Friday, January 29, 2010

Sam Scher Showpigs

Our newest web site is for Sam Scher Show Pigs, which is owned by Sam and Autumn Scher of Huntington, Indiana. The Scher's are a great family-owned showpig operation. They have been in business for 11 years, raising all breeds of showpigs including Crossbreds, Landraces, Durocs, Spots, Hampshire, Yorkshires, and Poland Chinas.

The Scher's will be busy this spring with showpig sales. Their barns open March 15th and they'll be offering 42 litters of all breeds.

Visit to check it out!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

White Oak Farm

2As I have mentioned earlier on this blog, I have a real attraction to Hereford cattle, and seeing the ones at the new White Oak Farm web site isn't helping any!

We recently designed a new web site for White Oak Farm, a registered Angus and Hereford cow-calf operation in southern Indiana. For this project, we designed a web site and a new logo for the Hamilton Family, owners of White Oak.

The Hunter family consists of Mike and Vicki and their son Hunter, who does most of the showing. Hunter has had a great deal of success over the past year in both Angus and Hereford shows. In fact, his Hereford show heifer, Karlie, was a class winner at Louisville and also reserve division champion this year. This female was raised by another RHD client, Showtime Cattle. Hunter also earned the "Hereford Show Bull of The Year Northeastern Region" award this year in Kansas City.

The ladies in the RHD web division did a great job on this site and logo, and I hope you will check it out at And if you are looking for some Hereford or Angus cattle in the Southern Indiana regtion, give the Hamilton's a call!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Knox Club Calves

The RHD web division has been cranking out the new web sites, and we are so happy to introduce our latest creation - Knox Club Calves of Tarzan, Texas. Knox Club Calves produces top quality Hereford, Polled Hereford and crossbred steers. The crossbreds are Charolais Crosses and Black Crosses, bloodlines from Kris Black of Crawford, Oklahoma.

Pictured here is their 2009 Reserve Champion Hereford Steer at Houston, raised by Knox Club Calves and shown by Shannon O'Leary.

The Knox Family has a tremendous history of success in the Hereford cattle business, dating back to the 1940s. Formerly known as Knox Herefords, the Knox family has produced winners at all Texas major stock shows, as well as state and county shows, for over 33 years.

Knox Club Calves holds a silent auction every March to market their fall show steers. This year's sale will be held March 27, 2010.

Owner Tee Knox, showed steers while growing up in the 1940's. He exhibited the 1944 Reserve Grand Champion Steer (dry lot) at the Sand Hills Hereford Show with a ranch-raised steer from his grandmother. Tee's daughter, Kathy (now Kathy Buchholz of GKB Cattle), also showed steers and exhibited the 1974 Reserve Grand Champion Steer with a steer raised on the Knox Ranch.

The tradition continues and Knox Club Calves have produced many breed champions and reserve breed champions at Fort Worth, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, and many county shows, right up through the 2009 show season.

Personally, I was able to meet Tee Knox many many summers ago when our family stopped over at their ranch as a lay-over on our way to the Texas Jr. Shorthorn Association Preview Show in Amarillo. This was the furthest part of west Texas we'd ever been too, and was a real eye-opener for us. Another fun fact about the Knox Family is that some of their top showmen in the 1990s were Katie Jo and Samatha Yates, some fellow west Texans.  Katie is married to Rusy Day and they operate Day Show Cattle. Samantha is an excellent photographer based out of the Lubbock area. Her e-mail is and she does great work!

I invite you to check out and if you are looking for some really nice Herefords, mark your calendars for their sale on March 27, 2010.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Brandon Show Cattle

We are happy to present another new web site designed this week at RHD -- Brandon Show Cattle of Porter, Texas. For this project, we completed a new logo, set of business cards, and a new web site for the Brandon Family.

We have been fans of the Brandon family for about 6 years now, because their daughters Michele and Jessica both showed Limousin cattle from Kinsel Ranch, another RHD client. So we've been posting pictures of the Brandon girls online for years and years. Check out the Kinsel site's Buckles and Banners page for some old school pics of the Brandon girls showing their championship Limousin heifers!

