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Plenty of daylight, good times, and tons of memories...

Summer’s Here! Step into the world of America’s leading ag businesses and ag families inside!

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Ranch House Journal SUMMER 2017

Features 8


KEEPING THAT COMPETITIVE EDGE How a family-owned feed company has managed to stay at the top-of-the game for 136 years.


THE POWER FAMILY A true team of entrepreneurs are behind the Rincker Simmentals seedstock cow-calf operation.



LIVESTOCK HAULERS HUB Ranch House goes behind the scenes with the “Uber for cattle.”


CUSTOM QUALITY Dean & Peeler team up to create excellent beef from pasture to plate.

102 WORKING FOR THE BEES Dee Braman spreads the honey bee message by encouraging others to “bee educated.”

Friends & Families 48



Be our guest at this exquisite ranch wedding where two cattle ranchers showcase love and the cattle lifestyle.



VISIT BIG BEND Meg Drake recaps her action packed trip to Big Bend country.


WOMEN IN AG COLUMN Learn how Shannon Wilson is helping to bridge the consumer producer gap.


RANCH KIDS COLUMN Four books for little cowpokes

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JESSICA HOBBS CELEBRATES 10 YEARS AT RANCH HOUSE Meet Jessica, our web division manager, who just celebrated 10 years with Ranch House Designs.

144 5 MINUTES WITH Dr. Clifford Lamb

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Home & Fashion 30

SUMMER WESTERN FASHION MUST-HAVES 5 must-have summer fashion items for the western fashion enthusiast.



HEARTBRAND’S BBQ SAUCE HeartBrand Beef shares their secret family BBQ sauce recipe.

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CHAPARROSA RANCH Tour of a Texas legend deep in the brush country.



MEYER CATTLE Farming and cattle roots run deep in this Midwest family operation.


GRIMMEL FARMS This family-owned Maryland farm has many generations in the grain and beef businesses.

CLASSIC LEATHER DESIGNS From her Colorado home, Sandy Meyer has crafted one of a kind leather goods for more than 30 years.





BARNS OF AMERICA Enjoy beautiful barn images submitted by our readers.

108 TENNESSEE RIVER MUSIC Down home hospitality, good cattle, and family ties run deep in this Alabama operation.


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This issue marks the anniversary of Ranch House Journal and what better way to celebrate than to totally redesign and revamp its predecessor? Which we did, and more. When I started working for Ranch House Designs, Inc. (about 3 months ago), one of my first tasks was to conceptualize and put into action a plan for taking Ranch House Journal to the next level. After much deliberation with fellow team members, a strategy was developed and a vision was set into motion. This vision included creating a magazine that those involved in the western and ranching lifestyles would be proud of. A literary work that would appeal to different ages and different walks of life. A publication that subscribers would feel compelled to sport on their coffee tables, in their businesses and share with their colleagues. No pressure right?

On the Cover: Ranch House team members enjoy a night in the country celebrating Jessica Hobbs. Photo by Luke Neumayr, Luke & Cat Photography. 6 | Ranch House Journal


Ranch House JOURNAL EDITOR IN CHIEF Meg Drake ART DIRECTOR Melissa Grimmel Schaake

After many feature story discussions, late nights editing, design revisions, and one banging 10-year employee celebration party, the Summer 2017 Ranch House Journal was born. And my, am I one proud parent. This collection of well written editorial, beautiful images and impeccably designed ads was the result of hard work put in by many talented team members. Individuals whose passion for the agricultural industry and western lifestyle, on a daily basis, compel them to use their talents to serve farmers, ranchers, small business owners and more. In this issue you will discover success stories behind multigenerational ranches and ag businesses, how bees sustain living ecosystems and what it takes to start your own retail beef brand. You’ll get to travel to the Big Bend region of Texas. Welcome to Ranch House Journal 2.0; it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

VICE PRESIDENTS Ashley Fitzsimmons, VP Accounts Callie Graves, VP Print & Social DESIGNERS Kristen Davis Sarah Simpson WRITERS Alysha Beck Nicole Erceg MARKETING ASSOCIATES Chakadra Ward Tori Arriazola SUBSCRIPTIONS Lynn Hough Ranch House Journal is published four times per year by Ranch House Designs, Inc. © Ranch House Designs, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in partwithout permission is prohibited. All projects described in this publication are for priave, non-commercial use. No rights for commercial use or explotation are given or implied. Ranch House Journal is trademarked by Ranch House Designs. Ranch House Designs is a registered trademark in the U.S. patent and Tradmark Office. All rights reserved.

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Five Generations of the Emmert Family Work to Keep That

Competitive Edge By Meg Drake

What started out as a saloon in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1881 has evolved into a fifth generation family owned business that specializes in manufacturing high-quality, nutritious animal feeds for pet and livestock owners.

Top to bottom, Ken Rod, Elizabeth Barber, and Scott Barber are carrying on the Emmert tradition of success. 8 | Ranch House Journal

It was in the late 1800’s that Fred Emmert noticed an opportunity within the beer brewing industry. Capitalizing on this opportunity, he created a business venture that is known to many as the F.L. Emmert company. “When brewers visited the saloon, they complained that local farmers were late picking up their spent grains to be used for feed on the farm,” said Whisk & Wag Brand Manager and sixth generation Emmert family member, Elizabeth Barber. “Fred Emmert saw this business opportunity and arranged contracts with local brewers to pick up the spent grains and deliver them to farms surrounding Cincinnati. Over the next century, the business evolved to produce its own

line of products based on the natural nutritional value of brewers yeast.” Spent grain refers to what is leftover after brewers have extracted the sugars, proteins and other grain ingredients needed to produce alcohol or other mashed products. It’s anticipated that this leftover malt accounts for 85 percent of a brewery’s total byproduct. Through unique processing methods, F.L. Emmert Company is able to turn this byproduct into feed additives like ShowBloom and other highly effective brewer’s yeast products.


After 136 years of operating as a family business, it’s no surprise that family values are of great importance

How one family-owned feed company has managed to stay at the top-of-the game for 136 years.

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to the F.L. Emmert culture. Great care and detail is put into making sure decisions not only benefit the employees and customers, but also the animals that consume F.L. Emmert products. It’s this business model that Barber believes has always kept the company at the top of its game despite changing times and the constant tide of competitors that enter the market. Today, the company is operated by fifth and sixth generation Emmerts. Owner, Carol Rod is a fifth generation Emmert. Her husband, Wayne Rod serves the F.L. Emmert Company as CEO. Their son, Ken Rod and daughter, Elizabeth Barber also work for the company. Ken is the General Manager and Elizabeth operates as Brand Manager. Elizabeth’s husband, Scott Barber currently serves as the Manufacturing Manager for the company. “We try to take a long-term approach to everything we do,” said Barber. “One of our core values is care, and we try to bring that to every relationship, whether a customer, employee, or a vendor.” Even the company’s mission statement is centered around this core value. Barber pointed out that the handbook states, “in an age where profits drive corporate decisions, we are driven instead by a genuine desire to help our employees and clients prosper.” She credited their greatest success to maintaining decades-old customer relationships, despite operating in a day and age where companies tend to only look out for themselves.

SHOWBLOOM’S RISE TO SUCCESS Today, the company is known for many animal-related products, the most popular in the show livestock industry being the feed supplement, ShowBloom. General Manager, Ken Rod explained how ShowBloom’s rise 10 | Ranch House Journal

to success can be largely credited to the supplement’s ingredient list. “Its [ShowBloom] ingredient list is made of a limited, yet powerful and beneficial set of ingredients with the main ingredient being our unique brewers yeast,” said Rod. “Brewers yeast is widely known to have prebiotic characteristics and to support overall animal health.” They refer to this brewer’s yeast ingredient as BGY. This key ingredient contains proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that support optimal feed intake and efficiency in animals. This combination of quality ingredients provides animals with exceptional nutritional value and helps them achieve their full genetic potential. “I have used ShowBloom for years in my feeding program. I like the palatability of the product from the brewer’s yeast,” said customer Shane Meier who owns and operates Meier Cattle Co. “What I see from using ShowBloom is a noticeable increase in muscle tone and skin/hair condition. It’s a great way to add extra protein to your cattle’s daily intake.” Among others, ShowBloom also helps digestive function, hair-coat and hoof quality, and body condition in animals. ShowBloom’s powerful ingredient list has remained consistent and unchanged for over 30 years. Despite having a product that has withstood the test of time and competition, Rod admitted that continually devising fresh marketing strategies to push the product, has been a challenge. “Many new products continue to come on the market and claim to be the next best thing,” said Rod. “We know that the people feeding ShowBloom know it works. Our challenge is to convince the everchanging market that is still the case.” Rod said that bringing on Ranch House to help with ShowBloom marketing efforts has helped to keep

the brand “fresh” on consumers’ minds. “They [Ranch House] have been able to utilize their vast knowledge of the industry as well as our target market to reinvigorate the ShowBloom brand and keep it in front of the right consumer audience,” said Rod.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Just as it has done for the past 136 years, the plan for the F.L. Emmert Company is to continue to provide exceptional animal products and to continue to grow. “Our plan is pretty simple, offer great products that perform well, that offer good value for the customer and truly give our customer the best possible service,” said company President, Mike Manning. “That has worked for us for generations and although not always easy to do, it is a simple plan for growth and success.” Through the successful marketing and development of ShowBloom, Rod anticipates growth in this area as well. “We would love for ShowBloom to become an everyday part of every animal’s feed,” said Rod. “We know it works in terms of preparing animals for show or sale, however we also know that feeding ShowBloom throughout an animal’s life can support overall health and well-being.” For those wanting to take their family business to the next level, Barber provides sound advice. “Make an effort to bring in outside energy, insight and ideas. Inviting other people into business leadership opens up new worlds of opportunity,” said Barber. “Having said that, also appreciate the family aspect and all that comes with it.” To learn more about ShowBloom products, visit

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Glover Cattle Co., Elgin, Oklahoma Glover Cattle Company has been in the business of buying, selling and breeding commercial cattle since 1920. They are located in Elgin, Oklahoma and offer Angus bulls and cows all throughout the year. At Glover Cattle Company, their number one goal is to breed and raise phenotypically and genetically proven cattle that will perform for commercial and registered breeders across the country. You can check out their website to find their most prominent sires and donors.

Virginia Beef Expo The Virginia Beef Expo is a non-profit corporation that was founded in 1988. The Expo is a four day event that the whole family will love! It is a wonderful way to encourage youth to get involved in the cattle industry through beef shows, as well as, educational, cooking and cattle handling contests. Attendees have the opportunity to attend events such as, the trade show, cattle sales and the Junior Beef Roundup.

San Coat, San Antonio, Texas San Coat Company has provided their customers with pure craftsmanship for 40 years. They use cutting edge technology to create coating on various industrial projects. They provide painting services, abrasive blasting and powder coatings to a broad range of clientele in San Antonio, Texas. Their products have served several clients in the petroleum, chemical, power, food and beverage distribution, transportation, and water treatment industries among others. 14 | Ranch House Journal

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LAUNCHED BY RANCH HOUSE THIS SPRING Caney Creek Church, Wharton, Texas Caney Creek Church is a non-denominational church dedicated to bringing God’s word in song and creating an atmosphere of praise and worship for the Wharton community. The church offers bible study on Wednesdays and Sunday School and morning worship every Sunday. They welcome all ages at Sunday School. They provide two adult classes, a college and career class and a nursery at all services. Caney Creek Church also allows visitors to listen to past sermons directly from their website through SoundCloud.

