Saturday, July 9, 2011

Living High on the Hog

From time to time, we are approached by folks who would like to hunt some wild hogs at the ranch. Yes....such a nuisance those nasty critters are. Plenty of research has been done to suggest the tremendous amount of influx on this part of the country, not only tearing up the land, but hosting disease as well. In years past, we have trapped them and sold them live. In fact, I don't mind telling you that is how I used to pay for Christmas and enough left over to feed my nail lady to fix me up. But, the last couple of years, these critters haven't been as easy to find, trap, or hunt. Add to that summer time vegetation and seemingly, it isn't the best time of the year to try. That said, cooperator and good friend, Chuck Miller and his cronies from Columbia, MO are here now and at last count, have harvested ten head. Course, it looks like the dead of winter.....zero vegetation. So maybe they are a little easier to spot. Secondly, they seem to be hanging close to the few water sources on the ranch....the tanks (or for you northern folks, ponds). A productive hunt, good fellowship and great guys. Thanks MIZZOU for sharing them and their sharpshooter skills with us.


High on the Hog

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tis' the Season

I hope if you're making plans for the fall, you'll include a trip to Throckmorton, TX in it. We'd love to have you anytime but the truth of the matter is, on Wednesday, October 12th....you'll have an opportunity to see this.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Halter Breaking continues

The show moves on. Today is day 3 and the last day that we will halter and work with the foals. Tomorrow, we'll vaccinate and brand before they are turned out to pasture for the rest of the summer. It's simply amazing that this age ol' process just takes THREE DAYS. As you can see by the photos that Sam Cunningham caught this morning on her iphone, even the little cowboys get to be a part!

Ben McCartney relaxes with one of the foals.

Casey Mitchell leading one of the foals around in the Texas heat.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"GOOSE" ~ a cowboys right hand!

"FIRST HALTER" ~ my baby....Maraposa x Twister!

"HORS'IN AROUND"

It's THAT week.....this week, I mean is THAT week. THAT week where everyone drops everything to spend the days with the foals/mares. Halter breaking, vaccinations, branding, and palpating.....all this week. Stop in for a glass of ice tea and see this amazing process in action!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's EASTER at the Ranch

"TOOLS OF THE TRADE"
It's EASTER at the RAB today because Dr. Mike Mimms from Hereford, TX is here hunting (flushing, collecting) eggs out of 26 donor cows at the RAB. The embryos are then put into recipient cows, the surrogate mothers, right away. From the sounds of it, we are doing well above average so far with about 14 embryos per donor on average. Yeeeeeehawwwwwww!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

DEEP SEAT

Love the morning light (golden glow) on this old saddle!


"DEEP SEAT"

Friday, April 29, 2011

LIFE IN THE WEST

Ahhhhh, ranch life. It is the kind of thing that we all love or we wouldn't be here. Through the years, our family has been fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know one of the champions when it comes to capturing it with a camera, David Stoecklein. Hanging in our homes and office are many of his works of art from his time on the ranch. Probably none more famous than the grandkids on the fence.....affectionately titled, THE LESSON.

"GIRL POWER" .... 12 year old Amanda Brown drags one to the branding fire. April 2011.

"HORSE POWER"... Myles Brown pulls an Angus calf in for branding/working. April 2011

"HIRED HANDS" ...Good buddies, Waitley Sharon and Ike Brown are high on entertainment value during the branding. April 2011
Fast forward to Christmas 2010.....I was elated to be given a gift certificate from Rob and Peggy to attend one of Stoeckleins Photography Workshops. My niece, Emily McCartney, and I traveled to the Twin V Ranch outside of Weatherford, TX recently for the 2 1/2 day event. What transformed was way beyond our expectations. I have to admit.....although I have had a long time love for the camera.....I have been a self-proclaimed novice....running the camera on AUTOMATIC all of the time. Although I still have a long ways to go....it is with pride that I now have ventured off into the manual settings and found a new found enjoyment of it. David took all ten of us to a different level. We were thoroughly taken care of by the host Saunders family and their friends. I am looking forward to investing more time in capturing the wonderful laboratory of west Texas that we have been blessed with preserving. I would love to hear your feedback on these photos and hope that it will be something that you can find as much enjoyment in the view finder as I have!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

