Thursday, April 25, 2013

Foxcroft Veterinary Services site goes live

Our website services are always improving and changing. The addition of the "advanced" website is changing the way people see the Internet. One of the newest sites we launched was for the Foxcroft Vet Services in Maine. They are a team made of of five vets, one licensed vet tech, six animal health care assistants and seven support team members.

The doors to this office opened in 2001 as a full service mixed veterinary practice. They have a long history, starting on April Fool's day of 1956 and continues today in the practice that is is now. They opened a new and more advanced location in 2008 to better serve their clients.

These doctors are working six days a week in the clinic and even offer 24-hour emergency service. They cover small and large animals as well as the use of their pharmacy to offer one more way to easily protect your pets.

On this advanced site, you can take a tour of their facility, get helpful pet owning resources, meet the team members, see what they offer for each type of animal and even get guidelines for their boarding program. Not only that, but they have a pay online option, which is becoming a staple of business.

Visit them online, anytime at

These doctors know that animals play a huge roll in the day-to-day lives of many people all around. They focus on pet health and helping the owner get to the bottom of any problem or simply keep their pets lives rolling along.

You can also find them on Facebook!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Livestock Producers From 19 States Awarded First Certificates in Advanced Livestock Merchandising

Sixty livestock producers from across the United States and Canada were recognized on April 20, 2013, with the inaugural presentation of the “Certificate in Advanced Livestock Merchandising” through an educational program offered by Ranch House Designs, Inc.

The RHD Certificate in Livestock Merchandising is an educational program to identify professionals who have completed 20 hours of advanced training and hands-on activities in livestock marketing methods, livestock advertising and web design principles, ethics in livestock advertising, on-farm photography, show cattle photography and scenic ranch photography.

The following individuals were part of the first group of producers to earn the certificate:

Chelsey Ahrens, Lubbock, Texas
Rebecca Biley, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Emma Beget, Darlington, Wisconsin
Kim Blue, Wilkinsin, Indiana
Norma Jean Bounds, Axtell, Texas
Megan Bryant, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Jordan Buba, Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada
Michaela Buford, Houston, Texas
Micky Burch, Coon Rapids, Iowa
Dawn Butler, Berclair, Texas
Kristen Buyers, Paradise, Texas
Susan Calvo, Bassett, Nebraska
Kimberly Coudron, Monticello, Minnesota
Whitney Crossland, Dimmitt, Texas
Melissa Davis, Gallipolis, Ohio
Dusty Dawson, Knightstown, Indiana
Kalli Dawson, Woodville, Texas
Nanna Flesch, Shelby, Montana
Jake Gankofskie, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Kristen Gardner, Garrison, Texas
Katlyn Garrett, Colombia, Missouri
Chloe Geye, College Station, Texas
Haven Giglotti, Cedar Hill, Texas
Melissa Grimmell, Jarrettsville, Maryland
Michelle Grimmell, Jarrettsville, Maryland
Reba Hicks, Slocomb, Alabama
Kari Hudspeth, San Antonio, Texas
Macy Jennings, Sugarland, Texas
Ashlee Jensen, Ree Heights, South Dakota
Kelsey Jones, Lubbock, Texas
Ariel Keller, Houston, Texas
Jessica Kimbro, Paradise, Texas
Janet Kozoil, Okmulgee, Oklahoma
Shelie Laflin, Olsburg, Kansas
Brady Larson, Sharon Springs, Kansas
Amy Lehenbauer, Hannibal, Missouri
Luke Lewis, Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada
Karen Loudon, Creston, Iowa
Jenna Malsom, Rascoe, South Dakota
Julie Mask, Wharton, Texas
Casandra Matheson, Beeville, Texas
Lynsey Meharg, Council Hill, Oklahoma
Johnna Mikolajchak, Manvel, Texas
Tim Mikolajchak, Manvel, Texas
Amanda Murray, Milford, Illinois
Janice Muarry, Milford, Illinois
Stefanie Neuhaus, Lubbock, Texas
Tatum Noyce, Hereford, Texas
Elizabeth Oliver, Byron, Michigan
Danette Philpot, Ocala, Florida
Brooke Prather, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Robbie Sand, Alachua, Florida
Ryan Schroeder, San Antonio, Texas
Diane Snyder, Monmouth, Illinois
Shannon Sparks, Harlingen, Texas
Sam Sparks, Harlingen, Texas
Jaclyn Upperman, Platte City, Missouri
Alicia Wittkop, Topeka, Kansas
Ed Zweiacher, El Reno, Oklahoma

“These individuals have shown that they are committed to excellence in livestock merchandising,” says Rachel Cutrer, president of Ranch House Designs, Inc., and co-instructor of the educational program, “It’s a pleasure to work with individuals who have shown a sincere desire to improve their own marketing programs or their clients marketing programs to achieve success.”

