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EMBRYO TRANSFER • IN VITRO FERTILIZATION • SEXED SEMEN • RECIPIENT OPTIONS • FRESH SHIP PROGRAM • CLONING & GENETIC PRESERVATION • WEANED CALF PROGRAM With our toolbox of reproductive technologies, exceptional team of professionals, and more than 30 years of experience, it’s no wonder we’ve become the industry leader. Our real job however - is creating future leaders in cattle operations across the United States. Whether it’s advancing and extending superior genetics or empowering the next generation of livestock producers, we’re here to help you Multiply Success.


RC Ranch Ad

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Ranch House Journal WINTER 2019


Features 10

RESULTS OF THE 2018 LIVESTOCK MARKETING SURVEY Find out what buyers and sellers want with the results from our annual survey tailored to the purebred livestock business.



65 Friends & Families 44

Find out what Iowa State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has to offer.

A walk through some challenges that made Kesslar Angus a success.


GUIDING TODAY WITH YESTERDAY Take a look at the history of Erwin Farm and Ranch.





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RANCH WEDDINGS Henricks Cattle Company sits as the perfect backdrop for this couple’s special day.

GROWING THE WILD A look at how the Source Population Alliance helps critically endangered species thrive.


Outlaw Spirit’s Kaci Myers discusses her passion for creating unique leather and metal pieces.

WHEN RANCHERS GO TO DISNEY Rachel Cutrer gives you the tips and tricks for planning a trip to Disney.



WORK HARD, EAT WELL Meet Stacy Mikolajcyk of North Creek Smokehouse.


Legacy Ag Credit

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40 Life & Home 20


Add this recipe to your ultimate Super Bowl Sunday party to impress your guests.




Photo 40

Located in north-central Kansas, Cody Cattle Company showcases the beauty of the Charolais operation.

Fashion icon, Jena Knowles, shares style tips.


BOOKS FOR RANCH KIDS Four of our favorite books for little cowpokes.


PENCIL IN THESE DATES Winter has arrived and with it many events you won’t want to miss.


THINK EMAIL MARKETING IS DEAD? THINK AGAIN. Ashley Grant gives you her best tips on email marketing.

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RANCH WEDDINGS Henricks Cattle Company sits as the perfect backdrop for this couple’s special day.


EVERY HAT HAS A STORY Readers contributed their favorite cowboy hat photos.


COUNTY FAIR 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTY Celebrating a 1st birthday party in style, a look at Cain’s County Fair.


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t’s really hard to believe actually. I still remember that cold, winter day when I was sitting at my computer in my dining room in College Station, trying to think of a name for my aspiring business, when I saw the clipart shape of a house with a window, and thought - Ranch House. That’s what I’ll name my business. That was actually in 2003, after one of my best friends and former business partner (Cassie Schulte) agreed to sell me her part of our business - Two Girls Web Design - so that I could go out on my own and she could pursue her career in cattle nutrition. I actually started the concept for what would become RHD back in 1999, in preparation for my family’s cattle sale. I learned how to build websites, and built a website for V8 Ranch. Not too long after, I remember going to Louisville and the TJLA Fall Classic, where some of my good friends like Bill Rasor,

On the Cover: Cover photo by Ann Lampe.

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Bobby Maddox, Brian Martin, Mary Barber, and Jeff Aegerter all asked me if I would do a website for them. Just these few people believing in me is what gave me the foundation to start Two Girls Web Design, which eventually became Ranch House Designs, and is now one of the world’s leading livestock advertising agencies. As we embark on our 20th year, so much has changed. Ironically, some things have really come full circle. This year we are opening a branch office back in College Station. It’ll be run by Paul Maulsby, one of the first people I met when I was working at TAMU, also twenty years ago. We still do the websites for V8, for Bill Rasor, Mary Barber, and Jeff Aegerter....but we also do websites for over 1000 other ranchers. The team here at RHD is what I consider the best in their field. They truly love working with every client, and without this great team, there would be no RHD. As we celebrate 20 years, we are excited for the future and excited about the many new ways we can continue to serve you. I hope 2019 is your best year yet! God Bless!

Leighton Chachere VICE PRESIDENTS Callie Graves, VP Print & Social Jessica Hobbs, VP, Web Division DESIGNERS Kristen Davis Sarah Simpson COPY EDITORS Ramona Petrosky Nessa Rolf SUBSCRIPTIONS Lynn Hough Ranch House Journal is published by Ranch House Designs, Inc. © Ranch House Designs, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All projects described in this publication are for private, non-commercial use. No rights for commercial use or exploration 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 Trademark Office. All rights reserved.


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A central-Kansas native, Shelby is rarely without her laptop and camera, and finds her true passion in telling stories of agriculture. With frequent trips west, she continues to support her family’s cattle and farming operation. Shelby highlighted Stacy Mikolajcyk in the Woman of Ag column this feature.


Alyssa attends Iowa State University, where she’s a member of Sigma Alpha and Block and Bridle. She shares the Iowa State story.


Michael is a page designer at Center for News and Designs in Austin. The Texas native has a passion for photography, graphic design and freelance journalism. Michael authored the Source Population Alliance feature in this issue.


Nicole Lane Erceg is a freelance creative based in Wooster, Ohio. Her upbringing in the cattle country of rural Eastern Oregon fostered a deep passion for agriculture’s stories and the determination to help tell them. In this feature, Nicole shared the story of Kessler Angus. 8 | Ranch House Journal


This Arkansas Razorback shares the story of Erwin Farm and Ranch in this issue. Mollie also enjoys traveling the world with her husband to experience other cultures. Interested in writing for the Ranch House Journal? Please send your story ideas or contact leighton@


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What Buyers(And Sellers) Want

Livestock 2018 By Rachel Cutrer

Marketing Survey

This year’s take-a-way is customer service. Tell your story. Be honest in your dealings. Show your customers how much they mean to you. -Rachel Cutrer 10 | Ranch House Journal

Special thanks to survey coordinators, Rylee Barber and Taylor Belle Matheny

It’s an exciting time to be in the purebred livestock business! As both a buyer and seller, we have so many great tools at our disposal to help us share our livestock with others, and help us find high quality livestock across the country. Every summer for the past six years we have conducted our Livestock Marketing Survey, which is an in-depth look at what buyers and sellers want in the purebred livestock business. This year’s survey included more than 1000 responses, primarily from those in the cattle business, but also encompassing show pigs, horses, sheep and goats. For me, customer service is the main takeaway this year. As one respondent said, “I want to feel like I am a lifelong customer or even a friend. We try to treat our customers that way when we sell cattle. If someone has a question about something, don’t hesitate to call.” Customer service can mean many different things. It starts with telling your brand story in a realistic way. Be honest in your business dealings, in what you post on social media and in your website writing. When someone shows the confidence in buying from you, show them appreciation. Produce quality livestock and stand behind them. Give people options in buying from you, and be available to take phone calls when people have questions. These are the responses that kept emerging in this year’s survey. We hope that you enjoy this data. For me, I’m a numbers and analytics person and I love doing research like this. If you have any questions on how you can use these findings to improve your own operation, please feel free to contact me. -Rachel Cutrer

DIGITAL MEDIA IS HOT, AS USUAL For the fifth year in a row, the use of digital media has increased for the livestock consumer. This year 81 percent of respondents said they are digital based, using their phone or tablet as their main source to check emails and get online. What does this mean? First, if you’re selling livestock, you need a mobile presence. If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, you might as well take it down because it’s doing you no good. Second, your materials should be optimized for mobile. Your online sale platform should be mobile friendly and your emails should be mobile friendly. Facebook continues to dominate. Other social media outlets have fluctuated in popularity within the livestock crowd, but Facebook remains the most popular and most relevant. The majority of respondents (89 percent) are on Facebook and 78 percent said it is their most frequented social media site. Of those surveyed, 69 percent look at a business’ Facebook presence prior to making a purchase. Fifty-eight percent said the quality of a business’ Facebook presence affects their decision to do business with them. It’s also interesting to note that people of all ages are active on Facebook, including the oldest demographic group (65 to 85). This demographic, which includes significant buying power, is either on Facebook, or not on social media at all.

Digital media is hot, as to be expected. You must have a digital presence and it must be mobile friendly. Buyers and sellers are pretty much available 24/7.




of buyers said there is no limit to how far they will travel to find great livestock.


of buyers look for a website before they buy from you.


of buyers want a phone call before buying from you.

While popular with the younger demographic, outlets like Instagram and Snapchat show to be the next most popular, but not viewed as important in influencing an individual’s decision to buy livestock.

FACEBOOK GROUPS ARE VERY POPULAR Joining Facebook groups is a trend that is becoming very popular for the livestock consumer. The majority of those surveyed (77 percent) said they were members of Facebook groups specialized for the livestock industry. Respondents are members of breed specific groups (65 percent), Everything Show Cattle (54 percent), registered and commercial cattle groups (42 percent), Women in Agriculture (30 percent) and more. The survey showed 18 percent said they have even purchased livestock through a Facebook group. These Facebook groups provide timely interaction, open communication and a forum to interact with others interested in livestock. Some of these groups also allow for sale promotion and posting at no charge. 12 | Ranch House Journal

IS FACEBOOK LIVE DEAD? Is going live a thing of the past? In past surveys, Facebook Live videos were extremely popular with the livestock consumer, and garnered your post a priority on the news feed. This year, however, 70 percent of those surveyed said they prefer watching a pre-recorded video over a Facebook Live video. When receiving notifications about a Facebook Live video, 49 percent of respondents watch the videos at a later time and 36 percent never watch them at all. So, next time you are thinking about posting a video, sharing a prerecorded video from your cell phone or a professionally produced video will most likely show the highest engagement rates.

TWITTER ANYONE? Ninety percent of Facebook users indicated using Facebook more frequently or the same as last year. The survey showed 43 percent of respondents said they use Twitter less now than they did this time last year

and 28 percent said they are not on Twitter at all.