Carl and Kim Brandon decided to branch out into different breeds so that they could raise cattle that wouldn't have to compete with their daughters in the showring. So they added Herefords, Polled Herefords, Maine, AOB, ABC, Chi, Red Angus, and Angus. Whew, that's a long list of breeds!!!

The Brandon's have built their breeding philosophy around raising, selecting, and selling championship caliber cattle for the show ring at reasonable prices. The calves they sell can be halter broke, clipped, and ready to show.

So I invite you to check out and check out our recent designs and the Brandon's cattle!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Top Updater of 2009 Award

Drumroll please, I am happy to announce our most frequent breeder web site updater of 2009 for Ranch House Designs......Matt Lautner Cattle.

As our loyal blog readers know, each month we post the winners of our most frequent web site update contest. At RHD we have a huge commitment to providing fast and timely web updates, and this contest is our fun way of encourating our clients to keep their web site updated as often as possible.

In order to win this award, Matt completed 55 web site updates in 2009, which is at least weekly updates, and sometimes more. It's no suprise that Matt's site is one of the most visited and most popular cattle web sites on the web.

So, instead of mailing Matt his award for being the top updater of the year, we saved it until Denver where we could make a personal presentation. This award was created by Sandy Meyer of Classic Leather Designs, who is also a RHD client and who commented that next year she was going to be gunning for this award herself! If you look closely, see if you can guess who the animal featured in this award is. The first person to comment and correctly identify the animal will get a free RHD cap.

Here are the photos from the presentation, I love this first one, where I am showing Matt the award. I love the look on his face, and my face too. I think he likes the award, don't you! Then, the next photo is our official photo!

And for all of our RHD clients, the 2010 contest has just started! So keep YOUR web sites updated, send in those requests to and then next year, maybe we'll be presenting this trophy to YOU!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ready for NCBA Convention

We'll be honest. We look for any reason to get ourselves over to San Antonio, Texas, and especially the Riverwalk. So naturally, anytime the NCBA Convention comes down to Texas, we sign up right away! ESPECIALLY if the headquarter hotel involves the Marriott River Center.

So in just a few days, we'll be packing up and heading to the Alamo City to spend a few days with many of our clients and fellow beef producers at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Cattle Industry Convention.

I will be representing RHD at the convention on January 28 and 29, and helping with the NCBA Judging Contest on Friday.

Personally, I can't wait to get to the convention to buddy up with my Texas A&M University partners in crime, Cassie Schulte, Tara Hoescher, and Dr. Kim McCuistion. Of course, we'll be eating at Casa Rio, and strolling down the riverwalk.

We are really excited about seeing a lot of our beef industry clients at this event, so if you'll be there, drop us an e-mail so we'll know to be keeping an eye out for you. We'll be taking lots of snapshots for the blog. And if you are a blog reader who has been thinking of doing business with RHD, look for us at the convention. We'd love to hang out and talk business!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Attention College Students & Job Seekers!

It seems that over the course of our professional career, somehow several of us at RHD have become our friends "go to person" when it's time for proofreading, writing letters of recommendation, looking over scholarship applications, and help with resumes and such.

We have developed a new package service for this, which is perfect for recent college graduates looking for their first job or college students who are trying to find that perfect internship. Our resume consultation service is a $150 package that includes the following:

-1 hour of resume consultation. Send us your resume in Word and we'll proofread it for you, help you improve the writing, and help you with the resume layout as far as fonts and spacing and consistency to make sure your resume is sharp, crisp and professional. We'll help you choose action words and write accurate descriptions of your past experiences to make you stand out.

-1 hour of cover letter consultation, if needed. We'll do the same thing as we do with your resume and help you perfect your cover letter. We'll check grammar, spelling, wording, and make sure that the letter is in correct form and style.

-250 business cards, custom designed, printed, and shipped to you - A business card is a must, especially with all of the upcoming stock shows and conventions. When you're talking to a potential employer, obviously you don't want to just tear off a sheet of paper and write your phone number on the back of it. A professional business card sets you apart and shows people that you are serious about your future employment.