QB Cattle, Wharton, Texas QB Cattle is a club calf operation located in Wharton, Texas. At QB Cattle, they sell 10 to 20 American calves each year to youth involved in 4-H and FFA. Although they are devoted to raising American influence show steers and heifers, they largely focus on halfblood Brahmans. They wholeheartedly believe in the Brahman steer program, in which they created the term, “Halfblood Nation.” Aside from Brahman, they also offer Brangus, Gert and Angus cattle during sales.

Williams Supply Company, Marion, Texas Williams Supply Company is a family-owned business that was established in 2002. They are located east of San Antonio in Marion, Texas. Williams Supply is a 24-hour service company that caters to clients in the industrial, mechanic, refrigeration, energy and power pipeline, engineering and construction industries. They specialize in industrial pipe, valve and fittings and sell a variety of products, such as, carbon, stainless, alloy, copper, pvc and brass.

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LAUNCHED BY RANCH HOUSE THIS SPRING Pembrook Cattle Company, Fairview, Oklahoma Pembrook Cattle Company is a seedstock ranch located in Fairview, Oklahoma dedicated to raising elite Angus cattle. They offer cattle sales several times throughout the year. In October, they offer the Pembrook Angus Female Sale. In December, they offer the Holiday Lights Sale that includes exceptional show heifers, herd sire prospects and potential donors. In April, they offer elite cattle in the Texas Limited Edition Sale. Follow Pembrook Cattle Company on Facebook to get daily updates on cattle being offered for sale.

Strouhal Tire, Pearland and Hungerford, Texas Strouhal Tire is a full service tire and automotive shop that was established more than 90 years ago. Although they are closed on weekends, the shop opens their doors from seven in the morning to five in the evening on weekdays. They serve the communities of Hungerford and Pearland, Texas and offer emergency roadside service 24-hours a day. Follow Strouhal Tire on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates.

Triple S Ranch, Brenham, Texas Triple S Ranch is an 840-acre ranch located in the small town of Clay, Texas. The ranch was established in 2001, but has grown exceptionally over the years. Today, they run 2,500 head of Brahman cows and 1,200 head of commercial F1 crossbred cows. They have a broad selection of cattle that includes Brahman, Angus and Hereford. They won Grand Champion Open Brahman Pen at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition All Breeds Female Sale in 2017. 18 | Ranch House Journal

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LAUNCHED BY RANCH HOUSE THIS SPRING Ryan’s Challenge, College Station, Texas Ryan’s Challenge is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness for the connective tissue disorder known as vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. This organization was started and named after Ryan, a young boy who is living with vEDS. vEDS is the rarest and most severe types of Ehlers-Danlos disorders. It can cause many different health complications and can be life-threatening in certain events. Many people aren’t aware they have this disorder until it is too late. Want to become an advocate for vEDS? Donate, create a fundraiser or just spread the word. Help tell Ryan’s story.

Brite Ranch, Marfa, Texas The Brite Ranch journey began in 1885 when Mr. Brite first arrived at the base of Capote Peak. He along with his herd and a half-dozen of his friends settled in the Capote Mountain area in Presidio County, Texas. There have been many changes at the ranch over the years, but they are consistently dedicated to raising their own sires and carefully selecting bulls and heifers for line-breeding. At the Brite Ranch, they are committed to producing outstanding, high quality Hereford cattle.

Hornung Red Angus, Cotton Grove, Wisconsin Hornung Red Angus is a family-owned operation that was established in 2002. The cattle operation is located in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin and provides their community with excellent Red Angus cattle. No matter if you’re a commercial cattleman or someone looking for a competitive show heifer, Hornung Red Angus will ensure you find exactly what you need.

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Star Metal Ad

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LAUNCHED BY RANCH HOUSE THIS SPRING Klein Farms, Seymour, Illinois Klein Farms has been in the Klein family since 1868. It is a multigenerational family farm that operates under the instruction of the fourth and fifth generations of the family. At the farm, they offer many different services to the Seymour community, located near Champaign. Aside from farming, they provide many services including tiling, irrigation, custom spraying, de-tasseling local seed corn production fields, snow removal and trucking.

South Texas Cowboy Gathering, Seguin, Texas South Texas Cowboy Gathering and Western Music Festival is an entertaining annual event in Seguin, Texas. The festival is held the first weekend in May. It includes cowboy and western swing music, storytelling, dancing, children’s activities and live entertainment. Top entertainers from last year’s South Texas Cowboy Gathering included, R.W. Hampton, Pipp Gillette, Calvin Hampton, Hot Club of Cowtown, Tin Roof, Jill Jones, Mike Blakely, Jim Jones and Rocky King Band. Want to attend one of the most popular events in Seguin, Texas? Check out their website for tickets.

Gotcher (G4 Brangus) Ranch, West Columbia, TX Gotcher Ranch has provided customers with commercial Brangus cattle for seven generations. They are committed to making the best Brangus cattle even better through superior genetics. Their elite Brangus cattle roam wild on the vibrant grasslands in West Columbia, Texas. At the ranch, they perform intensive culling practices to ensure they deliver exceptional Brangus cattle that will perform phenomenally in any producer’s cattle herd.

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LAUNCHED BY RANCH HOUSE THIS SPRING Niobrara Red Angus, Niobrara, Nebraska Niobrara Red Angus is a family-owned cattle operation located in Niobrara, Nebraska. It was established in 2014 with the sole purpose of helping cattlemen heighten their herd performance through utilizing superior Red Angus genetics. The cattle operation offers a combination of elite females and herd sires, including the 2016 Agribition Grand Champion Red Angus Bull, known as Red Six Mile Signature 295B. This particular bull earned the “AngusChampion of North America� title in 2016.

Kansas Cattle Company, Mulvane, Kansas Are you a Kansas resident in the market for Angus cattle? Well, look no further because Kansas Cattle Company has you covered. They are an Angus-based cowcalf operation that has a strong background in agronomy and farming. At Kansas Cattle Company, they offer high quality Angus cattle to suit both commercial and registered cattlemen. Cattle are sold private treaty every year in January.

Woodbury Farms, Quenemo, Kansas Woodbury Farms is a registered Angus seedstock, commercial cow-calf and farming operation that began in 1881 when they first purchased land in Osage County. In 1928, they began expanding the farm and Hereford based commercial cowherd. The farm has grown tremendously in the last few years and serves the community in Quenemo, Kansas. Follow them on Facebook and Youtube for information on their 7th Annual Bull and Female Sale that will take place March 21, 2018. 24 | Ranch House Journal

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A true team of entrepreneurs are behind the Rincker Simmental’s cow-calf operation. The Rincker family from left to right: Brent, Curt, Cari and Pam.

A Midwest Agriculture

Power Family


n the Rincker family, the motto is “If you want something done, find a way to do it yourself.” The entire family has a list of entrepreneurial accomplishments pages long. Mother, Pam founded an agribusiness software company in 1981. Father, Curt is the co-owner of Rincker Simmentals and a veteran agricultural educator. Their children, Brent and Cari, have founded their own businesses, including a cattle auction website and agriculture law practice. Among the Rinckers, there is no shortage of vision and drive. They represent a new spin on the term “power couple”... the Rinckers are a power family.

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With new challenges and changes in the agricultural industry — whether economic, societal or environmental in nature — families like the Rinckers are needed to take the challenges head on and find and implement solutions. Approaching challenges from various facets related to agriculture, Pam said, is what brings the family together as a team behind Rincker Simmentals. “We travel this interesting path of where some of our passions are and how they intersect with agriculture,” Pam said. “What I like the most is that Rincker Simmentals is probably the glue and the common intersection that all of us in our family are engaged in and participate.”

By Alysha Beck

And within the Rincker cattle business, everyone has a role to play. “When it comes time to doing things, whether it’s somebody who’s doing the photography or somebody who’s on the phone talking to people or doing the bookkeeping, everybody has their own roles in the family. My role was quickly moving toward the technical side of things and so that was one of the things I did,” Brent said. Brent handled the Rincker Simmentals website until the operation partnered with Ranch House Designs in 2010. As he became busy with other work, Brent said having Ranch House manage the operation’s website was a welcomed change. Now, he can focus more on helping Curt make genetic

decisions and his role as a full partner on the farm’s primary donor dams. Pam’s role is more to keep track of the finances and manage Rincker Simmentals’ online databases — skills she brings to the table from her decades of experience at her company, Software Solutions Integrated. And with her own expertise in law practice, Cari works with farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses out of her offices in Champaign, Illinois and New York City. She also co-manages several breeding females within the Rincker herd. With his lifetime of experience with Angus and Simmentals, Curt focuses on genetics and day-to-day herd management. He’s taken a more active role in the operation since retiring in 2011 after 34 years of service as a high school agricultural teacher, livestock judge and Agriculture Division Chairman at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois.

THE CATTLE For Pam, it’s hard to remember a time when cattle weren’t a part of her and Curt’s life. “It’s kind of hard to think about before and after because it has been a thread or a fabric in our lives practically the whole time. We’ve been married now for 42 years,” Pam said. While Pam didn’t grow up with cattle, Curt was raised on an Angus ranch and participated in 4-H and FFA. In high school, he started artificially breeding cattle and became a certified technician with his father. Curt started working with Simmentals when they began crossing them with Angus in the 1970s and saw great results with the F1 cross. So naturally, when Pam and Curt married after graduating college, the couple purchased its first set of Simmentals and started the farm in 1979 in East Central Illinois. The herd has grown since, particularly in the last 10 to 15 years, Curt said.

Curt and Cari judging showmanship at the 2016 AJSA Eastern Regional. Ranch House Journal | 27 

The Rincker sale facility. While striving to produce quality cattle, Rincker Simmentals focuses on improving herd genetics and EPDs and maintaining high selection pressures. “Cattle selection is pretty near and dear to our hearts with show cattle, livestock judging, and helping people that have purchased cattle from us. We’re really engaged in thinking about the beef improvement. That’s just what we think is really important, and we do that through genetics. We do that through our AI selection of sires. We do that through our embryo transfer work and trying to magnify certain genetic pools that we have,” Curt said. Overall, the goal of Rincker Simmentals is to serve the customer and stay current in breeding for the demands of both the show cattle and beef industries. “I think it’s just the follow-up that we receive from our customers, and we really believe that their success is what we are trying to achieve,” Curt said. “If they can’t succeed, we won’t.” For Brent, it’s about making cattle as good as possible. “I like the moment when you have somebody come and … they finally see your best one. That, to me, is the moment that makes it all worth it,” Brent said. 28 | Ranch House Journal

Always moving forward, Curt said it’s important not to assume one can stop working hard. “We can’t sit on our laurels and assume that since we sold ‘x’ number of bulls successfully this year, that next year we’ll do the same,” he said.

