Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Correct Naming of Show Awards

Since my good buddy Jeff went off on his blog about how inconsiderate it is for kids to interrupt a judge while giving reasons to shake their hand.... I felt the urge to discuss a pet peeve of MINE.

Correct naming of show awards.

I saw an article like this many years ago in the National Livestock Exhibitor, written by Eldon Miller, and it has stuck with me ever sense. In general, there is a TON of inconsistency in how people list their awards. Here is a good list to use.

SUPREME CHAMPION: This is used to identify the ONE supreme champion of the entire show. An example like this would be when all breed champions go in the ring together to compete and the judge selects the winner amongst multiple breeds.

GRAND CHAMPION: This would be used to identify the one single champion of a breed. I.e. Grand Champion Angus Heifer.

CLASS WINNER: I know some would disagree with me, but I prefer class winner...not class champion. To me the word CHAMPION should be reserved for honors higher than a class.

Now additionally, I have a personal preference on how you represent championships.

For example, if you use a caption on a photo of "Many time champion", this would refer to an animal that has been selected as Grand Champion of the entire breed 2 or more times. This is not acceptable to use for an animal that you showed for 2 years that never won anything, but you decided just to call them a "Many Time Champion" since he was on your showstring. Be honest about the awards. If he won his class a lot, call him a "Many Time Class Winner" or "Consistent Class Winner" to accurately describe the accomplishments.

National Champion. This is another one to watch. The phrase National Champion refers to the ONE grand champion of the show. The grand champion. Not the reserve. Not the class winner. A Reserve Calf Champion is not a national champion. It might be a National Reserve Division Champion -- which is very impressive in itself, but still, not a national champion.

Finally, word order is important when dealing with reserves. For example:

Reserve Grand Champion Bull
Reserve Senior Champion Bull (Not Senior Reserve Champion Bull)
2nd in class is not appropriate to say "Reserve Class Champion"

Off the soap box. For now.

Celebrations: RHD style

It's the season of love and good cheer! As the 2011 year dies down, RHD has been busier than Christmas elves with projects geared to helping our clients celebrate! There has been Christmas cards, thank you cards, wedding save-the-dates and invitations flying around like mad! But we love it!! Any chance we can get to help our clients celebrate is better than candy canes to us! Take a look at some of our favorite designs from the past few weeks....

We love the Goudeau Family so we knew this design was perfect for their fun attitudes!
Our very own Liz Tovar is getting hitched! These designs will make anyone want to get married!
Molly Jo really is the First Lady of RHD - and the cutest!!!

To have RHD help with your upcoming celebration, email

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bovance $1000 scholarship available

Just rec'd via Sara Kober....


Nov. 19, 2011 -- Sioux Center, Iowa

Bovance is happy to announce the second year of their youth scholarship program, which was won by Brent Sexton from Iowa in 2011. This $1000 scholarship is open to high school seniors and college students in their first or second year of undergraduate study in an agriculture related field. Students must write an essay between 750 and 1000 words based on one of the following questions:

1. How could genetic preservation and cloning help feed the world in the years to come?

2. If you have a particular cow or bull that has contributed greatly to your herd, or the breed, explain why
would you clone her/him.

3. How could cloning be used as part of comprehensive reproductive toolbox of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) services in a purebred or commercial operation?

4. How would you explain the benefits and safety of cloning to a consumer/friend who is questioning the value of the technology?

Entries must be received no later than March 1, 2012, with the winner being announced by April 15, 2012. The runner up will receive a free Express Tissue Bank on the animal of their choice (Value $300) and honorable mention entries will receive a certificate for $100 off a Genetic Preservation or Express Tissue Bank on the animal of their choice. All entry essays may be used in Bovance promotional materials in the future. For a submission form, please contact Diane Broek at 1-800-999-3586 or Melain Cox at 1-877-4-BOVANCE (1-877-426-8262).

Monday, November 28, 2011

12 Days of Christmas: RHD Style

Did you know that here at RHD, we are a bunch of Christmas freaks. We love it. Especially Stacey. She would wear a Santa hat every day if she could!

So in honor of this special time, we are excited to announce a HUGE promotion we will have going on from December 1 to 16....The 12 Days of Christmas RHD Style!