THE VALUE OF PRINT ADVERTISING Those involved in the livestock industry continue to appreciate receiving print magazines in the mail. This is especially important in reaching the 25 percent of the older demographic that are not on social media. The majority of those surveyed (69 percent) prefer to receive magazines in the mail while only 12 percent said they prefer to read a magazine online. For the fifth year in a row, breed publications are the magazine of choice. The state cattleman’s publication was also listed very frequently as a favorite choice. We can’t stress the importance of print advertising enough, for the reasons of longevity and impression management. When you advertise in a print magazine, you are showing your customers that you care enough to invest in your ranch’s story. Print magazines have immense staying power. Fifty-five percent

Livestock social media users


are on Facebook


are on Instagram


are on Snapchat


are on Pinterest of respondents kept their livestock somewhat of a love/hate relationship. magazines for at least several months However, for the second year in a and 25 percent said they keep their row, the majority of our respondents magazines for several years. Livestock said they enjoy purchasing livestock people also tend to display their through online sales. This tells us magazines in the home for others to online sales are widely accepted as a see, with 48 percent sharing their preferred marketing option. magazines with others. However, buyers are still skeptical As livestock consumers are still to some degree about their privacy viewing print magazines, print in online bidding. Only 16 percent advertising is still a key marketing of respondents stated they were very tool. The survey showed 58 percent confident in their privacy in bidding. said the quality of a business’ print Which led us to the next question: advertisements affects their decision “Do you ever use the proxy bid to do business with them. or max bid feature?” in Advertising your business which 73 percent In in print magazines gives stated no, they did rank order, you an edge over the not. people find out competition, as print Most media gives a very about livestock sales respondents worthwhile and lasting (80 percent) on Facebook, in print impression of your indicated that magazines, and business. if they are through email interested in blasts. buying an animal WHAT KIND OF in an online sale, SALES WORK? they will typically Online sales changed the purebred communicate with the seller livestock marketing business. However, or sale manager before bidding to ask through the years, sentiments on questions to build confidence in their this marketing method have been purchase.


are on Twitter


are on Linkedin Marketing is crucial to the success of sales. When it comes to getting the word out about your sale, 73 percent of respondents indicated they want to know about a sale one month in advance. Respondents said the most impressive form of advertising is a nicely designed sale catalog (38 percent), followed by a nicely designed website (25 percent), a frequently updated Facebook page (24 percent) and a nicely designed print ad in a magazine (13 percent). However, Facebook is the most common way those surveyed find out about livestock sales (37 percent). Other ways indicated were by print publications (25 percent) and email blasts (12 percent). When asked what livestock buyers do if they cannot see an animal in person, most people prefer a trusted Ranch House Journal | 13 

friend to check out the animal on their behalf, followed by viewing a video of the animal. Only 2 percent of respondents said they prefer to buy cattle off a photograph. This indicates to us there is still a high level of suspicion in the industry of the use of Photoshop. We encourage all producers to adopt an ethical photo retouching policy and abide by it. Your buyers deserve it.


At the most basic level, buyers want service, gratitude and honesty. As the price increases, the expectations also increase. When a show heifer or steer reaches a sale price over $10,000, many buyers said there is a higher level of service expected.

RETURNS AND GUARANTEES Most all purebred livestock breeders agree that a breeding guarantee should accompany any breeding animal. This was viewed as the only acceptable reason to ask for a refund or return on an animal. When is it not acceptable to ask for a refund? You can’t ask for a refund because an animal doesn’t win a show. Simply changing your mind is also viewed as totally unacceptable. In fact, 99 percent of respondents said this is unacceptable. Inability to halter break a show calf were also listed as “not acceptable” reasons to return an animal. Many comments in this section alluded to encouraging buyers to purchase insurance on their livestock to protect their investment in the event of death or natural disaster. Respondents also felt that the adequate time frame for returning an animal was one year or less, or until the animal is a proven breeder (81 percent). If a refund is required, 47 percent of buyers felt a full refund as

Your customers want - and deserve - service, gratitude, and honesty.

Male buyers want the seller to be available by the phone for questions. However, female buyers expect management advice, phone call follow ups, and also like apparel with their breeder’s logo. 14 | Ranch House Journal

credit towards a future purchase is the most satisfactory option.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER If you are a livestock buyer or seller, how can you use this information? First, start with quality livestock. You may be able to sell poor-quality livestock once or twice, but this has no long-term sustainability. Once you have the quality, start with a strong online presence with a great website (your permanent source of information and the way people can “Google” you) and a Facebook page. However, just being on Facebook isn’t enough. Your Facebook should be frequently updated and show realworld content that is believable. Then, make sure you are advertising in the most relevant print magazines when possible. If you are a seedstock breeder, advertise in your breed publication or state cattlemen’s magazine. If you are a show cattle producer, you must have at least a one- or two-page ad in the show-specific magazine of your choice. And finally, treat your customers right. These are the foundation of any successful marketing program.

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True North

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Open Page

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Nacho Beef Dip Recipe

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most anticipated Sunday’s of the year for many Americans. This year, we want to share with you one of our favorite Super Bowl Sunday recipes, Nacho Beef Dip! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


1 pound Ground Beef (93% lean or leaner) 1 jar (15 to 16 ounces) cheese dip with salsa (salsa con queso) or other cheese dip 1/2 cup thick-and-chunky mild or medium salsa


Blue, yellow and/or white corn tortilla chips (optional) Diced red bell pepper, thinly sliced green onions, sliced ripe olives (optional)


Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef;

cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Add cheese dip and salsa; cook and stir about 3 minutes or until mixture is heated through. Cook’s Tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness. Pour beef mixture into shallow serving dish. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve! Images and recipe provided by https://

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The Best Laid Plans‌

From 4-H project to a thriving seedstock outfit, Kessler Angus stands the test of time.

Kessler Angus

By Nicole Lane Erceg

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t nine years old, Randy Kessler stood up at his 4-H meeting and shared that he was going to grow up one day, raise Angus bulls and sell them for a living. He didn’t come from a traditional cattle family and the Angus breed wasn’t the flavor of the month in the 1960’s. Never underestimate the plans of a child with the grit of a cattleman. Kessler proved true to his word. More than fifty years later, he’s doing exactly what he set out to do. “I’m just doing Angus and trying to do it right,” Kessler says. “This is my dream of what I want to do and I just look straight forward and just keep chugging away.”

He grew up across the state line from Walla Walla, Washington, near the Oregon town of MiltonFreewater. It was at a county fair in 1962 when he first stepped into the show ring with an Angus heifer gifted from his parents. In 1963, his first Angus bull was born. The herd multiplied through his 4-H and FFA years, but it took time for the passionate young breeder to make his own cattle pay the bills. To support his growing Angus herd, six days a week he worked for a Polled Hereford cattle outfit and in the few off hours cared for his own. Each year, without fail, Kessler would lead his Angus cattle into the show ring at the Walla Walla county fair — a tradition continued long after he outgrew the 4-H and FFA competitions. It proved a profitable way to market his cattle. It also led

him to the love of his life. He met his late wife Dawn at a county fair in Kennewick, Washington. He jokes she married him for his money, but at a time when the local auctioneer regularly asked the crowd ‘Well boys they’re black, what will you give me?’ in a disparaging tone, it wasn’t a great time to be in the Angus business. Kessler did it anyway.

A HARD FOUGHT DREAM “I know tough times,” he says. “I remember when a Pepsi cost 35 cents and I didn’t have money to buy a Pepsi.” Through years of sparse living when they couldn’t afford ketchup, a Kessler favorite, he and Dawn worked to build the business together. The lean years helped cement the real value Ranch House Journal | 27 

that the operation is rooted in today — the integrity of the Kessler name. In a business where a man’s word equates his worth, Kessler focused on the value of his reputation and the performance of his cattle. Trends shifted his way as the Angus cow gained prominence and the breed’s value grew. He stayed steadily 28 | Ranch House Journal

concentrated on raising quality Angus genetics that could turn a profit for the commercial cowman. Meanwhile, the herd on the home front grew. In 1996 Dawn and Randy welcomed daughters Tierra and Cheyenne. Two years later, son Cody joined the Kessler crew. The family enjoyed building the herd together, laughing through county fair adventures and time together in the fields. Angus became a passion the entire family shared and one they would cling to each other to keep going. In 2001 cancer came for Kessler. Radiation treatments across the state couldn’t keep him from the cows. It was the cattle and family he wanted to get back to and finally did. When he thought that would be the toughest battle he’d have to fight, partner Dawn passed away. “I’ve had two hobbies in my life,” he says. “My cattle and my family. I loved going home to be with my wife

and I love my cows. When I’m having a bad day, I just hop in the rig, drive over to the pasture and watch the cows and I feel better.” Through it all Kessler remained focused on his family and maintaining the herd. He never wavered from breeding calving ease bulls that produce both quality replacement females and performance feeder calves. “I need a calf that I can wean off of cows, whether it’s a heifer, a bull, or if we steer it that can turn a profit,” he says. “I don’t want throwaway calves. So it’s very important to have bulls that sire both sexes quite well.” Private treaty demand gave way to an annual production sale in 2007 and today Kessler genetics are marketed to commercial cattleman across the Pacific Northwest. All bulls are the product of artificial insemination, including some embryo transfers, developed in Eastern Oregon.

It’s not just his performance genetics that have kept his commercial customers coming back year after year. “If Randy Kessler says it’s a heifer bull, you know it’s a heifer bull,” says one of his customers. He’s consistent. Focused on progress, honest in his dealings and hell bent on serving his commercial customers.

“Have a goal where you want to go and just keep going for it.” — Randy Kessler

STAY ON TRACK Around the Kessler farm sign sits a steel track from an old Caterpillar, laid in a continuous loop. To some, it might look like a piece of old farm equipment long forgotten, but it’s a visual reminder of Kessler’s drumbeat mission — stay on track. The same mission he proclaimed in that 4-H club nearly 57 years ago. “Have a goal where you want to go and just keep going for it,” he advises young cattlemen. On the third Tuesday of February each year he looks out at the growing crowd gathered for the annual Kessler Angus Sale. Bigger than he ever imagined, it’s a real life dream that didn’t come easy, but made the hardships endured worthwhile. “My customers just keep coming year after year, and I appreciate it,” he says. “It truly humbles me. I get a knot in my throat when I look at the crowd and just… it’s awesome.” The cattleman has no plans of retiring any time soon, but the Kessler legacy will live to see the second generation take the reigns. His eldest daughter Tierra is now back at the ranch fulltime, helping keep the books, manage the marketing and run the cowherd. While Tierra enjoys handling most of the ranch’s marketing efforts, she leans on the RHD team to maintain the Kesslar website and to help share their story and genetics to commercial cattlemen. It’s a dream more than half a century in the making that will keep moving down the track. Ranch House Journal | 29 

Abrameit Law Firm

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Western Fashion with

Jena Knowles Jena Knowles, one of Instagram’s favorite western fashion icons, stopped by Ranch House with some style tips for the rodeo and livestock show events on your calendar this spring. We had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about where to shop and how to pull a custom look together. What is the most important thing to think about when pulling an outfit together? Comfort! Years ago, I made the mistake of choosing really great outfits, but they were not comfortable, and it impacted how much fun I was able to have throughout the event. Shoes are the worst! I don’t care if you have the most amazing shoes in the world, if you can’t wear them comfortably all night, leave them at home! Where are your favorite places to shop? Frosted Cowgirls is always a go-to destination for unique tops. Wrangler jeans are a staple in my closet and really work with a variety of looks. Nizhoni Traders has beautiful jewelry that provides sparkle and western flare to every outfit. Thanks Jena! For more of Jena’s fashion tips follow her @jena.knowles on Instagram.