MARKETING BOOSTS THE RINCKER BRAND Recently, the Rincker’s have seen their efforts pay off in breeding cattle that are in demand. Curt said the ranch has seen a steady increase in the number of attendees at the annual Illini Elite Sale, including people coming from across the country. While social media has contributed to the improved awareness, Curt said working with Ranch House Designs to develop a marketing mix — website and logo design, plus ads and e-blasts — has overall, increased brand recognition for the operation. “One of best moves that we made was having Ranch House do all of our stuff,” Brent said. “That way we get a consistency of our branding rather than trying to spread it out.” “The ads that Ranch House develops for us are people’s imagery of Rincker Simmentals and our cattle. It’s really critical to have that piece out there

and to have it as high-quality as we can possibly make it because it’s really what they see,” Curt said.

WORKING AS A TEAM The Rincker family operates as a true team, Cari said. What makes it worth all the effort? “Passion makes it all worth it,” Curt said. “We really just enjoy the fact that people have the same passion and interest in Simmental cattle or highquality cattle that we do.” As a team, the Rinckers have many future plans for the cattle operation, including improving herd genetics, centralizing the marketing of bulls, and maintaining and adopting new practices in the pasture and grazing program. And if anything is certain in all their future endeavors, it’s that the Rinckers will find a way to do it.

Check out these Rincker family websites:

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Meet the


Livestock Haulers Hub is an ag business dedicated to connecting livestock producers and livestock haulers.

of the Livestock Business.


here is nothing like the thrill of an online sale. Despite multiple moments of panic, and going a little (or maybe a lot) over budget, you finally get the notification that you won, and that beautiful heifer is now yours! But then, once the excitement passes you realize, shoot, now I’ve got to figure a way to get that heifer from Texas, all the way to Indiana… Wouldn’t it be great if there was a website where you could enter in your cattle, and instantly be connected with a huge network of experienced livestock haulers, who want to help you get your cattle from point A to point B? Jon Schernikau and Craig Gana thought the same thing, while trying to arrange cattle to be shipped to various buyers after the Gana Farms production sale in 2014. RHJ: So, how did the idea for Livestock Haulers Hub come about? Jon Schernikau: The concept of our site came from Craig Gana. He and I were trying to arrange to get some cattle shipped to various buyers after the Gana Farms production sale. We both agreed that there ought to be an easier way to find haulers, especially when we have 10 head going to 10

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By Ashley Grant

different locations. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a website where you just enter your cattle, and haulers could see a map with all those loads that need to be hauled? RHJ: What steps did you take to transform Livestock Haulers Hub from an idea to a full fledged website? JS: I have more than 20 years of experience in sales, so Livestock Haulers Hub was a good opportunity for me to put my experience in marketing to good use. I started doing a little research online, to see if any services like that existed. There are some hauling services for feeder cattle, but nothing that catered to the seedstock breeder. We then decided to approach Ranch House Designs, because they were doing some other websites for us, and they also understand the industry so well. We wanted them to help us develop the site. RHJ: I worked with you on this website project, and it was one Livestock Haulers Hub is the brainchild of Jon Schernikau and Craig Gana, two friends in the of the biggest websites agriculture industry. The website currently has 1200 users and a network of more than 500 haulers. we had worked on at the time. What would you say was the biggest RHJ: What was the most difficult RHJ: Once the website launched, challenge in building part about marketing Livestock how did you get breeders and the website? Haulers Hub in the beginning? haulers to sign up? JS: Probably planning out the JS: We did a lot of marketing JS: In the beginning people thought structure. I am a visual person, so I methods. First off, I began calling WE were the guys with the truck and was literally drawing out a flow chart trailer, hauling their livestock. But breeders who were having internet for how the site should look. I was once I tell them we are like Uber for sales yep, grassroots cold calling! We taping each page for the site on my cattle, the light goes on. also ran ads in various publications, wall, so I could go from A-Z, whether and traveled to a lot of live sales, trade I was a seller trying to ship livestock, shows, and events where I thought I RHJ: What is one of your biggest or a hauler trying to find loads. could introduce our service to breeders success stories? and haulers. Ranch House Journal | 33 

Livestock Haulers Hub provides the network for livestock buyers to connect with livestock truckers. It’s also a great tool for livestock truckers to help meet new clients. The website,, features realtime, interactive maps for producers needing hauling or for truckers looking to find a load.

JS: I was at the American Angus Convention “ONCE I TELL THEM WE ARE in November LIKE UBER FOR CATTLE, THE 2015, right after the website had LIGHT GOES ON.” launched. A - JON SCHERNIKAU gentleman came up to the booth and said he needed six Angus cows moved, and asked if Livestock Haulers Hub could help. We created his account on the spot, and posted his automatically receive a notification loads. It was really fun, because our every time a new load is posted. So if website was brand new. I followed you need to get your new heifer from up with him a week later, and every Texas to Indiana, all you have to do is cow had either already been hauled, go to, or had arrangements to be moved in post the load to the load board, and the next week. He was fired up! He BAM! In three minutes or less, you actually called me about eight months just told 500 haulers you need help. later, needing some bulls moved to How long would it take you to make Montana, and we were able to help 500 phone calls? him again. It was real proof that what As we have progressed, we have also we were doing was working - serving the guy who needs small loads hauled. realized that online sales are a real niche for us. When a breeder has a live sale, you usually see trucks and trailers RHJ: So, tell me a little about at the sale. With an internet sale, every where Livestock Haulers Hub is lot sold needs a ride home, plus you’re today. It seems to have really taken often dealing with buyers from a wide off since we launched it almost 2 range of states with internet sales. years ago. Recently we have also developed a JS: Right now, Livestock Haulers partnership with Hub has more than 1,200 users, They list Livestock Haulers Hub under and more than 500 independent the resources tab on their website. livestock haulers. Those 500 haulers 34 | Ranch House Journal

That way, when clients ask them “what about trucking?”, they just refer them to our site. RHJ: Now, looking toward the future, what are your plans for Livestock Haulers Hub long-term? JS: My ambition is to make it a true HUB for both breeders and haulers. Technology is moving pretty fast, but regardless, we are in a business where people buy and sell livestock, and there is still a living animal that needs to go from point A to point B. Having spent the first 20 years of my career in the corporate world, every day I get to meet and talk with people in the agriculture world is a joy. The people are awesome, and when you can do something to help each other, it is even better. I love this business and hope to be doing this a long time!

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Two Ranch House clients team up with a new way to serve the pasture to plate beef market.

Dean & Peeler


CUSTOM Quality I By Nicole Erceg

t all started at a director’s meeting for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Jason Peeler met Dustin Dean and the two became fast friends. It didn’t take long for the cattlemen’s comradery to blossom from friends to business partners. Jason, a lifelong cattleman and owner of Texana Feeders and Dustin, a cattleman with a meat science background and Ph.D. focused on vertical integration in the beef industry, shared a vision for a business where they owned the cattle from birth to beef. Their idea relied on an unexpected partner — dairy farms. Jason and Dustin launched Primera Beef in 2014 with the goal of aligning the beef and dairy industries to create a sustainable relationship that provides a consistent supply of uniform calves for beef consumption. By partnering with dairy farms, they crossbreed mature dairy cows with carefully selected beef bulls. At birth, the calves become Primera beef property and their lives are perfectly conditioned for the meat products they will one day provide. Since the calves spend their entire lives

under Primera Beef care from ranch life to finishing at Texana Feeders, quality control begins from day one. The business venture has been a journey for the two cattlemen and their families, but one that was missing a final puzzle piece until March 1, 2017. The cattle side of the business was well underway, but the partners needed their own harvest facility and beef distribution system.

BEGINNING A BRAND From baby calves to beef customers, the final missing link was a meat processing facility. The creation of Dean and Peeler Meatworks was the final step to complete vertical integration. In 2016, Dustin and his wife Annie Dean along with Jason and his wife, Marianna, purchased an old, shut down meat processing facility in Poth, Texas. A short 15-minute drive from Texana Feeders, the location was perfect to add the final step to their business plan. A construction management major at Texas A&M University, it was Annie who oversaw

the renovation and construction of the modern processing facility. What started as a rundown cinderblock building, transformed into a state-ofthe-art meat processing facility that Joanna Gaines would be proud to display. The front office even features white shiplap. The Dean and Peeler Meatworks brand offers custom processing, wholesale meat for restaurants, and a retail beef counter for consumers.

BEYOND THE LOCAL BUTCHER Dean and Peeler Meatworks is much more than an average butcher shop. This 5,000 square foot processing facility includes a state of the art processing room, kill floor, rail and aging space. It’s also regularly inspected by the USDA, an uncommon feature for most smaller scale slaughter facilities. “Most places like us are only state inspected,” says Dustin. “We wanted to be federally inspected because we think it gives our customers peace of mind knowing we have to jump through extra hoops to make sure Ranch House Journal | 39 

the product we give them is as safe as possible.” For Dustin and Annie, it’s the customers who have made this new business worth the years of work and dreaming. “One of the most satisfying parts for me has been to see how satisfied our customers are,” says Dustin. “There’s just something kind of cool about someone coming in the front door of your business, looking through your product and starting a conversation helping them learn more about beef.” The couple is in a unique position to share their story about beef production. Both grew up in the cattle industry and their depth of knowledge about beef production helps answer customer questions and teach people about where their beef comes from. “We make a point to get to know the customers and the types of cuts they like,” says Annie. “If someone wants to see the processing room or the kill floor, we gladly take them back there because we are proud of how clean and sanitary it is.” For the owners of Dean and Peeler Meatworks, nothing is done halfway. Excellence is the standard in all parts of their business from genetic selections for breeding to the quality grade of steaks featured in their retail refrigerators. “We take a lot of pride in the quality of product we put out,” says Annie. “People don’t want to spend their hard-earned money on something that they’ll take home and not enjoy.”

PARTNERS FOR SUCCESS Though Dean and Peeler Meatworks has only been open a few months, the two couples are proud of the success they’ve seen so far, attributing many achievements to their staff directors, Marvin Rutkowski and Kim Howard, and the customers who have grown to enjoy the new South Texas meat market. 40 | Ranch House Journal

The Peeler family (above) and Dean family (right) are firmly rooted in the Texas agriculture business and love their opportunities to work with fellow Texas beef producers.

“All of this wouldn’t be possible without our team and community,” says Annie. “They help us make sure each cut is exactly how the customer wants it and that we keep everything running smoothly.” It takes more than a unique idea and hard work to build not just one successful business, but several. From the beginning, the Dean and Peeler crew have worked with Ranch House Designs to partner in develop marketing projects for their ventures. “They do a good job of listening and building something that their customer needs,” says Dustin. “When we needed to do the website, we didn’t even think of anyone else other than Ranch House.” “We get compliments on our logo and how cool it is all the time and I don’t think that would happen if we hadn’t used Ranch House,” says Annie.

As they look to the future of Dean and Peeler Meatworks, the couples are focused on growing the beef retail side of the business. Each day they work to produce high-quality beef and share their story, and hint that someday there might be an individual retail location. For now, Jason, Marianna, Dustin and Annie can be found working cattle, walking a customer through custom processing options or selling steaks for a family barbecue — actively involved in every part of the beef business. “We are proud that we can tell our customers exactly where the product came from, where it was raised, when it was born and educate them about quality beef,” says Annie. “People want to know what they are eating and we are grateful to tell and be a part of that story.”

