Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Violeta Ranch Beefmaster Sale Trip

Last weekend, I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the Violeta Beefmaster Sale in Hebbronville, Texas, where I was on a mission to buy some cattle for me and Brandon. Brandon was already committed to judging  a show that weekend so I was given the charge to handle buying the cattle for us. Wait. So anyone who is reading this is probably thinking - What? Brandon sent you to south Texas to buy cattle all by yourself. Nah...just kidding. I had the real professional Jim Williams there to help me. But I actually did the picking and bidding, and he did the advising and hauling.

My mom and dad bought a little place in Premont, Texas this year which has become their vacation get-away. Premont is a little town in south Texas that is about 30 minutes away from Kingsville. Home of "The Oasis" restaurant, alma mater of my uncle Terry Powell. And now home of V8 Ranch - South Texas Division.

So we began our trip on Friday afternoon, and after 3 hours of Mollie crying in the car we made it to the V8 Ranch South Texas Division. Mom agreed to keep Mollie Saturday while Dad and I went to the sale. Dad and I got up first thing Saturday morning and made the drive from Premont to Hebbronville, home of Violeta Ranch. Now when I say "Hebbronville, Texas", I say that loosely. Keep in mind that down here, towns are REALLY spread out. The ranch, who's address is Hebbronville, is actually 33 miles south of town, but that is how far they have to go to get to town. 

Following the directions in the sale catalog, we arrived at the beautiful Violeta Ranch, owned by the Garza Family, and home of one of the top two oldest Beefmaster herds in the United States (Lasater and Violeta). We turned into the ranch entrance, and began a trek down several miles of dirt roads, and 3 gates, to finally arrive at the sale site. I'll be honest, at first we thought we were totally going to the wrong place. There were no signs, no people, no visible sale barn in sight, etc. 

Then finally, after crossing through several pastures, we started seeing signs of life (Beefmaster bulls) and we knew we were on the right path.  

To say Jim Williams was in a South Texas paradise is an understatement. As soon as we arrived we both just fell in love with the beautiful ranch setting, the brush country, and the Beefmaster cattle. The Garza family hosted a DELICIOUS south Texas lunch of carne guisada and pan de camp (camp bread) along with the best cakes and desserts you can imagine. Oh and the ice tea was also to die for. 

The sale was a very comfortable and hospitable atmosphere. They sold 80 head (40 bulls and 40 heifers) of ranch raised, linebred Beefmaster cattle that as auctioner Anthony Mihalski described as "Buffal Bred" (i.e. Buffal Grass).  Upon arriving, one of the things I got a chuckle about was the two little baby javelinas (wild hog) that were just milling around the sale. They had made themselves at home and greeted the sale-goers.

We also loved their beautiful working pens, including this fence which is made of solid wood.

After going through the cattle, Dad and I had marked about 16 heifers as ones that we wanted. We set our budget, then sat through 40 head of sale bulls to await the heifer sale. As the heifer sale began, I started bidding, and unfortunately found that nearly every heifer sold outside of our budget, which was $1500/head. We had about 10 marked as "definite must have's" but alas, they got too high for our pocketbooks. Ironically, the family sitting behind us (2 of the 5 white people in attendance) bought most of our favorites...and turns out they also have a ranch in PREMONT, just like Dad! Once the family saw that I was bidding, and getting outbid, on nearly every lot, they leaned over and asked me which ones I had marked, and promised not to bid against me. How nice. 

I did end up getting 3 heifers, all of which were dunn colored, so I'm guessing maybe the buyers preferred the buyers preferred the solid red colored Beefmasters better. When we went to checkout in the ranch office, we were greeted by this amazing creature....

 What an awesome deer! We were also informed by the ranch staff that this deer was actually part of the "B team" of deer on the ranch, and that there are some much bigger!

All in all, we had a wonderful time, and we definitely plan on going back next year. After the sale, we ended up staying the rest of the weekend, so we could go to the Falfurrias Church of Christ, which is a lovely church that my parents have been attending when they are down at the Premont ranch. Here's a picture of little Mollie all dressed up for her Sunday church. (This dress was given to her by some of our Brahman partners in Brazil, The Jacintho's, and we thought Mollie looked like such a little lady!

And finally, as we pulled out of the drive, look what else we saw!!!!!

This is a blue indigo snake, which eats rattlesnakes. It isn't poisonous so my dad loves to see these things on the ranch and refuses to shoot them. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New RHD Site: Wilkins Brothers Cattle!

RHD would like to introduce you to the Wilkins Brothers, where the family has been raising and selling show steers since 1978. The crew at Wilkins Brothers carefully analyzes their genetic selections in order to produce the best cattle, capable of show ring success and functionality in the pasture. They have extensive skills, knowledge and experience in raising club calves that they utilize to provide exceptional and personalized service to their customers. While their primary focus has always been to raise quality cattle, the brothers also strive to cater to the wants and needs of the junior exhibitor.