 2011 has been an amazing year for us. Each year we keep saying it was our "best year ever" and once again, we have been really blessed with our "best year ever" in 2011.

Our customers and our fans make our success possible, without a doubt. So we have come up with the 12 Days of Christmas, RHD Style, to reward and thank those who make RHD a success.

So here's how it works.

1. First, you must be a fan of our facebook page. Click here to join and "Like" our page.

2. Each work day, (no weekends) we will be giving away two types of prizes. First, we will have a daily Christmas trivia question. The first person to answer the question correctly will win the prize for that day. The prizes start small and build up to the grand finale prize on the 12th day.

3. While only one person wins the daily prize, each day we will also be posting a special "12 Days of Christmas" Coupon that ANY of our fans can print off and use for our services here at RHD. Each day will be different. You'll have 1 week to book a project and claim the coupon.

And we promise, the prizes aren't going to be chinchy little things like a free koozie. They are going to be stuff you will LOVE!!!!

Watch for the First Day of Christmas....Thursday, December 1st.

and Remember..JESUS is the Reason For the Season!!!


Best of the Barns "Too Close to Calls"

With just a few days left in our 2011 Best of the Barns voting, we have about 14 categories that are literally just too close to call!! In these categories, there are less than 20 votes separating the contestants! So I know you have an opinion on who the best of these are....go vote!

A few reminders, you don't have to vote for every category, you can just pick the ones that are important to you.

You DO however have to enter your email address, and your vote only counts once per email address. Yes, we do have some people who are trying to spam and vote for themselves 100 times. This is the only fair way to do it. If you don't provide an email address, your vote doesn't count.

Here are the categories that are in a dead heat:

  • Best Cattle Blog (Question 5)
  • Best Ranch Facebook Page (Question 6)
  • Best Ranch Website (Question 9)
  • Best Sale Catalog (Question 12)
  • Best Online Auction Service (Question 26)
  • Best University Animal Science Program (Question 29)
  • Best University Livestock Judging Program (Question 31)
  • Best Feed Supplier (Question 35)
  • Best Show Awards (Question 37)
  • Best On Farm Photographer (Question 40)
  • Best Educational Clinic (Question 45)
  • Best Video Production Company (Question 47)
  • Best Boar Stud (Question 48)
  • Best Sheep Magazine (Question 53)
Go to to vote!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful 2011

This year's Thankgiving blog from RHD:

I'm Thankful For...
-the wife who says "it's hot dogs tonight", because it means she is home with me and not out with someone else.

- the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato because he is home with me and not out at the bars.

- the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes because it means she is at home, not on the streets.

- the taxes I pay, because it means I am employed.

- the mess to clean after a party because it means i have been surrounded by friends.

- the clothes that fit a little too tightly because it means I have enough to eat.

- my a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means that I have a house.

- all of the complaining I hear about the government, because it means we have freedom of speech.

- the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am capable of walking and have been blessed with transportation.

- my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm.

- the pile of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

- aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I am capable of working hard.

- the alarm that goes off early in the morning, because it means I am alive.

"In everything give thanks" - 1st Thessalonians 5:18

-  Reprinted from Abell Street Church of Christ House to House, Heart to Heart.
Originally written by Francse Shipp, Weaver, Alabama

Monday, November 21, 2011

Denver Sign Orders

If you've been to any of the big shows this fall, chances are you noticed some of the awesome work of RHD in many areas. But one of our most popular services during this time of year is stall signs. We offer stall signs of all shapes and sizes and these are a necessity for every farm or ranch taking cattle to Denver, or any show for that matter.

We finally broke down and got some new signs for V8 Shorthorns for Louisville....and I couldn't believe how many people said how they loved the signs. They also commented on how easy it was to spot our stalls because the signs stood out so much. Now, if only I can get my dad convinced to get away from the handwritten signs we use in our Brahman showstring. I doubt that will ever happen honestly.

As we've been really hammering lately in our own ads, projects like these are where our practical expertise of the cattle business really give us an advantage. We know how to do the best livestock signs because, well, hmm, I've only hung up literally thousands of these in my lifetime as the official sign hanger (or assistant sign hanger to my dad) on the V8 showstring for the past 20 years.