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Photography by Dayla King

Chaparrosa Ranch, a division of Flying B Ranches, lies deep in the famous South Texas Brush Country, near La Pryor, TX, two hours west of San Antonio. The 92,000-acre ranch is nestled between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers, and is known for its wildlife, hunting, ranching & farming operations. The name Chaparrosa comes from the Spanish word for Scrub Oak, the abundant brush cover of the region. For several decades now, Beefmaster cattle and AQHA Quarter horses have worn the Flying B brand, a symbol of superior quality, conformation and genetics. The Chaparrosa is home to some of the best whitetail deer in Texas, and there are numerous hunting and fishing opportunities throughout the year for sportsmen to come and experience the historic Chaparrosa Ranch for themselves. Chaparrosa’s La Paloma lodge is a great place to bring your friends and family for a weekend of fun and adventure in the South Texas Brush Country. For more, visit www.

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By Meg Drake

For Sandy Meyer, owner and founder of Classic Leather Designs, leather working and the ability to craft unique, one-of-a-kind pieces is an inborn gift she feels inclined to share. The western way of life is the root inspiration behind many, if not all of Meyer’s leather pieces. “My mom and dad bought me my first leather working kit when I was nine-years-old,” said Meyer. “It has been a part of my life in a variety of ways ever since. I believe with my whole heart that this was God’s gift and plan for me.” “I grew up on a cattle ranch, homesteaded by my German grandparents, in western North Dakota,” said Meyer. “Registered Hereford cattle and a good horse were my life for many years and still hold a big piece of my heart.” It’s her love for ranching and the western lifestyle that led Meyer to exhibit cattle across the country, eventually be crowned North Dakota Hereford Queen and serve as a Director to the American Junior Hereford Association. It was her time spent in the show barn and show ring that led Meyer to mill over the idea of creating leather pieces in lieu of more traditional show awards. “In the late 1970s I had shelves full of trophies and saw a void in the market for functional awards,” said Meyer. “A ‘thank you’ will always be 44 | Ranch House Journal

in place to Gary Bishop, Bill and Jo Ellard, Neil Orth and Shari Holloway for being the first to order quantities of my work for Junior National awards.” Each leather piece Meyer creates requires hours of planning, and in many cases tedious tooling. She admits having a difficult time putting down the tools and stepping away from the shop at the end of every day. “I love what I do and can be very consumed,” said Meyer. “I have an obsession with detail.” This obsession with detail has allowed Meyer to create many coveted pieces. “Probably my most prestigious piece is my tribute to President Reagan,” said Meyer. “It is a 45 inch by 32 inch hand tooled frame with twelve of my favorite quotes by Mr. Reagan. It marked a turning point in the purpose of my work.” She said this turning point came after realizing her leather working ability and talent was a gift from God and that she must use this gift to glorify Him. For the past six years, custom leather pieces have accounted for

90-percent of her living. In 2012, despite Classic Leather Designs annual routine of attending the 10day event, she decided to forego a booth at the National Finals Rodeo in order to stay home and take care of her husband who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “Was it easy, no. Was it my plan, no,” said Meyer. “It was all part of God’s plan, to equip me with what I needed to make a living and give my husband five more years of living at home instead of a care center.” When asked what advice she might give to others interested in the leather working business, she said to let God direct you and to let your work be a reflection of your own creativity. “Leatherwork was not my career choice, but it is without a doubt what I am supposed to do. It is my artistic passion,” said Meyer. “Keep your eyes, ears and heart open for direction The road will never end and will continually evolve.”

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Photography by Luke & Cat Photography

What could be better than a gorgeous summer wedding under the Texas stars surrounded by friends and family from the agriculture industry? For Lauren and Jeff Jackson, two show cattle enthusiasts, their dream wedding came true last September. Lauren and Jeff planned a beautiful, laid back outdoor ceremony surrounded by hundreds of cattle show friends and family at Granbury’s lovely Oak Water Ranch. The wedding featured countless details perfectly made for a cattle couple. From the stock-show themed tables, to branding irons, to an authentic Texas BBQ, snow cone stand, and dancing under the stars beside a creek, this was a day to remember. Friends, family, love, and laughter…. it was a beautiful event and one of the most memorable weddings of the year for the show cattle circle of friends. Venue: Oak Water Ranch Coordinator: Something Blue Weddings, Heidibeth Ramirez Florist: Dave Anderson Hair & Makeup Artist: CC & Company Heather Guzman Dress Shop: Bliss Bridal Dress Designer: Stella York Bridesmaids Gowns: Michelle’s Bridal 48 | Ranch House Journal


Since most guests were familiar with stock shows, the couple gave each table a name of a major stock show, and assigned guests to their favorite show. Table decorations included lovely florals and glass jars with show steer decorations.

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for farmers and ranchers

LUKE NEUMAYR, Photographer 979-218-7295 •

CLIENT: V8 RANCH, 50 | Ranch House TEXAS Journal

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I love to travel, and have done much traveling throughout my 27 years of life. Recently, I checked another destination off of my travel bucket list: Big Bend National Park located along the Texas-Mexico border. After spending a little over two years in the Lone Star State (I’m a Kansas native who now calls Texas home), I felt as though I have a good grasp on the Texas terrain. Boy, was I wrong. I’ve seen much of East Texas, the Texas Hill Country and the Texas Panhandle. I’ve even experienced the Texas coast, but Southwest Texas has remained somewhat of a mystery to me.

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By Meg Drake

When I think of Southwest Texas, my mind immediately drifts to Big Bend National Park. A park filled with terrain and scenery that embodies the term Wild West. A location where scenes from your favorite westerns immediately come to mind. However, the Big Bend region is not to be confused with Hollywood. The area features rough terrain, scorching temperatures during warmer months and predator species like mountain lions and black bears. Still, despite the aforementioned, a trip to see this beautiful country is most certainly worth it. In an effort to experience this part of the world before blazing temperatures

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The Airstream we stayed in was appropriately named the “Desert Pearl.”

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set in, a group of close girlfriends and I set aside the weekend of May 12th and made the eight hour drive to explore the area. The first stop on our Journey was Terlingua, where we had already made plans to stay the night in a refurbished Airstream and upscale teepee (for lack of a better term). Terlingua is a tiny town located just outside of the National Park. It’s filled with an eclectic mixture of personalities, ranging from artists and vagabonds to tourists and dogs. Yes, you read correctly, dogs. The local canines were very friendly and seemed to patrol the area at their own leisure. Although Terlingua looks like a scene from a John Wayne classic, the town is not to be confused with a movie set. It’s rich in history, especially as it pertains to mining, but I’ll save that for another column. During our brief stay in Terlingua we met fellow travelers at the Starlight Theatre, experienced wonderful hospitality at the “Espresso…y poco mas” coffee shop, and had the best stay of our trip via the “Desert Pearl” and “The Nomad.” Day two of our trip meant leaving our cozy teepee and Airstream in Terlingua to venture into the no cell service zone that is the Big Bend National Park. We traveled up into the mountains by way of twisty-turvyy roads. The vehicle fell silent as we took in the expansive, desolate countryside and mulled over the idea that we were now four girls, alone in Big Bend National Park, without cell service. Once we made it to camp, we eagerly packed gear bags in preparation for our first hike, the Window Trail, a beautiful four mile round trip hike from the Chisos Basin Campground to “the window.” The hike came with its fair share of excitement. We saw many creatures including roadrunners, hornets and even a black bear. The most exciting view however, was that at the end of the trail, “the window.”

You’ll notice we’re all barefoot. The edge of the rock nearest the window is extremely slick. We were advised by another hiker to remove our shoes before venturing too close to the edge. Mid-May is still a warm time to visit the park. Despite efforts to stay cool, when you’re hiking with a pack, in the middle of the day, in the desert, you tend to get drenched…with sweat. After completing the hike, we decided setting up camp was our best bet. We met several friendly travelers in the Chisos Basin Campground, including a group of Austin locals who were spending four days hiking and taking in all the sights and sounds of the park. One day and one evening was all the time we had allocated to spending in the park this particular trip. So on day three we headed toward Marfa by way of the Presidio Trail or Highway 170. The highway parallels the Rio Grande through the park and contains beautiful vantage points and lookouts along the way. While in Marfa, we stayed at the El Cosmico, which is essentially a large campsite offering many different lodging options, including tents, teepees, yurts, and renovated campers. We opted for the more economical choice, and made ourselves cozy in one of their many canvas tents. I’m sure at this point you’re wondering how we maintained our hygiene. We got very used to bathing outside by way of private shower stalls, which we determined was rather liberating. Marfa is a very interesting destination. A sleepy, small, artsy town that boasts tourists like The Weekend, Beyoncé and Kevin Bacon. Its upscale shopping, dining and downtown area make it seem as though it should be located along the California coast, but its friendly habitants, West Texas surroundings, and occasional dive bar make Marfa seem very much at home in Texas. Overall, I’ve decided it’s a destination that I would like to visit again and again.

While in Marfa we dined at the Paisano Hotel. A beautiful historic site that has rooms named after stars that have stayed in the hotel, like Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and Rock Hudson (cue the movie “The Giant”). After dinner, we enjoyed cocktails at the Saint George Hotel and played a round of pool at the Lost Horse Saloon.

A trip to the viewing area to witness the famed Marfa lights once nightfall had arrived was the final stop on our weekend getaway. Rather than disclose my opinion concerning the lights, I’ll let you chart your own experience and make your own determination. Until we meet again Big Bend!

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Photography by Lexi Koelling and Scott Patrick Myers Photography

It’s all about balance, according to Brock & Michele Meyer, an American farm and ranch family. The family land and homestead has been in the Meyer family name for generations, and together, this team is working to build on the legacies of the past while growing the business for the future. Located just west of the Mississippi River in Curryville, Missouri, the Meyer family raises registered Angus cattle that are sold primarily to fellow Angus seedstock and commercial breeders. The Meyer’s hectic ranch life is one that would leave most people’s head’s spinning, but together, they make it seem easy. “For us, balance is key,” says Brock. “We work together to balance the good times and the bad, and to balance our time of lots of long hard hours on the farm, while also spending as much time as we possibly can together doing things we all enjoy.” Balance is also important in their ranch operation. “We select and breed for real world Angus cattle that perform in the pasture, but still possess the same eyeappeal you would see in the show ring.” The Meyer’s market their cattle each April in their own production sale, and also in various Missouri Angus events. For more, visit -RHJ 58 | Ranch House Journal

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For every one person involved in food production, there are 49 who are not.


