Texas Producer Receives Honorable Harry Holt Award

SAN ANTONIO, TX- Tommy Milliorn of Abilene, Texas, was awarded the 2014 Harry Holt “Good Neighbor” Award by the West Texas Rehabilitation Center (WTRC) for his support of the Abilene community and the Rehab’s slogan, neighbor helping neighbor.

“I was surprised but very honored to receive this award,” said Milliorn. “I thank all the committee members and board members for selecting me.”

14-11_Tommy Milliorn Receives Harry Holt Award

Recipient Tommy Milliorn (right) receives the Harry Holt “Good Neighbor” award from WTRC President Woody Gilliland. Photo by: Dan Huggins, WTRC

The annual award was presented to Milliorn at the Round-Up for Rehab Kickoff Dinner September 14, 2014, and is named after longtime agriculture broadcaster Harry Holt. The award recognizes a person involved in the agriculture industry who has provided support to the WTRC’s mission, encouraged others to get involved in a good cause, and led by positive example. Milliorn has served on the Board of Directors for the WTRC and given back to help his community.

“The Rehab feels Tommy Milliorn meets all the award criteria and is a deserving recipient of this year’s award,” said Dan Huggins, WTRC’s Director of Donor Relations.

Milliorn grew up just 15 miles east of Abilene in Eula where he operated a commercial cattle operation until the early ‘80s when he joined the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) and started running registered Brangus cattle. He then joined the West Texas Brangus Breeders Association and has served as the association’s sale chairman for approximately 15 years. In 1965, Milliorn moved to Abilene and started a real estate business. He has owned and operated Tommy Milliorn Realtors for 50 years and served as president of the Abilene Board of Realtors. Milliorn and his wife of 10 years, Ruth Ann, together own and manage Big Elm Cattle Company.

The WTRC is a non-profit organization started in the 1953 that provides outpatient care and physical rehabilitation to more than 500 patients daily. The IBBA strives to highlight the success and achievements of its members both in and outside the industry. To learn more about the IBBA and Brangus cattle, visit www.GoBrangus.com.

Dykes Joins Brangus Team as Commercial Marketing Coordinator

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IBBA Commercial Marketing Coordinator Kyle Dykes

SAN ANTONIO, TX– Kyle Dykes joined the staff at the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. As the Commercial Marketing Coordinator, Dykes will oversee IBBA’s commercial marketing programs while engaging with members and Brangus producers across the country. Dykes will be integral in expanding the breed’s global market share, promoting Brangus genetics to the commercial sector, and ultimately increasing demand for Brangus cattle.

“I am very honored and excited to go to work for our members,” Dykes said. “I look forward to helping them meet their needs in the purebred cattle business, advancing and promoting the Brangus breed, and building relationships all over the world.”

A native of Killeen, Texas, Dykes grew up on a small farm raising commercial cattle. Agriculture has always been a passion of his, and he has been actively trying to help make a difference and be a part of the growth of agriculture in Texas. Previously, Dykes worked as the Natural Resources County Extension Agent for McLennan County. This allowed him the opportunity to work with some of the finest 4-H youth in Texas and help them get more involved in the 4-H program. In addition to 4-H activities, Kyle managed the Master Gardener program and worked with agricultural producers in McLennan County to help educate and provide assistance to better meet their production goals.

“Kyle has a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and we are proud to have him as a member of the Brangus team,” said IBBA Executive Vice President Dr. Tommy Perkins. “He will engage with our members at sales and visit producers’ operations across the country to bridge the gap between the association and our members. Kyle will be essential in advancing IBBA programs, and I know he will be a great asset to the breed.”

Dykes received his bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University in 2013. He also received his certificate in Auctioneering from the Texas Auction Academy and has been licensed with the state of Texas since 2011. In 2013 Dykes won the Texas State Champion Rookie Auctioneer title and has gained experience in livestock, equipment and estate sales and is an active member of the Texas Auctioneers Association.

Due to his travel requirements and necessary visibility, Dykes will continue to reside in College Station, Texas, and will work as a remote staff member. Dykes can be contacted directly by email at kdykes@int-brangus.org or on his cell at 254-371-9388. For more information about Brangus cattle and the IBBA, visit www.GoBrangus.com.