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Martindale Feed Mill

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Erwin Farm and Ranch

Guiding Today with Yesterday


he past can set us on the path to a practical future, when seasoned with lessons from generations before us. Edgar Erwin, owner-operator of Erwin Farm and Ranch in El Campo, Texas, uses this philosophy as he looks to previous generations for guidance on moving his ranch forward. “There are just some things that past generations did right and we’re trying to bring that back,” Erwin said.

IT’S IN THE BLOOD When you know Edgar Erwin’s story, it’s easy to see why he respects history and tradition like he does. An eighth-generation Texan, Erwin’s roots in the blackland soils of Southeast Texas run deep. His paternal ancestors can be traced to Captain Abner Kuykendall who, according to sources, crossed the Brazos River in the fall of 1821 along

with his brothers. The Kuykendalls were the second family of Stephen F. Austin’s “Old 300,” the first 300 families to settle in Mexican Texas. The family has been involved in farming and ranching ever since. His father carried on the family’s deep agricultural roots by earning a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University in 1971. His first job out of vet school was in El Campo, which is how the Erwin family established their roots in this gulf coast town. Fast forward to the 1980’s when brucellosis testing was at its peak and Erwin was able to assist his dad with testing from East Texas all the way to the Rio Grande Valley. It was during this time Erwin gained a newfound passion for animal husbandry and discovered he would eventually have a career of his own within the industry. “I haven’t made a lot of money in it yet, but I sure enjoy it,” Erwin joked while reflecting on his journey to this point.

Edgar Erwin is looking to the practices of generations before to incorporate into modern practices to build his ranch and better serve the needs of families and restaurants. by Mollie Branch

The agriculture roots are not just on his father’s side, though. Those roots also run deep on his mother’s side where his great-grandfather, Joe K. Williams, was instrumental in establishing the Angus cattle breed in Atascosa County and the Atascosa Livestock Exchange.

A TRADITIONAL AND UNIQUE APPROACH Erwin remembers his grandparents buying cattle to feed out and butcher for the entire family to enjoy. In fact, he says he doesn’t remember a time his family had to purchase beef from the grocery store until he was a teenager. “I wanted to get back to that old way of knowing where your beef comes from, who raised it, and knowing it was handled properly, which was a lot of the inspiration behind our business model and motto, ‘Real People. Real Beef,’” Erwin said. Ranch House Journal | 35 

Today, Erwin Farm and Ranch is providing customers with a unique, individualized experience when purchasing their beef. Customers have the option to visit the ranch to see firsthand how the cattle are cared for and to get to know the Erwin family beyond the customer-retailer level. Visitors can decide if they prefer their beef 100 percent grass fed or grain finished, and Erwin walks them through the process of deciding what cuts and aging process is best for their family and cooking needs. It’s this personalized and traditional touch that sets Erwin Farm and Ranch apart from other buying experiences. “I want customers to know we are an open book,” Erwin said. “It says on our website anybody who wants to come over can. They don’t have to buy anything. They can look at our operation to see how we’re doing things, how we’re handling the animals, see where they are grazing,

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and hopefully get a sense of ‘this is the right way to do it.’” Erwin is not against feedlots; he owns a construction company that builds grain elevators, which ultimately supplies grain to feedlots. However, he discovered there was a market for grass-fed beef in his area, and in regard to tradition, he personally believes this is how nature intended for cattle to be raised. The demand for Erwin’s approach on beef production has only continued to grow, so he has taken two approaches to have a steadier supply of beef for families and restaurants. First, he has partnered with several reputable Texas ranches who share his same beliefs in how beef should be raised. These ranches help grow out the steers to their market weight and are then transferred to the Walhalla Valley Smokehouse and Meat Market, a USDA certified packing plant. Here the steers are butchered and then dry-aged for 21 days, which Erwin

states “makes a huge difference in the tenderness.” Additionally, he does not own any bulls or cows, which increases his carrying capacity and allows him to focus his efforts on steers purchased from a fellow rancher and friend.

A FAMILY OPERATION Ask any farmer or rancher what it means to raise their family on the farm and you can bet they will all have the same response, “everything.” Erwin, who is raising his son and twin daughters on the ranch, shares that same exact sentiment. When it comes time to process steers or do any other major projects on the ranch, the whole family, including the kids, are involved. It’s through the long days and hard work that Erwin hopes his kids learn selfreliance and critical thinking skills and gain an appreciation for a good day’s work.

“I want the ranching life to be a great life for my wife and kids because I love it,” Erwin said. “I would like the ranch to be a place they can come back to after college if they choose to or be the place where they learned a good work ethic to do what makes them happy.” Of course, there are lessons learned on the ranch Erwin doesn’t expect. Recently, that lesson was strength training. His son started eighth grade football late in the summer and the coaches were blown away by his condition. “The coaches asked me what I had been doing with the kid all summer to which I responded ‘working on the ranch!’” said Erwin. “They were just blown away because he was in better shape than any player on the team.”

BUILDING THE BRAND Part of being a good business owner is knowing where your strengths and weaknesses are. Knowing that marketing is not his strong suit, Erwin reached out to Ranch House Designs to help him build his brand. “I know what I’m good at and I know what I’m bad at, and I’m not good at technology and marketing,” Erwin said. “If it wasn’t for Rachel and her group, my website would be horrible, and we would not have had the sales we have had to date.” Edgar Erwin is a perfect example of finding middle ground between looking to the past and looking to the future to build the Erwin Farm and Ranch brand. From paying tribute to his ancestors by using some of their practices to partnering with other ranches who share the same philosophy to inviting customers to tour the ranch, Erwin is able to create a unique finished product. “It’s taking the best of both worlds and combining them to have a premium product,” Erwin said. To learn more about Erwin Farm and Ranch or to inquire about availability and pricing, visit www. Ranch House Journal | 37 

Beefmaster Bull Sale

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Triangle B Ranch Ad

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Cody Cattle Company

Photos by Brad and Chyla Photography Text by Leighton Chachere Cody Cattle Company is a purebred Charolais ranch owned and operated by Cody and Lindsay Runft. The ranch markets yearling and 18-month-old bulls in the spring and show heifer prospects each spring and fall. Cody Cattle Company recently moved their operation back to north-central Kansas, where Cody was raised. As a child, Cody established a love for the Charolais breed on the Runft Charolais Ranch as a third-generation rancher. In 2003, Runft Charolais Ranch had a complete dispersal sale where Cody was able to purchase foundation cattle for his own herd. Cody is a graduate of the Texas A&M University where he received a B.S. in animal science and was a member of the livestock judging team. Lindsay graduated from Kansas State University with a dual degree in animal science and agricultural communications as well as from Texas Tech University with a Master of Science in agricultural communications. Today, the two are settled in on the ranch in northcentral Kansas with their daughter, Whitley, while Cody Cattle Company is continuing to strive to market stout, performance-driven bulls. For more information on Cody Cattle Company, visit

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Ranch House Journal | 41 

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[979] 693-0388 • [800] 786-4066 • F AX: [979] 693-7994 • 3300 LONGMIRE DRIVE • COLLEGE STATION, TX 77845 42 | Ranch House Journal

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Members of Iowa State’s Block and Bridle club strive to further their interests in livestock husbandry and animal science.

Is this Heaven?

No, it’s Iowa State! By Alyssa Scholz

Located in the heart of the United States, lies –Iowa State University, a nationally recognized agricultural program. Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is home to over 5,000 passionate students with dreams of helping to feed this growing world. Some people may disregard Iowa as a ‘fly over state,’ however the Cyclone students are determined to make a difference in 44 | Ranch House Journal

the world around them. The faculty aim for the stars in education, research and outreach programs in hopes of helping their students reach that goal. Iowa State’s College of Ag has the third largest undergraduate student body enrollment in the United States. The college offers twenty-eight majors, including their nationally famous agricultural and biosystems engineering program. From

agronomy, ecology and microbiology to animal science, agricultural education and horticulture - students are able to find focus areas that grow their interests. Each year, the college comes together for a week to unify these groups for a special week known as “College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Week.” This event, held every October, unites all majors to celebrate the history and heritage of

the college as well as excitement for the future. Iowa State offers students the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs offered on all seven continents. Iowa State also gives their students the opportunity to manage all of the university’s livestock and crop research farms. CALS students can choose from more than 900 clubs and organizations to participate in, with 90 of those being agricultural based. The Block and Bridle Club is the largest student club at Iowa State University. Many alumni feel that their experience at Iowa State prepared them to be a leader in their chosen field in the industry, in society and in the world. Iowa State offers the nation’s largest annual Agricultural Career Fair in the fall and spring. Industry leaders come from all across the country seeking interns and fulltime employees with this high-quality education. Due to this, the College of Agriculture has over a 99% job placement rate after graduation. The program is very fortunate to have a large support base of driven alumni who continue to care about Iowa State’s mission. They help grow the priority emphasis in global impact, sustainable agriculture, agricultural entrepreneurship, and improving animal agriculture facilities. For over 160 years, students have been striving towards these goals, and with the assistance of agricultural research, education and extension, they are able to reach them. The College of Ag aspires to build on this legacy. They will continue to address and provide for Iowa’s needs as well as push to assist challenges around the globe. Their coursework provides students with the tools and innovative information needed to make decisions for the future of this industry. Come visit one of the twentyfive most beautiful campuses in the country! Besides the strong sense of

CALS ambassadors handing out free food on campus for CALS week.

