Carol left, so important was her contribumore ice cream. Then in the Spring of 2003 tion. But our loss was young people’s gain Kendal was riding a two-year-old colt when for Carol now makes a 65-mile round trip he blew up unexpectedly. On his way off the every day to teach school at Carrizozo. She’s horse Kendal got kicked in the stomach for the 7th and 8th grade Language Arts good measure. Again he told his parents he teacher and also teaches New Mexico Histowas okay but they remembered the Doctor’s ry and American History. “I teach high admonishment that he had a high pain toler- school horticulture and read with third ance, so they took him 70 miles to Ruidoso graders. In these little schools, you have to to the closest emergency room. On the trip be able to do it all,” says Carol. Putting her editing talents to good use, in there were times he said he felt fine and they almost turned back, but by the time they got her “spare time” Carol has compiled 50 to the hospital he had almost no vital signs. photo albums telling the history of her famiTurns out he had a four inch gash in his ly. She’s passionate about it and teaches spleen and he was bleeding out and was others how to do it as well. “I believe,” says

Heather Thomas

continued from page 16

and what makes them tick and despite her claim to “slowing down,” Heather is actually writing more now than ever. Readers who want to get a taste of what Heather calls her “critter stories”, can check out “Notes from Sky Range Ranch,” which appears every other Tuesday on one of her publishers’ websites Or you can read a blog she does twice a month on another website that another publisher (Oak Tree Press) set up for her, to tell why she wrote Beyond the Flames, and to bring the reader up to date since then, regarding her family and experiences on the ranch: Whew! It all makes this hack tired just thinking about all that writing. I don’t know how she does it all, but I know one thing, every editor I know and those of us in the cattle business are darn sure glad she does! — by Lee Pitts 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

Carol “that the palest ink is stronger than the greatest memory, so I encourage others to write things down and tell their stories, from their perspectives. I’ve taught a few classes at the local university on “Putting your heart on paper” or sharing your story.” She has taught classes all over the state on becoming a family historian. For the past five years Carol worked on getting her masters degree, which she just received, and yet she still finds the time to profile someone for the New Mexico Stockman and do some publicity for causes she supports, like Nogal Mesa Ranchman’s Camp Meeting. Her dream is to get back to writing and we’re glad to hear she’s starting a large project on the ranch history of a very prominent New Mexican family. Rex meanwhile, in addition to his ranch duties, has worked for Presbyterian Medical Services for the last five years. He is Southern Region Director, which means he oversees health clinics in southern New Mexico. He travels about 85,000 miles a year to do this, sometimes being gone a week at a time. Besides Cattle Growers, he serves on numerous other boards. He is active with Associated Marine Institute, which helps troubled youth, is a director of Nogal Mesa Ranchman’s Camp Meeting, which is a Christian camping organization, is on the board of a bank and some health organizations. He was also Lincoln County Commissioner for eight years and chairman of the commission for seven of those years. In many ways the Wilsons are a typical ranch family in that they’ve had to bring in outside income to make the ranch work. Especially with two devastating droughts in recent memory where they had to depopulate the herd. And yet, in many other ways they are not so typical. The word “typical” has an average quality about it and, as you can tell from this story, there’s nothing average about these fine folks. — by Lee Pitts

Annual Production Sale – Dec. 5, 2011 Western Livestock Auction, Great Falls, MT

Selling 85 Bulls 200 Bred Heifers

Jacobsen Ranch Wade Jacobsen & Family • 1282 U.S. Hwy 89, Sun River, MT 59483 406/264-5889 • C: 406/799-5889 • F: 406/264-5883 •

For Sale at the Ranch Private Treaty 200 Bred Heifers


Joe & Louise Leathers Texas


or Joe and Louise Leathers of the 6666 Ranch headquartered in Guthrie, Texas, it’s truly a team effort — whether working cattle, raising their family, or working to preserve the industry they love. “We have to leave something for the next generation,” Joe said. “If we don’t take a stand, our children and grandchildren may not have a ranching industry to come back to.” “We feel it’s important to make a difference not just for our family, but for the nation,” Louise agreed. “When you look at the reasons that our forefathers left their homes and countries and came here, we are losing those freedoms a little at a time. We want to learn from history — the bloodshed, posterity lost and sacrifices made — and preserve what they were fighting for.” As manager of the historic ranch, known for its Quarter Horses and Angus cattle, Joe takes his responsibilities, both to the ranch and to the agricultural industry as a whole, very seriously. “Today ranchers face the typical issues – drought, floods, fires, markets, and ever-changing technology. Some of our biggest challenges, though, are the government regulations and other detrimental decisions coming out of Washington, D.C,” he explained. “We have the responsibility, not only to vote wisely, but to get involved and try to make a difference if we have the opportunity.“ Having the weight of the 6666 behind his name makes a difference, Joe said. “It puts

Monroe Magnuson continued from page 25

tational ranch and performance horse sale. The three operations provide every feasible piece of data to their customers. The cattle are ultrasounded for carcass traits and have EPDs on traits each breed association provides. The bulls all have performance information and are tested for BVD, and PAP tested for High Altitude Disease. “Many of our customers run cattle at elevations around 10,000 feet, so this is a serious issue. We


me in a little different situation. If it was just Joe Leathers talking, they might not pay as much attention, but when I can speak on behalf of the ranch, it puts me in the position to have some influence.” Louise, Joe’s wife of 34 years, keeps the ranch books and shares his concerns. “We see the freedoms we had as children dwindling away, and not so much through law as through regulation on the federal and state levels,” she said. “It’ not just about our family – our employees have their families here, and their livelihoods depend on agriculture and on the ranch.” “I could not do what I do without Louise,” Joe said. “She supports me one hundred percent and is my best help, whether it’s working cattle horseback, feeding cowboys, or putting on a fancy dress and meeting with dignitaries. She can live on cowboy wages and knows how to stretch a dollar. She raised our four children, and homeschooled them for 23 years. She is the picture of country elegance.” Joe started with the 6666 Ranch in August of 1999, working at the north camp, based in Guthrie. In 2004, he spent six weeks as Wagon Boss, then moved to the ranch’s Dixon Creek division for four years. In July of 2008, he and Louise moved back to Guthrie, and Joe became ranch manager. With that experience, Joe looks at things a little differently than many ranch managers. “I have seen a lot of country, and a lot

also plan on implementing DNA testing for carcass and efficiency traits, as tests become more economical,” he says. “When you look at the history of the beef industry and trends in cattle type, it’s amazing how many fads there have been — large frame, small frame, extreme muscling, etc. Now some studies are saying we’re getting feedlot cattle too fat. As seedstock producers we can’t seem to hit the middle of the road and be happy. Mother Nature will not allow extremes, so that should be the philosophy to follow.” — by Heather Smith Thomas

Louise and Joe Leathers

of different ways of doing things. One perspective I hope and pray I never lose is that of the cowboys, what they go through. It’s not like I went to college and got a degree, then came in as management.” He also serves on the board of the directors of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and as chairman of the organization’s Natural Resources Committee. The 6666 Ranch has been owned and operated by the Burnett family since 1870, and is currently owned by Anne Marion, great-granddaughter of the ranch’s founder, Captain Samuel “Burk” Burnett. “She is a great person to work for, and truly loves the ranch, employees, horses and cattle,” Joe said. A progressive attitude, and striving to remain on the forefront rather than having to play catch-up, is part of the ranch’s continued success, he explained. “We still do everything horseback, which is one thing that sets us apart from other big ranches, but that doesn’t mean we don’t take advantage of the latest technology and ideas.” Raised on a cotton farm outside of Lelia Lake, Texas, near Clarendon, Joe got an early start in agriculture. “All I ever wanted to do was be horseback, so when I was old enough, I left home and started cowboying. I grew up on a small operation, and spent most of my adult life working for big operations, so understand both ends of the business. Over the years, I’ve worked for several different ranches — yearling, cow/calf and stocker operations — just about every aspect of the cattle industry.” Louise grew up the daughter of a cowboy in the Texas Panhandle, between Masterson and Dumas, and wants to make sure those opportunities are there for the next generacontinued on page 33 Livestock Market Digest

Joe & Louise Leathers

continued from page 32

Heartbrand and Akaushi Cattle continued from page 26

tion. “Joe has been able to experience so much cowboying – spending days in the saddle, swimming rivers, having the tree of his saddle warp because it got so wet, going days without seeing a pickup. He is a horseman’s horseman, I am proud of what he has done as a horseman and as a cowboy, and don’t want to see that way of life disappear for those who want to live it.” The biggest problem for agriculture, Joe believes, is a lack of common sense about the industry. “When I was growing up, people had at least some idea about where food comes from, but today, rural America has moved to the cities,” he noted. “People are two or three generations removed from agriculture, and the American public doesn’t have any concept of what it takes to put food on their tables.” “There are very few of us feeding this country and helping feed the rest of the world,” he continued. “That’s great — we are entrepreneurs, visionaries, and on the cutting edge, but we have very few votes and get outvoted.” Faith and family are central to the Leathers’ lives. “We want to pass our faith down to our children, because when we are gone, that is all they’ll have left of us,” Louise said. “The only reason I am doing what I am doing is that it is what God has laid out for me to do,” Joe said. “He has prepared me for it and guides me through it, and when He has another place for me to be, that’s what I will do.” The Leathers have four children, five grandchildren and one on the way. Their oldest son, David, is plant engineer at a glass manufacturing plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jonathan (Cotton) lives and works on the ranch with his wife and son, Spur. Sarah lives in Abilene, Texas, with her husband, Kyle Bartlett, who serves in the U.S. Air Force. Anna and her husband Gabe Gaudern live in Big Cabin, Oklahoma., where he raises and trains bird dogs. – by Callie Gnatkowski Gibson

says Calles. People who must be careful what they eat no longer have to reduce their intake of red meat. This good news because meat contains many nutrients our body needs, such as vitamin B12, which is not found in a vegetarian diet. “When I was with Cargill, we had operations all over the world,” says Fielding. “I’ve never seen anywhere else where beef research has been done this way (in Japan), producing a uniform end result. I learned how this happened with the Akaushi and why there haven’t been any inbreeding problems — why they’ve kept the sire lines the way they have,” says Fielding. The Japanese went about this very systematically and scientifically. “I’ve always had an interest in improving quality of meat, and did a lot of research to try to identify the most efficient breed in terms of the impact of yield grade and quality grade. About three years ago, through coincidence, I learned through Ronald Beeman (head of Eddy Packing, parent company of Heart Brand Beef) about Akaushi cattle and spent a year finding out about them. I saw the benefits, the advantages they brought to beef production and how they’ve been managed over the last 15 years in the U.S. and the tremendous job Antonio Calles has done,” he says. — by Heather Smith Thomas

San Angelo Packing Co., Inc.