By Meg Drake

Less than 2 percent of the U.S. population is directly involved with production agriculture (a statistic recently put out by the USDA). Recent reports also suggest the amount of women involved in production agriculture is diminishing as well. However, this isn’t to say that women are not seeking careers within the agriculture industry. Like Shannon Wilson, many women are discovering other ways in which to serve the industry they know and love. Wilson, to those involved in the agriculture industry, can be considered a female force to be reckoned with. Today, you can find Wilson managing 62 | Ranch House Journal

and overseeing her own consulting company, Know Forte, LLC., which specializes in creating and facilitating leadership meetings and opportunities for beef and dairy producers. Prior to starting her own business, she worked for Elanco, an animal pharmaceutical company. “We [Know Forte, LLC.] are currently focused on the initiative of sharing your [agriculture producers’] story,” said Wilson. “We as agriculturalists must welcome those not involved in ag to our farms and ranches to help them understand what all goes into producing the food they enjoy every day. After all,

most Americans are at least three generations removed from the farm.” Wilson admits to welcoming the challenge of reframing the traditional “this is the way we do things within the agriculture industry” mindset. “It is rewarding to see producers advance in new approaches,” said Wilson. This passion for working with producers and advancing the producer - consumer conversation is Wilson’s favorite thing about being involved within the industry. “Like so many others, I love the people,” said Wilson. “It is also very motivating to know, regardless of your role or occupation in the agriculture

field, you are ultimately working to put food on many tables.” This passion for agriculture advocacy is one that Wilson shares with her three daughters. Her eldest, Alex (12-years-old) participates in cattle shows and beef skillathon competitions. Alex also has an ag advocacy Facebook page, which can be found by searching “Ag Alex.” Riley (9-years-old) isn’t too far behind her older sister, she too competes in beef skillathon contests and will begin her show cattle journey in 2018. At 6-years-old, Wilson’s youngest, Reese has a few more years before she’s of age to compete in agricultural-related competitions, but this doesn’t keep her from attending skillathon practices with her sisters. Wilson admits watching her children grow and develop within the agriculture industry fills her with pride. “Regardless of their chosen profession, I want them to always know where and how their food is produced,” said Wilson. “Should they land in a big city, I want them to be filled with pride and knowledge and to be highly involved in conversations about rural America and food production.” As a mother of three daughters and a woman who’s made her profession helping agriculture producers, it’s no surprise Wilson takes a firm stance on women’s involvement in the industry. “I think we should absolutely encourage women to be involved in agriculture,” said Wilson. “Often I am asked by females just starting their careers for advice. Your career path should be driven by where you want to be in your life and not by what others want you to do. Always know what you want and don’t waste time conquering a title for others.” But, the path to success hasn’t always been smooth. Wilson recalls having to earn producers’ respect and trust. “At the time I was held to a higher standard than my male counterparts, but once you proved your worth and

The Wilson girls are just as comfortable in a retail beef cooler as they are on the softball field. They love participating in beef skill-a-thon competitions and even have a Facebook page dedicated to promoting the beef industry.

earned [producers] their trust and respect, daily trips to the feedyard became so rewarding,” said Wilson. “Today, times have changed and it is no longer unusual to have a female animal health representative in the feedyard world.” When she’s not busy working, Wilson can be found spending time with her daughters cooking, playing

basketball and helping them with their show cattle projects. When asked what she might be doing had she not chosen this career path, Wilson said “I have tried to imagine a different life and simply can’t.”

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FOR LITTLE COWPOKES! By Mollie and Rachel Cutrer


Every night is story time in our house, and while we love the classics like Green Eggs and Ham, we also love a story with a western twist. Every trip we take usually involves seeking out a local bookstore to choose a few new books. This month, my daughter Mollie shares four of her favorites. I asked her why she likes these, and she replied, “Because they’re funny!”



By Laura Numeroff and Nate Evans with pictures by Lynn Munsinger

Purchased for only a few dollars at our Scholastic book fair, Ponyella is a cowgirl twist on the classic Cinderella. Ponyella gets sold to a mean owner, but Princess Penelope finds her at the horse show and they live happily ever after.



By Lori Mortensen, Illustrated by Michael Allen Austin

Cowpoke Clyde gets into all kinds of trouble trying to give his dog a bath. They run into chickens, fleas, hogs, cats, and a mule before finally getting Dirty Dawg in the tub!


By Jennifer Ward, Illustrated by Steve Gray

This crazy coyote swallows crazy things in the desert, from lizards to snakes to even a cactus! Great illustrations in vibrant colors with lots of fun animals.


By Susan Lowell, Illustrated by Jim Harris

Three little pigs meets every south Texas’ favorite varmit. Very detailed illustrations in a great story, including sister being the wisest pig. -RHJ

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Grimmel Farms JARRETTSVILLE, MARYLAND Photography by Melissa Grimmel Schaake

Grimmel Farms is a fourthgeneration, family-owned and operated farm located on the east coast. Today more than 4,000 acres are in production, including corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, straw, hay and produce in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The farm uses the most modern production machinery and farming techniques. Environmentally friendly farming practices help to keep the soil and nutrients well-balanced and protected from erosion. Practicing sustainable farming helps ensure that the Grimmel’s will be able to farm the land for many generations to come. Their quality crops are sold to local farmers to feed to their animals, people who visit their roadside market, and to cooperatives and other agricultural firms who purchase their grain. Owner and operator, Ed Grimmel, has won several awards for his outstanding grain production, including first place finishers in the National Corn Growers Association’s annual corn yield contest. Ed has five daughters, who are all involved in the family farm. Besides helping their Dad with the busy grain operation and produce stand, they own and operate Grimmel Girls Show Cattle. They raise, show, and sell purebred Hereford cattle, and exhibit at nearly 20 shows throughout the United States each year. -RHJ 74 | Ranch House Journal

For more on this successful grain operation, visit

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By Rachel Cutrer

I’ve been on Instagram for several years now, but I tend to be a loyal Facebooker. But this March, during the My photo in #brahman Houston Livestock Show, top posts. I noticed the international guests at the ranch were all over Instagram, and I asked why. They simply explained, it cuts through the clutter. They don’t have to read chain My friend Stuart’s photo letters or personal rants. in #brahman Actually, they don’t have to top posts. read anything: they just see a photo. And a good photo goes beyond words, beyond language, beyond borders. So I logged into our ranch’s Instagram, and was shocked to see we had 13K followers, when I don’t even posted that audience. My friend Stuart Watkins often! So, I started posting more, and has made many international business it’s been great. contacts by using #brahmanrojo, even I actually turned over our V8 though he’s is a Red Brahman breeder Instagram posting responsibilities in the United States. to my husband, because it’s so easy. Recently, my sister Catherine He snaps a jillion cow photos on his introduced me to the “Your Story” phone anyway, and it just makes sense feature on Instagram, which are the for him to be the one posting them. photos that occur at the very top Granted, I had to teach him of the app’s news feed for 24 hours about hashtags. Now we have a little then disappear. Using this feature competition of how often we can get especially with video - can really boost one of our photos in the top posts for your exposure. The “Explore” tab is #brahman. If you’re new on Instagram, also great for finding photos that the I suggest browsing for app thinks you would be interested in. Our Instagram hashtags relevant to your So, if you’re looking for a new feed features photo. For example, mostly cattle marketing tool to use this summer, #cowsofinstagram can put photos, a few download Instagram. Give it a try! your photos on the news videos, and some See how many new friends you can family photos. feed of a more artsy cattle connect with, and have fun! -RHJ

It’s been said, if you want to know what the next big thing in marketing is, ask a teenager. Facebook originally tarted as a social media outlet strictly for students. A few years ago, every teenager was on this app with a yellow screen and a ghost. Today, Instagram is one of the most popular trends for the younger generation, with recent stats showing 90% of their 700 million users are under age 35. So what is Instagram? It might be easier to simply ask a teenager, but Instagram is an app primarily based on pictures and video. Users can apply filters to photos to create different looks and lighting. They can use geotags to pinpoint where the photos were taken, and use hashtags to share their photo amongst other Instagram users. And believe it or not, Instagram can help you sell agriculture products.

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Legendary Akaushi Ad

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RK Animal Supplies


At Reidholm Farms, we focus on getting back to the basics; having good, sound, functional breeding stock with longevity and style. We work to achieve a breeding program to develop cattle with good feet, and legs, straight top lines, lots of muscle and a great temperament. We are in the beef industry and right now, pounds of beef pay off! purchase at RK, rest assured that even When you pur after you get home, we will be available to answer any questions and give advice on breeding selections, feeding, grooming and showmanship. As in the past, all sale calves are halter broke and ready to be a part of your show string or breeding program. SANDY REID

7647 Wellington Cnty Rd.10 Moorefield ON. N0G 2K0 519.588.7560

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BBQ season is upon us. As beef loving Texans, we here at Ranch House we love our BBQ! We are lucky that one of our clients, HeartBrand Beef, serves up their Certified Akaushi beef as some of the best BBQ in Texas. Not only is HeartBrand’s beef delicious, they also have a special family bbq sauce recipe that they serve up at every family gathering. What goes better with great BBQ than a secret family sauce recipe…nothing! Give HeartBrand’s BBQ sauce recipe a try today. HeartBrand Homemade BBQ Sauce 5 cups ketchup 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons honey 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 tablespoons honey mustard 2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce 1 tablespoon molasses 1/2 teaspoon pepper Add all ingredients to a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir everything together and bring to a boil, turn down to a low simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes, up to 3 hours. Remove from pan and allow to cool then store in a jar or sealed container. Happy grilling from all of us at Ranch House!

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MC Livestock Ad

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Barns of America

Throughout rural America, treasured old barns stand out as reminders of the past, while brand new barns are visions of the future. Do you have a great barn on your farm or ranch? Submit it to be included in our next issue by emailing

“Sugar Shack at San Angelo” Eolia, Missouri, San Angelo Division of Meyer Cattle Company Photo by Lexi Koelling

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“Barn on Scenic Six Highway” - Harvard, Idaho Photo by Bailey Nicholson, Trigger Happy Photography

“Fayette County Barn” Lexington, Kentucky Photo by Faith Siebert

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June 2007 was a big time in history for Ranch House: after working for 8 years out of a home office, we were opening our first “real” office. Though life in College Station was one of complete fun, high speed Internet, and endless restaurant choices, I decided to leave the city and move back to Wharton county. Opening our first office meant lots of new challenges. First, what color should we paint the walls? Looking back, lime green wasn’t such a good idea. But one choice, asking Jessica Hobbs to join our team, has turned out to be one of the best decisions in the history of Ranch House. Jessica originally started at Ranch House as our student worker. She had just graduated high school - ranking in the top of her class no doubt. My grandfather and Jessica went to church together, and he put us in contact since he knew she was looking for a summer job. “When I first started working here I definitely thought it was short term,” says Jessica. “I was a math and science nerd and I wanted to work in a lab like my dad, who’s an 2017 engineer.” That first job included lots of various

By Rachel Cutrer

tasks: copying, filing, phones, and our favorite task: pinning tacks on our United States map that showcases where our clients live. Jessica was good with computers, so I taught her how to use Dreamweaver and Photoshop so she could help update client websites. After a few years in Wharton, the city life started calling, and Jessica moved to downtown Houston to enroll in the chemical engineering program at the University of Houston. She was ready to pursue the career of her dreams, so she thought. “I remember sitting outside on the swing with my parents the night before I moved to Houston,” Jessica reflects. “I just started crying because I didn’t want to leave my Ranch House family.” She remained on staff as a parttime, remote website updater, but she found that working in a lab was much different than Ranch House. For one, she missed the camaraderie. “I didn’t want to disappoint my parents, but I missed the friendships I had at Ranch House. My co-workers were my closest friends.” Wharton county kept drawing her home, and eventually she moved back, where she was welcomed with open arms at Ranch House. She poured her heart into Ranch House, learning website programming and slicing, and was promoted to the position of lead content adder for new websites. Jessica now serves as vice president of web operations, where she oversees the company’s more than 650 websites. She still works on updates, averaging

Co-workers toast Jessica Hobbs as she celebrates 10 years at Ranch House. l-r: Ashley Fitzsimmons, Kristen Davis, Chakadra Ward, Carole Arriaga, Tori Arriazola, Jessica Hobbs, Meg Drake, Rachel Cutrer, Lynn Hough, Callie Graves, Ashley Grant more than 1000 updates per month. She is the point person for all new website launches, giving her personal touch to every Ranch House web project. “To think back, that decision changed my life so much,” she says. “I have moved up quite a bit in RHD with my skill set and learned so many new things.” Today, she is able to thrive in her professional life, while having a great personal life with her family, her boyfriend Jeremy, and his son, Callen. “Jessica is naturally just someone you enjoy being around,” said Ashley Grant, Chief Marketing Officer at Ranch House. “I love collaborating with her and serving our clients.” Through the years, many clients stand out, and it’s the personal relationships with her clients that Jessica’s treasures. “My favorite client of all time is Bill

Elliott from Illinois,” she says. “He is just the sweetest man. I’ve worked on his website for 8 years.” She laughs as she recalls all of the different nickname’s her clients have given her through the years: Jess, Jessie, J, and more. She actually completed an entire website project for a client in Panama who referred to her as “Susan” throughout the whole project. We never corrected him. While working at one company for ten years, you develop lots of memories. “My favorite times are when we all bring in lunch and just talk and laugh,” she reflects. One year she celebrated former RHD staff member Tricia Potts’ birthday by giving her a walking cane. She also orchestrated an “Employee of the Year” contest at Ranch House, where she made a online poll and recruited all of her clients to vote for her to make it official.