Oh how I love this time of year.....for many reasons. As old man winter goes away, signs of spring seem to show itself out every window. So, when the hubby said, "Let's go take a look at some calves" this evening, I reached for my camera and climbed aboard. I was struck by the contrast of the "newness" of the baby calves and lush, fragile, green grass against the dormant mesquites. The wives tale in these parts is that the mesquites won't bud until after the last freeze......so I guess we are still due for another one. Regardless, it is nearly time to pull out the straw hats and flip flops......bring on SPRING!



Friday, March 11, 2011

Tis the Season for Wildfires

Growing up a Husker in western Nebraska, I didn't have too many experiences with "Wildfires". Yes, from time to time, we would burn off a stubble field of wheat.....but it was uneventful and usually small. The past twenty years however, my experience has been broadened to the wide open spaces of the Lone Star State. My father-in-law, Rob, uses fire frequently on our ranch.....trying to burn at least 1/6 of the land every year. These "planned" burns help rid the range land of pesky weeds and brush, making way for the lush green grass to regain strength in the spring. However, occasionally (and more often then not).....wildfires break out in this part of the world during the drier times of the year. Many of you may remember a few years ago when the Texas Panhandle went up in flames. The drought conditions presently, along with the March winds have given way to Red Flag alerts all over this country. A couple of weeks ago, over 100,000 burned out of control in west Texas. As I watched the news tonight, I'm sitting in prayer for our friends in Jack County. High winds caused power lines to spark and set a blaze just outside the community of Jacksboro. Tonight, over 7,000 acres have burned and it is only 60% contained. The range, some homes, and livestock have become victims of mother nature. Prayers go out to all affected and to the countless volunteers who are on the front lines tonight.

Half a world away in Japan, we have witnessed another terrible, catastrophic disaster. It's been nearly 25 years since my National FFA Officer team and I spent time in that country. But tonight, I spend in wonder about my host family and the many sweet, hospitable people who shared their country with us. It is nearly unbearable to watch the tv coverage. My heart is breaking for the people and the country.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Love This Game!

The Throckmorton Greyhounds are headed to the Regional Tournament tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! Sooooooo proud of the TEAM effort and hard work! GO HOUNDS!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Stock Show Season has come to a close.

It's hard to believe.....it's over. The 2011 Stock Show Season ended almost as quickly as it began. As our family enjoyed the first Saturday at home (since the first of the year).....we ALMOST didn't know what to do with ourselves. I say almost because, well, we found plenty. There were pens to clean out.....trailer to clean out, show box to clean out, feed sacks to burn, and laundry, endless amounts of laundry to do! Regardless of the hangover, 2011 will go down in the books for our family as one of the most successful seasons we had. The boys seem to be pleased and we are as well!

SAN ANGELO
The last stop on the tour was in San Angelo. Donnell and Lanham arrived on Friday and set up shop so that Lanham could participate in the Heifer Futurity. Our good friend, Sally Buxkemper, developed this contest years ago. It must be the best kept secret in the junior livestock business. Contestants have a variety of competitions which include: showmanship, judging classes, reasons classes and the sales talk competition. Lanham was fortunate enough to win the Jr Futurity a couple of years ago....but as a 14 yr old, he was now in the Sr. Division with the big boys. I think he may have finished somewhere around 8th or 10th. Congratulations to Brazos Williams for winning the Sr Division. There were approximately 25 young people in each the Jr and Sr divisions this year.

Saturday night was a fun-filled evening with friends. Allison Ballinger made us reservations at Zentners Daughter.....and 35-40 of us enjoyed the private room and great food / fellowship together. Then it was off to bed....you can never get enough rest of these deals.