800/588-6328 • 800/LUV-MEAT 2011 Fall Marketing Edition


Western Legacy Alliance Idaho


here are those who would rather stay home to work cows and fix fences rather than face the problems plaguing the range livestock industry in the West. There are those that see the problems and worry about them. There are those that see a problem and figure that someone else will take care of it. Then there are those that take the bull by the horns, put their own ranches and families on the line and attempt to make a difference so that ranching families can continue to make a living for generations to come. The Western Legacy Alliance (WLA) is made up of the latter group. Spearheaded by Jenifer (Jenn) Ellis, Blackfoot, Idaho, and Jeff Faulkner, Gooding, Idaho, the WLA took shape in the late fall of 2008, when the dynamic duo invited industry leaders from across the West to Salt Lake City to evaluate the issues facing the industry and their root causes. Jenn had just concluded a stint as the president of the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association and had been through the full dose of challenges facing Western land use. It is worth mentioning that Jenn was in a walking cast as a result of the tearing of ankle ligaments working cows earlier in the fall. This was not the first such gathering of frustrated ranchers and organizations seeking a way to save the industry. What set this meeting apart was the desire for the industry to become pro-active, rather than reacting to the lawsuits, overburdening regulations and laws and media attacks. Ultimately those assembled in Salt Lake that day came up with a member-funded and member-directed organization. Coalition leadership consists of an eight-member Executive Committee made of founding members and representation from key groups. Any organization or individual interested in preserving working landscapes and lifestyles of the West is invited to participate. Contributions to support the coalition’s work are welcome, but not required. The mission is to preserve the working landscapes and lifestyles of the American West by supporting and promoting sustainable land-use solutions to ensure social and


economic benefits for local communities and the nation. According to Jenn, that mission is being met with the WLA’s public education strategy to: ■ Respond to radical opposition of

coalition goals and potentially neutralize future efforts ■ Increase community awareness of

issues/activities that hurt coalition members ■ Provide education initiatives to

encourage youth interest in agricultural and resource jobs ■ Educate employees of Federal and

State agencies about responsible use of public lands ■ Initiate legislative or regulatory

fixes to address frivolous challenges to permits held on public lands; and ensure protection of private property rights guaranteed under the Constitution. That is a pretty full plate, especially when you consider that the WLA doesn’t limit itself just to range livestock issues. At its inception the WLA fell victim to the inevitable wannabees who think that all ranchers are rich and ripe for the picking. There was an advertising agency or two that promised and charged a lot more than they could deliver. Then there were those who could have and should have been partners who were mostly looking for a stage for themselves. But three years later, the accomplishments of the WLA are notable and the effort continues to grow steam. Some of the Executive Committee members have changed and alliances have peaked and waned. Perhaps one of the biggest compliments and disappointments came as one. A notable individual in Western politics was engaged to aide in fund raising. Instead, he liked the concept so much that he came up with his own competing “Western Heritage Legacy Alliance.” Not much has been heard from that corner lately. It has also been disappointing that some national groups who would seem to be nat-

ural allies have instead chosen to ride WLA’s coattails all the way to the front of the train. On the plus side of the ledger, Americans can thank the WLA and their attorney, Karen Budd-Falen, Cheyenne, Wyoming, for bringing to light the tens of millions of dollars the federal government has been paying so-called environmental groups for litigation. Under the Equal Access To Justice Act (EAJA) and other fees shifting statutes, millionaire groups are regularly collecting federal dollars for merely filing a lawsuit against the government. The maze of the federal bureaucracy has become so tedious that agencies like the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and others can’t even make their own deadlines. When those deadlines are missed by even a day, the enviros have ground to file a suit that will automatically be won or settled. Under the WLA’s spotlight, the issue has received the attention of major media outlets across the nation and has resulted in the introduction of legislation in Congress. While Congress and the Administration continue to battle over the federal budget and economy, there is a bill sitting in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that could save millions of dollars on just this single law. In a less flamboyant fashion, WLA has teamed up with federal lands grazers and Karen Budd-Falen to get federal legislation introduced that would codify need reform in grazing regulations and provide sustainability to one of the few economically productive land uses left in the West. There is also a bill in the works that would give rural communities standing within the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process that is so devastating to the rural economy and the Western families that creates it. Like everyone and everything in the West today, the WLA struggles with funding, but those who were committed to the group and the West have vowed to keep chalking up the victories. — by Caren Cowan Livestock Market Digest

The Delk Band New Mexico


owboys are known for their rugged independence, their ability to survive on the land with only the company of a good dog for long periods of time. They must be multi-talented, cattlemen, horsemen, doctors, veterinarians, lawyers, meteorologists, construction engineers, nutritionists . . . the list goes on. But there is a sacred talent that is the tie that binds . . . the musicians. Today, whether celebrating a marriage, a birthday, or bidding farewell to dear friends and family, there is music from a lone fiddle to a sixor eight-piece band. Historically, when we as a people, were more self sufficient, neighbors gathered together to take on a large project like building a log cabin or a barn. According to the movies, at least, the day ended with eatin’, socializin’ and dancin’ to a good fiddle. These were the places where sweethearts met and communities grew. Like other country skills, those of the musicians are handed down from generation to generation, but as we see ranches disperse after about three generations, it is the rare band that you often see two or three generations on the stage month after month, year after year. New Mexico and southern Arizona are blessed with just such a group. In 1934 Forrest Delk and his fiddle began a journey that secured his place in the history of the Southwest as the cornerstone of much of the social life in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. Many a pair of boots were worn thin while our grandparents danced the night away to Forrest’s music in little known places such as Apache Grove or Douglas in Arizona, Cloverdale, White Sig-

nal, Animas, Hachita, Mimbres, Riverside, Cliff, Datil or Rincon in New Mexico. Early in the evening our parents learned to dance by standing on daddies’ feet and the boys were embarrassed by the tutorial efforts of their mothers. Later they were put to bed on blankets in the corners or coats on the chairs as the music played on. Joe Delk attended his first dance at two weeks of age. Dancing was part of the lifestyle, but he was also picking up his father’s skills on the fiddle. As time marched on, Joe took center stage and became a sought-after entertainer in his own right. In 1968, he married Diane and they produced three sons, Neal, Mark and Byron. In between doing all the 4-H, FFA, county, regional and state fairs, hunting and fishing, Joe and Diane made sure there was time for music. Mark got his first set of drums at age 7 and Neal and Byron both picked up the fiddle about that same time. Along about 1982, Neal took a guitar course in school and was hooked forever and Byron . . . well he didn’t have much choice but to become the bass player for the band. “The Delk Band” played their first gig on July 10, 1984 at the old Convention Center in Truth or Consequences and built a strong demand across the West, not only at the local gatherings that their family was famous for, but in the early 90s, “The Delk Brothers Band” hit the road to clubs and honky-tonks in the big cities like Phoenix, Albuquerque, San Angelo, Tulsa, Amarillo, Flagstaff and Las Cruces. After several years on the road, all were exhausted and ready to bring it home and start new lives. It wasn't long before Joe and his boys

Delk Band Tucson, Arizona July, 2011

2011 Fall Marketing Edition

cranked up again with a strong demand for their traditional dance music. Today, with work, families and hunting The Delk Band is playing for special “Cowboy Events” throughout New Mexico. As Joe says, “we’re not looking for work but work finds us and that’s where we want to be”. But their mission continued to grow. Joe was asked if he would play the National Anthem at the PRCA Turquoise Circuit Finals at Las Cruces in 2009. Joe marks that night as a highlight in his life. Later that year, Joe played the National Anthem at the Joint Stockmen’s Convention with the New Mexico National Guard in honor of those lost on September 11. Today the Delks open most public appearances with the National Anthem and a prayer. Joe and Diane have always been active in the agricultural community locally and state wide. As the Mexican wolf program became an ever more pressing issue and Joe witnessed the pain, anguish and heartbreak being felt by the folks in Catron County, he wanted to find a way to contribute. In the early summer of 2008, Joe was in the Blue Front Bar and Café in Glenwood, eating a not-so-healthy hamburger and fries with his long time friend and fellow musician and owner of The Blue Front, Bucky Allred. Bucky and Joe decided that besides needing more money for litigation and regulatory efforts, people needed a way to come together and have fun as well. The Cowboy Dinner & Dance concept was born. In August of 2008, the Sierra County Cowboy Dinner Dance started fundraising events where there could be time to share concerns on issues, but for friends and neighbors to come together to laugh, pray and play. As the popularity of these events grew, it wasn’t always possible for all of Joe’s boys to be on hand, so the musical family expanded to include other players that wanted to help. The Delk Band now consists of the Headquarters Crew and the East and West Camp Crews, a consortium of some of the best musicians in New Mexico. Diane, who has traveled with the band every mile she could, now helps Neal maintain a robust website that features the treasured events the various bands play for. Then there is that next generation. One Saturday night at the fairgrounds in Capitan, the fourth generation of the Delks sat at the foot of the bandstand tapping their feet along with the music. It wasn’t long before they were all behind a microphone singin’ “Chicken Fried”. — by Caren Cowan


