Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Howard Hesby Story

I had the opportunity to spend 6 years interacting with Dr. Howard Hesby of Texas A&M University....4 as his student, and 2 as his colleague while I worked as marketing coordinator in the Department of Animal Science.
I have so many Hesby stories, I'm going to have a hard time picking just one to share with the new Howard Hesby book project. Maybe my favorite was right before we hosted the 100th Anniversary of Animal Science Reunion. We had been planning this event for a year, and just 2 days before the event, Dr. Hesby thought we should go through the Kleberg Building and replace all of the ceiling tiles (by hand) that were dirty. He recruited his two friends in the media center, gathered a ladder, and was up at Kleberg all night replacing these tiles, so that our former students would get the best impression of our building.

If you're an Aggie Animal Science graduate, I guarantee there is a time in your life where you said a phrase..."I went on a trip with Dr. Hesby, and...." or "I wouldn't be where I am today if Dr. Hesby hadn't....".

Well, it's time to tell those stories! Our good friends at A&M Dr. Chris Boleman, Dr. Larry Boleman, and Dr. Gary Acuff are calling on all Aggies to help tell the stories of Dr. Hesby in a book called "Our Hero, Howard Hesby."

This book is a project that will include short stories from students, friends, and colleagues of Dr. Howard Hesby. Everyone has an “H2” story. It seems all former TAMU Agriculture students have either taken a class from him, took a trip with him, needed him to unlock Kleberg in the middle of the night, or just hung out with him in the Kleberg lounge.

Drs. Boleman and Acuff are asking you to write your story so that they can package all the personal testimonials into one book for all to read, relive, and remember a great man.

Here is what they are requesting from you to make this project a success:
• Write a Howard Hesby story in 2,000 words or less
• Email the story to Chris Boleman at
• Spread the word and tell all your friends to do the same
• Submit story by January 15, 2010.

Dr. Howard Hesby impacted everyone he met. This book will help tell his story so that all of us and future Aggies know a little bit more about a man that give so much to Texas A&M University. All proceeds from this book will be used for the Howard Hesby Student Atrium project at Kleberg Center at Texas A&M.

If you're someone who isn't the best writer, but you have a Hesby story to me at 979-532-9141! I will be glad to listen to your stories for you and put my journalism experience to work to write your story on your behalf.

Also, if you aren't aware of the Hesby Atrium project, the Department of ANSC is still accepting donations to help get this project going. You can donate online to this special project at the Coals Giving Web site. You have to go through a couple of drop down menus to find the Hesby fund. Go to this page then choose the first option of "College of Agriculture and Life Sciences" then choose "Animal Science". In the next box you will see the option of Howard Hesby Student Atrium.

Let's help spread the word....
If you have any questions, contact Dr. Chris Boleman at

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hondo Downtown Dental

We are excited to announce our newest web site design for Dr. Stacey Jacobs of Downtown Dental in Hondo, Texas. Stacey grew up in Hondo (near San Antonio) and practiced dentistry in San Antonio and Castroville before returning to her hometown to accomplish her dream of opening her own practice in her hometown.

A fellow Aggie, Dr. Stacey graduated from Texas A&M in 2000, a year ahead of Rachel. So it was exciting for us to design this site for Stacey, since we can definitely relate to the career goal of dreaming to open your own business back in your very own hometown.

Dr. Jacobs specializes in making the dentist visit an enjoyable one. She works with a lot of patients who have postponed visiting the dentist because of fears or uncertainty. If you live in the Hondo area, I hope you will check out and consider choosing Dr. Jacobs for your dentistry needs!

Monday, December 28, 2009

What makes a great display?

When you walk through the Yards in Denver, spectators are bombarded with hundreds of banners, flyers, give-aways and advertisements all competing for their attention. How do you make your booth stick out from all of the others? Well, the easiest and best way is with a professionally designed display banner. This is your "billboard" to the yards. Once people notice your banner, they'll want to look at your bull. Then, it's your chance to visit with the folks in the yards and make your sale. So now is the time to be thinking of your display banner and promotional pieces for your bull for 2010. Here are a few more of ours favorites from last year. If you like these, and you're taking a bull to Denver, give us a call.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Holiday Hours

RHD will be closed on December 23-25 for the Christmas holidays.....

Hope everyone has been really nice this year and gets lots of presents :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

KS Persyn

We are so happy to publish a new web site for KS Persyn, LLC, a plumbing company that serves the south and central Texas area. The Persyn company is part of our growing list of non-agricultural clients, as RHD has greatly expanded into serving more businesses both locally in Wharton and across the nation.