If you are in the market for a show steer, a group of bred heifers, or a club calf bull; please contact the Wilkins Brothers.
Don’t forget that their Pasture Bid-Off sale is next week on January 23, 2012. They are selling calves out of Heat Wave, Milkman, Untouchable, Walks Alone and Texas Rocks (Heat Wave Son). Initial bids must be in by dark and you will not want to miss out on this offering! Steers like this will be selling...

Check out their sale page for more information.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winners Don't Whine, They Hustle

As I returned home from the Fort Worth Stock Show today, I was delighted to see a copy of the new book called "Winners Don't Whine, They Hustle" in my mailbox. This is a new book written by a personal friend of mine, Dr. Chris Boleman. It is so exciting to me that one of my good lifelong friends and I both published books at the same time.

Last year, I had the pleasure and honor of working with Dr. Chris Boleman on another book project, the "Big Hands, Big Heart" book about Dr. Hesby. But actually I have known the Boleman's for MUCH longer than that. Believe it or not, we actually both showed together in the Texas Junior Livestock program. Chris is MUCH older than me. HA. I remember as I was a young girl showing in the TCCA that the Boleman twins, Chris and Craig, pretty much won every steer show you can imagine with their awesome Brangus steers. I distinctly remember the first time I met them, along with their parents Pat and Dr. Larry Boleman at a prospect show in Cleburne, Texas.

Later, when I started school at A&M, I worked for Dr. Larry Boleman for 4 years as a student worker in the beef cattle extension office. Best times of my life. And then even later than that, when I went back to work at A&M after grad school as the marketing coordinator for animal science, my office was next door to Dr. Boleman. So, to say that I love the Boleman family, well that is an understatement. It's a fact that if weren't for Pat and Dr. Larry Boleman, and Dr. John McNeill, I probably wouldn't be where I am today.

Through these relationships I also had the honor of meeting Dr. Tanksley, who is Pat's dad, Chris's granddad. A wonderful man who was a friend to all. A true Extension educator.

So all of this, I guess counts as a recommendation for the book. To be honest, I have been seeing this book promoted all over the internet for the past few weeks, but I didn't quite know what to expect. When I got it, I was hooked after the first pages. The book has lots of great stories about Dr. Tanksley, the Extension mission, and the special way that so many Extension educators can touch our lives. Then it has lots of great poems too that all relate to livestock.

This book is one of the best books I have ever seen to describe the mission and the heart of Extension educators. And anyone who's done anything in agriculture can attest that along the way, an Extension educator helped them. Whether it be a county agent, a state beef specialist, or a 4-H leader, the people who believe in the Extension program make a huge difference in the lives of farmers, ranchers, showmen, and more. Quite simply, I LOVE Extension programs and educators. And this book is one that describes one of the best: Dr. T.D. Tanksley. Oh man, it's a great one. I highly recommend it to anyone who's ever showed livestock in Texas, or the nation for that matter.

You can order it online at

And, a personal BIG congratulations to Chris (and to Randi, who probably put in just as much work as CTB did on this one) for publishing an amazing book that is sure to touch the lives of everyone who reads it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Akau- WHAT?!

It is always really exciting when we get to work with a new client. But sometimes, those clients take that excitement one step further and hand us something completely new and different. This year in Denver, you may just get to see this new and exciting in action. When Heart Brand Beef approached us about making a display banner for the yards, of course we said yes… but immediately after we had to ask – what exactly is this banner for?

The story of HeartBrand Beef starts in 1994, when the Akaushi breed of cattle were being transported between Japan and the United States – a little by accident. Today, that group of cows is controlled in Texas by the group named HeartBrand Beef, Inc.  So what makes this breed so special? I must say, as a retired collegiate livestock judger, my first thoughts were not positive. My fiancée has been talking about this breed for some time now, saying how he wants us to start raising them. After one look my answer was no, no and again – no!
But, these breed is so much more than meets the eye. In Japan, cattle breeds are divided into dairy and Wagyu. Akaushi cattle fall into the Wagyu (or more beefy) breed. Fifty years ago the Japan Association of Akaushi started registering these cattle to keep a closer eye on their carcass figures, pedigrees and general worth to the rest of the beef industry. As a result of this close inspection, the cattle became extremely uniform and consistent throughout from genetic line to genetic line. Today, the uniformity of Akaushi carcass performance characteristics is superior to all Western beef cattle breed.
So in essence, my fiancée may be on to something. Here is a breed that can be crossed with breeds that excel in just about whatever, and will without question improve the outcrosses grading and yielding potential. The Akaushi cattle are doing what every other branded beef program in the U.S. has been trying to do for years, and does so with utter consistence.
If you can get over the initial “kind of looks like a range Gelbvieh/Limousin/Lion cross, the breed is wonderful! And the meat? I’ve heard is the best you will ever have. The most tender and flavorful cut of meat that essentially melts in your mouth! So, where can I sign up?!?! (Yes, so I suppose my fiancée wins this battle).
So we thank you, HeartBrand, for letting us help you promote your product… But I think we all can agree a cut of your meat might be the best form of payment ;)
For more information on HeartBrand and to read further history from what is on this post, visit their site:  

Designs Designs Designs!!