Pajamas Media The World


here was a time when cattlemen and cowboys (non-gender specific terms) got their information from the rare stranger that rode by the camp, the biannual trip to town for supplies or a barn raising and dance. That method of communication evolved to radio, the party-line telephone, local coffee shops, newspapers, magazines and the one-to-three black and white snowy television channels that could be had in less remote areas. By the mid 1980s those on the fast track had bag phones that could be used in the truck and satellite dishes were beginning to sprout up in their nine-foot around yard-art form. Then came the 24-hour news networks where rural folks could watch everything from O.J.’s slow car chase to anything happening around the globe. In the late 1990s you were not a selfrespecting adult if you didn’t have a cell phone, some kind of computer, regular access to the world-wide Web, and at least two email addresses. A few years later, we started hearing about “blogs.” To most that sounded like some sort of disease to be avoided at all costs. says that “blog” is a noun or verb defined as “a Web site containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.” Today the blog is the fastest source of news and opinion available — if you are wired or are wireless to the Internet. Unfortunately, there many less blogs telling the real story of politics, including agriculture and the range livestock industry, than those who would use this instant communication to eradicate animal agriculture from the planet. It is even more unlikely to find one of those balanced, or at least willing to look at all sides of an issue sites, based on either of the left coasts. Pajamas Media (PJM) is one of those rare few. PJM, began in 2005 as an affiliation of some of the most influential weblogs on the Internet, has significantly expanded its reach over the years. The PJM


Portal now provides exclusive news and opinion 24/7 with correspondents in over forty countries. Its distinguished line-up of XpressBloggers is widely respected for their punditry. Pajamas Media also has its own weekly show on Sirius satellite radio — PJM Political. In September 2008, Pajamas Media debuted its own online television network — PJTV — that broadcasts daily from studios in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, Denver, Knoxville and Tel Aviv. The Washington Times pointed out the Wild West online frontier connection with PJM in a January 2008 story on Roger L. Simon, chief executive officer of and the influence of the blog on the 2008 presidential race entitled John Wayne of blogosphere. While the piece highlighted former Senator Fred Thompson’s tribute to the online community that had urged him to enter the Republican presidential campaign, it also shed light on the new communication medium and the drive behind Simon. “By empowering individuals and building communities, the Internet provides a way of going around the inside-the-Beltway crowd to reach people in numbers unheard of not that long ago,” said the former senator from Tennessee. Like the candidate whose campaign “came out of the blogs,” Simon has a Hollywood connection, working as a novelist and screenwriter before starting a blog to promote his 2003 novel. “In those days of blogging, you didn’t realize the impact,” Mr. Simon said. “You thought, this is just playing around.” Now bloggers are courted by political campaigns. In this, Simon might as well be John Wayne, the Times noted. The man who runs PJM confessed to being “a secret techie,” but still views the business with a sense of amazement. For more than 30 years before he became a blogger, Simon made his living as a writer. He was successful and liberal, but then came the 1990s, especially the murder trial of O.J. Simpson. Simon, who had been a civil rights activist in the 1960s, was

shocked by “the kind of essential dishonesty to justice” of Simpson’s acquittal in 1995. “I found the use of racial politics in the O.J. trial so repellent to me, morally, but also, I couldn’t believe it was happening right there in front of my eyes. It started to shake up some things,” he said. “And then came 9/11.” By 2003 Simon felt the need to speak out, as well as to promote his novel, and discovered the joy of blogging. “You’re putting out something, you don’t deal with an editor or a publisher, you don’t have any delays — just ‘Boom,’ ” he said. “Then, all of a sudden, the blog was getting 20,000 [visitors] a day. “The Pajamas readership, of all the blogs, demographically, is above the Wall Street Journal in income and education,” Simon said. “What’s great about blogging is that it’s humanity,” Simon says. It is rumored that PJM got its unique name because in 2003 Simon’s colleagues where just a bit skeptical about his blogging venture, telling him he would just end up sitting at home in his pajamas all day. Simon took the name and applied it to what has become one of the most successful blogs on the web. In 2010 Richard Pollock, Bureau Chief, PJTV Washington, along with Fox News, took notice of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) payments being made to millionaire “environmental” groups by the federal government that were uncovered by Western Legacy Alliance and Wyoming attorney Karen Budd-Falen. Since an initial contact to Budd-Falen, PJM has run many pieces on issues facing the West and western ranching families including recent stories on the catastrophic fires in the Southwest. Given that PJM records traffic statistics of 1.3 million monthly, unique visitors, 6 million monthly page views and 24 million monthly ad impressions, it is pretty much like having John Wayne at the ready. — by Caren Cowan Livestock Market Digest

Alturas Ranches California


ocated in northern California, Alturas Ranches has a small herd of purebred Lowline Angus, 200 purebred Angus cows bred to Lowline bulls to produce halfblood Lowlines, and 150 half-blood cows and heifers bred back to half-blood bulls. Owner Barry Swenson became interested in raising smaller cattle in 2005, when he realized the typical steaks served at restaurants were too big to fit on the plate — larger than most people can eat. He started looking at crossing Dexter cattle with Angus to create smaller animals. Then he discovered Lowlines. “When I was a kid and my dad had cattle in the 1940s, Angus cows weighed 800-900 pounds. After that, every cowman tried to have bigger cattle. My dad bought Simmentals and got some 700-pound calves — when everyone else had 500-pound calves. But the pasture that used to carry 200 cows would only carry half that number because those big cows ate so much,” says Swenson. In his father’s herd, calves were large at birth and cows had calving problems. Lowlines have small calves and easy births, and are also very feed efficient. “A study in North Dakota compared several breeds and found that in average pounds of retail product produced by x amount of feed, the Lowline was the winner,” he says. Fed the same amounts of feed, Shorthorns produced 86.1 pounds of retail product, Wagyu produced 83.1 pounds, Angus produced 110 pounds, and Lowlines produced 154.3 pounds; there was more meat and less waste on a Lowline carcass for the same amount of feed. “Everyone seems to have selected cattle for larger frames — without paying enough attention to other qualities,” says Swenson. Large cattle take longer to grow, and take a lot more feed before they are ready to butcher. The Lowlines have a high quality carcass, and also reach reproductive age sooner. Swenson feels the beef industry needs to move back toward a smaller, more efficient animal. He often goes to Argentina, Australia or New Zealand and says the Angus and Hereford breeders there try to keep their cows at about 800-900 pounds. “They don’t want big, inefficient cows,” he says. Big cows’ 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

calves may wean at 50 percent or less of the cow’s body weight, compared with a smaller cow’s calf that may be 60 percent or more of her own weight. The efficiency of Lowlines in converting pounds of feed to pounds of retail product has enabled Alturas Ranches to achieve lowinput costs for a great return. When feeding hay, people figure 8 or 9 pounds of hay per pound of gain. “We had 6 pounds of hay per pound of gain in one study we did,” says Swenson. “Lowlines often win the taste test in the Royal Easter show in Australia. Whether it’s because they’re smaller and the meat is finer grained, I don’t know, but in Australia and New Zealand they figure the Lowline is the most tasty,” says Swenson. The ranch has been selling grass-finished steers as natural beef, and very pleased with the half-blood Lowlines’ ability to finish on grass without the “yellow” fat that people don’t want. These cattle marble nicely and put on minimal backfat. Half-blood steers have been 4-H and FFA projects. The first year in this youth program, Lowline half-bloods placed first in their weight division and graded Prime when ultrasounded, competing against larger commercial steers. The Low-line halfbloods finished at about half the expected feed cost for traditional 4-H projects and weighed 1,050 to 1,250 at show time.

Some cattlemen are trying to get back to more moderate size cattle, after several decades of getting them too big. One way is to infuse Lowlines into a cowherd. The quickest, easy way is to breed heifers to a Lowline bull. They calve easier, and the resulting calves are moderate framed. “Using Lowline bulls, fullblood or halfblood, on our commercial heifers has virtually eliminated calving problems, and the heifers breed back quicker, as there’s les stress at calving. Another advantage with Lowline bulls is that gestation length for their calves is about seven to 14 days shorter,” he says. This ensures that calves are small at birth, and also gives their young mothers more time to get ready for rebreeding. A higher percent of first-calf heifers breed back on time. Angus were known for easy calving, but no longer have that reputation because frame size has increased so much. The Lowline is a move back toward what Angus were earlier. The Trangie Agricultural Research Centre in Australia kept two Angus herds for many years. “They kept one herd the same size they were when first imported from Scotland,” says Swenson. The other herd was selected for larger, high-growth cattle. This research center was created in 1929 to provide high quality Angus genetics to the Australian cattle industry, with seedstock from Scotland, Canada, the U.S. and Australia. The research herd was closed to outside genetics in 1964. As part of their performance testing they kept track of weight gain, structural measurements, visual assessments, and did selective breeding to achieve certain goals. continued on page 39