Jessica is our longest running team member at Ranch House, and through the years she’s been through every disappointment and every accolade. In honor to celebrate her career, we held a special celebratory dinner at mine and Brandon’s home on June 6. The Ranch House team toasted Jessica, and thanked her for her dedication, enjoyable personality, and relentless desire to be the best. The following pages showcase photos from this event. When asked what she likes best about working at Ranch House, she clearly stated it’s the people. “In the words of Marc Anthony, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” she says. “This is true for me. I love what I do, I love working with my clients, and I love everyone I work with.” Jessica, thank you. Thank you for your amazing contributions to Ranch House, and cheers to many more! - RHJ Ranch House Journal | 91 


Summer Party in the Front Yard 10-YEAR CAREER ACHIEVEMENT CELEBRATION FOR JESSICA HOBBS WHARTON, TEXAS Photography by Luke & Cat Photography

To celebrate Jessica’s 10 year career achievement mark with Ranch House, members of the RHD staff braved the over 90 degree weather for an outdoor dinner party at the home of Rachel and Brandon Cutrer. The goal of the party was to be fun, outdoorsy, and affordable but elegant. The Cutrer home is located out in the country, in a pecan orchard, which made a perfect backdrop. And in true country life, we got a few friends and neighbors honking as they drove by. The event featured Spanish style decor, using existing items from the Cutrer’s home like their melamine outdoor dinnerware, talavera landscape accents, and even last minute wine chillers purchased from the Boling Dollar General! The dinner featured a shrimp appetizer, salad, baked redfish, and delicious dessert from Nothing Bundt Cakes. It was an evening to remember with great friends in the country. Venue: Cutrer Coordinator: Natalie Dawley, Two Be Wed Florist: Wharton Flower Shoppe Catering: Red Sage Catering Dinnerware: Del Sol Collection, Pottery Barn 92 | Ranch House Journal

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Ranch House is made up of a strong team of professionals who know and love agriculture. We also know how to effectively take care of your marketing needs – everything under one Ranch House roof! Call 979-532-9141 or email for more information or to contact our team.

Rachel Cutrer

Ashley Grant

Lynn Hough

Founder & CEO

Chief Marketing Officer

Chief Operating Officer

Callie Graves

Jessica Hobbs

Seth Alling

Nicole Erceg

Tana Hajovsky

VP, Print & Social

Kristen Davis

Graphic Designer

VP, Web

Sarah Simpson Graphic Designer

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Carole Arriaga


Writer & Digital Content Director

Web Designer

Meg Drake

VP, Communications

Ashley Fitzsimmons VP, Accounts

Tori Arriazola

Web Designer & Ecommerce

Marketing Associate

Amy Harch

Melissa Grimmel Schaake

Australian Accounts Manager

Chakadra Ward Marketing Associate

Graphic Designer

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Books For Stock Show Kids As a mother of two, I love reading to my girls, but I wished there were more stories about farm life or showing cattle. So, I started making up stories to tell Mollie at night. She enjoyed them so much, I decided to turn them into a children’s book series about showing. I hope you and your family enjoy as much as my girls do! -Rachel Cutrer

What Readers Say.... •

• • • •

Bought multiple copies for my elementary school library! This year is our first year for our elementary Ag program we are starting – first in our district. Sarah will certainly be part of our class! - Leslie Lundy My daughter just got the show pig today. She was soon excited. She LOVES this series. Perfect for the little farm girls! - Nikki Forler-Rohacs Bought the series including “Sarah and the Show Pig.” My 7-year-old granddaughter loves the books. Read both cattle books the first night! - Dora Metzger I received my “Sarah the Showman” book today. It is on point and so well written and illustrated!” I cannot wait for more! -Shelly Spearman Just wanted to let you know that I bought “Sarah the Showman” and my 5 year old loves it. -Jason Lakamp

Great Gifts!

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Order at

Pencil In These Dates

Witts Rio Vista

July 4

Circle M Farms

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic Austin, Texas


Calgary Stampede Calgary, Alberta


NCBA Summer Business Meeting Denver, Colorado


NCHA Summer Cutting Spectacular Fort Worth, Texas


Cheyenne Frontier Days Cheyenne, Wyoming

August 5

Witts Rio Vista Boer Goats Sale Lamar, Colorado


Texas A&M University Beef Cattle Short Course College Station, Texas


Impact Cattle

Impact Cattle Sale Armuchee, Georgia


Circle M Farms Dispersal Sale Grand Saline, Texas

Cheyenne Frontier Days Want to add your event? Email for your free listing. Ranch House Journal | 99 

September 2

Cates Farms Star Search Sale Modoc, Indiana


Pencil In These Dates

All American Futurity & Derby Finals Ruidoso, New Mexico


V8 Ranch Power of Production Bred Female and Semen Sale Boling, Texas


Fusion Cattle’s Shorthorn Prestige Sale LaMoille, Illinois


Pendleton Roundup

Cates Farms

Pendleton, Oregon


V8 Ranch

Kaufman Klassic Livestock Show Kaufman, Texas


Midsouth Cattle Company Commercial Bull and Female Sale

Lamb Bros Herefords

St. Francisville, Louisiana


Riddle & Co. Steer and Heifer Online Sale Hildreth, Nebraska


Ranch House Marketing Summit Wharton, Texas


Lamb Bros Beef Farm Built to Last Production Sale

Fusion Cattle

Burns Farms

Wilson, Wisconsin


Burns Farms and Friends Sale Pikeville, Tennessee

Midsouth Cattle Company 100 | Ranch House Journal


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WORKING for the


By Alysha Beck


Texas-based nonprofit spreads the honey bees message and encourages others to “bee educated.”

n the South Texas region known as “The Crossroads,” one beekeeper is choosing the path to take action when it comes to the critical juncture between U.S. agriculture, honey bees and multiple threats to the bee population. In 2016, Dee Lynn Braman founded the nonprofit Bee Educated, an organization with the goal of

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educating the youth and public in Refugio County about the importance of honey bees in Texas ecosystems and how to protect and improve those environments. “We have started small and are finally ready to try to raise some money to be able to go to more schools or set up at farmers markets to pass out wildflower seeds,” she said. “I am blessed enough to create an avenue

for a message to be heard.” Braman developed a passion for honey bees when she started keeping hives more than seven years ago. She started with a few hives, learning the ropes from a friend, and now she has more than 300 hives. “After my first year I was addicted. They are the most amazing little creatures. In fact, as humans if we could live like the bees, this would be a

much happier world,” she said. Braman’s affinity for beekeeping made her realize that the message about the vital role honey bees play as pollinators for agricultural crops wasn’t being heard, not only in her own community but across the state and nation. Braman wanted to do what she could to spread facts and information about bees’ positive contributions in people’s lives such as pollinating the cotton used to make their clothes. “Bees get a bad rap because people associate them with getting stung, but that’s just their selfdefense,” she said. She puts the idea of living in a world without honey bees in black and white terms. “We can’t live without them,” she said.

WHY ARE THE BEES DYING? U.S. beekeepers have experienced honey bee colony losses at various periods in the 20th century, including losses beginning in the late 1980s from the introduction of a pest called the Varroa mite, but in 2006, some beekeepers saw an unusually large number of bee hive losses — 30 to 90 percent — according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The recent loss was attributed to colony collapse disorder or CCD and more than 10 years later, experts still don’t know the exact cause of CCD. By definition, CCD is the occurrence when most worker bees in a hive disappear and leave only the queen and immature bees behind. Very few dead bees are found near the colony, giving the appearance that the bees just disappeared. Currently, scientists think not just one but multiple causes are behind CCD, including stress, diseases, pesticides and loss of forage. The USDA is leading the government response to address the issue of

CCD and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is conducting research into pesticides’ effect on pollinators. The multiple government agency response to dealing with CCD reflects pollinators major role in U.S. agriculture. According to the USDA, crops such as almonds, nuts, fruits and vegetables rely on pollination for $15 billion in added crop value annually. Particularly in California, the almond crop requires 1.3 million colonies of bees to pollinate the trees. And not only are the bees important, so are the people that keep them.

Bee colonies can be replaced if they die because of CCD, but beekeepers will only continue replacing the dead colonies if the economics make sense. If colonies continue to die, they’ll have to work harder and spend more money to keep the hive numbers necessary to meet the demand of crops that rely on pollinators. According to the USDA, cases of colony loss attributed to CCD have decreased since 2010, but bee colony loss remains an important issue as colonies are still being lost to other causes. Ranch House Journal | 103 

The Braman sisters, like their mom, are also advocates for promoting honeybees.

SPREADING THE MESSAGE Whatever the cause of CCD, many people are involved in finding a solution; Braman’s answer is “action.” She wants to spread the word about honey bees by subscribing to the thought “actions speak louder than words.” “We should be good worker bees and spread our message through hard work, leadership and example,” she said. As someone who considers herself a motivator, realist and mom, Braman said she also thinks it’s important to set an example for her two young daughters. “For me, being motivated is easy. I have two sets of litabout, Braman enlisted the help of Ranch House Designs to create a website for her nonprofit. She felt Ranch House was the right choice because the team “thinks outside the box.” “Little eyes watching every move I make. I want my two daughters to be strong and highly motivated to have 104 | Ranch House Journal

their voices heard,” she said. Starting the Bee Educated nonprofit was an important step for Braman to do what she could to share information about protecting bees. And to help spread the message she’s passionate “The key to nonprofits is gaining a following to spread your message,” she said. “Ranch House Designs helps us network to do just that.”