Now a word of caution to any of you college slackers --- we aren't going to completley write your resume or cover letter for have to give us something to go by! But, if you're stuck, and just really don't know where to even begin, we can help you with that too, it'll just be included in your 1 hour of consultation.

So whenever you're ready to begin, let us know. You have to give us a little advance notice, like emailing us at midnight the day before your internship application is due isn't going to work...but do a little advance planning we'll do everything we can to help your have all the tools necessary to land that job or internship!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Michigan State Connection

I'll never forget the early morning phone call I got one Friday morning in the fall of 2000. While laying in bed after a late night on the town (Thursday nights in college), my land line rang about 7:00 a.m. in my trailer house bedroom in College Station, TX.

As I sleepily reached over and found my phone, I answered "hello" in the scratchiest, sleepiest voice you could possibly imagine. The voice on the other line said, "Good morning Rachel, this is Harlan Ritchie calling from Michigan State University."

Now seriously, what would YOU do if someone like Harlan Ritchie was calling your house at 7:00 a.m. in the morning. You can imagine how I reacted. I quickly tried to wake up, clear my throat, and maintain some level of professionalism without appearing too overly-awestruck for someone of this caliber to be calling ME, a lowly college student from Texas!!!!  Dr. Ritchie was calling to let me know that they had received my application to grad school at Michigan State, and that I was invited to come up to campus and visit/interview for an assistantship as soon as possible.

After doing my best to appear poised and collected, I graciously thanked him and then immediately called my college best friend, Cassie Abney, who had also applied to MSU. As she picked up her land line, she said, "Dr. Ritchie just called you didn't he?" Because he had just called her too. That weekend, we scheduled a flight to Lansing, interviewed, and made our decision to attend Michigan State University.

After arriving to our sight-unseen apartment at 5001 Oakbrook, I quickly fell in love with everything and anything to do with Michigan State, and made some of the best friends I could have ever hoped for. People like Mark and Katie Hoge, Brett Barber, Andrew McPeake, Sarah Rust, Nick Berry, Brandon Ogle, Bryan Metzgar, Cody Lowderman, Nicole Barber, Jason and Kara Rowntree, B.J. and Melissa McFarlane, Abby Rubley, Courtney Stewart, and Ashley Roseberry are just a few of the special people that made my two years at MSU some of the best years of my life. I also met so many wonderful people from the state of Michigan, namely people like Kathleen Hawkins, Steve and Julie French, and Robin Millsap, who are still close friends today. And, not to mention, I got to directly work with legends in the agriculture industry like Dr. Ritchie, Dr. Dave Hawkins, Dr. Kirk Heinze, and many more.

After I finished up my master's at MSU, I discovered this huge group of fellow Spartans who are leaders in animal science. It seems like every ag event I go to, I find someone who is a MSU alumni. Michigan State has a great presence at stock shows, whether it be through students working at the MSU Purebred Beef Barn stalls or through alumni at the shows. Probably one of the most famous MSU alumni that comes to mind, especially during this time of year, is Bill Angell, who is the livestock director and "king of the yards" at Denver Stock Show.

So, this year, it has been 7 years since I graduated with my M.S. from Michigan State. (With a 4.0 by the way!!!) As my professional career has been so richly blessed, I was able to create two scholarships in the Department of Animal Science at MSU to help give other students these same great opportunities that others gave me.

This year at Denver, I got the opportunity to meet this year's recipients while they were both working at the MSU Beef Barn display in Denver. Our first scholarship winner was Nicole Starr of Manawa, Wisconsin. Nichole is the young lady in the black sweater in this photo. She is a super go-getter who is destined for success. She is a junior animal science major and has worked for 3 years at the MSU Beef Barn. Last year, she interned with the American Hereford Association, and she and her family operate Starr Polled Herefords.

Our second scholarship winner was Lance Schoenbine of Auburn, Michigan, another outstanding young person who works at the MSU Beef Barn. Lance is standing right next to me in the photo. Lance is a Limousin showman who plans on making a career in the production side of the business, either seedstock or commercial.