Alturas Lowline Bull


Steve Teichert Idaho


teve Teichert comes from a fourthgeneration ranching family and is now located near Mackay, Idaho where he raises efficient cattle he calls Blackfords — half Angus and half Hereford. “I grew up in Wyoming and lived there for 45 years. The best cattle there were black-baldy cows. Most of those ranchers used a third breed to make a terminal cross. But the biggest problem with that program is the black-baldy cow was the best cow they had, and they couldn’t keep any replacement heifers,” says Teichert. “Our family raised registered Hereford cattle and also had a large herd of commercial Herefords in the 1950s and 1960s. I started using the best Angus bulls I could find, on my registered Hereford cows, and bred the F1 females to F1 bulls. We always keep them half and half. Some of the bulls we have now are 18 generations of halfbloods on halfbloods,” he explains. He moved his cattle operation to Idaho in 2004. “I’ve been breeding Blackford cattle since the early 1970’s. I’ve made lots of mistakes, probably because no one else has tried what I’m doing. This makes it interesting and challenging. Once I got the kinks out of this breeding program, the cattle are phenomenal,” he says. He feels the Blackford calves are far better today than the F1 cattle. The selection process over the years has paid off in creating superior animals for several generations. Teichert wanted to create a better breed of cattle through crossbreeding. “I am a geneticist and I studied all the other breeds and composites — including Brangus, Santa Gertrudis, Beefmaster, etc. — and decided that the most important trait is fertility. So I used the two most fertile beef breeds — Angus and Hereford,” he says. The Blackfords are exceptionally fertile. “We get 85 percent of our calves in the first 21 days of calving season,” says Teichert. He does some AI, but doesn’t synchronize, and feels he gets a better conception rate that way. When he started managing the ranch in Idaho, there were nine different breeds of cattle on it. “After five years we’d changed this until they were mostly Blackford cattle, and we used Angus bulls on the other


breeds. We sent the calves to a feedlot in Kansas and retained ownership, and topped the nation with that set of 400 calves,” he says. “The thing I’ve been interested in — and I’ve lived in five different western states during my lifetime — is cattle that work in every environment. The Blackfords have worked very well in every environment I’ve been in. The eared cattle (with Brahman influence) don’t do well in cold country. In Nevada, where I lived for awhile, some cattle can’t handle that rough environment; they may have to walk 10 miles to water. But the Blackford cattle excel everywhere,” he says. “The most important thing is that this is not just another black baldy. Some of these are 18 or more generations of selective breeding, and are now a breed of their own,” says Teichert. He worked hard to select and fine-tune the traits he wants, while at the same time avoiding the undesirable characteristics of the two-parent breeds. “The biggest problem I see with Angus is that they don’t have any loin and also have too many recessive trait defects. There are only a few bloodlines left that are free of these defects. Herefords got in trouble back in the 1970s with recessive traits. Another problem with Herefords is that they are coarse in the shoulders and heads and have big birthweights,” he says. But with careful selections, taking the best of each breed and minimizing unwanted traits, you have a super cow. “We select for economic traits and have calves this year from 13 different bloodlines.

It’s challenging, because our gene pool with both Angus and Hereford is so limited. We keep trying to infuse new bloodlines. We have calves from imported Scottish bulls, and some from Canada. We bought a few Hereford cows from the Oklahoma-Texas border country. We’re keeping our gene pool as broad as we can, within these two breeds, and then select for economic traits that enable cattle to work in this environment,” he explains. He’s used Blackfords on many different breeds to find out which ones nick the best. “Probably the best cross is just on the black baldy cows but in Nevada people put Blackfords on eared cattle and I’ve never seen cattle that changed so fast in one cross. The first cross takes off the droopy ears and navel and the calves explode with hybrid vigor.” The more distantly related the two parents, the bigger the kick of heterosis, and Brahman (Bos indicus) provides this, being totally unrelated to Bos Taurus breeds. “Blackfords are efficient. Our bull calves run on sagebrush country as weanlings and we sell them as yearlings. We don’t pamper them. If they can’t handle a harsh environment they’re the wrong kind of cattle,” he says. He generally winters weaned calves on grass hay (this past year it was oat hay) with two pounds of grain. “You quickly find out which ones are most efficient. This is the only way I know how to measure feed efficiency — limit the feed, and see how well they do. We do the same with the cows. They get about five pounds of alfalfa and the rest of their diet is just filler, and they never get more than 25 pounds of roughage (hay or straw) per day. Some big cows, if they can’t cut it on that kind of ration, won’t breed back or raise a decent calf, and they continued on page 39

Livestock Market Digest

Steve Teichert

continued from page 38

sort themselves out. This keeps the cow herd efficient.” If they can do well in a harsh environment they will do exceptionally well in the feedlot. Some are “easy keepers” and some aren’t. The cows start calving the first of February, calve quickly and breed back quickly. “Even though the average cycle is 21 days, some individuals are as short as 15 days and some as long as 28 days. I can walk into any herd and tell which individuals are the 15day cows and which ones are the longer cycles, and which ones are in between, just by phenotype. This is the most heritable trait I’ve ever played with. Often I see mothers and daughters cycle on the same day and have the same length cycles. We have data from way back on our cows. The 15-day cows are consistent.” Gestation length is also heritable. “This is why our birth weights

Darren Williams continued from page 29

Bloggeth, and has become a source of inspiration for others who want to live healthy. “I have a good friend who decided to get out and start moving to lose weight and incorporate lean beef into his diet to help him do that,” Daren stated. “If I can inspire one person to turn their life and health around and enjoy beef guilt-free, it is worth my time.” Beef has long stood for enjoyment, with consumers loving the sizzle of a good steak or a juicy hamburger, but Daren has helped further beef’s image as part of a healthy diet by promoting Team Beef jerseys for running and cycling. “We call beef the Fuel for the Finish,” he noted. “I just did a triathlon with 55 other Team Beef people. They were wearing the Missouri shirts and I had a Colorado shirt, but we had camaraderie of beef loving athletes. What better way to show people that beef fits into a healthy diet than by running a race and proudly proclaiming that you are a beefeater?” According to Daren, the biggest challenge facing agvocacy is time. When people work sunup to sundown to keep the farm or ranch going, how will they find the time to start a blog or post on Facebook. “Unfortunately,” he noted, “that is not something I can help. But I am encouraged because people are realizing that the future of the beef industry is at stake, so they make it worth their time to engage. And of course, they engage in the area in which they are most passionate. Some engage in animal welfare issues. Some engage in food safety issues. It is a huge AHA moment when they realize that they don’t have to be the defender of all things, but they can weigh in and be heard on issues on which they are passionate.” 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

are low — about 72 pounds on average — because the cows have short gestation.” If the cow has a short gestation, and comes back into heat quickly, with short heat cycles, she’ll breed back more quickly. “These cows are more fertile. I can get two cycles in a 30-day period whereas a cow with a 28-day cycle only has one chance. Those long-cycle cows are also the ones that have a 290-day gestation and huge calves at birth — and then you can’t get them to breed back,” says Teichert. The Blackford association was created in the 1970’s. “To be registered, cattle must be half and half. It doesn’t matter if the animal is from an Angus bull and a Hereford cow or vice versa. Often the choice in how a person crosses these two breeds is whether you have a superior black cow or a superior Hereford cow — to determine which way you cross them.” — by Heather Smith Thomas

According to Daren, the best spokesmen the industry has are the ones who are caring for the land and the animals every day, working hard to put food on the tables. “I greatly appreciate those folks and am grateful for the opportunity to help them gain more confidence and feel better equipped in answering questions about how beef is produced,” he stated. “I truly do feel blessed to be able to help enable and mobilize America’s beef producers. It feels more like a mission than a job.” — by Carol Wilson

Lowlines were 30 percent smaller than the Highline cattle. When the project ended, the cattle were sold (in 1992 and 1993) to private purchasers, who started a Lowline Angus Association. At birth, calves weigh 45 to 53 pounds. They grow rapidly at first because the cows give lots of milk, and double their birth weight in the first few weeks. At eight months, heifers average 240 pounds and bulls 300 pounds. As yearlings, heifers weigh about 420 pounds and bulls 510 pounds. Mature cows weigh about 700 to 750 pounds and bulls weigh about 880 pounds. — by Heather Smith Thomas

Alturas Ranches continued from page 37

The trial that led to Lowline cattle was begun in 1974, to evaluate selection for growth rate on herd profitability — to see whether large or small cattle were more efficient converters of grass to meat. For this experiment the Trangie herd was divided into three groups, based on yearling growth rates. The high growth rate yearlings were called High Lines, the low growth rate yearlings were called Low Lines, and a randomly selected group was called Control Lines. The trial focused on evaluations regarding feed intake, weight gain, reproductive performance, milk production, carcass yield and structural correctness. The Low Line herd consisted initially of 85 low growth rate (small-framed) cows, mated to yearling bulls selected for low growth rate from birth to yearling age (low yearling weights), and this herd remained closed to outside genetics. All replacement bulls and heifers were selected from within that line, based on low growth performance. After 15 years the

((. %() *% ! ( " () '+ &# $* * " *.

(*) / %

" )/ ""

(, )%$

-. " $ 39


The Buyer’s Guide is a Handy Reference to Leading Auction Markets, Order Buyers, Feedlots, Livestock Breeders and Service Providers. If you would like to be included in next year’s guide, please call us at 505/243-9515.


Livestock ALL BREEDS Bar T Bar Ranch Inc., P.O. Box 190, Winslow, AZ 86047. Bob and Judy Prosser, 928/477-2458 (summer); 928/289-2619 (winter). Quality reg. Gelbvieh, Balancers, and Black and Red Angus; also commercial-bred replacement heifers.

Bow K Ranch, Dave & Dawn Bowman, 55784 Holly Rd., Olathe, CO 81425, 970/323-6833, “Pot of Gold” Gelbvieh, Angus & Balancer Bull Sale. Females private treaty. 28 years of AI breeding, emphasis on moderate size – calving ease – carcass.

