Past President Spotlight: Tommie Rogers

IBBA President
1999-2000

Like many producers, Tommie Rogers of The Branch Ranch located in North Louisiana near Mansfield, started out in the beef industry raising commercial cattle. He bought into the seedstock industry with just six registered cows and one registered bull in the early 1980’s. Shortly after, his daughters were interested in showing Brangus cattle, and Rogers quickly got more involved in the Brangus breed.

Rogers knows a thing or two about successful marketing and promotion. Once he had obtained a line of quality genetics, Rogers established his own successful breeding program called the rough and ready program. He thought the industry needed to focus more on serving the commercial producer, and Rogers found his niche by providing tough, rugged bulls that would work for that sector. Rogers said having integrity is most important and makes the difference between just making a sale and being successful in the industry.

“It takes a combination of getting established and building integrity,” Rogers said. “Once you’ve been established, build integrity and stand behind the product you market.”

Rogers established the rough and ready program when he realized he needed to market a herd bull that would work hard at two years old and survive in tough conditions. He also knew seedstock producers needed to start providing bulls that would withstand the toughest environments, perform for commercial cattlemen and fit the needs of their breeding programs.

“I implement a fence-line weaning process then we grade our bulls and bring them into a controlled environment until they’re yearling age to gather data. Then I kick them out on rough country where the natural culling process begins,” Rogers said. “I am then able to market hardy bulls that are ready to go to work.”

Rogers said he culled stringently to increase the quality of his herd, keeping in mind the long-term goals he set for the program. The Branch Ranch has been able to sell bulls under the rough and ready program for about 10 years. He said it took some time for customers to realize the kind of product they were buying, but once the program was established, the number of repeat customers confirmed the program was working.

“Our Brangus breed is a hardy breed and has many advantages qualities,” Rogers said, ”but I’ve got to raise him and train him to live a hardy lifestyle. I can stand behind my product and not worry about anything because I know my bulls will work.”

Rogers knows the value of Brangus bulls, but he also reminds breeders of the value of the Brangus female. The BrangusGold tagging program offered by the IBBA ensures buyers they are getting quality, verified Brangus genetics. Especially during this drought period, Rogers said seedstock producers need to promote the commercial man’s need for quality replacement females.

“Our breed is here today because of the females the commercial cattlemen can retain in their herds and will perform,” Rogers said. “The calves produced out of that herd can produce quality carcass traits that will grade on the rail, but our females carry the maternal traits the commercial man is looking for. The Brangus cow is what brought us to the dance.”

Rogers served on several committees while serving on the IBBA Board of Directors from 1995-2003 and has since been a strong proponent of the Brangus breed. Rogers said adaptability, endurance and the value of the Brangus female are three strengths that set the breed apart from all others. Promoting those advantages to the commercial producer and keeping long-term goals in sight will ensure the future success of the Brangus breed.

Brangus Provides New Selection Tools to Commercial Cattlemen

SAN ANTONIO, TX [OCT. 22, 2012]– The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) continues to stay on the cutting edge of the latest technology by providing tools for commercial cattlemen to assist in comparing the expected performance of Brangus sired offspring to that of other breeds. These most advanced tools are Calving Ease EPDs, including Calving Ease Direct and Calving Ease Maternal, which take into consideration the weight and shape of the calf, gestation length and breed of the sire.

“In the past we have only had birth weight EPDs which is extremely important when comparing two or more bulls’ calves within a herd or across herds from the stand point of expected birth weight,” said Joseph Massey, Ph.D., IBBA’s Executive Vice President. “But since birth weight is positively correlated with growth, there has been a tendency for producers to believe that bulls with growth potential will also produce heavier calves, therefore increasing calving difficulty.”

Calving Ease Direct and Calving Ease Maternal clearly help to identify sires that produce calves with growth potential and expected calving ease. While the Brangus breed has always been known as an easy calving breed, the Brangus breed has also become a performance-oriented breed, which has caused some producers to believe that Brangus calves would have calving difficulties like other breeds that have experienced this effect.

Massey said the Calving Ease EPDs will be very beneficial in identifying Brangus sires with both growth EPDs and highly desirable calving ease. This will be even more useful to commercial producers that have already discovered Brangus sired calves have excellent growth with little to no calving difficulties.

Calving Ease Direct is a measure of the ease of which a bull’s calves will be born since it is taking into account more than weight, like shape of the calves, and it is well established that Brangus calves have a tendency to be longer and narrower at birth than the British or Continental breeds. While Calving Ease Maternal is equally valuable, it may not be used as much at the commercial level since many, if not most, calves are terminal and most females never have a chance to produce offspring. However, it will have an important role when commercial females are retained for replacement.

As a commercial producer, understanding Calving Ease EPDs and knowing when and how to use them will pay great dividends, especially when selecting easy calving bulls with high performance EPDs. While Calving Ease EPDs have been available within other breeds, it has not been until the multi-breed models have become available that calving ease could be calculated for composite breeds or percentage cattle as recorded by other breed associations.

All commercial producers interested in evaluating Brangus Calving Ease EPDs are encouraged to visit the www.GoBrangus.com website at or call the IBBA office at 210-696-8231 for information on any specific animals of interest. All EPDs are available to anyone for review.

From Kodi- “Fall is Upon Us”

Hi Y’all! Kodi here, head of security and all round best pal at the Clem Ranch. If you have never heard of me before, read my first column first.