A student ran pig sale in their Hansen Agriculture Learning Center.

passion for agriculture, visitors will witness nature’s beauty along with the largest public art collection in the nation. This includes some of the most famous livestock pieces by artists such as Christian Petersen. Iowa State recommends planning a visit at least two weeks in advance to arrange the appointments needed to make a stay worth it. During the visit, guests have a chance to admire treasures such as the Campanile, Curtiss Hall, Lake LaVerne, Reiman Gardens and the Memorial Union.

While in Ames be sure to eat at Hickory Park, an Iowa State tradition known for an expansive menu full of generous amounts of smoked meats and some of the best ice cream imaginable. After learning about Iowa State’s College of Ag, one may find themselves relating to a moment in the well-known 1989 film, Field of Dreams. An Iowan farmer ponders a question which seems all too real for all Iowa State University students. Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa. Ranch House Journal | 45 





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Heterosis...Don’ t Be In Business Without it! Ranch House Journal | 47  W W W

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Helping Celebrate Your Journey By Leighton Chachere

Everyone has a different journey and each should be celebrated in its unique fashion. This mantra was the inspiration for Texas native, Kaci Myers creating Outlaw Spirit: to create customizable and handmade items that help others celebrate life events. Myers takes pride that each of her pieces are custom and unique. “All of our orders are very custom with the exception of a few pieces I’ll keep on hand for quick gifts like purses, business card holders, money clips or generic pendants,” she said. With fashion trends ever changing, Outlaw Spirit creates classic pieces that will stand the test of time. “I’m not sure that we really have trends,” Myers said. “Aztec print

48 | Ranch House Journal

and cactus show up from time to time, but I feel like Outlaw Spirit is very classic and even timeless. Our floral tooled patterns and buckstitch trims are timeless looks.” Although, Myers said she will give into trends if they become popular. “Of course I had to give into the pop sockets because everyone uses them, even if I don’t,” she said. “I keep a classic collection for people to put their personal twist on.” Myers showcases her work and takes orders through her website created by Ranch House Designs. “My favorite part about working with Ranch House is that they nail it every time, they know what I want even when I don’t,” she said. To make an order with Outlaw Spirit, visit

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Show Barn Wedding Reception Photos by Chloe Photography Text by Leighton Chachere For Lindsay and Braden Henricks, it’s all about love, family and cattle. The couple met at Oklahoma State University when Lindsay was on a livestock judging trip. Their first date consisted of washing Braden’s show heifers, and the rest, as Lindsay said, is history. Located in Anadarko, Oklahoma, Henricks Cattle Company is owned and operated by Braden’s family. This venue served as the backdrop for their fall wedding. After the ceremony, with Angus cows in view, guests moved to the show barn for a festive reception. Lindsay and Braden now reside on the cattle operation where Braden works alongside his dad and Lindsay serves as communications specialist at Oklahoma Pork Council. Venue: Henricks Cattle Company, Anadarko, Oklahoma Dress: Essence of Australia Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse Food: Big Smith’s BBQ Flowers: Morning Glory Flower Photography: Chloe Photography Wedding Cake: Shollie’s Sweets Invitations: Shutterfly

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Open Page

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Rafter 2 Ranch

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n our family, we’re more the working kind rather than the relaxing kind. Brandon and I didn’t take a honeymoon, and the only reason we get out of Boling, Texas is either for a cattle show or cattle sale. And, honestly, we’re okay with that. However, as our children have started to get older (they’re 6 and 2), they’ve started asking us to take vacations. So, for the first time ever, the Cutrer family took a vacation to Galveston, Texas in 2017. I outlined this in one of our most popular Ranch House blogs of 2017. That little trip turned out to be so much fun, we decided to go BIG and take on Walt Disney World next! As any farmer or rancher knows, leaving the ranch and hitting the big city is quite overwhelming. But, all in all, we had an amazing experience and I would recommend any rancher taking on Disney.

PREPARING FOR THE TRIP Since we were total Disney rookies, we turned to a professional travel agent to help us with the trip planning, reservations and recommendations. We used Fairy Tale Travel (Jennifer Schaper) and she was a lifesaver—or should I say—like our fairy godmother. She was able to recommend where to stay within our budget, where to go, which FastPasses to select and much more. I probably emailed her 200 times prior to the trip, and texted her 100 times during the trip, but she helped us every step of 54 | Ranch House Journal

By Rachel Cutrer

the way. I highly recommend using a travel agent.

WHAT TO WEAR About a month before, I posted a question on Facebook of what we should wear. This prompted a flood of information from other ranchers who took on Disney. Let’s be honest, Brandon has one pair of non-cowboy-boot shoes, and he has absolutely no loungewear. All of his clothes are boots, Cinch jeans and work shirts. I was fairly certain he wouldn’t want to wear his boots to Disney. I too wondered what to wear. While I like both, I prefer my Rios of Mercedes boots and jeans to Lululemon. When our bags were officially packed, we chose Nike shoes, jeans for Brandon, workout leggings and t-shirts for me and leggings and sweatshirts for Mollie. Oh, and yes, the fanny pack, which I proudly got to wear during the trip. This attire turned out to be comfortable for us well, not Brandon - as we logged over 18,000 steps a day. (Brandon still said he thinks his boots would have been more comfortable since he’s used to wearing boots and never wears tennis shoes.)

TIME OF YEAR We selected the first week of January for our trip. Although, in retrospect I’m not sure I would chose that time again. It just so happened to be the marathon weekend, which drew large crowds. We experienced lots of delays because of the marathon, but these were also worth

it when we got to keep an eye out for fellow rancher Mandy Raithel, who was running. The weather was a little cooler than ideal, but like we all said, we’d prefer to be cold than to be sweating.

OUR FAVORITE ATTRACTIONS Since we were Disney rookies, and we can’t bear to be away from the ranch for more than a few days, we only spent two days in the parks. On Friday, we went to the Magic Kingdom and Saturday, to Epcot and Disney Springs. Thanks again to our wonderful travel agent, we had a suggested schedule of where to go and what to do. Without this, quite honestly, we would have been lost. This schedule gave us a guide of where to go, but was flexible enough and had enough wiggle room where we could really make the day ours and choose what we liked best. We experienced anywhere from 10 to 100 minute lines for the various rides, but thanks to Disney’s FastPass we were able to bypass a few of the lines for our favorites.

MAGIC KINGDOM At Magic Kingdom, we started our day with breakfast at Be Our Guest, then Under the Sea, Meet Ariel in her Grotto, then used a FastPass for Enchanted Tales with Belle (since Belle is Mollie’s favorite). In retrospect, we shouldn’t have used a FastPass for this attraction, but, we are learning. Next, we used the Disney app to select some shorter wait times and we did Winnie the Pooh,

Ranch House Journal | 55 

Teacups and the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train. Once we started to get the hang of navigating the park (that was Brandon’s job) and finding out wait times, we were set! We did Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion and, of course, It’s A Small World. We caught a great seat for a parade where we saw a firebreathing Maleficent Dragon and more. To wrap up the day, we saved the best for last — Space Mountain! With Mollie barely inching past the 44-inch height requirement, we used our last FastPass of the day for this epic indoor roller coaster. It was the perfect ending to the day. And as our photo pass depicted, Brandon and I were scared to death, while Mollie was riding with her hands in the air.

EPCOT Saturday, we started the day at Epcot, which also happened to be a spot on the race, so it was fairly busy and very crowded. Our plan was to spend about half the day at Epcot, then go to Disney Springs where Mollie had an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique that afternoon. We loved Epcot and wished we had more time to spend there. Of the 11 countries in the World Showcase, we only had time to visit Mexico and Norway. We started the day at Norway, of course, because that’s where Frozen resides. It was so fun. We then went to Meet Disney Pals for some photo shoots with Mickey, Goofy and Minnie. Then, we went to Mexico, my favorite country besides the United States. Mexico featured exhibits about the movie Coco, which I love. We breezed through Morocco, Mexico, Japan and China just quickly, though I wished we had more time. I probably could have spent two days at Epcot, because it was like an amazing museum to explore all day. Sadly, we had to leave Epcot to stay on our schedule and make our appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Disney Springs. I secretly think it was a ploy of our travel agent just to get us to Disney Springs since it’s full of shopping and dining. 56 | Ranch House Journal

DISNEY SPRINGS We weren’t quite sure what to expect of Disney Springs. I was somewhat expecting a regular size outdoor shopping mall, but we had no idea. This was the largest outdoor shopping area I had ever seen! Our appointment at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique was on the far east side, and like total Disney rookies we had made our dining reservation on the complete west side, so we got the pleasure of exploring the entire venue. Our appointment at BBB was a real treat for Mollie. She’s six and enjoyed the hair, makeup and dress-up. We then had about two hours to explore the shops, including getting some candy at Goofy’s Candy Shop and then braving the LEGO store. The LEGO store was simply amazing! Our little LEGO enthusiast spent an hour there. We meandered around for a while and finally settled in for dinner at the House of Blues.

DINING We were very pleasantly surprised with the Disney dining choices. We dined at restaurants in the parks and at the hotels. Each time we enjoyed a unique, delicious meal. Our travel agent recommended we do a Disney Dining Plan, which worked well for us. We liked the option of using our MagicBands to go cashless and use our dining plans. We loved the buffets, the dining choices and even the snacks. At Magic Kingdom we ate at Pecos Bills, which had delicious tacos. We also enjoyed breakfast at 1900 Park Fare, where we got to meet Mary Poppins. Every dining experience offered a unique menu and delicious food.

TAKE IT FROM THE ROOKIES As they say, “Every expert was once a beginner,” and while we are certainly NOT Disney experts, we did learn a few things that I’d share with other rookies. • Use your FastPasses wisely. We wasted one of ours on the Enchanted Tales with Belle, and we had saved 3 FastPasses for Epcot and didn’t need those.

• There is a new service named MinnieVans, which is like an Uber for Disney parks. Using the Lyft app, you can catch quick rides all throughout Disney. • Our resort offered complimentary drink mugs and you could get unlimited free drink refills, including fountain drinks, at the hotel. It was awesome and really came in handy. • The fanny pack was awesome! While it definitely added 10 pounds to all my pictures, it was so worth it. • We loved the Disney PhotoPass, where we could get our pictures taken at different spots throughout the park and then download them when we got home.