Sunday we found ourselves preparing the heifers for their final show. Altogether we had 4 big heifers and one baby. They all "prettied" up well! Tucker and our Ole's Oscar Heifer took first in class again and found herself all the way to the winners circle. Judge Jim Williams made our day, when he commented that if he had an opportunity to name a Supreme Champion in San Angelo, he thought it might be her! Ollie sure did make some friends for Red Angus this year. She should calve very soon and Tucker is looking forward to utilizing her in his breeding herd for many years. From a parents perspective, we too were excited. San Angelo awards a $1000 scholarship and $500 prize money to the Grand. So little home raised "Ollie" brought in a total of $11,000 scholarship monies and $750 cash this year for Tucker.

2011 San Angelo Grand Champion - Brown Ms Oscar W6542


The other heifers had a great day as well. "Berry Contagious" won 1st in the January/February class with her baby at side. She is right at home in the pasture now and being set up to flush soon. I'm sure the Red Angus world will hear more about this cow as time passes. She will no doubt be a cornerstone breeding piece for us for a long time. She is a Mulberry / Cheyenne heifer with a Celebration heifer calf at side. Carson Ballinger is the little guy on the calf's halter. We are thankful for his energy and willingness to help.

CWDY BERRY CONTAGIOUS 922


 Second in this class of heifers was Lanham's very own, Gracies Pride. She is a Pacific Pride / Cherokee Canyon going back to our AbiGrace cow. Lanham is very pumped about this particular heifer.....not only is she a 2nd generation show heifer for him, but also holds the distinction of being the 2nd highest IMF scanning animal EVER at the ranch. Wonder what he'll do with her next? Digressing just a little, Lanham was chosen to return for showmanship and ended up Reserve Showman behind good friend, Colton Curry. Colton does a great job showing, and it just so happened that he was the one we asked to help us with our excess heifers in this class. Thanks to him for giving us a hand.

Brown Gracies Pride W7908

And finally, Tucker's second generation show heifer placed third in this same class. It was the first time to the big show for her, other than the county show. She is a Mulberry out of a Vacation / Cherokee daughter that we just love. She will calve in March and then find her way to Tuck's breeding herd (aka college fund) also.

Brown Ms Paradises Mulberry W7892



Guess, I should wrap this up. Maybe I've gone on too long as it is? Whatever the case, thanks for sharing it with us. There's something pretty unique about how much your kids can grow through the countless 4-H and FFA projects. It's just so nice when you have a time that you can actually say "See, I told you so". It's worth it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring is Near!


Yes, I will admit.....if there is one thing I look forward to this time of year....it is "making a circle" with the husband to look at the new babies. So when good friend, Jeff Diles, appeared on the ranch today.....I jumped at the opportunity to breathe it all in and make the circle. He drove straight to a pasture where a group of our two year old Red Angus heifers and their January babies were basking in this great sunshine. With camera in hand.....I had to snap a few. Hope you enjoy.

Jeff Diles & Donnell checking out the stock

Rocket baby

Peek A Boo with the mesquites

Bad Hair Day?

Gentle eyes

Don't be sticking your tongue out at me....kids these days!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

San Antonio in our rear view mirror!

What a week it was......San Antonio Stock Show 2011 will certainly go down in our history books as one of the best ever. On Monday, Donnell and Gary Mathiews headed south with two trailers full of equipment and livestock to begin the marathon week. They arrived safely and checked in our two Red Angus bulls for the All Breeds Bull Show/Sale.

Thanks be to Jason Spence for hooking us up with Mike Healey for the week. Mike provided some much needed help to Donnell in keeping the chores tended to for the duration. That may be the toughest part of the stock shows. We like to keep the boys in school as much as possible and it makes it difficult to "get it all done". Nevertheless, life goes on. Our plan was to leave after school on Wednesday for the boys to show on Thursday but mother nature had other things in mind. With the pending ice/snow storm approaching, we jumped ship and decided to leave town on Tuesday night after the basketball game. At 11:00 pm we joined up with another Throckmorton County heifer show family and headed towards San Antonio. Good decision.....even though we drove in some sleet and ice, the road to San Antonio was wet but not nearly as challenging as it might have been 24 hours later. Our heads hit the pillow at 4:30 am and we were up ready to go a few hours later.

Wednesday morning our Grand and Reserve Grand Red Angus bulls both sold at the All Breeds Bull Sale. Nevermind that they were the only two Red Angus bulls there! :) We kidded Donnell that it was a good thing that they were named Grand / Reserve. Thanks to Danny Ownbey and Lane Robinson for their investment in RAB genetics.

