Herefords Produce Quality Commercial Cattle
By Gary Cutrer
& Chester Sanders
Published August 2010
What better, more picturesque ranch scene could there be than a wide pasture green from the summer rains, bordered by dusky liveoaks—a field dotted with red, white-faced Hereford cattle grazing serenely? When Texas cattlemen see a verdant pasture scene like that they see green all right, the green of profits that come from a productive beef animal that has been one of the mainstays of agriculture in the United States for more than 100 years.
Among the most popular cattle breeds in Texas, the Hereford is known for its adaptability and hardiness, its survivability, mothering instinct and ability, and handling ease due to good disposition, along with many other advantageous traits, chief among them the breed’s ability to convert forage and feedlot rations into quality beef.
In recent years with the growing popularity of another English breed, the Angus, and the heat and humidity tolerant Brahman, the Hereford bull has become an extremely valuable and sought after sire to produce F1 crosses on those breeds to produce cattle that sell at auction for consistently solid prices. You can like Angus, you can like Hereford, you can prefer a continental breed or an American original like the Beefmaster, but the bottom line is the bottom line. And Herefords have proven and continue to prove their ability to make money for the producer.
We contacted four reputation Hereford breeders in West Texas for their input on the state of the Hereford breed--Case Ranch Herefords in Eldorado, Texas; Dudley Bros. Herefords, Comanche, Texas; James L. Powell, Six Mile Ranch, Fort McKavett, Texas; and Rocking Chair Ranch, San Angelo and Fort McKavett, Texas.
Case Ranch Herefords
In 1941, when the breed was advertised as the “King of the Range,” the Case family entered into the registered Hereford business. P.F. Case and his son Fred operated the family’s Eldorado, Texas, ranch, establishing a fullblood herd. P.F. Case passed away in 1961, but since then Fred has continued the operation, now along with son and partner Pete. They’ve seen their registered Herefords go into 40 states, Canada and Mexico, and Case Herefords are recognized as a prime source of quality stock.
Protecting Private Property Locally
By Dan Byfield
Published May 2010
In 2007, five courageous mayors in eastern Bell County, Texas formed the very first sub-regional planning commission utilizing Section 391 of the Texas Local Government Code as their basis to fight and stop the Tran-Texas Corridor through their five school districts.
It worked and now, the entire TTC project is flickering out like a shooting star.
That’s the real story behind the demise of the TTC. Through a strategy only promoted by American Stewards of Liberty, a non-profit private property rights organization located in Taylor, Texas, those five mayors initiated a process that today is revitalizing and protecting the rights of citizens in our State through an effective local control process called Coordination.
Coordination is a simple word with an extraordinarily powerful legal meaning found in both federal and state statutes that requires government agencies to “coordinate” with local government in developing and implementing plans, policies and management actions.
American Stewards showed the five mayors where the important language was found in the Texas Local Government Code and they immediately formed a planning commission to take advantage of the coordination strategy. The first meeting they called was with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) to begin “coordinating” their state plans to build the Trans-Texas Corridor through their jurisdiction.
TxDoT was not prepared for what happened next. The five mayors, through the Eastern Central Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission, adopted a policy that stated “No Trans-Texas Corridor shall be allowed through our jurisdiction.” From that point, they demanded TxDoT begin coordinating their plans with their policy. It was that simple.
Through the three coordination meetings that followed with TxDoT, the mayors discovered that TxDoT had not followed the federal environmental statutes properly. So, they began demanding the federal agencies in charge of enforcing the federal laws force TxDoT to follow the law. Naturally, TxDoT resisted, but the more they resisted, the more the five mayors pushed back.
Clinton Hodges Believes in Potential of Hair Sheep
By Gary Cutrer
Clinton Hodges believes the future of the U.S. sheep industry lies primarily in raising and marketing hair sheep. As co-founder and manager of Lamb Marketing Specialties, a cooperative involving 10 West Texas lamb producers, Hodges, based in Sterling City, Texas, has developed links to retail markets for the co-op’s lambs by forging relationships with several outlets including a slaughter plant in Fort Worth--Belgian-owned Frontier Meats.