It was such an honor for me to be able to meet these fine young people at Denver this year. Pictured here in our photo is l-r, Cody Sankey, manager of the MSU Beef Barn. I work with Cody on MSU Fall Fest ads, and have a tremendous amount of respet for this young leader in the beef industry. Next is Ken Geuns, coordinator of the MSU Beef Barn and another MSU faculty member who helped me so much during my two years at MSU through advice, mentoring and friendship. Next is the two scholarship winners - Nicole and Lance, pictured with me and Dad.

And, on the funny side, right after we took this photo Dad made sure to take the opportunity to inform Nicole and Lance how important it is to say "Yes Sir and No Sir" and have manners, since "sometimes folks from up north don't think it's important to say these things." Good reminder, Dad.
Oh, and by the way, at the same time I applied to MSU, Cassie, and another best friend Kim McCuistion, and I all also applied to K State. Kim got accepted instantly, and started getting like daily phone calls from all these professors at K State saying how much they loved her and couldn't wait for her to come. Cassie and I didn't even get a consolation rejection letter, a phone call, an e-mail response or a swift kick in the butt. I was pretty bummed out. So, for all you blog readers out there still in college, don't ever be discouraged. Sometimes rejection can be the best thing in the world!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Denver Hereford Show

While I was in Denver, it was a little odd for me because I was there early for the bull displays, and didn't really have a "home base" to camp out at -- usually the V8 Shorthorns stalls.

So, on Friday, I spent my free time at the showring watching the Denver Hereford Show. Every time I watch the Herefords at Denver I get this itching to buy a Hereford. They are just so beautiful. I have these favorite ranches that I love to watch.....Barber Ranch, Breedings, Hoffman Ranch, Colyers, Lowdermans, and Purple Reign. And recently, due to the addition of Robbie Duis on their staff, I've been keeping an eye on Star Lake. Even though I don't really do the advertising for any of these (except Purple Reign web site), I just have a huge amount of respect for these operations. Maybe it's their track record of success, but I also think it's because many of these ranches are being run by the next generation, with folks like Brett Barber, Chad Breeding, Jason Hoffman, Kyle Colyer, Cody Lowderman, Randy & Jamie Mullinix, and it's so exciting to see young people be so successful in the ranching business. Of course, I also love watching a Hereford show where I can see the MSU Purebred Beef Unit. Ken Guens and Cody Sankey and their team of young Spartans are great.
But, of all of the Hereford ranches I cheer FAVORITE is GKB Herefords, owned by my mentors, Gary and Kathy Buchholz of Texas. This year though, I wasn't cheering for them in the ring, because they were judging the show!!!
Now the Williams and the Buchholz families have a big connection at Denver. My parents took me to my first National Western in 1989, to show my Shorthorn heifer, BBS Queen Elizabeth B840. For you old school Shorthorn people, you know what BBS stands for. For the newer folks, it means Buchholz Brothers Shorthorns. I purchased this beautiful solid red, white stocking footed Shorthorn from Mr. and Mrs. Buchholz and that was the beginning of a great friendship between our families that has lasted for over 20 years. That year at Denver, I was a wide-eyed 10 year old taking my first steps into the famous Denver showring, and following behind me in the makeup ring were my family, and Gary & Kathy Buchholz.
When the judge made his selection that day, you guessed it, the Grand Champion Shorthorn Heifer of the 1989 Denver Junior Show was none other than dear ol' Queen Elizabeth!!!! We were all so happy, and that is a day that my family will always treasure.
As a little girl who grew up on a Brahman ranch, I knew nothing about Shorthorns, or haired cattle for that matter. Mr. Buchholz taught me how to blow-dry cattle. I went and spent a week with them at their farm in Bardwell when I was a little older to learn more show barn skills. And, Mrs. Buchholz was one of the first people who inspired my creativity, which has led me to starting RHD. When I was just a youngster, the Buchholzs always took a tri-fold felt board display booth to set up at their stalls. I'll always remember the time when Kathy asked me to help her set up the booth. I was about 12 years old at the time, and I had just learned how to do "Bubble Writing" to pass notes in Jr. High. You know the kind of doodling, puffy letters. I asked Mrs. B if I could label the pictures to go on her booth, and looking back now I can't believe she would agree to this, but she actually let me write the animal's names in BUBBLE LETTERS to be on their display.
So, anyway, I could go on and on about ways that the Buchholz's have helped me throughout my life. This year, these two leaders in the beef industry were the judges of the Denver Hereford Show. I sat and enjoyed watching them work together during the bull show and I just felt a huge sense of pride to be able to watch them on that big day, which I'm sure no doubt is a highlight of both of their legendary judging careers.
And as they talked their champion drive, I thought back to 1989, the day where these two great people were there to cheer me on for my first Denver experience. What an honor for me, 21 years later, to be in the stands on THEIR big day, and cheer them on, as they've done for me so many times!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My fastest Denver trip ever!