Campwood Cattle Company, 7765 Williamson Valley Rd., Prescott, AZ 86305. Swayze McCraine 928/771-0673 or 928/925-4668. KJ Kasun, 928/713-1169. Commercial cattle and registered Quarter Horses.

Hubbell Ranch, Angus Plus cattle, P.O. Box 99, Quemado, NM 87829, Rick & Maggie Hubbell, 575/7734770. Quality Angus Plus bulls and heifers available.

Wagonhammer Ranches, Club calves – the winning kind. Spring and fall born. Myron Benes, Albion, NE, 402/395-2178 or 402/395-6962. Production Sale, 3rd Wed. of March. Private treaty.

Hooper Cattle Company Steve Hooper, 575/773-4535, fax 575/7734582, email:, HC 32 Box 405, Red Hill Rt., Quemado, NM 87829, Angus and Hereford Cattle bred for optimum genetic performance.

Hubbell Ranch, Angus Plus cattle. P.O. Box 99, Quemado, NM 87829, Rick & Maggie Hubbell 575/773-4770. Quality Angus Plus bulls & heifers available.

King Herefords, Bill King 505/832-4330, 505/220-9909; Tom & Becky Spindle 505/832-0926; P.O. Box 564, Stanley, NM 87056. Come see us for all your herd bull needs – 150 Hereford, 125 Angus & 100 Charolais bulls available this fall. Located 5 miles N. of Moriarty on Hwy. 41; then 1.5 miles east.

McClun Lazy JM Ranch, Jim and Jerri McClun and Family, 307/837-2524, 1929 Rd. 60, Veteran, WY 82243. Polled Hereford and Angus. Private treaty sale at the ranch. Family owned and generated since 1964. Visitors always welcome.

Tehama Angus Ranch, Kevin Borror 530/385-1570; Bryce Borror 530/624-6542;; 23820 Tehama Ave., Gerber, CA 96035

Wagonhammer Ranches, Club calves – the winning kind. Spring and fall born. Myron Benes, Albion, NE, 402/395-2178 or 402/395-6962. Production Sale, 3rd Wed. of March. Private treaty.

White Cattle Company, 71438 Turnout Rd., Burns, OR 97720, Doris 541/573-6566 or Mary Lee White, 541/589-1476. Quality Hereford, Chiangus and Angus cattle.

BARZONA Boykin Barzonas,

ANGUS ABC Angus, 8283 Tiller Trail Hwy., Canyonville, OR 97417. Brian and Cheryl Arp, 541/825-3550, Performancebred Angus cattle. Club calves available. “Building on the basics.”

Aztec Angus, 2467 Arrowhead Trail, Gilbert, AZ 85297. Terry and Kathy Van Hilsen and sons, 480/963-6324. Cattle available year-round.

Bell Key Angus, 9351 Lakeshore Dr., Nampa, ID 83686, Dennis Boehlke, 208/989-1612, 208/467-2747. Private treaty all year. Selling bulls at Gem State.

Diamond Oak Cattle Co., 1232 W. Tahoe St., Merced, CA 95348. Steve and Jean Obad, 209/383-1693. A good selection of choice bulls available in the fall. Annual BullsEye Breeders Sale in September, Farmers Livestock Market, Oakdale, CA.

Montgomery, AL. Raymond Boykin, Jr. 334/430-0563. Low maintenance cattle that grade. Heat tolerant, range ready. Purebred and percentage cattle. Breeder since 1986.

BRANGUS Dees Brothers Brangus, P.O. Box 4818, Yuma, AZ 85366, Alex Dees, 760/572-5261 or 928/920-3800 sale phone, Breeding quality Brangus for the commercial cattleman. Selling a few select bulls and heifers at the ranch private treaty.

Parker Brangus, Larry A. Parker, P.O. Box 146, 1700 N. Parker Rd., San Simon, AZ 85632, 520/845-2411. Reg./comm. cattle.

Robbs Brangus, 4995 Arzberger Rd., Willcox, AZ 85643. R.L. Robb, 520/384-3654. Come by any time and see our herd.

Livestock Market Digest


CHAROLAIS DeBruycker Charolais, Lloyd & Jane 406/476-3427, Joe & Cathy 406/466-5821, Mark & Belva 406/469-2371, Brett & Kay 406/476-3214, 1690 6th Lane NE, Dutton, MT 59433. 28th Annual Sale 1st Saturday in April 2012. "Creating Greater Rancher Returns"

Grau Charolais, Wesley 575/357-8265, cell: 575/760-7304, Lane 575/357-2811, cell 575/760-6336, Rt. 1, Grady, NM 88120. Quality Performance bulls & females.









Hooper Cattle Company, Steve Hooper, 575/773-4535, fax 575/7734582, email:, HC 32 Box 405, Red Hill Rt., Quemado, NM 87829, Angus and Hereford Cattle bred for optimum genetic performance.

Hooper Hereford Ranch, P.O. Box 268, Springerville, AZ 85938, Lance Knight 928/333-4377, 928/333-7241. Registered horned and polled Herefords.

King Herefords, Bill King 505/832-4330, 505/220-9909; Tom & Becky Spindle 505/832-0926; P.O. Box 564, Stanley, NM 87056. See us for all your herd bull needs: 150 Hereford, 125 Angus & 100 Charolais bulls available this fall. Located 5 miles N. of Moriarty on Hwy. 41; then 1.5 miles east.

Largent & Sons Annual "Big Day Sale" in November. P.O. Box 66, Kaycee, WY 82639, Mark & Cathy 307/738-2443, cell 303/267-3229, David & Heather 307/267-4491. Visit us at

King Herefords, Bill King 505/832-4330, 505/220-9909; Tom & Becky Spindle 505/832-0926; P.O. Box 564, Stanley, NM 87056. Come see us for all your herd bull needs – 150 Hereford, 125 Angus & 100 Charolais bulls available this fall. Located 5 miles N. of Moriarty on Hwy. 41; then 1.5 miles east.

Wagonhammer Ranches, Club calves – “the winning kind.� Spring and fall born. Private treaty. Production sale 3rd Wed. in March. Myron Benes, Albion, NE, 402/395-2178 or 402/395-6962, Production sale 3rd Wed. in March.

GELBVIEH Bow K Ranch, Dave & Dawn Bowman, 55784 Holly Rd., Olathe, CO 81425, 970/323-6833, “Pot of Gold� Gelbvieh, Angus & Balancer Bull Sale. Females private treaty. 28 years of AI breeding, emphasis on moderate size – calving ease – carcass.

"Pot of Gold" Bull Sale 21st annual bull sale, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, Olathe, CO. Selling 100 top quality yearlings & two year olds – several herd sire prospects. PAP, trich, fertility and PI-BVD tested – Gelbvieh, Balancers, & Angus. Females private treaty. For information call Mark Covington, 970/249-1453 or Dave Bowman 970/323-6833.

Don’t forget our 40th Annual Fall Sale October 24, 2011

HEREFORDS Chandler Herefords, Inc.,

Selling 40 bulls and 10 females

17528 Chandler Lane, Baker City, OR 97814. George 541/523-2166; Duane 541/523-4265, Charles, 541/523-3570. Purebred, horned bulls; replacement heifers. Private treaty. Email:



Craig Herefords, P.O. Box 152, Phippsburg, CO 80469. Dan, Karen, Brandon & Chrissy Craig, 970/7362272, Email: High-altitude, performance-tested Hereford bulls available. Also bulls & females at private treaty.Testing at Midland Bull Test.

2011 Fall Marketing Edition

4438 FM 3212 ‡ Dalhart, TX 79022

Introducing our NEWEST HERD SIRE -S Power Advance 103 W155 ET purchased at the THA Hats Off Sale in May

‡ Visitors Always Welcome Watch for our cattle in the Fort Worth Commercial Heifer Sale and the San Antonio Bull Sale



Seven Mile




Summerour Ranch,


4438 FM 3212, Dalhart, TX 79022. Johnny Summerour, 806/384-2110. Breeding stock available year-round through midNovember. Fall sale last Monday in October.







RED ANGUS Beckton Stock Farm, 37 Beckton Dr. Sheridan, WY 82801. Cam Forbes, email:, ofc. 307/674-6095, eves. 307/674-8162, fax: 307/672-7281. Annual Production Sale April every year.

Gregory Red Angus,

Eric Herr, 208/584-3515. Red, Black and Polled Limousin and Herefords – a good selection at Private Treaty.

LONGHORN Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America 2315 N. Main St., Ste. 402, Fort Worth, TX 76164, ofc. 817/625-6241, fax 817/625-1388,, Also publishers of Texas Longhorn Trails monthly magazine.

6819 Churn Creek Rd., Redding, CA 96002. Bill & Maudie Gregory, 530/365-3153 fax 530/365-3153. Range ready bulls for the commercial cattleman. Six performancetested bulls at the Shasta Bull Sale in November.

SALERS American Salers Association, 19590 E. Main St. #202, Parker, CO 80138, 303/770-9292, e-mail:, Breed registry.

Jacobsen Ranch Salers,

Last a lifetime

Wade Jacobsen & Family, 406/264-5889, cell 406/799-5889, Fax 406/264-5883,, 1282 US Hwy. 89, Sun River. MT 59483. See my December Production Sale ad! Salers heifers. Sale day phone: 407/727-5400. At the ranch Black Baldy heifers.