The next opportunity to earn credits towards the Certificate in Advanced Livestock Merchandising will be held Sept. 21, 2013, at the RHD fall livestock marketing and photography workshop.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is coming up in just a few weeks ( May 12th to be exact) and we have two great Mother's Day Gift suggestions for livestock moms!

The first is our "So God Made Me A Show Mom" t-shirt which is our hottest seller right now.

Here is the shirt...which is for sale for $12.00

Then the second gift is our "Few Can Be Cattlewomen" Metal Art... - $31.95

These are two great gifts 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Updates on the Livestock Marketing Workshop This Friday

Our Livestock Marketing Workshop is less than a week away and we are really excited about it.

As of today we have about 66 participants registered from all across the USA and Canada too!

We have been getting a few questions so here are some of the hot topics....

Is it too late to register? Actually no. Our spots are full for the optional photography workshop on Saturday but anyone is welcome to attend the Friday workshop. This is $150 to attend and will be a full day of instruction in the following topics:

  • How do you sell your livestock?
  • The Top 6 Free Livestock Promotion Tools
  • The Livestock Marketing Toolbox
  • Ethics in Livestock Advertising
  • The Formula for Success in Print Advertising
  • What Makes a Great Ranch Website?
  • Social Media: The Wave of the Future
  • How to determine your Advertising Budget
  • The ROle of Liestock Shows in Advertising
  • Behind the Brains of Your Camera
  • The Ideal Livestock Photo
  • Excellence in On-Farm Photography
  • Show Photography & Ring Shots
  • Video: The New Normal in Livestock Advertising

All of these topics are included for the $150 registration fee.. These will all be held in the classroom of the Wharton Civic Center. 

Also for the $150 registration fee, you get a copy of Rachel's Livestock Merchandising Textbook, a BBQ lunch, and lots of other handouts. 

What do you wear? It is totally casual!!! The weather here in Texas will be hot but we will be inside all day so even a light jacket might come in handy in the classroom. 

Can you register on-site? Actually you could, but we ask that you pre-register so we can make sure we have your packet ready. You can call us at 979-532-9141 to register over the phone. Or, call us to RSVP and you can pay your registration fee when you arrive. 

When is the next workshop? Our next workshop will be in the fall. We do not have a date set yet but we will announce it probably in May. 

So, if you haven't registered yet, here's a great reason to get out of town on Friday, bring a friend and come learn a crash course in livestock advertising!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Comments about RHD on Steer Planet

Ahh, Steer Planet forums..... a great place to learn and share with others but place where friends can also become enemies with a few strokes of the keyboard and an anonymous screen name.

I saw a post on today about SEO, referencing a Steer Planet post where someone was blaming a web design firm on a new client site not coming up first on Google.

I thought -- oh, I'll go find that post, I want to see what they are talking about.

Low and behold, one of those genious anonymous posters was talking about RHD!!!

Wow! Kinda makes you feel funny when people are blatantly criticizing your business on the internet when they don't even know you or know anything about your business.

In this post, someone made the comment insinuating that RHD sites have "good form but no function" and aren't going to be listed on search engines.

Which made me laugh, which was right up there with the humor when someone posted that RHD only works on weekends updating clients websites.

Anyway... I'm not sure where this poster got his information, but actually, RHD takes a lot of pride in search engine optimization and designing sites that are search engine friendly.

We have a full time staff member (Carole) devoted to SEO. Our entire staff has gone to educational workshops on SEO, and we actually brought in an SEO specialist from Houston for a full day of training for our whole team on SEO.

We know how to use Adwords, facebook advertising, and much more.