TAKING ACTION So what can people do? Braman said there are five simple things people can do to act. Number one: Talk about it. Buy a T-shirt inviting comments or start a random conversation, she said. Number two: Plant flowers. Flowers provide food and habitat for bees. Number three: Mow fields after native wildflowers have dried and dropped their seeds. Mowing helps spread the seeds, so next season there will be more flowers for the bees. Number four: Try to avoid using

chemicals that harm bees. If you do spray, do it after sunset and set sprinklers for sunrise because bees return home at night and start working again at dawn, she said. And number five: Buy local honey. Braman said it’s important to support local beekeepers because the more hives they maintain, the healthier the bees will be. The issue of honey bee colony loss is a complicated one. And Braman said when she speaks to others about her nonprofit and goals, she keeps one quote in mind, “I can do things you cannot. You can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” — Mother Teresa. If it’s going to take everyone working together to help honey bees, Braman is one of the people leading the charge.

Visit to learn even more about honey bees and what you can do to help them.

DID YOU KNOW? Honey can help… • Reduce cough and throat irritation • Minimize seasonal allergies • Fight infections • Treat ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders • Reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease • Regulate and facilitate blood circulation (Sources: World Health Organization, British Medical Journal, Medical News Today)

FUN FACTS • In its lifetime, a worker bee flies the equivalent of • 1.5 times the circumference of the world. • Honey bees can fly at speeds as fast as 15 miles per hour. • The buzzing sound of bees is made by their wings, which beat 200 times per second. • The average worker bee only lives for five to six weeks and produces a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey. • Worker bees dance to communicate the location of food sources. • The queen bee can live up to five years and is the only bee that lays eggs. (Sources: American Beekeeping Federation, National Geographic) Ranch House Journal | 105 

Bryant Combine Parts Ad

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Tennessee River Music FORT PAYNE, ALABAMA

Photography by Taylor Walker Photography, KC Photography, Phil Pyle, and Matt Sims

Family ties run deep in this land, and for the Starnes and Owen family, those aren’t just song lyrics, but words they live by. As a youngster, Randy Owen and his father dreamed of owning a purebred cattle operation. In 1981, that dream came true. Tennessee River Music is a registered Hereford and Angus operation, named after the group Alabama’s first number one single. Kelly and Randy Owen’s youngest daughter, Randa, inherited her dad’s passion for agriculture. She began showing Herefords at an early age, and had a highly celebrated junior show career, winning Champion Polled and Horned Female at Hereford Junior Nationals. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in animal science, Randa and her husband John took the reins of the operation. Their youthful energy has taken TRM to a higher level, and now they are passing down the love of agriculture to their children. TRM hosts the “Dixieland Delight” production sale, “High Cotton” bull sale, and “Close Enough to Perfect” online sale. By working together, striving for excellence, and never giving up, the Starnes and Owen’s have fulfilled Randy’s childhood dream of purebred cattle industry success. -RHJ 108 | Ranch House Journal

For more on this outstanding Alabama cattle operation, visit Ranch House Journal | 109 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Selling our top show heifer prospects along with a show quality set of bred females.

CF V8 MONA LISA SMILES 526 Grand Champion Female, ’16 NAILE Open Show Congratulations John Reasor


Grand Champion Female, ’16 National Junior Shorthorn Show Grand Champion Female, ’17 NWSS Open Show Congratulations David Smith

Brian: 765.853.5255 or 765.969.0373 | Randy: 765.853.5819 Tyler: 765.576.0035 | Cortney: 410.707.0267 | Kyle Shoufler: 317.650.7999 7893 South Indian Trail, Modoc, IN 47358


SSF LADY IMPRESSION Grand Champion Owned Female, ’17 Atlantic National Division Champion, ’17 All-American Futurity Division Champion, ’17 FWSS Reserve Division Champion, ’17 NWSS Reserve Division Champion, ’16 All-American Breeders Futurity Congratulations Kallie Knotts

Reserve Early Spring Owned Heifer Calf Champion, ’17 Atlantic National Reserve Champion Angus Heifer, Madison County, OH Reserve Champion Angus Heifer, Clark County Ring B Reserve Champion Angus Heifer, Michigan Beef Expo Congratulations Marcus Vanvorhis


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Cortney Hill-Dukehart Cates, 410.707.0267 Tyler Cates, 765.576.0035 Kyle Shoufler, 317.650.7999 Bob Hill & Marlene Dukehart 7893 South Indian Trail, Modoc, IN

Third Overall Champion & Grand Champion Angus, ’16 Hoosier Beef Congress Congratulations Claire Trennepohl!

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W4 Ranch Ad

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4R Show Cattle Ad

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Independent Cattlemen’s Association Ad

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J Cross Mini Herefords Ad

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Dispersal Sale part II

august 25-26, 2017

FRIDAY, AUG. 25 EQUIPMENT AND FROZEN GENETICS 500+ Embryos and 1,000+ Units of semen


100 Spring-calving cows and pregnant recips, 50 Breds, 50 Spring-born show prospects, and 4 Herd bulls

Everything sells! Females like these and more !

A021 • PB • Wide Open / Built To Love

137Z • pb • Milestone / Steel Force

Time To Shine y251 • pb • In Dew Time/ Black Obession 01w • angus • Providence/ Bandy Maid

9036w • pb • dream on / ebonys joy

119B • pb • Wheelman / S12X

Sale will take place at the ranch in Grand Saline, Texas

Owner CRAIG MCCALLUM | 214.882.9523 General Mgr GREG BURDEN | 405.780.0372 Consultant CHAN PHILLIPS | 606.584.7581

w w w. c i r c l e m f a r m s . c o m

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At Gable L Ranch, they are devoted to building an elite herd that strictly consists of purebred Angus cattle. The ranch began over 100 years ago in the Escalante Valley area. Gable L Ranch provides seedstock bulls, heifers, calves and bred cows to customers.

Erwin Farm & Ranch, El Campo, Texas Erwin Farm and Ranch is a family operated ranch that specializes in providing locally sourced, grass fed and all natural, hormone free beef. They strive to produce the highest quality beef in Wharton County and surrounding areas. Their cattle are primarily Angus influenced and are raised at ranch locations in Jackson, Wharton and Atascosa Counties. Whether you’re looking to partner with them or looking to buy high-quality, all natural grass fed beef, Erwin Farm and Ranch is dedicated to providing Texas families with large supplies of beef each year.

Texas Youth Livestock & Agriculture Texas Youth Livestock & Agriculture brings youth across America together to ensure they learn leadership, citizenship and life skills through educational experiences. It is a great way to prepare youth to meet challenges of childhood, adolescence and adulthood through various events such as Texas 4-H Roundup, the State 4-H Horse Show and Aggie Commercial Steer Camp. Youth involved in Livestock and Agriculture gain experiences that help develop social, emotional and physical skills they will utilize throughout their life. 126 | Ranch House Journal

Hornung Red Angus Ad

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LAUNCHED BY RANCH HOUSE THIS SPRING Genetic Leaders International, Advance, North Carolina Genetic Leaders International is an import and export company in Advance, North Carolina that specializes in the cattle industry. They help clients increase profits through access to superior beef cattle genetics. They offer both beef cattle and equine genetics. Want to get the latest updates from Genetic Leaders International? Visit their website and sign up for their mailing list.

Sylte Farms, Ipswich, South Dakota Sylte Farms is a family-owned and operated grain and cattle farm that began in 1969. They provide food, housing and trucking to the community in Ipswich, South Dakota. With more than 60,000 acres of land, they produce high quality crops at the lowest cost of production possible. Each year since it began 48 years ago, the farming, harvesting and equipment businesses at Sylte Farms has grown tremendously. This expansion includes, S&S Rentals, Sylte Trucking, Commercial Grain Elevator and Woodland Ag.

Charlie Creek Livestock, Zolfo Springs, Florida Charlie Creek Livestock offers preconditioning programs focused on sale barn and ranch calves. This corporation began in 2013, in Zolfo Springs, Florida. In 2016, Charlie Creek Livestock preconditioned 5940 head, with an average in weight of 351 pounds and an average out weight of 478 pounds. Their average gain was 127 pounds in 60 days, an average daily gain of 2.01 pounds and a death loss rate of 0.98 percent. They take pride in customizing protocols for each individual client and their cattle. 128 | Ranch House Journal

Smith Bonsmara Ad

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LAUNCHED BY RANCH HOUSE THIS SPRING Premier Livestock Marketing, Huntington, Texas Men and women in the cattle industry are always looking to buy and sell replacement cattle. Marketing corporations like Premier Livestock Marketing allow sellers to list their elite cattle for sale with hopes they can find a potential buyer in their area. Premier Livestock marketing, located in Huntington, Texas, helps clients find cattle for sale in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Gillespie Veterinary Center, Fredericksburg, Texas Gillespie Veterinary Center is a mixed practice clinic that offers full-service veterinary care to the residents of Fredericksburg, Texas. When the veterinary clinic was established in 1973, it was one of the first full-service clinics in the Fredericksburg area. They offer annual wellness exams, artificial insemination, digital x-ray and ultrasound, dentistry, laser therapy, 24-hour emergency care and many other services for a number of small animals. They also offer many services for large animals and grooming and boarding options for cats and dogs.

Truesdell Family Farm, Sherburn, Minnesota Truesdell Family Farm is a third generation family farm that provides value and growth to landowners and their farms. The family farm is dedicated to providing environmental sustainability to crop farming, as well as economic sustainability. They ensure each and every landowner they encounter is offered routine soil sampling, prescription based input applications, split application nitrogen programs, solid drainage and waterway management, GPS guided equipment and conservation tillage. Follow Truesdell Family Farm on Facebook. 130 | Ranch House Journal

La Muñeca Legacy Since 1873

Junior Benefits


Family Values




LaMuneca Ad





Philanthropy Trailblazer Share Our Best The Cow Man’s Kind Polled Genetics

Gig’em Aggies!

LMC Jackpot LMC $ellabration LMC & Friends


ANIMO Award Four future Aggies !!


Free Semen Marketing Opportunities

ANIMO UPCOMING LMC EVENTS June 24-27, 2017 LMC GenePLUS Online Sale XVII August 26-29, 2017 LMC GenePLUS Online Sale XVIII October 7, 2017 30th Annual LMC Jr. Round Up & Futurity @ LMC November 18-21, 2017 LMC & Friends Giving THANKS Online Sale IV

LMC Futurity LMC Jr. Round Up

MIL GRACIAS to Chris Shivers for your many years of dedication to ABBA and the Brahman breed !!

Hospitable Performance

LMC Raffle

Simbrahs, Simbraviehs & POLLED Brahmans


LMC LF Polled Queen - LMC Polled Passion x MR V8 139/7 (S) daughter at 7.5 months. Double smooth polled and super growthy !!

PO Box 81 • Linn, TX 78563 956-383-7566 (Office) Carlos 802-1641 • Victor 607-5515 Carlos Jr. 330-1963 Email: LaMuñ Ranch House Journal | 131  Website: www.LaMuñ



LAUNCHED BY RANCH HOUSE THIS SPRING Jason A. Shipman, Lytle, Texas Who doesn’t love to hunt? Jason A. Shipman’s clients sure do. Jason A. Shipman is a consulting business that focuses on professional wildlife management services. They provide both wildlife and habitat consulting services and ranch real estate sales and acquisitions. They offer exceptional hunting experiences whether you’re looking to fulfill your dream hunt or just looking to relax and have fun.

Kirkland Feedyard, Vega, Texas The idea of Kirkland Feedyard began when Perry Kirkland was asked to help feed out cattle in the early 1980’s. Kirkland Feedyard was then established in 1983 near Vega, Texas. The feedyard has evolved overtime and has become a refined cattle feeding operation serving a broad range of clientele. At Kirkland Feedyard, they believe in quality, integrity and commitment.