However, because of the difficulty the cooperative has had getting a foothold in retail with their relatively small but steady supply of pooled lambs, interest from other co-op members has waned considerably.
Scott McGregor of Christoval, president of LMS, said the group has not been able to get much traction with the big retailers and distributors.
“We’ve worked diligently—I know Clinton has—he’s worked really hard,” McGregor said in a recent telephone interview. “But, if you can’t kill ‘X’ amount of meat and deliver it to HEB you can’t compete.”
Though the LMS cooperative will be put in a “holding pattern,” according to McGregor, Hodges carries on. He plans to continue marketing lamb under the coop’s trade name, “Sterling Lamb,” and, provided the other members consent, will take that trade name as his own. He plans to resign as the coop’s manager and make the business part of his Hodges Ranch operation.
The Sterling brand was not chosen because of his hometown of Sterling City, Hodges says, but because the name rings with quality. He says quality is what will continue to differentiate his lamb products from competitors, especially imported lamb from Australia and New Zealand. Lamb producers down under certainly have a big supply but their lower priced lamb that floods the market and that many U.S. outlets purchase is of inferior quality, Hodges says.
Fort Concho -- Past, Present and Future
By Robert Bluthardt
Director, Fort Concho
National Historic Landmark
Published November 2009
To the many people who drive by daily on South Oakes Street just south of downtown San Angelo, Fort Concho has been here forever, and in a way, they are right. The two dozen limestone buildings that surround the currently lush Parade Ground date from the late 1860s and 1870s, and they represented the first permanent structures and settlement in the region. In the years that followed, “Santa Angela” established itself as a “whiskey and sin” village across the Concho River to separate the soldiers from their monthly pay. Over the next 22 years, the fort and the town grew and prospered together, and both underwent many changes when the U. S. Army marched away fron Fort Concho forever in June 1889.
The arrival of a railroad connection in 1888 and a second, direct rail line in 1909, helped San Angelo grow into an agricultural and ranching trade center. The old post had new occupants as civilians took up the homes that the soldiers abandoned.
The Santa Rita oil boom to the west in 1923 brought vast wealth to the city and soon the community had a new city hall, county courthouse, movie theater, hotels, office buildings, churches and a new neighborhood, appropriately named Santa Rita. Much of modern San Angelo stems from that 1923 oil strike. Meanwhile, historic preservation of Fort Concho starts in the 1920s, with the dreams and vision of Mrs. Ginevra Wood Carson, an effort that continues today nearly 90 years later.
Today, Fort Concho is considered among the best preserved frontier forts west of the Mississippi, and the long effort to save and restore it is as old as those of nationally known sites like Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia and Greenfield Village near Detroit. The fort board and staff have been guided by a simple premise to physically restore the post to its 1870s appearance, but make it serve the widest possible audience within the broadest level of public service and education. That expanded mission within the heart of a major West Texas city justifies the motto, “Not Just a Frontier Fort.”
2009 Photo Contest Winners
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:39
Judging the entries in the 2009 Ranch & Rural Living Photo Contest was harder than ever. We received more photos this time than we have in several years—and all of them were very good, well composed pictures with interesting subject matter.
Photos were judged by Jim Bean of Jim Bean Professional Photography in San Angelo, Texas, as well as by staff members. Entries were viewed this time on a computer monitor, one by one. Prints were scanned and viewed on the montor as well. Judges were blind as to who took the photos. They were judged on merit only.
The first place winner of the Rural Life and Landscape category, by Connie Thompson, was reproduced on the cover of our September magazine. A photo of a young Charro, or Mexican cowboy, rating second place in the People category and taken by 12-year-old Emma-Leigh Coffman, wound up on the cover of the October magazine. Winners are reproduced below.
|1st Place|| ||2nd Place|
| 3rd Place|| || 4th Place|
| Honorable Mention|| || |
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