So, if you fall for believing some random person on Steer Planet who makes blanket statements that aren't true....I'd like for you to take this challenge.

Pick your favorite search term of how you think people would try to find a cattle website on Google...and google it, and see if you can find an RHD site.

For example,

Google "Show Steers For Sale" -- see how many RHD sites are on the front page. I don't want to give it away but when I googled it, we had 3 of the 11 sites on the first page, and the other sites listed were all directories like,, etc. No other design firm had that many sites listed on the front page.

Google "Show Cattle for Sale" and see how many RHD sites come up

And, FYI, when I googled it, Bill Cody Show Cattle was like the first one that came up. FYI - That was one of the very first sites we ever did here at RHD. We don't do it anymore, but RHD laid the foundation for that site's SEO.

Whatever your term - pick it - and see if you can find an RHD site. I bet you money if it's a livestock related search term that we'll be in the top.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sculptor Cattle Co : Forgan, Okla.

This is one of our more recent sites and we are excited to be working with this family of Angus, Angus cross cattle producers. Located in the "short-grass" country of western Oklahoma, the Cooper family is in love with the cattle business. Starting in 1966, Jerry and Trudy Cooper purchased their first set of cattle and moved forward with the use of AI sires in 1973.

The Sculptor herd focuses on the mother cow, but they have used the Ohlde and Duff genetics in their herd. When they do purchase cattle, the females are deep sided, moderate and easy fleshing.

If you are in the neighborhood of Forgan, stop in any time to look at their private treaty cattle offered right on their farm. No time to visit the ranch? Well, no problem. They currently have pictures and videos of bulls up on their website. Click and give them a visit. Call on them any time. You won't be disappointed by their customer service and depth of cattle.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Livestock Advertising Code of Ethics

Here at RHD, most everyone knows that we take ethics and integrity as our top priority. We have always tried our best to maintain the highest level of professionalism in our designs and writing, but we recently thought it was a good idea to put it all in writing. So, we developed the RHD Livestock Advertising Code of Ethics. 
We welcome others to use this same code of ethics in their own livestock advertising programs, or for anyone in the cattle business to use it as their guide. It is also available at  

Ranch House Designs Livestock Advertising Code of Ethics

1. RHD will maintain the highest level of truth and ethics in all advertising, public relations, marketing, news, editorial writing, and websites created.
2. RHD exercises only ethical livestock photo retouching, and will never alter the physical conformation of any animal represented in a photograph.
3. RHD exercises extra care when creating advertising materials that may be viewed by children or young adults, including using discretion based on the product, animal name, and any implications related to alcohol, prescription drugs, or guns.
4. RHD respects and maintains consumers' personal privacy regarding their preferences to receive selected marketing, news, email blasts, and advertising.
5. RHD accurately represents the circulation of printed and electronic media.
6. In the event of a potential ethical concern, RHD team members will privately discuss any ethical concerns with clients during the creation of advertising, designs, websites, or content in all efforts to resolve ethical dilemmas according to the highest ethical standards.
7. RHD strives for accuracy of all materials published, whether it be online, through social media, or in printed materials. Personal opinions in editorial writing will be labeled as such, and any errors of significance will be corrected when called to attention.
8. RHD follows federal, state, and local advertising laws and cooperates with industry self-regulatory programs for advertising practices, including but not limited to the Livestock Publications Council, U.S.D.A., U.S. Patent and Trademark office, Federal Trade Commission, Food & Drug Administration, and National Advertising Review Council.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Encouragement for New Designers

Here at RHD we have a lot of young designers who email us or tell us in person that they wish they could work at RHD, or have a business like RHD, or design ads like RHD.

Well, this morning I was going through some old boxes and I came across this little gem....

What is this piece of work you ask? Well, it's the first ad I ever designed. This was designed in 1997 when I was an intern at The Showbox magazine. I worked there for 3 months, and for the month of June and July, all I was able to design was 1/4 and 1/2 page black and white ads for shows. Which are pretty much template based. 

By August, Cherie gave me the go-ahead to get to design the ad for V8 Ranch, since it was my family, and for Wessington Springs Club Calf Producers, and R&R Cattle. 