KS Persyn, LLC is a plumbing company based out of Castroville, Texas. They are a full service plumbing company that serves both residential and commercial clients 24/hours a day. They also place a big emphasis on "going green" with plumbing services to help conserve water and improve efficiency.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Good advice on partnerships

RHD client Cari Rincker of Rincker Law, PLLC recently posted a great blog that addresses some considerations for partnerships. I felt this was especially important to re-post during this time of year when so many of our clients are entering into partnerships on new bulls for 2010.

Cari and I were classmates at Texas A&M, and Cari's law firm focuses on agricultural law. I hope that everyone who is involved in a partnership or who is considering a partnership will take a moment to read her blog, available at:

Here is a preview of her blog....
"Whether it is a partnership for a flush cow, a boar or a bull that is in a stud, or a family-owned agriculture enterprise, you are encouraged to get a partnership agreement in writing. Even if you are going into business with someone you know and trust, a handshake won’t protect you if unexpected things go wrong...." READ THE ENTIRE BLOG HERE.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thunderbrook Farms

We are happy to introduce another new web site, Thunderbrook Farms of Nova Scotia Canada.  Thunderbrook Farms is a fifth generation farm owned and operated by Brian and Joan Trueman and their family. Located in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada, their operation includes blueberries, lumber and a British based cow herd, half of which are commercial females and half of which are purebred Herefords.

The Trueman family is a part of our growing RHD international client base. With the ease of communication over e-mail, RHD has been able to serve livestock producers and clients worldwide, with clients in all of North America (Canada, US, Mexico), Australia, and several South American and Central American countries. We love an opportunity to work with international clients and learn more about the agricultural enterprises in these different locations.

Though we'll probably never actually get to meet the Trueman's face to face, I have no doubt that if we did get the chance to meet....we would be friends. Their life seems to revolve around agriculture, just like so many of us at RHD and so many of our blog readers. According to the Trueman's, "Over a cup of coffee or around the dinner table, there are always discussions about cattle. Our life like most cattle people has four seasons including calving, breeding, showing and sale season."

Sounds like my kinda- people!

I hope you will take a minute and visit and learn more about this really neat farming operation in Canada, and a great livestock family.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Performance Nutrition Technologies

This month we are happy to unveil the new look of the web site for Performance Nutrition Technologies, a part of Top Cut Genetics. Performance Nutrition is owned by the Hendrickson Family, and offers top of the line nutritional products for livestock showman. Their popular products include RactoLean, Sustain, VitaLean, ProLamb, and more. They are also a distributor of all Akey and Sunglo products.

One of the benefits of using Performance Nutrition Technologies is that swine producers can take advantage of buying bulk products at the same time as they purchase their semen. Semen and nutritional products can ship together, saving money.

We have worked with Performance Nutrition for the past 8 years. We hope you will visit their new web site and take a look at the products they have to offer. This is a great company who offers exceptional products, owned by great people in the livestock business.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Great Boling Blizzard of 2009

In the first week of December this year, there was more snowfall recorded in Boling, Texas than there was in Chicago, Illinois. What a fun fact! A few weeks ago, on December 4-5, we got 4 inches of S-N-O-W right here on the Texas Gulf Coast. For us, this creates all kinds of pandemonium. Of course, school was cancelled. No one ventured out of their homes to come to work that day, except of course, me, the die-hard RHD'er, and Christa, who was working on updates from home.

In my own defense, I lived in Michigan for 2 years so driving in snow doesn't scare me all that bad. So I braved the very traumatic 4 inches of snow to drive into work that day. By about 10 a.m., everyone at the ranch was calling me to tell me to come take pictures of all the snow at the ranch. Since it was a Friday, I decided to shut down for the day.

As soon as I got home, I started snapping pictures. First, I found it very amusing to see our holiday (a sled being pulled by Brahman bulls) in the snow. How fitting.  And who says Brahmans can't make it in the cold?

Next, I headed over to my house, which everyone said was the cutest, since I had went all out on my Christmas decorations. My little house, key word here being LITTLE, looked like a little Christmas dollhouse.

From there, I got all duded up in my winter gear. Which included at this point a cowboy hat, a Burbery scarf, a puff jacket, and J.Crew muddy boots. I was looking real cool.  My only excuse is that we don't get cold weather that often, so I didn't really have many options.

I headed over to the V8 Showbarn to discuss the day's events with another warm-weather-fan...Matt Karish. He was just as miserable as me. But perhaps, the most miserable all was our herd bull at the showbarn, Mr. V8 380/6. Bless his heart, all the other ladies in his pen were huddled up under the barn, but there was a little heifer in the pen next to his who was in heat. So this guy was NOT leaving his post right by the gate because he was in love. Poor thing, but hey, I guess we all do stupid things for love sometimes.

From there, I was summoned over to the working pens, where it just so happened to be our bad luck that the snow day was the day we were flushing cows and putting in embryos. I thought I was going to just photograph the snow. However, I overheard my dad telling the ET technicians...."Okay me, Rachel and Frank (our cowman) will go pen the other cows and call y'all when we have them in the pen so y'all don't have to wait out in the cold."