The rest of the day was spent washing / blowing and preparing the heifers for the show the next day. Although the week ended in success, it certainly wasn't without challenges. One of the our best heifers came up lame on Tuesday evening and it was discovered that she was suffering from foot rot in both a front and back foot (probably due to the crazy snow, rain, mud, ice that we had experienced the week before. Initially, it was a big blow to our week. We had BIG plans for her and this week in San Antonio. Plans that started way back in March when we AIed her so that she would calve in December and have a nice big calf at side for this particular show. That would potentially mean that she would be the only February heifer with a calf at side. And I don't mind saying.....she has a ringer heifer calf at side. The cow has a drop dead gorgeous udder and just plain "looks the part". I'm digressing some.....but basically, in San Antonio they drug test all of the winners so our hands were tied in terms of treating her with anything that would work on the footrot. And if it had been just "any old show" it wouldn't have been as disheartening. But, if you show heifers (as opposed to steers), San Antonio is the one show you want to win at least once. They award the Grand Champion a $10,000 scholarship. You can only win the scholarship once but it is certainly worth shooting for. Our youngest son, Lanham, won it in 2008 but we were running out of time with Tucker. He only had this year and next left. Every year, we have tried to help him pick out the "best" heifers.....but somehow, his younger brother always manages to get the upper hand in the ring. So this year.....we planned ahead, worked especially hard to get the cow/calf pair to SA.......and our best shot at winning the scholarship seemed to be going down the tubes with a crippled cow! As we fed and bedded down the stock Wednesday evening, the mood was somber and dreams of a "GRAND" were fading.

Thursday morning, back at the stock show grounds, life goes on. As the boys exercised the heifers.....the cow was still limping but better. All day was spent preparing for the ring. Wash, brush and blow. By 5 pm, we were ready for the Red Angus show. Tucker was first in the ring with his March bred heifer, Ollie. She won her class. Next up, Tucker and his cow/calf pair along with Lanham's Pacific Pride daughter. I think the judge loved the pair but it was obvious that he was concerned about her inability to travel. The class ended with the Brown boys taking 1st and 2nd in class.......Lanham won and Tucker's pair was 2nd. Yes, we were proud.....but inside, my stomach was turning flips as "the one", "THE one" that we felt had the chance at winning the scholarship.....was not going to.

My mind begins to race back through all the months of preparation. Starting with purchasing the heifer from our good friend, Clay Cowdrey, when the heifer was just a few months old.....times of showing her last year and then breeding her to calve before she was two years of age.....times of cold nights when Tucker was rinsing and blowing her (after returning home from a basketball game).....times of Donnell and I reminding him that "all of his hard work would pay off"......numerous times. As a parent it hurts to see your children disappointed. But, it is more bothersome to watch all of their preparation and hard work come up short, again.

This isn't the end to the San Antonio story. Thankfully, God had a bigger and better plan. Although there are lots of lessons yet to be learned, the one that comes to my heart now is to always be prepared with a "Plan B". Plan B was Tucker's March bred heifer....a pretty little Ole's Oscar / Cherokee Canyon daughter that was raised here at the ranch. We call her "Ollie" although now we might have to change it to "Plan B"! :) Ollie ended up winning her division and being named GRAND CHAMPION!
Grand Champion Red Angus Heifer ~ San Antonio 2011

We left San Antonio in the rear view mirror......realizing that even though obstacles happen......hard work can pay off. One of the judges kidded Donnell later about having a banner made for "922" (the cow / calf pair) saying.....THE ONE THAT SHOULD OF BEEN!

Throckmorton FFA Heifer Show Team - BIG day

Doesn't the smile say it all?



A little "Cow Whispering" prior to the Supreme Drive

In the ring - Supreme Drive

2011 San Antonio Supreme Drive

We're headed to San Angelo this coming weekend for the stock show. We will have Plan A, B and C with us! The show must go on.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wanna Scramble?