With only 12 days into 2012, we have been as busy as ever with new designs. Something new this year is the postcard option for Denver display bulls. Okay, so it's not brand new - but just take a look at the funky new twist we put on your basic 4x6 card...

But we haven't stopped there. Check out the Middleswarth Bull Sale Catalog...

Be sure to check out all of these promo handouts whole you're in Denver. But for those of us not lucky enough to be headed to the yards this year, we've got a few new designs you can appreciate too.

If you are planning an event or party, don't forget that Ranch House does invitations! This one is for our very own, Miss Kinleigh Jo Guidry.

To say RHD is keeping busy is an understatement, but with projects like these coming out of our doors, you can surely see why. If you are interested in printing anything that you see in this blog, or something completely different, let us know! Tricia and Joelynn would love to help you! Give us a call or shoot us an email or

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bohrson Marketing Service - Canada

As "the world's leading livestock advertising firm" (lol notice our new tagline) it is always exciting to work with clients outside of the United States. This week alone we have completed projects for clients in the United States or course, then Australia and Canada.

One of these projects included a web design and logo design for Bohrson Marketing Services of Carstairs, Alberta Canada. They are a marketing firm and needed a website, as well as a very cool logo that could be used in a variety of places like catalogs, flyers, caps and more.

So for this project, we created a primary logo mark, then 2 secondary logos that can be used depending on the clients needs. Here they are! Watch for the new website coming soon!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Charlie 1 Horse Denver Market Flyers

While our stock show friends are going to the National Western, lots of our retail and western fashion industry clients are heading over to the Denver Market. Which means we've got a whole lot of action going on related to Denver this time of year.

One of our favorite projects for the Denver Market was working with Kaci Riggs of Charlie 1 Horse Hat Co. to create marketing materials to feature their new line of hats featuring the Sweetbirds hat pins.

We have been working with Charlie 1 Horse for the past 4 years, working on both print and web projects for them. Every time I design something for them I think, okay I'm going to start dressing like this and man, I'll be looking GOOD. But, alas, I don't quite think I have the look to pull it off ha ha.  But seriously, these hats are awesome and adding the Sweetbird Studio pins make them even cooler. What a cool look. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Facebook Welcome Pages

This week we launched one of our new services, which is creating custom Facebook entry pages.

Every business needs a facebook page. (Call us if you need help with that). But after you develop the page, a professionally designed Facebook fan page is the next step in your facebook marketing. These pages help you increase the number of "Likes" on your page and encourage people to visit your website. 

So, of course, as our guinea pigs we did our own, which you can see here. When you first go to the RHD facebook page, if you're already a fan (which we hope you are) you probably didn't even notice anything different. 

However if you aren't a fan, instead of seeing our wall, you see this entry page. It lists our logo, brief overview of our services, and a link to our website. It also has the arrow at the top encouraging people to like our page.  Once you like the page, you get directed to our wall. 

Second Guinea Pig: V8 Ranch. Here is an example of their custom entry page. 

Oh, and this might be the best reason to get a custom facebook entry page....
Ever heard of facebook stalkers? ha. 

Those are the people who creep your page to see what you're doing but never actually like your page. They might be your competitors, or a nosy neighbor. Facebook entry pages help eliminate that. Because now these stalkers have to like your page to actually see your content. HA HA

We would love to do a facebook entry page for you. Give us a call or email 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Web Site, Miller Cattle Company

We love getting to help out Brahman breeders with their advertising. After all, Brahmans are what started RHD 13 years ago. So when the Miller family asked us to do their website, we were really excited!

Miller Cattle Company raises registered Brahman cattle in Ville Platte, Louisiana. The family takes pride customer satisfaction and the selection of quality cattle thus providing their customers with the very best. Their focus is to produce functional, beef-type  Brahmans that will work in every segment of the beef industry. That means no matter whether you are a commercial cattleman or a seed stock producer looking for a replacement heifer, or a 4-H or FFA member in need of a show project, the Miller’s produce that kind of cattle you are looking for.

As a family-oriented operation, they strive to make decisions that will be in the best interest of everyone.  Every decision on the ranch is made with consideration of the entire family, current customers and potential customers.