What? I have to help pen cows? You should have seen this scenario. Who works cows in the snow wearing a Burberry scarf, Chanel sunglasses and J.Crew boots? Rachel Williams, that's who. And at this point, Frank is thinking his life can't get any worse, because in all honesty I'm not that much help when it comes to working cows. Seems like I do something wrong more than I do things right. Which in this instance, I manage to get my SELF stuck in the muddy lot. As soon as I was running behind the cows to shut the gate I hear my dad yelling at me to stay along the fence because I'll sink in the mud. Too late! I sank to my knees. Thank goodness for those J.Crew wellies I bought! I hear Frank and Dad yelling at me to grab the side of the fence and pull myself up. Nice work. I prefer designing ads in the heated, covered office.

After lunch, and successfully putting in 100 embryos, we finished up for the day, and I headed home to get warmed up in the comforts of my window unit heater. So hopefully, we're finished with snow for the rest of 2009. And 2010, 2011, and 2012 for that matter. I'll take the 110 degree Texas summer's any day over this snow baloney!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Favorites from 2009 Bulls

As promised, we'll be featuring a few of our favorite bull banners from 2009 as we approach Denver. Each year RHD continues to raise the bar with their creativity in sire representation services. There's no one in the business who has designed more bull banners than us, and it shows. If you are taking a bull to Denver this year, call us and let the professionals make your bull be one of the ones that sticks out this year in the yards!

Also, a farm sign like this one for Lee's Cattle Company is a great investment that you can use year after year. Call us at 979-532-9141 to book your banner.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Funny things our cows do

Earlier in December, we were doing a big flush at the ranch. It just so happened that this flush occurred during our "winter blast" here in Texas.....which equates to 40 degree weather. I know my northern friends are rolling their eyes right now. It's been raining cats and dogs for the past few days, and things are pretty nasty here at the ranch, with mud everywhere. (A perfect opportunity for me to wear my new J.Crew muddy boots though!) 

On our ranch, we have two Shorthorn cows who are big pets....CF Fool's Likeness and CSF Miss Texas. Fool's was born in 1993 and Miss Texas was born in 1996.  So they are definitely a pair of grannies.

For the past 16 and 13 years, they've had it pretty good. Both were old show heifers. Now that they are getting older, we feel that they have earned a special spot on the ranch so they get to live in our old show pens right by our house. The two grandma's are best friends, and it's hilarious the things they do. For example, they live in the lane that we use to pen other cows. But whenver we pen a pasture full of Brahmans and run them down the lane...Fool's and Miss Texas just sit there, hang out, and never move. They'll watch 200 head of Brahmans run right past them and never even stop chewing their cud. Which turns out to be pretty nice for us, since we never have to even move them out of their pen.

Or, they are really funny when we are getting them ready to flush. They stick together, and they never move faster than a very slow walk to get to the pens. Once we get them in the pens, they know exactly where to go. You don't even have to give them a tap. They'll stand in the chute at the exact spot, and they go in the same order every time. You never even have to close the headgate...they just know what to do.

Some people reading this might think we are a bit crazy or think...they're just cows. But to us, they are MORE than just cows! Fool's Likeness was our very first big significant purchase as a Shorthorn heifer. In 1993 when we bought her from Cates Farms, she cost $10,700 which at that time was unheard of. People thought we were crazy for paying that much for a heifer. She raised 2 Louisville Champion bulls for us. Miss Texas was one we purchased from Connell's in Iowa, and she also won a ton of shows, but most memorable was her unique ability to kick you from any angle. You could be standing up by her head, and she'd manage a way to kick you. Or you could be just passing behind her in the stalls, and she'd nail you. She especially liked my mom though, who would reach up in the pecan trees in our backyard and grab her some pecan leaves...she loved to eat those.

So during the flush, Fool's accomplished the funniest trick she's ever done. Apparently, Fool's wanted to see what was going on at the flush, or maybe she thought she could help out. She parked her big self on the concrete sidewalk, under the roof, right by the catwalk where we work all the cows. And she would not budge. She also decided to use the posts as a scratching post, which provided entertainment for everyone. Everyone on the crew had to walk around her each time they needed to move down the chute. Which meant that the humans had to get in the mud...but Fool's could still stay on the pavement. She was not getting herself in the mud, or getting out from under the covered roof. She was in the middle of the action. But, oh well, as we figured....I guess she's earned it. She pretty much rules the ranch.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Denver Bull Banners

It's getting about that time again....time to start thinking of your Denver display banners. For the past few years, RHD has dominated the yards with the most display banners and the more importantly, the most CREATIVE display banners. Our banners stick out. Through the past 5 years we have designed over 200 display banners to promote individual bulls, females, and farms. Here are a few of our favorites from last year. Call us today and let's get started on creating that display banner for your farm or ranch or new sire that grabs everyones attention!!