When you mention "Calf Scramble" to Texas residents, most know what you are talking about. For those of you that may not.....let me take the time to introduce this stock show concept. All of the major stock shows feature the calf scramble event during their rodeos. We are most familiar with the Ft Worth scramble......as this was our third year to participate.

Each rodeo performance 16 different high school students (8th grade - Juniors) will attempt to catch one of eight calves turned loose in the arena. They must catch the calf, halter it and pull it into the marked area in the middle of the arena. For their efforts, FFA and 4-H members are awarded a $500 certificate (sponsored by various individuals and businesses) for use in purchasing a heifer. The heifer must then return the following year and be shown at the historic Ft Worth Stock Show Junior Heifer Show. Through the year, students are encouraged to file monthly reports with their sponsor about the heifer project culminating with a final year end paper. The Calf Scramble Committee then considers all of the reports in conjunction with how well the heifer does in the show to award scholarships to the participants. This year Ft Worth will give approximately $133,000 in scholarships. Yesterday afternoon, Tucker Brown......participated and caught for the third year in a row. Thank you to the Ft Worth Stock Show, Calf Scramble Committee, Mrs Bairds, Justin Boots, and the many generous donors for making this great event possible for the young people in agriculture across our state.


video

Also thanks to good friend, Marcus Hill, for capturing the moment on his phone!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Does Ft Worth Ever Cross Your Mind?

Well the Ft Worth Stock Show Jr Heifer Show is in the history books. May I say the weather cooperated and the friends gathered. Each exhibitor is allowed to bring only one heifer. That always seems like plenty for our families to get started with the majors (meaning the major stock shows....just for you non-Texans). Our show week began about 10 days prior however. Donnell flew to Denver to judge the National Western Simmental Pen Show with good friend, Ryan Rathmann. He left Denver and headed to Orlando, FL to speak at a Red Angus / Simmental cattlemens conference. Then it was back to Ft Worth to meet up with the Throckmorton County team and check in the heifers.

As you might imagine, getting the heifers prepared and used to their surroundings takes a little time. A couple of days and they finally adjust to their clean beds and the city water. The boys and I weren't able to travel until after all of the basketball games were complete......so we waited for the "W" and hit the road.

All in all ~ a fun time had by all along with some ribbons and great memories again.

Tucker and "Ollie" ended up winning the March 2009 class and then Reserve Division.

Lanham and "Gracie's Pride"  were 2nd in Class behind the Division Champion.

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's Show Time - 2011

Annually our Throckmorton County Stock Show is held the first weekend in January, which certainly was no different this year. What was different was the fact that I actually had the opportunity to attend for the first time in 9 years. Given that our oldest son has been showing since he was 8 (and he's now (gulp) 17), that seems a little strange, don't ya' think? Let me digress a little. For the previous nine years, I have been involved in the leadership of the Red Angus Association. Consequently and coincidentally, the county show and the Red Angus weekend at the National Western Stock Show always fell at the same time. Given my retirement from the presidency of the RAAA this past September, one thing I have looked forward to the most was being able to "help" my boys at the county show. Yes, Donnell has been present for all these years. However, as general superintendent of the county show he is not too available......our boys  had to do a lot of the show day work themselves. So at last.....mom was present and accounted for. And, even though I spent most of the day helping prepare the beauty queens.....it was a cherished moment of time.


The weeks leading up to "stock show season" often include many hours of work. Halter breaking, washing, clipping (their hair), rinsing, and more clipping. Somehow as the years have gone by, it has become more difficult to carve the necessary time into the day to make sure we're adequately prepared. Junior High and High School activities keep us hopping with boys that enjoy all of it. So, the morning of county, is somewhat surreal as you stand back to not only see what the outcome is with the animals but also an opportunity to witness firsthand what the outcome (life lessons) will be for their owners, my sons. Stay tuned through the next couple months as we venture off into the "majors" and I'll try to keep you updated. As a cattle breeder, I'm very pleased with the Red Angus heifers that we'll be showcasing this year. They truly represent the attributes we are very proud of for the breed and industry. As a mother, I am even more proud of what my boys are becoming through them. Hats off to all of the tireless volunteers who work hard to make the day a special one for youth in agriculture! And a special thanks to Steve Sikes (Amsco Steel) for purchasing these heifers in the premium sale.