FAVORITE RANCHER QUOTES In true rancher form, you can take the man off the ranch but you can’t take the ranch out of the man. Brandon and I got some kicks out of some of our quotes from the trip: “Can you imagine how amazing V8 Ranch could look if we had Disney’s grounds crew!” “We’re ranchers, we need a steakhouse in our dining plan.” “My boots would have probably been more comfortable than these tennis shoes.” “Here I am, wearing my Ingram Angus cap at Disney!” “18,000 steps...that’s a normal summer day on the ranch for me!” All in all, we loved our few days at Disney and can’t wait to go back! Since going, we’ve discovered a complete network of fellow Disney fans, making it fun to share stories, experiences and tips. I’ve also become a super Disney nerd, googling every possible question I’ve ever thought of about Disney and I’ve also bought several Disney books. The sheer logistics of how Disney operates at such an impeccable level of perfection amazes me. If you’re a rancher thinking of going to Disney, take our advice and do it!

Ranch House Journal | 57 


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Ranch House Journal | 59 


Beef fuels this San Antonio-area businesswoman’s family, lifestyle and career.

Smokehouse owner, mom, and Southwest Meat Association past board chair Stacy Mikolajcyk uses this phrase as her daily mantra:

Work Hard,

Stacy Mikolajcyk lives the mantra of “Work hard, eat well.” As a full-time business owner, part-time rancher, Crossfit enthusiast, avid outdoorswoman and mother, it’s a phrase that suits her life well. Stacy and her husband, Jason, own and operate North Creek Smoke House, a beef jerky retailer near San Antonio, Texas.

GETTING STARTED When it came time to choose a career path, Stacy’s background in agriculture and love for animals and the outdoors told her where to begin. With a keen interest in business and accounting, she took off down the path of agribusiness. She soon changed her course. “I knew I wanted to be in the field of agriculture,” she says. “As I went along in college I realized the meats thing is 60 | Ranch House Journal

Eat Well pretty cool.” Stacy holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M, where she was a member of the meat judging team. She also recieved a M.S. in meat science. Following graduation, Stacy provided quality assurance and product development for Texas grocery chain H-E-B and then Kiolbassa, a familyowned company specializing in smokedsausage products. Stacy’s role with Kiolbassa was the turning point in her career. She describes President and CEO Michael Kiolbassa as a mentor to her and her husband in their own business.

By Shelby Mettlen

“I learned a tremendous amount working there because [Michael] invested so much time in us as employees,” she says. “The financial training and open-book policy helped give me the confidence, when this opportunity came along, to start this business.” Stacy’s natural leadership immediately struck Kiolbassa. “The great thing about Stacy is she’s got the intellectual skills and acumen, she’s extraordinarily smart and she’s got very strong people skills. You don’t find that in a lot of people,” Kiolbassa says. “She came in and led our team, as opposed to dictating things.”

After several years with Kiolbassa, Stacy and Jason began the process of building their own business. In 2014, the pair had the opportunity to purchase North Creek Smoke House from a family friend who started the business in 1981. Ready to retire, he handed the reins over to Stacy and Jason. “The steps have just fallen into place,” Stacy says. “Some things just happen at the right time.”

SERVING THE INDUSTRY Stacy says she enjoys working with local ranchers who bring in their own beef for jerky. “That direct selling helps people get back in touch with the industry,” she says. “Connecting the industry to the consumer is a benefit to everyone.” Stacy and Jason also employ a handful of high school and college students in their shop each summer. “That’s what we really enjoy,” Stacy says. “It’s fun for us to be able to give them some experience in food safety and in the meat industry.” Stacy recently completed her term as board chair with the Southwest Meat Association (SMA). Association President Joe Harris describes Stacy as “forward thinking and instrumental in guiding SMA through an unprecedented period of expansion and financial stability,” he says. Former professor Jeff Savell calls Stacy “unshakeable.” “She may debate that,” he admits, “but to the outside observer, she’s just able to go with the flow, work with diverse groups of people and not let things get in her way of getting things done.”

USING CROSSFIT TO PROMOTE BEEF Stacy and Jason have participated in Crossfit for almost a decade. “It’s changed the way I approach health and fitness in general, but it’s also really helped me change how I look at myself,” Stacy says.

With their business, a growing ranch and intense workouts, “we’re always going,” she says. “That’s where the jerky comes in.” A two-ounce package provides 18 grams of protein. That’s something Stacy wants mothers with growing children to understand. “I get questions about beef all the time,” she says. “I enjoy being able to communicate to my friends what we do. I think women listen to each other.” Stacy blogs about her business, Crossfit adventures and rural life, and enjoys social media. “I love being able to communicate what we’re doing and share it with our audience,” she says. Blogging and social media help engage her audience and reach new ones. As a woman and business owner in agriculture, Stacy loves communicating

her passion to others. “I’m telling other women we’re doing a lot of good here. We care about our animals, we care about our products, we care about the people who eat our products, and we care that we produce a good, wholesome product.” “There are a lot of smart people in the world, but there are not a lot of great leaders,” Kiolbassa says. “Stacy is a great leader.” Ranch House Journal | 61 

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CONGRATS to our four grand kiddos on a great debut year with their Brahman heifers. We love you & are very proud of you guys !!

We are very proud of what The Brahman Foundation is doing. THANKS to our growing donor base, TBF is growing the Brahman World !!



La Muneca

LMC San Pepe - best 2018 calf with both grandsires being International Champs.

“Polled Phenom”

A BIG HEARTY THANKS to all of our semen buyers that made 2018 our best semen sales year ever. (Semen Available).

LMC FCC Polled Atlas is our upcoming super star DOUBLE POLLED sire.

CONGRATS to our LMC & Friends ANIMO Award winners and A BIG HEARTY THANKS to all of our donors.

LMC MT Transformer is our 2018 National Champion. (Semen Available).

CONGRATS to our LMC Jr. Show Team for winning 3 of the last 4 San Antonio $10,000 Jr. Simbrah Shows & 2 of the last 6 Brahman Premiums.

CONGRATS to all of the winners and participants in our LMC $ellabration and LMC Jackpot shows in March !!

CONGRATS to all of our Guerra Family Scholarship winners throughout the state. GOOD LUCK in college. Dream big, study hard, get involved & be the best you can be.

CONGRATS to all of our winners at our 31st Annual LMC Jr. Round Up & Futurity with a special hug for our LMC Award Winners. HOMOZYGOUS POLLED

LMC Polled Madison - sire of our test bulls.

At the recent ABBA Performance Bull Test & Sale, LMC had the 1st, 3rd & 4th top scanning and the top selling bull selling to Stanley Stevens for $10,700. Why ? They are THE COWMAN’s KIND !! MIL GRACIAS to all who bid & bought bulls !!


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

LMC LN Polled Pappo

We were fortunate to sell lots of bulls this year to many repeat and new buyers from several states. The demand for Polled Brahmans is at an all time high. MIL GRACIAS to all Ranch of our House 2018 buyers Journal |!!63 

OH Triangle Ranch

64 | Ranch House Journal

Growing the Wild


he Ouadi RiméOuadi Achim Faunal Reserve sits on a swath of the southern Sahara in Chad. The reserve is home to many ungulate species, including a little more than 200 head of scimitarhorned oryx. These oryx are special. The scimitar-horned oryx was extinct in the wild for nearly 30 years. Each year since 2016, a small number of oryx have been released through the Scimitar-Horned Oryx Reintroduction

Source Population Alliance is helping critically-endangered and extinct-in-the-wild species thrive again.

By Michael Catarineau

Programme — a collaboration between the Government of Chad and the Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi implemented by the Sahara Conservation Fund. “It’s an international effort,” Gavin Livingston, Source Population Alliance program manager, said.

AN ALLIANCE IN AGRICULTURE Source Population Alliance (SPA) is a group of private landowners, conservation centers and zoos that use

their resources to build sustainable populations of wildlife, and is based in Glen Rose, Texas, at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center — one of the largest breeding facilities in the U.S. for ungulate and hoofstock species. “Fossil Rim was one of the founders of the Source Population Alliance,” Livingston said. “The idea was incubated here and they are very dedicated to this program.” Livingston, an Oklahoma State University graduate, has been around zoos and agriculture all his life. Ranch House Journal | 65 

“My family has a private animal breeding facility where we raise animals and supply a handful of zoos,” he said. “So I’ve grown up around that.” Livingston received his Bachelor of Science in agribusiness in 2014, and two years later, his Master of Science in international ag. He’s been with SPA since 2017. “I didn’t intend, necessarily, to go back into the zoo world,” Livingston said. “It sorta happened by a few chance encounters.”

THE SOURCE FOR SPA In July 2018, Livingston traveled to Chad to work the release of additional oryx at the faunal reserve. “The animals that have been released are thriving; they’re doing extremely well,” he said. “There has only been 66 | Ranch House Journal

one case of an animal being poached, and the Chadian government took that very seriously. They sent that poacher to jail for, I believe, 10 years.” With SPA’s involvement and network, some oryx in the Chadian herd traveled from as far as Virginia, Ohio and even Texas. The scimitar-horned oryx release project is completely funded by the Government of the United Arab Emirates, and is just one of SPA’s endeavors. “When the program was launched in 2014, we identified four species that we thought had the greatest conservation value and also that we were positioned well to help with,”

Livingston said. “That was the scimitar-horned oryx, the addax, the addra gazelle and the sable antelope.” The scimitar-horned oryx, the addax and the addra gazelle were all critically

SPA initially identified 4 species as their focus, scimitar-horned oryx, the addax, the addra gazelle and the sable antelope.” endangered or extinct in the wild. “They are all north African desert species,” he said. “And they all happen to do extremely well in Texas.” While SPA has program participants

all across the U.S., most of them are in or near the Texas Hill Country. “Historically, the reason that Texas has been such a big home for exotic hoofstock species is several reasons,” Livingston said. “The regulatory climate is right for it ... the terrain and the ground — especially in the Texas Hill Country — is really a lot like southern Africa ... and also the weather.”