Well I have officially completed my fastest trip to the National Western Stock Show in my 21 year history of attending the show. I made a quick trip in on Friday afternoon, spend the day Saturday "In the Yards" and then flew home on Sunday morning, so I could head on up to Ft. Worth for the Open Brahman Show.

Though I was only at the stock show for one day, it was still a great day and as always, Denver is Denver. It's always been and always will be one of my favorite stock shows, because it's a show for real cattleman, and I love it.

Seeing old friends is probably my favorite part of Denver. Being from Texas, the only time I get to see most of my midwest friends is at Denver or Louisville. A quick stroll through the yards or on the hill and I was able to run into tons of my friends that are quick with a smile and a hug! I love catching up with everyone face to face, which is always definitely better than over e-mail or text. Anytime I get to a show I love to get with Brooke Bennett, and this year she was there working for

I also enjoyed watching the Angus show, where I was cheering for our clients Topline Farms, Michigan State University, Sankey 6N Ranch, and Pembrook Cattle. I also stopped by the Topline stalls to see Topline Mackinaw, who is a new bull for 2010 and is owned by Topline and my dear friend Craig Blint. The funniest observation of my entire trip occurred during the Angus heifer champion drive. As the animals entered the ring, "Eye Of The Tiger" started blaring over the loudspeakers. I'm certain NWSS planned this. I kept thinking, if I was out there in the ring and I heard that, there is no way I could keep a straight face. I happened to be standing by Dylan Evans at the time, so we played a game of coming up with some other cheesy songs to play, and We are the Champions was our top pick.

It's always great to see our RHD clients. Of course, we saw our many clients who we did bull banners for. It was great to meet 2 of our new bull clients, Stan & Clark Bixler and Gary Fillmore and Justin Hartman for the first time.  I also loved visiting with Levi Bond at his display for Titanium where his semen give-a-way was a huge hit. I had a great interview with Alisa Neil and Ryan Habeger.

Wherever I go, I always enjoy meeting new friends, or maybe better described as putting a face with a name, since most of my correspondence is done over e-mail or the phone. On my short trip, I got to meet one of our newer clients, Steve Boneso,  who was displaying the Walks on Water bull. I also finally got to meet the great photographer, Chris Rosa, who was responsible for the creative side of the Walks on Water display. I was really happy to meet my Facebook friend, Christina Wernicke of Top Sires. I'm so glad she's married to a Shorthorn guy because she is FUN and hopefully we'll get to hang out at many more Shorthorn shows in the future. And my 4th new person to meet was my blogging friend, Crystal Young, who was videoing stuff for the Angus Association.

Doubletree vs. Embassy
As a loyal Doubletree guest for forever, unfortunately this year I was unable to get a room there so I had to bump down to my second choice, Embassy Suites. I had heard of Embassy Suites after recommendations from Jeff Schroeder at and I was very familiar with the 4444 North Havana address of that hotel because we usually ship a lot of Denver promo items there. So after staying at Embassy, I have to say it's a toss up. Embassy is a little more old school in terms of decor, but their free complimentary breakfast is awesome. Their stock show shuttle wasn't running on Friday, and I had to get a cab, so that was a setback. Of course, I did go to the Doubletree and hang out in the lobby and socialize for a little while on Friday afternoon. It was packed with the judging teams but as always it's a great hot spot for seeing Shorthorn friends and livestock judging friends.
For the second year in a row, I helped my good friend Jeff Schroeder at with the Denver bull interviews. I think my video interviewing skills have improved since 2009. It was so rewarding to be able to talk with all of the new bull owners and hear first hand about their bulls. Everyone always thinks theirs is the next big thing, and the rest of us will just have to wait for a few years to see how things shake out of who actually IS the best! Jeff and his brother Ryan do the bull videos and owner interviews totally free of charge, as a service to those who can't make it to Denver.  These two guys have a huge dedication to education in the club calf business and it's an honor to work with them.