Call us at 979-532-9141 or e-mail for info!

We will be periodically featuring a few of our favorite banners from last year from now until Denver. We would like to have your bull information by December 15th, but can take orders up through January 1st.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sears Marketing Service

Sears Marketing Services, LLC is a full service company offering professional marketing services specifically designed for serious beef seedstock producers. “Making The Sale” is the result of a solid marketing plan designed to generate customer interest, resulting in sales, according to Alan Sears, owner of SMS. 

Alan has built a reputation of integrity and success in the cattle business throughout the past 20 years. His professional experiences include sale management, sale consulting, marketing strategies, professional ring service, advertising, photography, and genetic evaluation of beef cattle.

If you're looking for a VERY extensive sale calendar listing, you'll want to check out Alan's web site. His web site boasts one of the most comprehensive sale event calendar's of all of the web sites we do. 

We have had the pleasure of knowing Alan for several years through our involvement in the Shorthorn breed, where he is one of the most respected Shorthorn enthusiasts in the nation. We love watching him work a sale....he is a true professional. About 10 years ago, we also worked closely with Alan on the Deiter Brothers web site, which again was always a real pleasure. Now, we are honored that Alan chose Ranch House Designs for his own marketing service web site.

We invite you to visit and learn more about the services Alan has to offer.

Friday, December 4, 2009

SJ Cattle Creations

If you're a livestock person who is looking for a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift this year, take a look at SJ Cattle Creations! Owned by Stephanie Renfro, SJ Cattle Creations offers unlimited ideas for great livestock-oriented Christmas presents to fit any budget!

The belt buckle purse, pictured here and priced in the $200s, is a very unique item. For those looking to spend a little less, try the toothbrush holder ($36) or the counter top paper towel holder ($35). Either of those can be personalized with your choice of livestock species...from breed specific cattle options to pigs, sheep, goats or show steers. The wall crosses are also really cool and are in the $40 range.

Mid-priced items include the really cool wall mirror or a cutout clock for $90.

So I hope you will take a look at and see if you can find something special for that livestock showman in your life!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Blog Special - Twitter Backgrounds

This month's Blog Special is a very cool one...for all of our very trendy technologically advanced friends....Twitter Background Designs!!

We offer two options for Twitter backgrounds...individual backgrounds and a twitter-background pack of 4 designs.

How this works is, well, first, you have to have a twitter account. Then we design your custom background, and send it to you as a JPG. You then upload the file in your twitter settings.

If you choose the individual twitter background, we'll send you one background that can be used year-round. If you are a more elaborate tweeter, our 4-pack is best for you. You can choose to have 4 designs made at once, or use them any time during the year. For example, I like to make my twitter background seasonal, right now I have the snowman and happy holidays theme.

So this option is a great special for all our blog readers! Whether you're looking for a personal twitter background like mine at or a business related one like -- we can help you out!

E-mail Tricia to get started!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Card Time!

By this time all of the Thanksgiving leftovers have hopefully been ate, and maybe you've even put up your Christmas tree! Well RHD is making it easy for all of the busy moms to cross another item off their "to-do list" this holiday season with our custom holiday photo cards. Visit or click here to get started on your custom cards.

Personally, I like to choose a few of my favorite photos from the year to include on my card. Through our affiliation with Tiny Prints, we are able to offer totally custom, personalized holiday cards made especially for you. Upload your photos, type your custom text, choose what font you like, choose your colors, etc. You can even make your photos black and white or sepia tone to give it that nostalgic look. It's your card....make it as special and as creative as you want.

Here are a few more of my favorite holiday photo cards. This design is a new style of Tiny Prints that offers unique photo collages, easily done at the click of a mouse. To get started on yours, just visit the Ranch House Invitations holiday page!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Won't Ride Sidesaddle....

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that one of my all time favorite ladies is Cherie Carrabba of Crockett, Texas. That's why I'm happy to recommend this book to anyone and everyone's who's been involved with showing livestock. This is a great book and I've been saving this blog for a while so I could publish it closer to the Christmas holidays as a gift suggestion.

This book is a collection of short stories written by Cherie Carrabba, a mentor to me and editor of The Showbox Magazine.

Last Christmas, my Dad got this book as a gift for each of us in the family. We even got autographed copies! As soon as we got the books, each of us including me and my mom pretty much just stopped opening our presents and started reading the book. We couldn't put it down! We kept flipping around reading different stories and laughing about all of the great short stories Cherie talks about in the book. The stories are written from a stock show mom's point of view and many of the stories are ones that everyone can relate to. Since we grew up showing with Randy and Ryan Rash, lots of these stories bring back first hand memories of the shows we were at together. It's a GREAT book!

You can purchase the book online at Happy Reading!