RE-EVALUATION, REBRANDING In 2017, when Livingston joined the program, SPA re-evaluated themselves and looked to see what could be done to expand their brand and their conservation efforts. “What can we do now that this model is working,” Livingston said. “That’s when we decided to grow it to several different types of ungulates, not

just antelope.” SPA then brought in two very rare and unusual endangered Asian wild cattle species — the anoa and the banteng. “We chose those two specifically because they are almost non-existent in zoo populations and almost nonexistent on ranches,” Livingston said. “However, there are a couple large populations of them on two private ranches in Florida. There was interest in moving them out to other facilities if we had interest.” Now, SPA has several ranches working to build a banteng population. The re-evaluation also brought the opportunity for a re-branding and development of a whole new web presence. Livingston said the previous website did not reflect where SPA is as a group.

“I was aware of Ranch House, obviously, from the livestock side of things, and I was always very excited about the products they put out,” he said. “I started working with the team at Ranch House in January, and we did a total redesign and relaunched website for Source Population Alliance.”

A HOOF IN THE DOOR Becoming involved with SPA — be it a breeder or a participant — is a well-regulated process. “We look at the population in the wild, we look at what their conservation status is, and then what the status is of them in the United States and is there anything special that species needs to be helped with,” Livingston said. An executive committee of nine voting members oversee the vetting Ranch House Journal | 67 

and approval process of the folks that get involved with SPA. “In order to join the Source Population Alliance, the facility requires unanimous approval by our nine voting members,” he said. “(They) represent zoos, conservation breeding centers like Fossil Rim, and ranches.” SPA does not have to travel far to find willing participants either. Livingston said one of their newest members read an article in the paper about the scimitar project and reached out about using his land for conservation efforts. “The way that we find most of our program participants is generally through word of mouth,” he said. “The program started out with about 12 or 15 different folks that were really brought in with the idea of representing zoos, big breeding centers like Fossil Rim and then regular highfenced ranches like in Texas.” Livingston has started actively recruiting participants at conferences and meetings. Participants that have an agricultural background won’t face too much of a learning curve. “It’s really not all that different than any other agricultural operation,” Livingston said. “You’re still raising animals and doing animal husbandry. It’s really not as big of a stretch as it kinda seems at first to a lot of people — especially with African hoofstock.”

A DAY IN THE LIFE In addition to networking with landowners, zoos and conservation centers, Livingston also has a fair share of office work. “It’s one of those things,” he said with a chuckle. “Since it’s a small organization, I wear about 75 different hats.” Livingston said about 30 percent of his time is spent traveling and operating as a field representative for SPA. “I travel to meetings all around the 68 | Ranch House Journal

country with the zoo organizations and some of the ranching organizations and represent Source Population Alliance,” he said. “The other part of my job is sort of the backend, paperwork, management side of things where I oversee different scientific research projects that are going on ... serving as the liaison between our different partners that we work with and our actual program participants.” Livingston said his experience being the public representative for SPA and its partners has been very humbling. Managing SPA allows him to have a bigger impact than just working at a single facility. “It’s very fulfilling,” he said. “It’s

incredible to be able to get to be involved with something that’s larger than any one facility that I was involved with before.” To learn more about SPA, visit them online at

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By Mollie Cutrer

In her regular column, Mollie Cutrer, 7-year-old ranch kid and AR-reading nijna, shares her favorite books to build your little ones love of reading.


A Mexican twist on a great classic by one of my favorite western authors.


By Brenda Guiberson

This story--about a desert, a giant cactus and the animals who live in it--is one that even the youngest reader can enjoy.

I’M SOXY BOXY. I’M A COW, AND I MOOOOO!!! By Kendall Tipton

Designed for younger children, Soxy Boxy asks each animal she meets three questions: “What is your name?” “What kind of animal are you?” and “What sound do you make?”


Part of the Bluebonnet Adventure Series, see how Bluebonnet the armadillo enjoys his visit to this Texas landmark. Y’all know we have to include a Texas book in the list.

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We believe in the future of agriculture. So we’re bringing people and companies together to offer producers a complete management solution. With over 350 years of combined knowledge and experience, Datamars takes pride in quality products and exceptional service. Look for one of our brands in a store near you.

FAMILY OF BRANDS 800.874.8494 | |

Electric Fence | Scales | Electronic ID Readers | Automatic Waterers | Automatic Syringes | Visual & Electronic ID Tags Ranch House Journal | 73 


My Hat’s Story Every king has a crown, and in the American West, where cowboys are king, that crown is a great hat. The cowboy hat is arguably the most iconic and recognizable item a cowboy owns. From straw to felt, fancy to worn out, every cowboy hat has a story to tell. As they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words. So we asked our Facebook followers to submit their favorite cowboy hat images so we could share each hat’s story. We believe each of these hats tell a unique and heart warming story of life and love of agriculture. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Want to see your photo? Make sure to follow Ranch House Designs on Facebook to never miss a change for your photo to be featured in the Ranch House Journal.

Bruce Lawrence at Denver, by Show Champions

Steven Kahla, by Erica Kahla

Pierce Hoskins at J.D. Hudgins, Inc., by Gayle Locke DeBerry 74 | Ranch House Journal

Gracie Gambino, by Rodeo Bum Photography

Cassidy Ashworth, by Laura Ashworth

Todd Harrell, by Brook Gray

Cord Weinheimer at Weinheimer Ranch, by Leighton Chachere

Ally Ernest, by Jenny Ernest

Brittany Starritt, by Lee Starritt

Collin Parker at San Antonio, by Jennifer Parker Ranch House Journal | 75 

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Pencil In These Dates

National Western

January 8-27

National Western Livestock Show




Red Angus Mile High Classic Sale National Limousin Sale


NWSS Angus Bull Sale


Mile High Eve Frozen Genetics Sale

NWSS “Bright Lights” MaineAnjou Bull/Female Sale



Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo


San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo


San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

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Iowa Beef Expo


Illinois Beef Expo


Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show general-information



Pigeon Mountain Simmentals “Beef Builder” Bull Test and Female Sale


Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo


B&L Red Angus Production Sale

March 2-3

National Western

RFD-TV’s The American


Schaake Farms Sale


28th Annual Barstow Angus Ranch “Rock Solid” Bull Sale


Oklahoma Youth Expo


Rodeo Austin


Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Convention


Silver Bit Angus Ranch 28th Annual Bull Sale

Rodeo Austin

Ranch House Journal | 79 




By Ashley Grant, CMO, Ranch House Designs

With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and all the other fancy social media platforms out there, it is easy to forget about email marketing and assume it is an outdated tool. However, with the dramatic changes to Facebook algorithms we have experienced in 2018, making it harder and harder for businesses to reach people through social channels, email marketing is once again rising in popularity. Email marketing is a powerful tool you should be using in your 2019 marketing plan. You may have sent an email blast through your breed association mailing list, or from Ranch House Designs, but we also recommend building your own email list to use as part of your marketing mix throughout the year. So how do you get started with email marketing?

recommend MailChimp, which is free for up to 2,000 subscribers! STEP 2 | BUILD YOUR LIST You can start by manually uploading any contacts you have saved over the years, like past customers or a list of prospective clients. There are alot of scam services out there that may offer to sell you a list from a trade show or event, and these are usually not legitimate, so avoid this trap.

emails weekly. When writing your emails, be sure your message includes: • A Story. Tell them about something that happened on STEP 3 | GET PEOPLE TO SIGN UP your ranch, or a funny thing Make sure your email list sign up that your family experienced. form is showcased on your website, • A Gift. I’m not saying you have social media pages and even your email to give away a free hat with signature. A great way to get people every email, but offer something to sign up is by offering a freebie, of value, like a tip, resource or giveaway or raffle! Business card raffles something that will help them. are very popular at trade shows and • An Action. Offer your reader a events. chance to DO something at the STEP 1 | CHOOSE AN EMAIL STEP 4 | CONNECT WITH YOUR end of the email. For example MARKETING SERVICE PROVIDER SUBSCRIBERS add a link to visit your website, There are lots of options out People signed up for your mailing or “text me for more info...” there. I’m sure you’ve heard of list because they want to learn more As a bonus tip, remember emails ConstantContact. If you’re just getting about you and your business. 61% of with a 3 to 4 word subject line have started with email marketing, I would subscribers say they enjoy receiving a higher open rate. Emails with 50 to 124 words have the best response rate at 50%. HAVE YOUR DOUBTS? HERE ARE SOME STATISTICS ABOUT THE POWER OF EMAIL Email marketing may sound MARKETING daunting at first, but the best way to learn is through practice. • A message is 5x more likely to be seen in an email than it is on Facebook. By building a strong list of email • 72% of people prefer to see sales / promotional content in an email, contacts you are ensuring that compared to only 17% who prefer to see promoted messages on Facebook. you have a digital way to connect • 60% of consumers say email marketing influences them to make purchases. with prospective clients. And • Email campaigns generate 174% more conversions than social media you will be ahead of the curve if campaigns. (and when) Facebook decides to • 79% of Americans check their emails while on vacation! change their algorithm again! 80 | Ranch House Journal




4Robertson Ranch

This premier hunting destination in Jacksboro, Texas, is sure to capture the heart of any outdoors enthusiast. From whitetail deer to exotics you’re sure to experience a hunt of a lifetime! That’s not all though! On the search for the perfect outdoor wedding venue or a great outdoor event location? This facility offers your guests unparalleled ambiance and serenity.

920 Cattle & Company

Located in the heart of Statesboro, Georgia, 920 Cattle & Company is a first generation cattle and services operation. Family owned and operated, it produces quality products for consumers and includes a registered seedstock operation, custom meat and butcher business, fencing repairs and installation and hay production and custom baling entities.

A Horse Named Moo

The Charolais Association of Texas exists to provide breeders with the ability to sell their products commercially, as well as to seedstock producers at a fair market value.The overall goal of the C.A.T. is to inform members, support junior Charolais affiliates and establish good land management skills and environment friendly programs.

At Ease Logistics, LLC.

At Ease Logistics, LLC., is located in Shiro, Texas, and prides themselves on outstanding customer service. The operation offers high-quality, hagglefree transport solutions throughout the contiguous United States. At Ease Logistics, LLC. would love the opportunity to serve you on your upcoming auto transport shipment.