So, as I'm fixing to head out the door again and go to Fort Worth, I'll share a few photos from Denver.
As I sign off, I'll share my favorite picture on the trip. I only took about 5 photos though. But here are two good friends and fellow ag technology buffs, Jeff Schroeder and Brad Hook, taking videos of each other in the yards.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Goudeau Farms

This week we are excited to launch a new web site for Goudeau Farms of Hungerford, Texas. The Goudeau's are a local farming and ranching family that happen to be relatives of ours, and also fellow members at the Abell Street Church of Christ in Wharton.

Their new web site features information on two of their agricultural enterprises...a hay operation and their horse operation.

Shay Goudeau, who's a tried and true barrel racer, (complete with the neon turquoise glitter shirt as shown on their web site), is an avid horse woman with a lifetime of experience in the horse and cattle business. Even today, she can be found horseback working cattle with her dad when she's not training horses. Actually, Shay feels that this gives her horses an advantage over others, because they are real actual working horses that have training on working cattle.

Michael runs the hay operation of Goudeau Farms which is a high quality custom hay operation that provides hay to local ranchers and Houston area livestock enthusiasts.

The Goudeaus have two very cute and very sweet daughters, Logan and Reagan. Both of these youngsters are up and coming barrel racers who love the outdoors and love agriculture.

Shay is currently featuring several very outstanding horses for sale on her web site, complete with videos.

So we invite you to visit and take a look. If you know anyone who is looking for a good horse, give them a call.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Heading to Denver!

As I'm writing this blog, in just a few hours I'll be boarding on a plan and headed up to the mile high city for a quick trip to Denver and the beginning of our whirlwind 6 weeks of travel for RHD while we go to Denver, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Houston, etc etc etc. 

I am absolutely ecstatic to get ready to go to Denver this year, for a couple of reasons! First, I'll be helping my good friend Jeff Schroeder at by doing Denver bull interviews again this year. I've been practicing up on my skills by watching Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America for the whole year, and hopefully will not be doing a silly laugh like I did last year as my mom so kindly pointed out. I can't wait to see all the bulls and talk to all the owners. I'm hoping this year I can actually manage to get an interview with Matt Lautner to hear about his new bull, since last year he turned me down!

Next, I can't wait to get to the big city and go to all those good restaurants, since I'm pretty much sick of my daily McDonalds and choices of food at Wharton, Texas. Since my birthday is just around the corner, I'm going to celebrate one night in Denver,and I've got it narrowed down to a few of my favorites.

Another thing I'm really excited about is seeing the Stock Show issue of The ShowTimes Magazine. Brian Reid has done a wonderful job with this new publication and it is always fun to read his articles and junior spotlights. I have an article in that issue coming out in Denver....actually it's a compilation of several mini-interviews, so I didn't do that much actual writing myself. But make sure to check that out.

And finally, of course, I can't wait to see all my friends and all the amazing cattle that will be at the National Western!!! I'm still a little miffed that my stock show buddy Ashley Hueber is going to be absent at Denver this year, but I guess I'll have to manage. I'll only be there for a few days, but I can hardly wait for that cold crisp air and a great couple of days in Denver.

So we'll be looking for all our friends, and be looking for me and Emily! We'd love to talk to you about a new project like a new web site or a print ad for this spring.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture

For the past 6 months of so, I have been highly involved with the Texas Farm Bureau through their Young Farmer and Rancher "Excellence in Agriculture" contest, which I was a state finalist for. I was encouraged to apply for this award through some friends in Texas Farm Bureau. The award is to recognize a young person in agriculture who is involved in production agriculture, but makes the majority of their income from an agricultural business. So I qualified for this award because I do have a herd of cattle, but my main source of income is through Ranch House Designs, Inc., an agricultural advertising agency.