No maintenance Go up fast

SHORTHORN Bennett Shorthorns,

Attractive Provide excellent windbreak protection Pipe and other construction materials available Stan Fury • 575/760-6711/575/456-8453 • Broadview, N.M. 88112 Web: • Email:

PACO FEED YARD, LTD. Excellent Facility & Feeding Program OWNED BY FRIONA - AREA CATTLEMEN

Feed & Cattle Financing Available

CAPACITY 35,000 Located in the Heart of Cattle Feeding Country 10 miles South of Friona on Hwy. 214



Feller Hughs, Manager Paco Feed Yard, Ltd. • Box 956, Friona, Texas 79035


Oakville, WA, John & Donna Bennett. Private treaty year round. Calves in the fall. Shorthorns are an excellent choice for marbling and high gradability! Call 360/273-9932 for performance data! Breeding stock available at all times.

SHEEP American Sheep Industry Association, Inc., Judy Malone, 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360, Englewood, CO 80112, 303/771-3500, Sheep Description: National Trade Association for the Sheep Industry.

Katahdin Sheep, Low-Maintenance Meat Breed - NO SHEARING! - Excellent Maternal Traits. Think about it! Call or write for information or breeders list. Jim Morgan, phone: 479/4448441, Katahdin Hair Sheep International, P.O. Box 778L, Fayetteville, AR 72702,,

New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc., Jim Cooper, President, P.O. Box 7520, Albuquerque, NM 87107, Office located at 2231 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Phone: 505/2470584, Fax: 505/842-1766,, Call, write or email for membership information.

Livestock Market Digest






Humboldt Auction Yard, Inc.,

Bamford Feedyard, Kent Bamford, 18829 CR 95, Haxtun, CO 80731, 970/774-6163, Family-owned cattle feedyard — all services offered — growing to finishing.

Bar G Feedyard, Eight miles south of Hereford, TX. 125,000 head capacity. Financing available. Johnny Trotter, president/general manager, P.O. Box 1797, Hereford, TX 79045, 806/357-2241.

Cal-Tex Feed Yard, Inc., 381 CR 373, Trent, TX 79561, 325/862-6111; 325/862-6137 fax. Rex Bland, pres., 325/537-9335; Rosemary Bland Hayster, 325/232-6498; Terry Brown, yard mgr., 325/862-6159; Jonny Edmondson, 325/3387692. Full-service commercial cattle feeders. Cal-Tex Beef Coast to Coast.

Templeton Livestock Market, P.O. Box 308, Templeton, CA 93465, fax 805/434-1816, 805/434-1866. Randy Baxley, owner, 559/906-9760, 559/622-9634 eves. Regular sales: Saturday 11:30 a.m. Slaughter cattle; 1:00 p.m. stocker and feeder cattle.

Visalia Livestock Market, P.O. Box 2529, Visalia, CA 93279. 559/625-9615, Randy Baxley, owner, 559/622-9634 eves, 559/906-9760 cell. Beth Baxley, office manager; Sam Avila,yard manager, 559/799-3854. Regular sales Wed., 11:30 a.m., slaughter cattle; 1:00 p.m., stocker and feeder cattle.


446 North Main, Venice, UT 84701, Ivan and Brad Cowley 435/896-5260. 5,000 head capacity – backgrounding and finishing on silage, alfalfa, corn and barley.

Ordway Feedyard, LLC, 19424 Hwy. 96, Ordway, CO 81063, Luke Larson, Mgr. 719/267-3551. Full-service commercial feedlot; 55,000-head capacity; cattle and feed financing available.

Paco Feed Yard, Ltd., Box 956, Friona, TX 79035, 806/265-3281; 1-800/725-3433. Excellent facility, feeding and growing program. Cattle and feed financing available.





Bassett Livestock Auction, Inc.,

707/725-5188, eves. 707/725-6588, P.O. Box 313, Fortuna, CA 95540. Sale every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. — all classes of livestock.

Cowley Farm & Feedlot,


Atkinson Livestock Market, Reg. sales Tues. — all classes of cattle. Michael Tasler. Call for information on special sales, 402/925-5141. P.O. Box 279, Atkinson, NE 68713.

Regular cattle sales Weds., 12:00 noon. Call for info. on special feeder and stocker sales most Weds. 402/684-2361, Box 9, Bassett, NE 68714. Don Painter & Arlen Nelson, owners. Jeri Nelson, ofc. mgr.,

NEW MEXICO Naschitti Livestock Auction, Navajo Cattle Auction, Monday, October 10 at 1:00 p.m., Naschitti Livestock Assn., 40 mi. N. of Gallup, N.M. on Hwy. 191 (formerly 666). 62nd Annual Sale. Over 2,000 head cows (bred & open), steers & calves. 46th year of sale management by: Rolf M. Flake, Auctioneer. 602/615-3993

ORDER BUYERS Thompson Livestock, Inc., 20265 Superior Place, Whitewood, SD 57793, Tommy Thompson, Ted Thompson, Charlotte Thompson – office manager, 605/269-2222. Order buyers, buying and selling cattle year-round. Email:


Panhandle Feeders, Inc., P.O. Box 649, Morrill, NE 69358. Ofc. 308/247-2004, fax 308/247-2643; Larry's cell: 308/631-1400; Steve True's cell: 308/6316620. Full service feedlot, backgrounding to finished cattle. Call today for placement. Excellent weather conditions, good drainage, competitive feed pricing, customer financing and time-tested animal health program.


GRADED FEEDER & STOCKER SALES OVER 125,000 HEAD AVAILABLE In-Barn, Tel-O-Auction Load Lots, and Board Sales Cattle Available on a Year-Round Basis

Euclid Stockyards, Jeremy Gorham, Sale Yard 909/597-4818, Cell 909/282-2198, Ontario, California. Stocker and feeder cattle sale every Wednesday at 1 p.m.; butcher cows Monday - Friday 9:00 to noon.

2011 Fall Marketing Edition

For information contact: Bill McKinnon, 540/992-1009 or 540/641-2449 VIRGINIA CATTLEMEN’S ASSN. • P.O. BOX 9 • DALEVILLE, VA 24083



A.I./EMBRYO/SEMEN JLG Enterprises, Inc., Jack Lerch, 209/847-4797, P.O. Box 1375, Oakdale, CA 95361. Bull housing, semen collection, testing, evaluation.

Monday, October 10 at 1:00 P.M.

REAL ESTATE Ken Ahler Real Estate Co., Inc., 1435 S. St. Francis Drive, Ste. 210, Santa Fe, NM 87505,, office: 505/989-7573, toll free: 888/989-7573, mob.: 505/490-0220,

Azure Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 880, Las Vegas, NM 87701. Larry Brow, ofc. 505/454-6000; fax 505/454-6030; cell 505/429-0039. Serving New Mexico ranches and rural properties since 1976.

Bar M Real Estate,

40 mi. N. of Gallup, N.M. on Hwy. 191 (formerly 666)




Albuquerque, Tucumcari, Clovis, Roswell and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Whatever your farm and ranch loan needs – Come to the experts! 1-800/451-5997,



Cows (bred & open) Steers & Calves

Stuhaan Cattle, Dane Stuhaan, (CA) 559/688-7695 or cell (NE): 559/280-7695. Livestock hauling in western United States.

Scott McNally, Qualifying Broker, P.O. Box 428, Roswell, NM 88202, 575/622-5867, 575/420-1237, Visit me at Farm & ranch sales; general certified appraiser.

DD Inspections, LLC, Dan 720/273-9329, Deb 720/242-8032, email: ddinspections@ or We are in Colorado and we do commercial, residential, maintenance inspections and consultations and I specialize in farm and ranch land real estate. We are ICC certified and are Certified Master Inspectors. Realtors and brokers please contact me, discounts available. Testimonies and videos of my work available, over 40 years experience. Will travel.






Livestock Market Digest





Dan Delaney Real Estate,, 318 W. Amador Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88005, ofc. 575/647-5041, cell 575/644-0776, email: Specializing in all types of land in southern New Mexico. We have a very large inventory ranging from ranches, farms, horse properties and raw land for development to one-acre tracts for home sites.

Lee, Lee, & Pucket Kevin C. Reed, Ranch Sales & Appraisals. 1002 Koenigheim, San Angelo, Texas Office: 325/655-6989; Cell 915/491-9053. Ranchers Serving Ranchers, Texas & New Mexico.

Chas. S. Middleton and Son, 1507 13th St., Lubbock, TX 79401, 806/7635331. Ranch Sales & Appraisals – serving the ranching industry since 1920.

New Mexico Property Group, 615 West Rt. 66, Tucumcari, NM 88401. O: 575/ 461-4426; C: 575/ 403-7138; Fax: 575/ 461-8422;; nmpg@ Richard Randals, Qualifying Broker, Tom Sidwell, Associate Broker.





A B Cngus


Oregon Opportunities Real Estate, Southern Oregon farms, ranches and commercial properties! 800/772-7284, email:

Joe Priest Real Estate, 1205 N. Hwy. 175, Seagoville, TX 75159, 972/287-4548, 214/676-6973, 800/671-4548.,

“Building on the Basics”

Schrimsher Ranch Real Estate, LLC, Keith Schrimsher, P.O. Box 802, Roswell, NM 88202, 575/622-2343.

Terrell Land & Livestock Company


Tye C. Terrell, Jr., qualifying broker, office: 575/447-6041, P.O. Box 3188, Los Lunas, NM 87031. Selling ranches for 38 years. We know New Mexico.

Waldo Real Estate, P.O. Box 39, 937 SW 30th St., Ontario, OR 97914, David M. Waldo, broker, 800/398-3457. Serving Oregon and Idaho farms and ranches since 1976.

O’Neill Agricultural, LLC, Timothy John O’Neill, P.O. Box 145, Cimarron, NM 87714, 575/376-2341, Real estate services & ranch mapping services.