B&C Cattle Company

B&C Cattle is a registered Hereford ranch in Miami, Texas. Owners Bill and Chad Breeding (B&C) strive to produce top quality horned and polled cattle. B&C has been in the registered business since 1957, and over the years the family has built a solid reputation for outstanding cattle for both commercial cattlemen and seedstock breeders. Ranch House Journal | 81 




B&D Herefords and Angus

At B&D Herefords and Angus, family and a good cow herd are the two most important things. Originally founded in 1969, the Hereford and Angus operation has stayed completely family owned and operated. Today, B&D Herefords and Angus runs 800 cows across central Kansas

Blackwater Cattle Company

Blackwater Cattle Company located in Lake Park, Georgia, specializes in Brangus, Ultrablack and Hereford stock cattle. The Coggins and Holbert families pride themselves on their history of quality, reputation and character.

Bloom Angus

Bloom Angus Farm is an Angus cattle operation in Westville, Indiana. For more than 40 years, owners Don and Carol Bloom have been breeding and producing top herd sires and females. Bloom Angus prides themselves in selecting cattle based on genotype and phenotypical traits while focusing on maintaining high profile genetics, pedigrees, performance and eye appeal.

Blue Reef Agri-Marketing

Blue Reef Agri-Marketing specializes in risk management recommendations for clients in the agriculture industry. Blue Reef Agri-Marketing offers hands-on advice to help producers thrive in today’s competitive business environment. The ultimate goal of Blue Reef Agri-Marketing is to promote specific, tailored advice, guidance and help.

The Branch Ranch

The Branch Ranch is a registered Brangus seedstock producer based in Mansfield, Louisiana. The Ranch has been in operation since the early 1980’s and has been providing quality cattle to ranchers ever since. The Branch Ranch specializes in the production of “Rough & Ready” bulls, produced from a rugged cow herd.

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Charolais Association of Texas


The Charolais Association of Texas exists to provide breeders with the ability to sell their products commercially, as well as to seedstock producers at a fair market value.The overall goal of the C.A.T. is to inform members, support junior Charolais affiliates and establish good land management skills and environment friendly programs.

Cherokee Sales Company

Cherokee Cattle Company is a livestock market located in Cherokee, Oklahoma. Every Wednesday, Cherokee hosts their weekly cattle sales, along with fall and spring special bred stock/replacement sales. Cherokee Cattle Company markets wheat pasture cattle, feeders, calves, cows and so much more!

Circle F Farms

Circle F Farms located in Baxley, Georgia, raises registered Brahman and F-1 commercial cattle. Circle F Farms spans over 2,100 acres and contains 400 head of Brahman cattle.The hard work, dedication and commitment of Circle F Farms has allowed them to raise the best beef animals for registered and commercial cattlemen. is an operation where purebred producers, commercial producers, livestock brokers and feedlots can network together. Cowbuyer. com offers anyone who markets to the livestock industry banners, displays and classified advertising - a full livestock marketing firm.

Dean & Peeler Premium Beef

Dean & Peeler Premium Beef is an authentic working cattle operation located in South Texas, with one singular mission: to create beef for beef connoisseurs. They take pride in creating consistent high quality beef that delivers a great eating experience every single time.

Double D Cattle Company

Double D Cattle Company was created with the customer and consumer in mind. In addition to buying and selling livestock for consumers, Double D also sells Nebraska Fed Golden Valley Meats. It is important to the Double D Cattle team that people know where their meat is coming from.

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Duelm’s Prevailing Genetics

Duelm’s Prevailing Genetics of New Braunfels, Texas specializes in selling exceptional genetics that yield champion results throughout the United States. Duelm’s offers legendary boars and quality sows for sale year-round and takes pride in providing top-notch customer service. With over 120 years of combined barrow feeding experience, the team at Duelm’s is very knowledgeable in the industry.

EGE Products

EGE Products is a family-owned agricultural business in Minneola, Kansas. With years of experience in the industry, the owners have first hand knowledge of what works and what drives the agricultural community. Their motto, “farmers helping farmers,” is the dynamic force behind EGE Bio Products. Using innovative knowledge and ideas, EGE has developed products to enhance the effectiveness of chemical application for crops.

Ellyson Abstract

Ellyson Abstract is a complete, prompt and accurate title service. Located in West, Texas, the operation proudly services Brewster, Presidio and Jeff Davis counties. Equipped with an elite and trusted staff, Ellyson Abstract provides a quality experience throughout the real estate transaction process.

Evolution Genetics

Evolution Genetics is based in Jacksboro, Texas, and specializes in live sales, consulting, semen and embryos. Evolution Genetics takes pride in innovation and is constantly trying to produce a more consistent product, while providing consumers access to industry leading genetics. The staff at Evolution Genetics has over 45 years of combined experience in the breeding and genetics industry.

Grand Hills Cattle, LLC

Grand Hills Cattle, LLC. has been raising purebred Charolais cattle since 2016. With two locations,in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming, their focus on producing functional Charolais cattle has allowed them much success in both the show and commercial sale ring.

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Gulf Coast Feed & More


Gulf Coast Feed & More is a one-stop shop located in the heart of South Texas. With locations in Victoria and Ganado, Texas, the family owned and operated business has exactly what you need for your home, garden and ranch needs.

Hi Plains Feed

Hi Plains Feed is a custom feed mill with two locations in Dodge City and Garden City, Kansas. The operation provides nutritional products and services that add value to cattle and dairy producers.The team of professionals at Hi Plains Feed focuses on offering exceptional service, integrity and quality to every client.

High Tide Farms

High Tide Farms is a family-based operation out of Pace, Florida. The farm raises black Angus cattle that thrive in any environment. High Tide specializes in AI and embryo programs to ensure only the best genetics are used.

JB Mini Herefords

JB Miniature Herefords is a family based operation out of Refugio, Texas. Coming from a strong cattle background, the Braman family created JB Mini Herefords with the goal to keep kids in agriculture and give them a foundation for lifelong love of showing.

JB Show Cattle

JB Show Cattle is a high-end, purebred seedstock operation backed by rich family history with many state and national champions under their belt. Located in Refugio, Texas, the Braman family have used their years of experience in agriculture to expand JB Show Cattle specializing in Hereford, Brahman and F-1 cattle, and produce top-quality genetics for purebred and commercial cattlemen.

JB Quarter Horses

“Creating Legends” is the standard Joe and Dee Lynn Braman model at JB Quarter Horses. Located in Refugio, Texas, JB Quarter Horses raises enduring equine athletes in a variety of disciplines including show pen, race track and rodeo arena. Ranch House Journal | 85 




JD Monte Cruz

JD Monte Cruz Ranch & Outfitters is a privately owned premiere hunting ranch located in Uvalde, Texas. Deep in the heart of South Texas, JD Monte Cruz provides a hunting experience to last a lifetime. Hunt exotic game or relax in a world-class Spanish-style hunting lodge, featuring top-notch accommodations and amenities.

Johnson Family Farms

Johnson Family Farms is a family-owned farming operation located in Central Illinois. Since the late 1860’s, Johnson Family Farms has operated on six key competencies: technology, location, stewardship of the land, experience, relationships and entrepreneurial spirit.

KP Auction Group

KP Auction Group is a full-service auction company based in Ennis, Texas. With over 14 years of experience in the industry, Kate Phillips founded KP Auction Group in 2017. Today, Kate has many state and national accreditations. The team of professionals at KP Auction Group offer a wide range of services that set them apart.

Larsen V.E.T.

Larsen V.E.T. is a state of the art veterinary facility located in the Sandhills of Valentine, Nebraska. Since opening in 2009, owners Dr. Scott and Kris Larsen have made it their mission to further expand an interest in specialty reproductive strategies. The team at Larsen V.E.T. is highly qualified, experienced, and provide all-inclusive services for every aspect of bovine genetics.

Legends Cattle Company

Legends Cattle Company in Emory, Texas, produces high quality registered Angus cattle. Their unique Angus genetics allows Legends to produce cattle that have good pedigrees, performance records and high-accuracy maternal sires.

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Lewis Beefmasters


Lewis Beefmasters is a family owned and operated, fifth-generation Beefmaster ranch. Since the 1950’s, the Lewis family has been producing quality cattle to work in any breeding program. Located in Scurry, Texas, Lewis Beefmasters takes pride in producing national show champion cattle that continually work in any herd.

Lone Star Angus Alliance

For over 20 years, the Lone Star Angus Alliance group has been promoting and marketing Angus Cattle for both registered and commercial breeders. All of the cattle used in the program are born and raised in the Gulf Coast – South Central Texas region. The LSAA members are proud to produce cattle that fit the industry standards, thrive in the environment, and consistently produce a profit.

Lowderman Auction Options

Lowderman Auction Options is a full service auction solution. The operation began in 1963 as a traditional auction marketing service, but has transformed into an online community. Backed by some of the industry’s best experts, the operation offers clients exceptional service and experience.

McFaddin Enterprises

McFaddin Enterprises is a family-owned land and cattle company located in Victoria, Refugio and Bee counties of Texas. McFaddin Enterprises specializes in a multitude of skills including cow-calf production, yearly wildlife game leases, polo pony breeding operation and land management expertise.

Mission Home Improvement

Mission Home Improvement is a family-owned construction business. Located in Chandler, Arizona, Mission Home Improvement has been in business for over three generations. Mission Home Improvement specializes in roof repairs, new installations and coating/casting of flat roofs.

Morris Black Gold Brahmans

Morris Black Gold Brahmans, located in Western Oklahoma, produces Brahman, Hereford and golden F1 Braford cattle. Morris Black Gold Brahmans takes pride in producing top of the line quality heifers and bulls.

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Noash Construction

Noash Construction, Inc. is a family-owned construction company located in Sebree, Kentucky. Since 1998, Noash has specialized in tower construction, maintenance and service for the wireless communication industry. Noash Construction has served the needs of various tower companies, public safety officials, wireless internet providers and individuals in 19 states.

Norfolk Cattle

Norfolk Cattle is where passion meets performance. This first-generation cattle ranch is located in the Ontario province of Canada. Norfolk Cattle specializes in the development of purebred Black Angus & Fullblood Fleckvieh Simmentals.

Paxton Cattle

Located in Stapleton, Nebraska, Paxton Cattle is the brand to know and the company to trust. As a fifth-generation cattle operation, Paxton Cattle takes pride in producing cattle that have stellar characteristics. Whether you are looking for a package of commercial heifers or your next FFA project, Paxton Cattle has you covered.