So, after some encouragement, I completed the very ominous application, which ended up being about 20 pages, including several "thought-provoking essays" I had to complete. I was selected as our district winner, and naned one of the top 3 state finalists. As a finalist, I participated next in a face-to-face interview in October at the Texas Farm Bureau headquarters.

Then, over the next month, I got the opportunity to be part of a big publicity program through Texas Farm Bureau to spotlit the 3 Finalists in the Excellence in Ag Contest (myself, County Agent Whit Wheems, and Armstrong Ranch manager Cody Fry) as well as the 3 finalists in the Young Farmer and Rancher Contest. Farm Bureau came and visited Ranch House Designs and V8 Ranch, and spent a day with us filming video and takign pictures of our staff. It was kinda different being filmed on video, but in the end, the video turned out great!! ( You can see my video here!!!)

In December, me and fellow RHD staff member Emily Forgason attended the state Farm Bureau convention in Ft. Worth to find out who the lucky winner of the contest was going to be. I had an awesome time at this convention, even though I didn't end up winning the state contest. I wasn't really expecting to win though, because I knew Cody Fry was an excellent contestant with a lot of Farm Bureau experience and I figured he would win. And....he did!!! Cody and I were friends while we were both at Texas A&M and I was so happy for him.

And, even more exciting, another friend and fellow Aggie was selected as the state winner of the Young Farmer and Rancher Contest.....Courtney and Ernie, excuse me ERNEST, Bailes!! This family operates Repro Select, an ag-business, and they also have cattle. They are a great example of a young ranching family who loves agriculture and shows that you can be a huge success as long as you have work ethic...and a dream! Emily and I were super happy for the Bailes as they won a FREE PICKUP TRUCK! After they won, Courtney informed us that their current vehicle was in the shop, so the new truck would come in real handy!

So, if you're a young person involved in farming or ranching, take a look at the Texas Farm Bureau program for Young Farmers and Ranchers. This was an experience I will never forget.

My video is here: Excellence in Ag Video

Here are some snapshots from the trip!

Me and Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke’s. For being a state finalist I rec'd this DeWalt Cordless Power Tool, which I immediately gave to the V8 Showbarn for their use, and a pair of Justin boots.

Emily at the convention. We had to take this photo to proove to her teacher that she did, in fact, attend the convention.

A sample photo of our fun night in Cowtown! We went to the Stockyards, had dinner, and walked around and looked at all the shops. The Christmas decorations were awesome! Emily got so tired from walking that she saddled up on this Longhorn steer and rode around.

Here is another photo from the Stockyards. It's out of focus but the funny thing is we didn't know this little girl in the photo. We had stopped and asked a random person in the Stockyards to take our picture, and when she did, this little girl ran and got in the photo with us! ha ha

And finally here is me and the BIG winner, Ernest Bailes, who won the Young Farmer and Rancher Contest and won a free pickup truck.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January Blog Special

It's time for our montly blog special, where we offer 10% off a certain project of the month here at Ranch House Designs. This month is a BIG ONE! At the suggestion our good friend in real life and on facebook, Gretchen Dixon, we are going to offer 10% off a print ad!

Gretchen is a fellow rancher and cattlewoman and part of Dixon Ranches in Texas. They have awesome Brahman cattle and F-1 cattle and we always like visiting with her and her husband and cute kids at the stock shows.

So due to the nature of advance planning needed for print ads, it's a little tricky on how we'll do this one. All our January ads have been booked and submitted for the most part. So, we'll honor this coupon for any print ad that will appear in a January of February publication. How about that. Make sure to mention this when booking your print ad project to take advantage of this special!

And THANKS Gretchen for the good idea!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Planning for February

For most people in the livestock business, the months of January through March are a whirlwind of shows, sales, and industry conventions. For us at RHD, we'll be travelling nonstop through these months attending Denver, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, NCBA, TSCRA, Houston and more!