6K Ranch, Tulsa, Oklahoma At 6K Ranch, they offer registered Brangus seedstock. Although the 6K ranch house was constructed in 1975, 6K Ranch itself wasn’t formed until 2007. The ranch provides quality Brangus genetics to cattlemen all over the central United States and offers advanced marketing programs to a broad range of clientele. Are you looking to purchase quality cattle from foundation bloodlines? 6K Ranch is more than willing to help.

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LAUNCHED BY RANCH HOUSE THIS SPRING Stephens & Loehr Herefords, Taylorville, Illinois Stephens an Loehr Herefords has produced quality Hereford genetics since 1977. The farm consists of two different families working together to run 50 of the finest, registered Hereford cows with an additional commercial cow base. Join Stephens and Loehr Herefords for their Annual Hereford Fall Classic Sale on September 9, 2017 in Taylorville, Illinois. Through the sale, you have the option to purchase some of the most elite heifer calves, bred heifers, cow-calf pairs and herd sire prospects.

Blue Sky Farms, Friona, Texas Blue Sky Farms is a multi-site dairy and farming, family business based in Friona, Texas. Over the years, the business has grown to include four dairies in Texas and one in Ohio. The High Plains Dairy, Ridge View Dairy, Cotton Lane Diary and Southland Dairy are based in Texas. The Newport Dairy is based in London, Ohio. They also have two other locations based in Texas that are used to raise calves and heifers. Blue Sky Farms raises their own heifers and crops, including corn, sorghum, alfalfa, haygrazer, grass, wheat and triticale.

Fiesers Polled Shorthorns, Plains, Kansas Fiesers Polled Shorthorns offers exactly what you’re thinking....quality Shorthorn cattle. Fieser Polled Shorthorns manages a strong herd of 125 head in Plains, Kansas. Every calving season, they hand pick the most elite cattle to include in their sales. The cattle they offer for sale include, steers, females and bulls. Their Shorthorns are bred to perform both in the show ring and pasture.

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Auburn University College of Agriculture By Ashley Grant

Auburn is known for its friendliness! Reach out to Michelle Bufkin at, for more information about the College of Agriculture at Auburn University.

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Many people are surprised to hear that I was a city girl who majored in ag at Auburn University. In fall 2009, I was a freshman in animal science, pre-vet option. My ag experiences included a summer internship with a large animal vet, riding horses, and visiting my grandparents farm in North Alabama. Other than that, I had no clue about agriculture, but was bound and determined to be a large animal vet. That dream lasted one semester, until I failed chemistry. I had never failed a class in my life. My dad still won’t let me live this down. “You could have been a vet…” is his favorite line to randomly bring up at dinner. Thankfully, my amazing advisor, Dr. Lisa Kriese-Anderson, encouraged me to change my major to Agricultural Communications. “Ag Communications!? What kind of job are you going to get? That’s not a real degree,” was Dad’s reaction. The running joke on campus was “Ag communications? So you talk to cattle and corn all day?” But, majoring in Ag Communications was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I graduated in 2013, and then joined Ranch House a couple of weeks later. A few months ago, Dr. KrieseAnderson invited me to campus to give a presentation on social media marketing. Auburn’s campus has changed so much since I graduated, but as I was walking up to “Ag Hill” it was good to see that Comer Hall, the College of Ag headquarters, was mostly unchanged. While I was there, I had a chance to catch up with Michelle Bufkin, a friend from undergrad, who serves as the Student Recruiting Coordinator for the College of Agriculture, who filled me in on a lot of new and exciting things happening for both College of Ag students and alumn.


Auburn University recently added 2 new majors for undergraduates.

The first was Agricultural Science, which was actually one of the first ag majors available at Auburn back in the 1870s. The Ag Science curriculum covers horticulture, crop and soil science, animal sciences, agribusiness, fisheries, and much more, with the goal of preparing graduates for a wide range of career options in agriculture. The second new major is Applied Biotechnology, a heavily scientific program, which is a great fit for students interested in agricultural research and development or genetics.

MENTORING & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Four years ago, Auburn created the Ag Alumni Mentoring Program, which connects alumni with current students. Mentors are paired with students based on job description and major. The mentors provide job shadowing experience, resume critique, networking opportunities, interview practice, and other professional development. “This program is especially beneficial to agriculture students,” said Michelle. “Because our industry is so diverse, it is hard for students to know what all job opportunities are out there. It’s an easy way to begin getting real-world experience that employers want, and also helps students learn what they want to do in the future.”

WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE Auburn was originally founded as the East Alabama Male College, in 1859, enrolling its first female student, Frances Camp Duggar, 53 years later. Today, 55 percent of the roughly students in the College of Agriculture, are women. The college introduced a new donor society, called Successful Women in Agriculture, to provide current female students with female role models in the agricultural industry. “I am a member of the society, and I love it,” said Michelle. “It reminds

me that I am not AG COLLEGES alone working in the agriculture industry. It’s encouraging to see other women who are just as passionate about agriculture as I am.”

LEARNING BEYOND THE CLASSROOM During my time at Auburn, one of my favorite experiences was the Animal Science Spring Break Tour. During Spring Break 2011, a group of about 20 students traveled in minivans from Auburn to Texas. We spent that week touring the state and learning all about Texas agriculture, covering thousands of miles, from Houston to San Angelo, Amarillo to Fort Worth. The Animal Science Spring Break Tour is still offered, but now the College of Agriculture also offers a wonderful study abroad program, including semester-long studies and the new Study Abroad Tours. These tours are nine to 14 day trips that allow students to learn about agriculture in another part of the world. “We have groups going to China, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Cuba, Peru, and more,” said Michelle. “We also have study abroad scholarships. We realize college can be expensive, so we try to help as much as we can.”

THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE The face of the agriculture industry is drastically changing, and I love seeing colleges and universities (especially my alma mater), taking the steps to prepare agriculture students for the future of farming and ranching. These new programs, paired with hands-on experiences help to cultivate and foster the talent of our future leaders in the agricultural and natural resources industries. Ranch House Journal | 137 


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OUR ADVERTISERS 324 Land & Cattle....................................................97 4R Show Cattle.......................................................116 Auburn Women In Ag............................................120 Bovine Elite.............................................................143 Briggs Ranches........................................................121 Brushy Creek Custom Sires......................................65 Bryant Combine Parts.............................................106 Cates Farms.............................................................110 C Bar C.....................................................................23 Champion Animal Health......................................118 Charlie 1 Horse.........................................................25 Charlie Creek Livestock............................................31 Circle A Ranch.......................................................139 Circle M Farms.......................................................125 Dameron Angus......................................................133 Donor Solutions........................................................19 6 Mile Creek Ranch..................................................71 Emmons Ranch........................................................72 First Choice Livestock Marketing.............................82 GKB Cattle...............................................................12 Glover Cattle.............................................................54 Grimmel Girls Show Cattle......................................67 H.W. McElroy...........................................................77 Harrison Cattle Company......................................111 HeartBrand.................................................................3 Hornung Red Angus...............................................127 Hydra Bed...............................................................101 Independent Cattlemen’s Association.....................117 Ingram Angus...........................................................69 Ippensen Family Shorthorns...................................115 J Cross Mini Herefords...........................................123 Kane Beef .................................................................51 Kaufman Klassic.......................................................17 Kent Feeds...................................................................7 LaMuneca Cattle....................................................131 Landgraf Ranch.......................................................13 Legendary Akaushi Genetics....................................81 Luke & Cat................................................................50 Lyssy & Eckel Feeds............................................... IBC MC Livestock............................................................85 Melatonin Implants.................................................119 Mike Coy - Aflac.....................................................122 MoorMan’s ShowTec................................................15 National Western Stock Show.................................114 Pembrook Cattle Co................................................135 Pleasant Valley Farms...............................................45 Powerline Genetics....................................................95 Prairie Hills Gelbvieh................................................37 Quail Hollow Herefords...........................................55 Redden Brothers Livestock.....................................107 Resistol....................................................... Back Cover RK Cattle Co............................................................83 Rocking Chair Ranch...............................................89 Sarah the Showman Series.......................................98 Schrammel Cattle.....................................................53 Sellman Ranch..........................................................36 ShowBloom.................................................................5 Smith Bonsmara.....................................................129 Smith Farms..............................................................66 South Texas Tack......................................................29 Star Metal Fab..........................................................21 Sunrise Sunset Farm...............................................110 TAMU Beef Cattle Short Course.............................64 Tennessee River Music.............................................73 Topline Angus...........................................................41 TransOva............................................................78, 79 Tusa Show Cattle....................................................138 V8 Ranch................................................................140 W4 Ranch...............................................................113 Younge Cattle......................................................35, 47

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A year ago, the Ranch House Journal was simply an idea. We had a vision to create a publication that was the perfect fit for an agriculture audience where we could showcase our incredible clients and help them gain more exposure for their businesses. As I sit here and type this letter, it’s hard to believe how fast the last year (and six issues of the Ranch House Journal!) have flown by. After receiving remarkable feedback from you, our readers, we decided to take your ideas and vision for this magazine to create a brand new look — making this publication even better than before!


On behalf of the Ranch House team, thank you to our clients who shared their stories and contributed to this edition. Thank you to our readers for your support and feedback. Thank you for helping us take ideas to print, web and social media every single day. It’s our honor to serve you and we hope you continue to enjoy this newly branded issue as much as we enjoyed creating it for you!


Fall 2017 - Releases October 1 - Ads due August 25 Winter 2018 - Releases January 1 - Ads due November 25 Spring 2018 - Releases April 1 - Ads due February 25 Summer 2018 - Releases July 1 - Ads due May 25



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by Rachel Cutrer

TAKES THE REINS OF THE NATION’S LARGEST ANIMAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT This May, Dr. Cliff Lamb was named head of the Texas A&M University Department of Animal Science, and we were honored for him to visit our ranch. This hands-on beef cattle researcher is way cool: one minute he’s talking about working with the FDA to help get products like the CIDR approved in the US (which he was involved in by the way), and in the next talking about the best burger joint in Gainesville. How did you get to A&M? I grew up on a cattle operation in Africa, then moved to the U.S. and got a B.S. at Middle Tennessee State. Then I got a master’s and Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from Kansas State. My first job was at the University of Minnesota, then University of Florida. When the A&M position opened up, I wanted it. Leaders all across the country talk about A&M animal science as one of the premier departments in Texas.

What’s in your “first 100 days” plan as department head? So far I’ve met with most of the faculty, and will be meeting with lots of producers, and working on my vision for the department to be the most recognized in the nation for research, teaching and extension. What is the #1 tip you’d give beef producers? To me, “days open” is the biggest expense to beef cattle producers, so a lot of my work focuses on tools that help producers do more through heat synchronization and artificial insemination. These tools can really help producers see an impact on their operations. What’s your favorite country to visit? South America, because agriculture is king. Brazil and Uruguay are two of my favorites. What’s the best breed of cattle? {Laughing}. You know I cannot answer that. (I was hoping he’d say Brahman, but he didn’t fall for it!) RHJ 144 | Ranch House Journal

Summer 2017 Ranch House Journal  
Summer 2017 Ranch House Journal