Cattle Feeders LLC

541/825-3550 8283 Tiller Trail Hwy. Canyonville, OR 97417

continued on page 46 >>


COMMERCIAL FEEDLOT Capacity 55,000 Cattle & Feed Financing Available 19424 HIGHWAY 96 ORDWAY, COLORADO 81063 TYLER LARSON, MANAGER TELEPHONE 719/267-3551

2011 Fall Marketing Edition



inning Kind!

Excellent Selectio n Spring & Fall Born

MYRON BENES 402/395-2178 or 402/649-2719


STATE ASSOCIATIONS California Cattlemen’s Association,, 916/444-0845, 1221 H St., Sacramento, CA 95814, Billy Gatlin, exec. vice pres., Call or write for information. Also publishers of the California Cattleman monthly except July/August is combined.

New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association, Bert Ancell, Pres.,, P.O. Box 7517, Albuquerque, NM 87194, located at 2231 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Ph: 505/247-0584, Fx: 505/842-1766, nmcga@ Representing the beef industry and private property rights in New Mexico and 14 other states. Visit our website/call/write/email for membership info.

New Mexico Federal Lands Council, Bebo (Don L.) Lee, President, P.O. Box 149, Alamogordo, NM 88310, 575/963-2505,, Representing federal & state trust land users in New Mexico & across the West. Call, write or email for membership information.

North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association, State Graded Feeder and Stocker Sales in spring and fall – over 20,000 head annually. Bryan Blinson,, 919/552-9111, 2228 N. Main St., Fuquay Varina, NC 27526, email:

Suppliers & Manufacturers BRANDERS L&H Manufacturing, “The Hot One” electric branders. Box 629, Mandan, ND 58554. 1-800/437-8068.

CATTLE HANDLING EQUIPMENT Bowman Livestock Equipment Co., America’s premier cattle handling equipment. Write or call for full details, 877/521-9111. P.O. Box 345, Herington, Kansas 67449. See my display ad!

DAVE & DAWN BOWMAN 55784 Holly Rd. • Olathe, CO 81425 970/323-6833


Pearson Livestock Equipment, Box 268, Thedford, NE 69166,308/645-2231. “Designed by cattlemen for cattlemen.”

Reds • Blacks • Balancers®

Swihart Sales Company,


“POT OF GOLD” BULL SALE Friday, February 24, 2012


Bulls and Heifers 575/773-4770

Rick and Maggie Hubbell Mark Hubbell

Quemado, NM





7420 County Rd. AA, Quinter, KS 67752,, 785/754-3513, 800/864-4595. We offer a complete line of low-volume mist blowers. See our display ad.



Shorthorns are an excellent choice forMarbling and High Gradability!


R.L. Robbs 520/384-3654 4995 Arzberger Rd. Willcox, AZ 85643

Bradley 3 Ranch Ltd. Ranch-Raised ANGUS Bulls for Ranchers Since 1955

200+ Angus Bulls Sell Feb. 11, 2012 at the Ranch NE of Estelline, TX M.L. Bradley, 806/888-1062 Fax: 806/888-1010 • Cell: 940/585-6471

Big Bend Saddlery,, P.O. Box 38, Alpine, TX 79831, 2701 E. Hwy. 90, Alpine, TX 79830, 432/837-5551 or toll free 1-800/634-4502. Manufacturers of fine custom-made saddles, bridles, bits and tack; custom chaps, leggings and belts. Also suppliers of brush jackets, western hats, range teepees and bedrolls; full line of cast-iron cookers.

LIVESTOCK FEEDING EQUIPMENT T&S Manufacturing, P.O. Box 336, Jermyn, TX 76459, 940/3422005. Manufacturer of trip hopper cattle feeders – feed bulk accurately! Southwest Metal Works, Clayton, NM, 575/374-2723; Roswell Livestock & Farm Supply, 1105, E. 2nd, Roswell, NM 88201, 575/622-9164; Cortese Feed, Knox Cortese, Ft. Sumner, NM 575/3552271; Bell Trailer Plex, Amarillo, TX, 806/6222992; Randy Stalls, McLean, TX, 806/886-2222, 806/779-2229. See our display ad!

LIVESTOCK TRAILERS T&T Trailer Sales, 505/864-8899, Todd & Callie Gibson, 19480 Hwy. 314, Belen NM 87002. Quality name brands from a dealer you can trust. Circle D, GR, Elite and Calico trailers, parts and service for all makes, CM Truck Beds.

Livestock Market Digest

LIVESTOCK WATERERS Miraco Manufacturing, 800/541-7866, P.O. Box 686, Grinnell, IA 50211. Manufacturers of Mira-Fount Livestock Waterers – beef, dairy, hogs. Totally energy-free waterers. Call or write for information, or visit our website:

Real Estate The West’s most progressive and aggressive real estate brokers sell their listings in our Real Estate Guide.

METAL BUILDINGS American Steel Span Buildings, We offer a wide range of farm and commercial buildings. All of our buildings have a 30-year warranty and we deliver coast to coast. Call for prices 1-800/237-9620, ext. 314,

VET SUPPLIES Animal Health Express, Barbara Jackson, 4439 N. Hwy. Dr. #2, Tucson, AZ. 85705, 1-800/533-8115. Supplier of animal health products, livestock supplies, supplements, equine supplier and more. Please call for a free catalog.

Inosol California Bander Castrator, , 1774 Citrus Lane, El Centro, CA 92243, 1-800/847-2533. You gain the advantage of delayed castration. You gain again with a lower cost of castration.

WESTERN ARTISTS A. “Tim” Cox, 891 Road 4990, Bloomfield, NM 87413, 575/632-8080, fax 575/632-5850, email:, Call or write for brochures.

Guide To place your listings here, please contact MICHAEL WRIGHT at 505/243-9515, ext. 30, or, or email Caren Cowan at

TEXAS & OKLA. FARMS & RANCHES • Magnificent 90 Hunting – Cattle/Horse Ranch 50 miles E. of Dallas, 35 miles W. of Tyler, White pipe fence along FM Hwy. 3,700 sq. ft. elaborate home, flowing waterway, lake. Has it all. • 532-acre CATTLE & HUNTING, NE TX ranch, elaborate home, one-mile highway frontage. OWNER FINANCE at $2,150/ac. • 274 acres in the shadow of Dallas. Secluded lakes, trees, excellent grass. Hunting & fishing, dream home sites. $3,850/ac. • 1,700-acre classic NE TX cattle & hunting ranch. $2,750/ac. Some mineral production. • Texas Jewel, 7,000 ac. – 1,000 per ac., run cow to 10 ac. • 256 Acre Texas Jewel – Deep sandy soil, high-rolling hills, scattered good quality trees, & excellent improved grasses. Water line on 2 sides rd., frontage on 2 sides, fenced into 5 pastures, 5 spring fed tanks and lakes, deer, hogs & ducks. Near Tyler & Athens. Price $1,920,000. • 146 horse, hunting cattle ranch N. of Clarksville, TX. Red River Co. nice brick home, 2 barns, pipe fences, good deer, hogs, ducks, hunting priced at $395,000. • 535 ac. Limestone, Fallas, & Robertson counties, fronts on Hwy. 14 and has rail frontage water line, to ranch, fenced into 5 pastures, 2 sets, cattle pens, loamy soil, good quality trees, hogs, & deer hunting. Priced at $2,300 per ac.

Joe Priest Real Estate 1205 N. Hwy 175, Seagoville, TX 75159





$!.+$&!+# /$ !) )&$(* $0!,



972/287-4548 • 214/676-6973 • 1-800/671-4548 •

KEVIN C. REED Ranch Sales & Appraisals Ranchers Serving Ranchers TX & NM LEE, LEE & PUCKITT ASSOCIATES INC.


Office: 325/655-6989 • Cell: 915/491-9053 1002 Koenigheim, San Angelo, TX 76903 email:

Texas - 7670 acres east of El Paso. Quality mule deer and exceptional quail. Texas - 7360 acres Brewster Co. Remote hunting ranch with beautiful vistas. 2011 Fall Marketing Edition

Joe Stubblefield & Associates 13830 Western St., Amarillo, TX 806/622-3482 • cell 806/674-2062 Drew Perez Assocs. Nara Visa, NM • 806/392-1788 47

" !% # $ !! " ! & ( " ))" ' $ ( ( $ % ! ( $ ' $ ( ) ( ) ) %$) $* ""- , $ &%*$ "+ ( % ) $ ' " $ ) ') % ) % " & ) , ' (* () $) " (*' # *( ( ' & $$* ""- )% ) ' $ %,$ ' $% ' ""( ' $ ) ) ( &'% ) # ! ' , ) '%%# %' %,( %' % , $ "+ ( %$ ( (%$ " ( ( &) # ' ) '%* ' () ) " ( ' ( ' !