Lanham with "Nellie" (aka Calf Champion)

The Grand Drive
The Grand Champion - Tucker Brown
Showmanship Brothers
The Beef Showmanship Winner - Lanham Brown

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Miss America 2011

Way to go Miss Nebraska - a conservative, Christian.....17 year old western Nebraska girl finds her way to the pinnacle of the pageants.....the Miss America 2011 title. I was taken by her genuine All American way and must admit, when I found her blog last night, had more of an understanding. Enjoy. 






"During Miss Nebraska week in North Platte, I began a journal in which I recorded not only the events of each day, but also a passage of Scripture and my thoughts and prayers. At the end of the week, on June 5th, 2010, just hours before the final competition, I was reading 2 Timothy and chose chapter 2, verse 15 as particularly applicable to me. It reads: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." As I thought about that verse and how it applied to me, I wrote the following prayer:


Dear God, please help me to be a diligent servant not only today but from here on out. Give me the strength and wisdom to accurately handle your word of truth and the diligence and perseverance necessary to be a worker who is not ashamed. I wish to be a shining light for you, a glowing example of who you are, and a grain of salt in a tasteless world. Whether or not this is achieved through a position, crown, title, or job, please place me exactly where you need me to be an effective ambassador for you. I am clay in your hands, your humble servant, willing to do whatever you wish for me in your perfect plan. I love you so much and thank you for blessing me so tremendously and bestowing such outstanding opportunity on me. My greatest wish is to exemplify your love through my words and actions in order to bring others to you.
Your Loving Daughter, Teresa


That night I won the title of Miss Nebraska. From that, I know that this is exactly where God wants me to be, and He has a plan for each and every day of my life, not only this year, but every year. That was my prayer then; it has been my prayer these six months; it will be my prayer these next weeks at Miss America; and it will continue to be my prayer for the rest of my life. If I win the title of Miss America, I will know it is His will. If I do not win, and continue the next six months as Miss Nebraska, I will know it is His will. How incredibly calming it is to know that my life is in His hands!


No matter what happens, my prayer continues to be simply that I will fulfill His purpose in everything that I do. If you had not previously known my reasons and purpose behind why I do what I do, I hope you now understand what I believe my calling to be. Why am I competing in the Miss America competition over the next ten days? Because God has placed me in this position to show His love. Please pray that I might be able to accomplish this, and as always, please feel free to share your thoughts and comments as to how I might better achieve these things."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

AQHA Best Of the Remuda Sale this weekend.

This coming weekend is one our crew looks forward to every year - the annual Ft Worth Stock Show will play host to the Ranching Heritage Weekend. The cowboys will pack up the goods and head east to participate in a couple of events through the course of a few days.

1. Join us this Saturday, January 15th, 12:00 noon, at the John Justin Arena for the AQHA Best Of The Remuda Sale. R.A. Brown Ranch will be offering 4 outstanding young geldings......2 of which are two year olds and 2 three year olds. Here's a link to the online catalog: BEST OF THE REMUDA. By the way....check out the cover shot of RAB ranch forman, Casey Zboril, on the catalog cover. We're casually referring to him as COVER BOY these days.

2. If you enjoy watching some of the legendary ranches show off in a competitive nature, you'll sure want to be in attendance for the

Best of the West Ranch Rodeo

The top ranches in the Southwest will gather for the 10th annual Ranching Heritage Weekend, presented by Western Horseman, to launch the 2011 Stock Show. There will be two performances of the “Best of the West” Ranch Rodeo on Friday and Saturday nights.
Authentic ranch cowboys will compete in events that have aspects of traditional ranch work. Ranch Vet, Double Mugging, Stock Sorting, Bronc Riding and Wild Cow Milking are all in a days work for these cowboys.
Come see the ranches compete for bragging rights of Champion Ranch, Top Horse and Top Hand. As for the team......you'll see the the R.A. Brown Ranch team of Trent Sharon, Casey Zboril, Andrew McEwan, Jeff Bezner and Brad Bellah giving it all they got!