With that in mind, it's never too early to start planning on your ads for this spring. Actually, it's almost a requirement to start planning early. For example, camera ready ads for the February Showbox are due on January 18, which happens to be the same time that loyal cattle people will be in Denver for the club calf display and open shows, and some of us will also be in Fort Worth for the opening week of that show.

Same with the deadline for the Seedstock Edge, where camera ready ads are due that same day, January 18th. Most of us will be in Denver.

So what that means is we have to get them done before we go to Denver and Fort Worth! We've already started working on most all of our ads going in these magazines, or have them done already. But if you're a procrastinator like me, it's time to get your ad materials sent in, so you can mark that item off your to-do list and enjoy your time in Denver and Ft. Worth!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

December Update Report

The update division recorded their fastest ever turnaround time for December 2009, with an average turnaround time on web updates of 1 hour with 213 updates in the month of December!!!!! Holy smokes that is F-A-S-T!!!

People always comment on how fast we do our updates, and usually they ask us how in the world is it possible for us to do as many web sites as we do and keep them all updated that fast. Updates is our priority. We have 3 staff members who work in updates and when things get busy everyone at RHD chips in and helps on updates.

Now of course, we don't make any claims to ALWAYS update that fast, but in general we make our best effort to get our client web sites updated as fast as possible, because we know that when you send in an update, you are excited to see it up.

So here is a list of winners for our December Web Site Updaters.
Supreme Champion Updater December 2009 - Beefmaster Breeders United
Reserve Supreme Champion - Texas Red Angus Association
3rd Overall - Stock Horse of Texas
4th Overall - Sears Marketing Service
5th Overall - American Brahman Breeders Association

Honorable Mentions:
Aegerter Marketing Service
Rincker Law
Elliott Cattle

Congratulations to these winners!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gehrke Farms

We are very happy to introduce our newest web site design, Gehrke Farms of Illinois. We have been working with the folks at Gehrke Farms for just about a year now. Our first project for them was a sire services package in 2009 for their Ali son, TK. Then this summer, we designed their print ads for their Open House Sale. Now, we are happy to publish their new web site for this very nice family-owned and operated farm.
The Gehrke's focus on high quality, functional ChiAngus and Chi influenced cattle. They are located in central Illinois and have some of the finest cattle you'll find anywhere in the nation. Our favorite bull of their sire line up is Army of One, who was raised by another RHD client, Bill Elliot.

We invite you to stop by and check out their lineup of Chi cattle and check out their winners from Louisville this year and their calves for sale.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuell Cattle

Check our newest web site designed for Tuell Cattle of Eckley, Colorado. Eckley is located in the sand hills of the Northeastern part of Colorado. Tuell Cattle has been an established since 1935. When this company started their primary business was feeding cattle, but over the last several years they expanded into offering breeding stock. They have always sought out phenotypically and genetically superior “hybrid” cattle that can outperform the industry averages both in the feedlot and on the rail.

Tuell's desire is to help make cow/calf producers across the country more profitable by building relationships based on honesty, integrity and friendship. Tuell focuses on the SimAngus breed which they think offer the most proven genetics that will work at all levels of the production chain as well as being high quality performance cattle. The key areas in Tuell's cattle are having a moderate frame, easy fleshing and being structurally sound with a good disposition and calving ease.

Tuell offers SimAngus genetics throughout the year, but will often offer elite show steers and heifers. One of their leading herd sires is the popular high selling bull of spring 2009, 3C Upgrade, pictured here.

We hope you visit to learn more about them and to see another one of RHD's awesome designs!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Friend of the Month

Each month we have been offering a "blog special" to our loyal blog readers and facebook friends....and it's been a huge hit! So now we are offering another online-only incentive...our "Friend of the Month".

And how do you become our "FRIEND OF THE MONTH"....well it's easy, just interact with us online through the blog or our RHD Facebook page. At the end of each month, we'll figure up the person who as made the most number of comments on our blog, or written/commented the most on our Facebook wall.

The RHD Friend of the Month will get their choice of any available RHD merchandise...for 10% off any project at RHD. We always have lots of selection of caps and koozies at RHD and you'll get to take your pick of what we have available at the time.

So get your keyboard ready....we'll be doing this each month.

If you aren't already a fan on Facebook, add us here.....