I know Denver isn't quite on everyone's minds yet, but we are steadily working on Denver sign orders. Don't wait til the last minute because Denver projects are harder than normal show orders because we have the holidays of Christmas and New Years in the mix and that causes delays in shipping.

Probably the easiest thing to do is just fax us a copy of your show entries, and then we'll get to work. We also have a $500 package available that includes a banner and end panel signs. We look forward to talking with you and doing your signs!

10 Commandments of Showing

While I was working on some stuff for my new book, my dad offered me to go through his collection of old articles about showing that he had collected through the years. It's like Christmas in November getting to go through all the old stuff. One of my favorites I came across...a clipping called:

"The Ten Commandments For Parents of Kids Showing Beef Cattle"

by Clyde D Lane, Jr., Extension Specialist at the University of Tennessee

1. Thou shall NOT feed, train, and care for the animal...for you are trying to teach children responsibility.

2. Thou shall forgive a child for making mistakes in the showring...for you have made mistakes too.

3. Thou shall NOT get mad when the child forgets items in the showbox...for one day you might forget the whole showbox.

4. Thou shall help the show management. They are doing a good job at a job you would not want to do.

5. Thou shall see that your child is on time for all show activities, for you would not want to wait on another.

6. Thou shall be sure that your child has the animals entered and the registration papers in order at the designated time.

7. Thou shall teach the child that winning a blue ribbin is a desirable goal, but making friends along the way is a much more worthy goal.

8. Thou shall NOT complain about the judge, for it is his opinion that has been sought that day.

9. Thou shall remember that livestock projects are teaching projects...not necessarily money-making projects.

10. Thou shall remember that the livestock project is a family project that should be enjoyed and supported by the entire family.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Gifts from RHD

Is it just me, or does it seem like it gets harder and harder to get gifts for those people in our lives that seem to have EVERYTHING already! Or, to find something unique? It never fails that year in and year out, lots of our livestock friends turn to RHD to help them come up with something really cool for Christmas designs.

Last year, one of our hardest kept secrets was the Christmas gift of a blog header design that Jon Blin gave to Crystal Young.

Barn banners are another really popular Christmas gift, like these shown here at Tusa Cattle.

In some cases, we have even done websites as a Christmas gift! The way we have found it works best is that you go ahead and book the website before Christmas. We will put up a special message like "Merry Christmas Dad...Welcome to your new web site to be designed by RHD" on the web site home page. On Christmas, you can tell the person to go to where they will see the special message. This is really cool and always is an exciting gift!

Another cool thing we have done is special photo collages mounted on canvas or gallery wrap. These are really neat too. We did one of these for the Klug family last year and they loved it.

So while it's never too early for Christmas gifts, there is a time when you can be too late. We need to get to work on Christmas items right away, preferably by December 1st.

Also if you are looking for some great unique items, visit these client web sites:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How well connected is your website?

How well connected is your website? The number of sites that link to your web site is one of the factors that helps boost your search engine ranking. We offer a great directories package that will link your site on all of the following directories that are applicable to your business for one low price of $50.

Click here to add your website to our listings.  We will add your listing to all applicable sites that you qualify for. For example, a Shorthorn breeder from Texas would qualify to be listed on all three sites....where a Hereford breeder from Oklahoma would be listed on Show to Win only.

Also, one of the many perks of being an RHD customer is that all of our website clients automatically get free links on these sites. If we can help you with a new website or give you a bid for a new look on your existing website, please give us a call.

PS - We say "many perks" because there are actually several. Be sure to ask us about our partnershp incentives to being an RHD customer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New RHD Promo Video

We are really proud to unveil our new RHD promotional video! Thanks to Ideal Video Productions for making this for us. Take a look and meet the RHD team, plus learn a little more about our services.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Want to see what we can whip up in 10 minutes?

Okay, maybe we shouldn't have posted the blog yesterday about doing rush signs for Eby Ranch on their way to Louisville. I like a design challenge, but today was cutting it a little close!

So this morning, I get an email from our longtime customer Kyle Conley, saying they need a sire postcard for Louisville, and he needs it by Saturday. I immediately begin racking my brain trying to think of a printer I can use that can do a 1 day turnaround and overnight ship to Louisville.  It's going to be tight, but we try to do anything we can to help our customers, so I got to work.