Yeaaaaa! Fall is finally here! Now I know it wasn’t nearly as hot and miserable a summer as the one last year was, but the thought of cool days and chilly evenings makes all four of my paws want to do a little happy dance. Sometimes on cool evenings my daddy will fix a fire in the pit on the deck and we’ll sit out there by it for a spell. My folks prop their feet up by the fire and sit and enjoy the crackling of the burnings logs. Mr. P and I get close by and lay there and enjoy it as well. Those sure can be some good times you know, just being with your loved ones. Those little things in life make for the best memories.

Another sign that it’s fall is all the squirrels scurrying around here and there gathering stuff to get them through the coming wintertime. I haven’t seen any here at the house, and I’m kind of surprised because there’s a big pecan tree in the backyard. That tree is full of those tasty nuts, and the squirrels love them as much as I do. Actually, there are so many this year I guess it would be alright if Mr. Squirrel got a few to carry back to his house. There will be plenty to go around so sharing some would be the nice thing to do. The squirrels at the golf course are gathering other things like pine cones and acorns. Now don’t tell anyone, but the other day I got to chase one up a tree. He wasn’t gathering anything, so I didn’t actually interrupt his work but just gave him a good run for his money. He got away from me, scampered up the nearest tree and said some things that made me think he didn’t appreciate being chased. It was sure fun though! I don’t get to do that very often because it wouldn’t be good manners on the golf course, but there was no one around so my folks said, “Go for it!”

Lately there’s been quite a bit of racket around here since we’ve been weaning calves. I had to help separate them from their mamas, and my girls never take that too well.

Then I helped load them into the trailer for their trip to the weaning pens here by the house. They walked and bawled and walked and bawled for several days, but then finally settled down and got ready for the next phase of their lives. Their mamas did the same, but since they were in a pasture a ways from the house, I didn’t have to listen to their bawling. Of course when I went with Daddy to check on them each day they gave me some dirty looks since I helped in taking their babies away.

The weaning process is kind of a sad time actually, but it’s just part of life and before you know it those cows will have new babies to take care of. New calves are even being born right now to my girls whose calves were weaned last year. They sure are cute little buggers. It won’t be long before they’re running and playing and trying to get me to chase them. That’s great fun until their mamas take notice and put a stop to it. They don’t like me getting very close to their little ones until they’re older.

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Brangus on The American Rancher

We were very excited to have Brangus featured on The American Rancher on RFD-TV throughout the first week in October. Pat Minick, host of the television series, explained the benefits of Brangus genetics and several producers talked about how they incorporate Brangus genetics into their programs.

Watch the complete episode here:

For more information about Brangus and to find a producer near you, visit us at GoBrangus.com.

Brangus Producer Inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame

SAN ANTONIO, TX [October 5, 2012] – R.L. Robbs, President of the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) Board of Directors, was inducted into the Willcox, Ariz., Cowboy Hall of Fame Thursday, October 4, 2012. He was selected and honored by his peers for his involvement and dedication to the livestock industry at the local, state and national levels, as well as for his stewardship and preservation of natural resources.

“I feel honored to be recognized by my community and peers as someone who is just doing what they love to do every day,” Robbs said. 

R.L. Robbs

R.L. Robbs, President of the IBBA Board of Directors, of Willcox, Ariz., was recently inducted into the Arizona Cowboy Hall of Fame for his dedication and service to the cattle industry.

The Willcox Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture hosted the 30th annual Cowboy Hall of Fame dinner to recognize Robbs and two other inductees, Chad Bourne and Jack Post. These deserving inductees exhibit compelling work ethics, perseverance and genuine characteristics of a treasured heritage and lifestyle.

Robbs grew up on a small farm in West Texas and graduated from Plainview High School. He continued his higher education at West Texas State University, now West Texas A&M University, in Canyon, Texas, where the highlight of his collegiate career was winning the collegiate livestock judging contest at the Houston Livestock Show his senior year. After receiving his bachelor’s in Animal Husbandry, Robbs worked on his graduate work at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M., and then served two years in the United States Army. Following his time in the service, Robbs moved to Willcox, Ariz., where he met and married his wife, Sally. Together, they own and manage Robbs Brangus cattle operation.

Robbs has been breeding, showing and promoting Brangus cattle for the last 45 years and has proven to be a tremendous asset to the cattle industry. He has been a dedicated member of the Southwest Brangus Breeders Association (SWBBA) for most of his professional career and has also been an integral supporter of the Southwest Junior Association.

For more information about Robbs and other Brangus operations, visit www.gobrangus.com.

About the Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame:

In early 1983 a small group of Willcox leaders launched an effort to honor one of the important resources of the Willcox area – its people. The first six charter members were selected and their portraits painted ready for the first induction ceremony held in September 1983. The inaugural event was celebrated with a steak dinner and proved to be a great success. While initially housed at the Willcox Chamber of Commerce building, the Cowboy Hall of Fame portrait gallery is currently located in the Rex Allen ‘Arizona Cowboy’ Museum in the historic downtown area.

Source: http://www.willcoxchamber.com/CHF_background.shtml

Informative Trichomoniasis Webinar

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica recently hosted an informative webinar on trichomoniasis. This webinar supports an educational effort on trichomoniasis this fall in Texas providing great information for both seed stock and commercial producers on developing a trichomoniasis control program, as well as some recent research on protecting bulls through vaccination.

Dr. Soren Rodning, Assistant Professor at Auburn University, and Dr. Mac Devin, Senior Professional Services Veterinarian – Cattle at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, share their extensive knowledge and advice.

Listen to the webinar and watch the presentation below, or download the webinar .mov file.

If you have any additional questions, contact Lori Maude .