With that kind of genuine care and appreciation, Miller Cattle Company is truly a pleasure to work with. For more information about the crew, or just to talk cattle, visit their web site or give them a call. They look forward to working with you. 

Kaufman County Junior Livestock Show

Stock show season has to be our favorite time of year. But luckily for us, we work with so many different clients and states that our stock show season never ends! We love working on helping these shows advertise and Kaufman County Junior Livestock Show was no exception. Not only does it fill our need for stock shows, but also our love of cool, trendy designs.

The Kaufman County Junior Livestock Show is held every April in Kaufman, Texas, located in the northeast part of the state. From a talent show to broiler chicken judging, the KCJLS really does have something for everyone. The show’s site provides show goers with show rules and forms needed, scholarship information, show board members as well as past champions.

One look at this site and we are excited for this coming year’s show, April 4-7th. For more information on KCJLS, contact

Monday, January 2, 2012

Livestock Merchandising Book

The paperback book is now ready! If you pre-ordered the book or just ordered it over the holiday weekend, the books will mail on Tuesday, January 2nd. Thank you to everyone for ordering online. This is a great book that is filled with tips and strategy on every phase of the livestock marketing and advertising process. 

In this book, you'll find lots of great success stories and examples. Many of these come from projects I have completed through the years here at RHD but it also includes favorites and successful campaigns from several other leading designers and marketers who helped me with this book. If I say so myself, it is truly a book that features the best of the best in the livestock business. Here are just a few of the ranches and businesses that are featured:

  • Cattle In Motion
  • Cattle Mail USA
  • J.D. Hudgins, Inc.
  • V8 Ranch
  • Pembrook Cattle
  • GKB Cattle
  • Purple Reign Cattle
  • Circle T Cattle Co.
  • Sullivan Farms
  • Conley Angus / Conley Cattle
  • Cates Farms
  • Matt Lautner Cattle
  • R.A. Brown Ranch
  • Tusa Cattle
  • The Exposure Sale
  • Ankony
  • Limestone LLC
  • Top Cut Genetics
  • Teague Family Shorthorns
  • Bauman Cattle Co.
  • Wintex Farms
  • Bulls Eye Ranch
  • Duelms Prevailing Genetics
  • Dismukes Ranch
  • Express Ranch
  • Rosanky Cattle
  • Michigan State University
  • Studer Shorthorns
  • Ratcliff Ranches
  • Bushy Park Farm
  • Thomas Charolais
  • Cyclone Trace
  • Detering Red Brahmans
  • Leachman Cattle of Colorado
  • Great Shorthorn Revival
  • Habeger Show Cattle
  • Lautner Farms
  • Topline Angus
  • LaMuneca Cattle

 Livestock marketing professionals and other designers featured:

  • Carlos Guerra
  • Martha Garrett
  • Julie French
  • Christy Collins
  • Brad Hook
  • Arin Strasburg
  • Joelynn Donough
  • Chris Rosa
  • Stephanie Cronin
  • Jon Fisher
  • Matt Lautner
  • Jim Williams
  • Bob Hudgins
  • Tim Lockhart
So, this really is a very comprehensive, informational book that covers everything you need to know about livestock advertising. Thanks to everyone who has ordered so far! If you would like to order, you can visit

Best of the Barns Winners

Well it is only January 2nd and it seems that the cat is out of the bag on the highly anticipated winners of the 2011 Best of the Barns competition! Congratulations to all of the winners!

If you haven't had a chance to see the official announcement of the winners in January's The Showbox magazine, you can also see the winners here. If you're wondering why some winners don't have a bio written about them, it's because they did not send it in. If you happen to be one of these businesses please send your stuff to so we can add you to the winners featured on the website.

We send a big congratulations out to all of the winners. The livestock industry is full of very talented businesses and individuals and we consider it our honor to run this contest to help recognize those who do so much for the industry we love.

P.S. Winners...trophies are here and ready to ship! Be expecting them by the time you get back from Denver!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking forward to 2012

As we begin a new year, here is "Some Good Stuff" from our RHD client Carlos Guerra of LaMuneca Cattle Company. May God Bless You in 2012!!!!

I Have Learned

I've learned....that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I've learned.... that just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day.

I've learned...that having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I've learned....that being kind is more important than being right.

I've learned...that you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I've learned....that I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.

I've learned....that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone
needs a friend to act goofy with.

I've learned....that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I've learned....that we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

I've learned....that money doesn't buy class.

I've learned....that under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I've learned...that the Lord didn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

I've learned....that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I've learned....that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I've learned....that love, not time, heals all wounds.

I've learned....that the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I've learned....that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I've learned....that life is tough, but I'm tougher.

I've learned....that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

I've learned....that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I've learned....that I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

I've learned....that the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.