Fast forward to 2:50 p.m., when we receive the sire photo from Kyle and the bull information. I begin downloading the picture while Tricia calls up our printer - the lovely Donna at Tops Printing - and asks if they can do the project for us.

Donna's response: If you can have it to me in 5 minutes.


So I get to work. I called Kyle and said, I have to have it to the printer in 5 minutes, and you're going to have to trust me on this design ha ha!

So here we go....not too shabby for something that took me 5 minutes to design....

By the way, if you like the bull, they are selling something on him in the Angus Finals sale in Vegas. I know that sounds pathetic that I don't know the exact detail of what they are selling -- syndication possibly?? -- but keep in mind we were on a short time frame and Kyle and I didn't have that much time to chit chat. HA.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas Card Pricing

We have had a lot of customers asking about pricing for Christmas Cards, so we thought it would be easier just to publish the price list. We have two options for cards, our basic and our premium options. The basic options are printed on the clients choice of either matte or gloss finish. The premium options can be printed in matte, gloss, metallic shimmer, and also have special cutout shapes.

For these custom designed cards, we need 2 weeks for design, printing and shipping. So it's never too early to start planning.

For those clients on a shorter time frame, or looking for a less expensive option, try and browse around. If we can help you with your cards just give us a call!

Denver Bull Banners Underway

Does everyone have Denver bull banners on their mind or what? Seems like over the past 3 days we have gotten a ton of calls about Denver bull banners! And in fact, we've even got a few either already printed or almost approved and ready to be printed. Way to go everyone for being so ahead of schedule!

Here is one that is a 4x4 banner that Liz designed this week for TX Enterprises in North Carolina.

We have a great sire package that includes pretty much everything one needs for a bull promotion. Due to confidentiality we don't publically put all of the details online, but we are more than happy to discuss it with anyone who is interested. This package is good for bulls of all breeds, not just club calf bulls.

So we are getting excited! Creating unique ads and promotions for bulls is one of our favorite things to do here at RHD! Give us a call at 979-532-9141 and we would be happy to talk with you about how we can help you!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Christmas Cards

If you read yesterday's post, you noticed we were saying how suprising it is that we've already been working on Denver bull banners for this year. Well, another one of those things that's quickly sneaking upon us is CHRISTMAS!

For the past several years we have done a ton of custom Christmas cards for our friends both in Wharton and for many of our club calf friends nationwide. One of our subsidiary businesses is Ranch House Invitations, in which we offer cards, party invitations, graduation invitations, shower invites, wedding invitations, save the dates, and much more.

We can work with you in a variety of ways. First, for the most affordable option, you can upload your own photos and order instantly online through our 2 catalog affiliations available here. You can have your photos ready, choose your design, upload, and order. It's easy and still very customizable.

The next option is to have RHD design your Christmas card from scratch. This option is a bit more expensive (averages about $2.50 per card) but gives you a ton of options like specialty cutout shapes, metallic finish, and more. For this option, just email us your photos and we will get to work on a custom design. For our clients in the Wharton area, we are happy to recommend any of our very talented local area photographers, or get one of our 2 staff photographers (Stacey or Joelynn) to take your photos for you for a small additional fee.

Here are a few examples of our cards from last year....

This was Rachel & Brandon's card, it was a custom design (of course with a Brahman on it) and was a 5x7 flat card with the shimmer finish.

The best card of the Wharton area for 2010!! This was the Gertson family card and it was a 5x5 tri-fold card. It included a shimmer finish, and we also did the family photography for this card.

Here's one we did for the Hoskins family of Beeville. They were running a little late, so they opted for a Happy New Year card.

The Locke family of Wharton used a 5x7 folded card so they could include a letter and recap from 2010. This was a great design that featured bragging rights on all of their wonderful grandkids.

John and Salina Locke of Wharton also sent out a 5x7 flat card with the shimmer finish. This card featured a custom poem written by John's sisters to announce the birth of their daughter in conjunction with their holiday card.

Another awesome design for 2010. This was Stacey's family card and it featured a 5x5 square design with a special scalloped cutout shape and shimmer metallic finish.

While this one is more ranchy, here's a custom card we created for the Scarmardo's to send out to their cattle industry clients. We can easily work up custom designs for any design preference. It doesn't always have to be red and green!

Call us today for pricing, 979-532-9141 or email