I estimate I probably spent 10 hours on this ad. I remember pestering Laura Stanley to death about how to design an ad. (Laura was The Showbox editor at the time). I spent HOURS searching for this background. I tried every font on the computer. I mean, this was going to be my debut design in a magazine like The Showbox so I was pumped. 

I remember when it came out, I couldn't wait to show all my friends. My friend Matt Leo had spent the previous summer working at Pacific Showcase magazine and I felt like he was the friend who probably knew the most about ad design. I couldn't wait to show him.  Of course I was wanting some major bragging. 

But what did he say? "Rachel, this looks like crap!" 


He said, "You can't even read the headline! It looks like it says Congratulations V8 Uniors". 

Needless to say I was disappointed, but in the long run, that was the best thing that anyone could have said. Aside from the poor background and typography choice for a headline, it still was a pretty nice ad.  Good layout, good picture size, and legible captions. But ever since that day, I have always felt that typography and font choices were my first priority in designs. Because I always hear that old friend saying "It looks like V8 Uniors!' 

And, I post this to show any aspiring designer out there who's wondering how they get to be "like Ranch House Designs".....that it's not where you's where you finish :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rodeo Empire Agency: Texas

This is a website we are very excited about! The group and their direction, paired with our design techniques, created the perfect look for the Rodeo Empire Agency, Inc. (REA).

Cowboys Logan Medlin and Turtle Powell are just a few of the clients that REA is working with to help them get the most out of their advertising and promotions.

Christi Bland and Kathleen Collier make up the Hereford, Texas based REA, whose motto is "Helping Cowboys Stay Cowboys." They both come from rodeo families and saw a need to keep the Western heritage and way of life alive. Thus, they created the Rodeo Empire Agency.

REA offers cost effective advertising to their clients for their target markets, while promoting them on a regional, state and/or national level.

Check them out,! They are ready and willing to take you to the next level.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Taylor Show Cattle: Iowa

Taylor Show Cattle, Bloomfield, Iowa, is one of our newest sites. We are happy to assist this great couple in promoting their cattle breeding, fitting and marketing operation.

The operation, started in 2000, focuses on high quality Simmental, Maine and Angus cross cattle. That allows them to market to all types of operations from purebred seedstock to promotional bulls.

They attend all national shows and offer cattle that are the total package, with a huge presence at the annual Iowa State Fair each August.

Taylor Show Cattle focuses on the maternal side of the business. With that in mind, they are able to create females that will go into donor pens across the nation and that it their difference.

They offer winners via private treaty, off the farm, year round. And, they love to work with people striving to get into the winners circle and into the photo backdrop.

This group is never more than a phone call away for their current and future customers. You can call Randy, 641-208-6653, anytime to purchase cattle, talk marketing tools and get a jump start on your genetic package.

Visit their new site,, live now from us.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thoughts from the only male team member here at RHD...

As most people know, RHD is primarily made up of women, with the exception of our "one in a million" team member Matt Sweeney, who is our developer.

Today, to celebrate wrapping up a great 1st quarter 2013, Rachel got everyone a Longchamp bag / purse. We were first introduced to these by Joelynn Rathmann who is our resident (well former resident) fashionista.

So, the purses were the tipping point for Matt's feeling of being surrounded by females here at RHD, which pushed him to do what all fun graphic designers do --- make a graphic!!

According to Matt, working at RHD really makes men feel under-appreciated :)

According to Matt, here are just a few of the reasons why :)

  • Tanning strategies, manicures, hair stylists, and even bra sizes are discussed routinely at staff meetings here at RHD.
  • Shopping conversations are a daily, maybe even hourly conversation topic here in the office
  • It's not uncommon for people to take off during the day to get highlights or a manicute / pedicure
  • Bath & Body Works or Victorias Secret are our go-to gift of choice for any office birthday / holiday
  • For Easter, Halle (our newest team member) gave everyone a custom made pen with a flower on the top....of which 4 people were using in today's staff meeting
  • Channing Tatum pictures randomly show up as our computer backgrounds or taped to people's desks. (Especially on birthdays)

Instead, Matt says...It is too much to ask for a "Man Cave Day" or gift certificates to Bass Pro Shop...or to discuss cool things like ammo, handgun preferences, XBoxes, or plasma TVs at a staff meeting?

So, here's what Matt came up with, as his visual of what a day in the life at RHD really is like :)