Praters Foods

Praters Foods originated in Lubbock Texas, founded by Charlie Prater in 1955. Praters began as a small regional producer of holiday favorites and is now proud to be part of one of the largest retailing chains in the country with over 2,200 retail stores. Praters offers a wide variety of products to suit any customers need.

Producer Plus

Producer Plus is a cloud-based employee-training platform designed for the agriculture industry. The operation’s main focus is enhancing employee training programs for dairies, farms and other agribusinesses. The Producer Plus system will help you create consistency in your training programs, further develop your employees and quickly see the training needs for every employee.

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Quality Genetics


Quality Genetics, LLC. is owned and operated by a team of veterinarians in Texas who offer semen sales, semen exports, livestock sales and animal testing. This team is dedicated to helping others in the agriculture industry by constantly researching and studying to improve their business and putting client success and satisfaction above all else.

R-C Ranch

At R-C Ranch in Angleton, Texas, there’s only one word that finds its way to the top and that’s QUALITY. Quality product, quality people and a quality experience. The founders obsession after trying Wagyu beef for the first time 6 years ago turned into a passion, which grew into what is now proudly known as R-C Ranch Beef. They’re confident once you try R-C Ranch Texas Craft Beef, you’ll be obsessed too.

REB Shorthorns

REB Shorthorns, of Rising Star, Texas, is focused on selling exceptional genetics to great families looking for success both in and out of the show ring. REB Shorthorns offers calves for sale private treaty year-round and always welcomes visitors to stop in and view their current offerings.

Red River Farms

Red River Farms is a Simmental and Angus seedstock operation currently located in Blythe, California. Soon to call Grand Saline, Texas, it’s new home, Red River Farms is committed to breeding the best in the business; primarily focusing on producing solid, functional Simmental, Angus and Sim-Angus cattle. Breeding cattle that not only excel in the show ring, but perform for the cattleman as well.

Rick Machado Livestock

Rick Machado Livestock is one of the most preferred consultants in the agricultural business specializing in livestock auctioneering and consulting; cattle and horse operations; and brokerage services. Rick Machado travels across the United States headlining many of the country’s leading purebred cattle and respected horse auctions.

Rocking P Angus

The Rocking P Angus operation in Paducah, Texas, produces Red and Black Angus seedstock cattle. For almost 20 years, owners Landon and Janey Poe have focused on quality and phenotypically sound durable females and genetically superior bulls. Ranch House Journal | 89 




Seed Life, LLC

Seed Life, LLC is a talented group of seed professionals coming together to better serve the Illinois farmer. Seed Life is focused on seed sales and seed treatment while emphasizing the connection of growers through what they call “Seed Life�.

Stuart Ranch

Stuart Ranch is a multi-enterprise operation located in the rolling prairies of Oklahoma. Since 1886 the ranch has operated horse, cattle and wildlife divisions.

Texas Best Proteins

Texas Best Proteins is the parent company of three unique food brands. Located in Santo, Texas, Texas Best Proteins offers safe, consistent, fully cooked food to restaurants and food service companies. The company offers a wide variety of products ranging from homemade soups, pasta and even Cajun food across the states of Texas and Louisiana.

Texas Junior Shorthorn Association

The Texas Junior Shorthorn Association is a youth organization focused on the Shorthorn and Shorthorn Plus breeds of cattle. The organization helps youth build leadership skills and also network within the industry. The TJSA hosts various events throughout the year and travels to the National Junior Shorthorn Show.

Thomas Ranch

Thomas Ranch is a fourth-generation ranching operation located in South Dakota. Family owned and operated, the Thomas family takes pride in producing proven genetics and champion winners. Thomas Ranch offers various breeds of donors, herd sires and top-notch performance horses.

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Tusa Show Cattle


Tusa Show Cattle is a family operation located in central Texas. The operation has been in business since 1998 and takes pride in providing quality livestock and service. Tusa Show Cattle offers a unique combination of both education and experience with livestock and the show cattle business.

Urbanosky Ranch

Located in Plantersville, Texas, Urbanosky Ranch is a family-owned farm specializing in Santa Gertrudis cattle. From the beginning, family and a good cow herd has always been the center focus of Urbanosky. Today, the herd provides high quality seedstock for commercial and purebred cattlemen.

Veto Valley Farms

Veto Valley Farms has proudly produced Red Angus and SimAngus since 1992. Located on 1,700 acres in South Central Tennessee, the operation focuses on offering top genetics, sellers and show winners. The goal of Veto Valley Farms is to “breed for balance.” The operation offers select females, embryos and flushes for purchase year-round.

Virginia Club Calf Producers

Virginia Club Calf Producers is an elite group of cattle producers located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley with the primary focus of marketing and promoting show calves. Since forming in 2005, they have hosted various sales that include elite genetics

Western Women

Western Women is a lifestyle blog showcasing western fashion and lifestyle for women. The blog is a branch of the South Texas Tack store in Brenham, Texas. The goal of Western Women is to encourage others, highlight important events and keep up with the latest fashion trends.

Wilder Family Limousin

Since 1912, Wilder Family Limousin has been farming and ranching in Snook, Texas. In 1982, fourth generation partner, Jay Wilder, expanded the horizon of the family farm by showing and investing in Limousin cattle. While Wilder Family Limousin is still growing and producing cotton, grain sorghum, wheat and soybeans, they now offer show heifer prospects, show bull prospects, herd sires and bred heifers. Ranch House Journal | 91 


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 !

Kerbe Ford

Callie Graves

Jessica Hobbs

VP, Print & Social Media

Carole Arriaga

Tori Arriazola

Web Designer & E-Commerce

Marketing Associate

Madison Floyd

Stephanie Garcia

Marketing Associate

Account Associate

VP, Web Operations

Leighton Chachere

Livestock Communications Specialist

Marketing Associate

Ramona Petrosky 92 | Ranch House Journal

VP, National Accounts

Chief Marketing Officer

Founder & CEO

Vice President, Branding

Paul Maulsby

Ashley Grant

Rachel Cutrer

Nessa Rolf

Tara Liska

Account Associate

Front Office Manager

Lynn Hough

VP, Administration

Kristen Davis

Graphic Designer

Monica Mears

Administrative Assistant

Sarah Simpson Graphic Designer

OUR ADVERTISERS 1862 Ranch.................................................24 Abrameit Law Firm......................................30 ADM Animal Nutrition................................93 Apex Cattle..................................................47 Bachman Cattle Farms...............................IBC Bovine Elite.............................................42,58 Circle A Ranch..............................................17 Emmons Ranch............................................49 Forum Meat.................................................5 GKB Cattle.................................................71 Graham Land & Cattle.................................25 HeartBrand.................................................19 Ingram Angus...............................................15 John Deere.................................................16 La-Muneca Cattle.........................................63 Legacy Ag Credit............................................3 Legendary Akaushi......................................BC Luke & Cat Photography..............................46 Martindale Feed Mill....................................33 OH Triangle Ranch......................................64 Outlaw Equine Swim Steers..........................31 Outlaw Spirit................................................59 R-C Ranch.................................................1 Rafter 2 Ranch.............................................53 Safety Zone Calf Catchers.............................43 Jason Shipman Wildlife.................................69 Sullivan Supply................................................7 Texas 1031 Exchange....................................62 Texas Assn. of Fairs & Events.........................9 Texoma Beefmaster Sale................................38 The Brand Co...............................................72 Thomas Charolais........................................52 TransOva...................................................IFC Triangle B Wagyyu......................................39 Tru-Test Group.............................................73 True North Technologies..............................18 V8 Ranch.....................................................76

Ranch House Journal | 93 


Caine’s County Fair Birthday Party

Photos by Shawn Lehne

When a little Texas cowboy turns one, of course you have to celebrate in style! This Texas ranching family chose the theme of “Caine’s County Fair” for their son’s first birthday party. Caine was joined by family and friends who poured out the love for this little boy. Bandanas, gingham, sunflowers and burlap set the stage for a down-home county fair decor. Guests enjoyed a festive snack bar including candy apples, county fair frosted cookies, popcorn, pretzels and a cupcake ferris wheel. For the main course, grown ups and kiddos alike enjoyed a gourmet hot dog and chip bar. Caine enjoyed a traditional 1st birthday cake smash in his bandana high chair. The “watering hole” was constructed with a base of square hay bales, a burlap table runner and glass drink dispensers along with mason jars for drinking. For entertainment, the kids enjoyed rocking horses, a bounce house and swimming. It was the perfect setting for a country birthday.

94 | Ranch House Journal

Ranch House Journal | 95 




By Rachel Cutrer

Dr. Blake Bloomberg holds the Robert Totusek Endowed Chair at Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor of applied animal science. In November, Blake coached OSU’s livestock judging team to the national championship - making Blake one of only four individuals in history to have been both the high individual of the intercollegiate livestock judging contest as a student who went on to coach a championship team. (The others are J.C. Holbert, Scott Schaake and Scott Greiner.) Here are Blake’s thoughts on the industry. What do you see as the major trends in cattle selection? I think cattle are in a bit of a transition period. We are still very critical of structure, but it looks like we are selecting cattle for more performance and mass, and maybe even a bit bigger, with adequate rib. What has been your favorite show to judge, and to show? My favorite show to judge would be any show in Louisville, because of the nostalgia of the green chips and the history that is the North American. Favorite show to show at...Illinois State Fair, because it’s home for me, and where I grew up and the show we geared up for all summer long. What advice would you give to kids who want to be a significant member of the livestock community as an adult? Being a success in the livestock community takes hard work, a lot of dedication, and a little bit of luck. I was lucky to have influential people that believed in me and helped me. Surround yourself with people who are going to give you a chance but also point you in the right direction if they see you are getting off track. What have been the most significant judging teams you’ve been a part of? The teams I was on at Black Hawk and Texas A&M in 2006 were definitely very significant. My TAMU team is really unique because we were undefeated in competition for the entire year. We never lost. As far as coaching, it would be impossible to single out any teams, because I have had great kids on every team. Obviously the two championships teams are special but every team is special in their own way. Blake and his wife Wravenna have four children: Breckyn, Brenhem, Berwick, and Bexton. 96 | Ranch House Journal

Bachman Cattle

Legendary Akaushi

Ranch House Journal - Winter 2019  

Ranch House Journal - Winter 2019

Ranch House Journal - Winter 2019  

Ranch House Journal - Winter 2019