Keith L. Schrimsher (575) 622-2343(o) (575) 520-1989(c)

Southwest New Mexico Farms and Ranches WAHOO RANCH: 99;8A26*=.5B *,;.< D -..-.<=*=. >7,87=;855.- *7/8;.<= .*>=2/>5 ,*==5. ;*7,1 58,*=.- 87 =1. .*<= <589. 8/ =1. 5*,4 #*70. 8>7=*27< 78;=1 8/ (27<=87 ! 87 $=*=. #8*%1;.. 18>;< /;86 .2=1.; 5+>:>.;:>. 8; 5 "*<8 %1. ;*7,1 2< +8>7-.- 87 =1. .*<= +B =1. 5*68<* ;..4 '*55.B *7- 87 =1. @.<= +B =1. (*188 8>7=*27< ;*70270 27 .5.?*=287 /;86 =8 %1.;. *;. 18><.< ,*+27< <.=< 8/ @8;4270 ,8;;*5< @2=1 <,*5.< *7- 7>6.;8>< <189< *7- 8>=+>25-270< = 2< ?.;B @.55 @*=.;.- @2=1 6*7B @.55< <9;270< -2;= =*74< *7- 929.527.< %1. =8980;*91B *7- ?.0.=*=287 2< * ,86+27*=287 8/ 0;*<< ,8?.;.- 1255< 9;2 6*;25B 0;*66* 0;*<<.< @2=1 6*7B ,.-*; 92C87 *7- 52?. 8*4 ,8?.;.- ,*7B87< *< @.55 *< =1. /8;.<=.- (*188 8>7=*27< %1.;. *;. 95.7 =2/>5 .54 *7- -..; *< @.55 *< *7=.589. =>;4.B +.*; 68>7=*27 5287 *7- 3*?.527* .54 =*0< 27 +<85>=.5B 87. 8/ =1. 72,.<= ,86+27* =287 ,*==5. 1>7=270 ;*7,1.< =8 +. /8>7- 27 =1. $8>=1@.<= MAHONEY PARK: ><= 625.< <8>=1.*<= 8/ .6270 ! %1. 9;89.;=B ,87<2<=< 8/ *99;8A *,;.< ..-.*,;.< $=*=. .*<. *7*,;.< %12< 12<=8;2, 9;89.;=B 2< 58,*=.- 1201 >9 27 =1. 58;2-* 8>7=*27< *7- /.*=>;.< * 9*;4 524. <.==270 ,8?.;.- 27 -..9 0;*<<.< @2=1 95.7=2/>5 8*4 *7- 3>729.; ,8?.;.- ,*7B87< %1. ,*==5. *558=6.7= @8>5- +. *99;8A 1.*- &) (25-52/. 27,5>-.< -..; 2+.A 3*?*527* :>*25 *7- -8?. %12< ;*;. 3.@.5 @8>5- 6*4. * 0;.*= 52==5. ;*7,1 @2=1 ?2.@< *7- * 186. <2=. <.,87- =8 787. .*<= 8/ 201@*B 85>6+>< 201@*B 87 # 99;8A26*=.5B *,;.< SAN JUAN RANCH: 8,*=.- 625.< <8>=1 8/ .6270 ! ,87<2<=270 8/ *99;8A26*=.5B *,;.< ..-.$=*=. .*<. *7>7,87=;855.- %1. ,*==5. *558=6.7= @8>5- +. *99;8A 1.*- &) %1.;. *;. <85*; 98@.;.- <=8,4 @.55< @2=1 6.=*5 <=8;*0. =*74< *7- *99;8A26*=.5B 625.< 929.527. %1. ;*7,1 1*< * ?.;B -2?.;<. 5*7-<,*9. ,87<2<=270 8/ 1201 68>7=*27 9.*4< -..9 3>729.; 8*4 ,8?.;.- ,*7B87< 68>7=*27 /88=1255< *7- -.<.;= 0;*<<5*7-< %1.;. 2< 95.7=2/>5 @25-52/. 27,5>-270 -..; 2+.A 3*?*527* :>*25 *7- -8?. 26.47-ACRE FARM /8; <*5. 8// $1*5.6 8587B #8*- 8;-.;< =1. #28 ;*7-. ;2?.; *,;.< @*=.; ;201=< *,;.< @*=.; ;201=< 176 ACRE FARM BETWEEN LAS CRUCES N.M AND EL PASO TEXAS: @B /;87=*0. @2=1 *,;.< 2;;20*=.*,;.< <*7-1255< />55 <>;/*,. @*=.; 95>< * <>995.6.7=*5 2;;20* REAL ESTATE, LLC =287 @.55 ,.6.7= -2=,1.< *7- 5*;0. .:>296.7= @*;.18><. 50.8-ACRE FARM: 8,*=.- 87 /=87 #8*- <8>=1 8/ * .<* ! "*?.- ;8*- /;87=*0. />55 318 W. Amador Avenue <>;/*,. @*=.; 95>< * <>995.6.7=*5 2;;20*=287 @.55 @2=1 ,.6.7= -2=,1.<



OTHER FARMS FOR SALE: 7 8C* 7* 8>7=B 55 58,*=.- 7.*; *< ;>,.< ! *7*,;.< $=*;=270 *= *,;. 55 1*?. <>;/*,. @*=.; ;201=< /;86 =1. #28 ;*7-. #2?.; *7- <.?.;*5 1*?. <>995.6.7=*5 2;;20*=287 @.55< / B8> *;. 27=.;.<=.- 27 /*;6 5*7- 27 8C* 7* 8>7=B 8; ;*7,1.< 27 $8>=1@.<= ! 02?. 6. * ,*55


Las Cruces, NM 88005 (O) 575/647-5041 (C) 575/644-0776

Livestock Market Digest


INDEX ABC Angus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Animal Health Express . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Bar G Feedyard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Bar T Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Bell Key Angus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Bennett Shorthorn . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Bow K Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Bowman Livestock Equipment . . . . . .4 Bradley 3 Ranch, Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Chandler Herefords . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Chip Cole Ranch Brokers . . . . . . . . .47 Circle D Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Cowley Farm & Feedlot . . . . . . . . . .50 Dan Delaney Real Estate . . . . . . . . . .48 Eagle Creek Enterprises . . . . . . . . . .51 Farm Credit of New Mexico . . . . . . . .2 Fury Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Hubbell Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Inosol California Banders . . . . . . . . . .4 Jacobsen Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Kaddatz Auctioneering & Farm Equipment Sales . . . . . . .46 L-H Branding Irons . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Lee, Lee & Pucket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Chas S. Middleton & Son . . . . . . . . . .47 Miraco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Naschitti Livestock Assn . . . . . . . . . .44 Ordway Cattle Feeders LLC . . . . . . . .45 Oregon Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Paco Feedyard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Pearson Livestock Equipment . .12, 49 Lee Pitts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Joe Priest Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Robbs Brangus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 San Angelo Packing, Inc. . . . . . . . . . .33 Schrimsher Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . .48 Seven Mile Limousin . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Joe Stubblefield & Associates . . . . . .47 Summerour Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Swihart Sales Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 T & S Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 T & T Trailers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Virginia Cattlemen’s Association . . .43 Visalia & Templeton Livestock Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Wagonhammer Ranches . . . . . . . . .45 2011 Fall Marketing Edition


Bell Key Angus



A Few s Choice Bull Available at Private Treaty.

Charles or George: 541/523-3570 or 541/523-2166 Duane cell: 541/403-0124 George cell: 541/403-0125 Email:

lke Dennis Boeh 208/467-2747 1612 Cell. 208/989-

BAKER CITY, OREGON Six Generations Since 1889

NA M P A , I D A H O


Complete Working Facilities for Cattle and Bison Heavy, rugged construction — Built to last!

National Distributor for Tru-Test Scales INFORMATION OR BROCHURES:

PEARSON’S, INC. 90 COURT ST. THEDFORD, NE 69166 308/645-2231


Cowley FARM & FEEDLOT COMPANY • 5,000-Head Capacity • Backgrounding and Finishing • Feeding silage, alfalfa hay, corn and barley • Hedging on Request

Three generations serving you IVAN, BRAD AND JEREMY COWLEY 546 North Venice Main Street Venice, Utah 84701





These Things I Wish


A Collection of Characters


Essays from God’s Country


Back Door People


People Who Live at the End of Dirt Roads


These Things I Wish,


Shipping & Handling (Per Item if ordered separately) Tax (If California resident only)




x 7.25%

GRAND TOTAL Name__________________________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address ________________________________________________________________________ City _________________________________________________ State _________ Zip________________



was published by Regan Books/ Harper Collins. They took the popular essay from Lee’s Dirt Roads book and transformed it into a fabulous, fully-illustrated hardback book that would make a wonderful keepsake gift for children of all ages. Grandparents will love it too! Livestock Market Digest



! & #% $% #""





* ! & % % "! # !%$ % #% ! %

% "! # !% ! #% $% #"" !' $ # !$ #




* ! & % "! # !%$ % #% !

!' $ # !$ #


# %



* ! & % % "! # !%$ % #% ! %


$ .$ ,1. ,*-)$0$

.($0'+% $.2'"$


hroughout the year at each location we offer annual range bull sales, several annual replacement female sales, and we offer many special calf and feeder sales throughout the spring summer and fall. Featuring many fancy age and sourced cattle. We also offer biweekly Internet video auctions via our new venture with Our Annual Bull Sales Will Feature

Hand-Picked Bulls,Selected For Phenotype, Performance & Carcass Traits offering 150 Angus, Charolais, Hereford & Simangus Bulls

0& 0&

00)$*$+7/ $)$"0 +%$ 1)) )$

1+# 5 $-0$*!$. 1+"& 0


)$ 0 - *

.' ,1+05 .$$#$.7/ &,'"$ 1)) )$ +# +#

01.# 5 "0,!$. 1+"& 0


)$ 0 - *

BQA Certification & Free Animal Handling Seminar featuring Montana rancher Curt Pate at 9 a.m. Select Groups of Females & Horses Sell at 12:30 pm.

Select Group of Females Sell at 12:30 p.m.

O ffering 5 proven, ranch horses selling from Milano Land & Cattleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O â&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly Ranch.

One lucky bull buyer drawn at the conclusion of each bull sale will win a Handtooled Cactus Ranch Saddle.

Attention Bull Buyers ...

.0+$.$# 3'0&




* 2')

Fall Marketing Edition 2011  
Fall Marketing Edition 2011  

Featuring the Digest 25