McClure Joins Santa Rosa Ranch Management Team

Source: Santa Rosa Ranch

Santa Rosa Ranch has announced that Billy McClure has joined the operation as Manager, overseeing the registered and purebred Brangus and UltraBlack development program. General Manager Kent Smith welcomed McClure, his wife, Brooke, and children, Emily and Aubrey, to Santa Rosa Ranch.

“We are pleased to have Billy join our operation because he reflects the commitment and values that we have for producing the best Brangus and UltraBlack cattle in the market and standing behind what we do, for the success of our customers,” Smith said.

McClure joins Santa Rosa Ranch following time with some of the most reputable operations in the industry. As the son of a Jonesville, La., row crop farmer and cattle raiser, Billy moved to Rosebud, Ark., as a young man and joined Caldwell Farms, where he eventually became manager of the Angus, Brangus and commercial cow/calf operation. He then arrived at Camp Cooley and served as assistant herd manager underneath Ken Hughes before moving to Chimney Rock Cattle Company in Concord, Ark., as ranch manager, overseeing the registered herd of Brangus cattle.

McClure brings a wealth of management and breeding experience and compliments the progressive program at Santa Rosa Ranch. McClure is excited to join a program that is committed to producing some of the best cattle in the Brangus and UltraBlack breed while keeping an eye to the future and the success of their customers.

“Santa Rosa Ranch has an incredible amount to offer to this breed and this industry,” McClure said. “There is a lot of potential in the cattle business today, and I am proud to join Kent Smith, Gerald Sullivan, and his daughter, Kelley, and take on their slogan ‘Making The Best Breed Better’ because I believe that they are, and I’m excited to be a part of it!”

Santa Rosa Ranch, with locations in Crockett and Navasota, Texas, produces seedstock and purebred Brangus and UltraBlacks for commercial producers as well as registered operations. For more information about bulls and replacement females, semen, embryos, and commercial steers and heifers, log on to www.srrbrangus.com or call 936.624.2333.

Texas 4-H/FFA Heifer Validation Program

The state of Texas is implementing a statewide electronic verification process in addition to requiring the physical validation of breeding beef heifers.  Because of numerous breed divisions offered, there are inconsistencies in how breed associations record purchase and transfer information. Heifer Validation is being initiated to ensure a level playing field for all junior breeding beef heifer exhibitors and to present a unified approach to verifying breeding beef heifer registration papers, ownership and physical possession. Further, history has proven collecting DNA hair samples during validation has added integrity to market animal divisions.

The verification process along with the added physical validation component will allow for certifying exhibitor ownership, possession, heifer identification (tattoo/brand) far in advance of each respective major livestock show. Full and part-time personnel will be required to effectively review and validate all submitted heifer registration papers and to enforce rules during the participating major livestock shows. A $10 fee will be required for each heifer validated for 2015 spring and fall shows.

For more information, download the official announcement.

Ranchers weigh options on replacement heifers amid historic high prices

COLLEGE STATION – When it comes to replacement heifers in beef cattle operations, producers are faced with a dilemma: Raise them, buy them or sell them and “take the money and run,” said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.

It’s becoming an all too familiar situation among Texas ranchers, said Stan Bevers, an AgriLife Extension economist at Vernon who recently presented a study at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course.

“We looked at what the market is right now for replacement heifers,” he said. “We were targeting heavy bred heifers, and they were anywhere from $1,650 to $2,300 a head. The second number was what it was costing the rancher to raise them themselves.

When it comes to replacement heifers in beef cattle operations, producers are faced with a dilemma: Raise them, buy them or sell them and “take the money and run.”

“One operation we tracked were heifers weaned in 2010 and 2011, what those heifers were and what their accumulated expenses were over the two years to the point where they were heavy bred. Their expenses totaled $1,100 to $1,400 a head. That ranch was pretty efficient and did a good job of reducing their expenses.”

Bevers said since this ranch was located in Oklahoma, one would need to add $300-$400 a head to that for Texas ranchers and regional market prices to develop replacement heifers.

“That comes out to $1,400 to $1,800 to develop replacement heifers in Texas,” Bevers said.

He said if you look at the current market price, it shows it’s cheaper to “raise them yourself if you are a pretty efficient, cost-reducing type operator.”

“The final number we looked at is if I have to pay much over market cost for them or if I choose to raise a heifer on my own, what is she going to return me over her life?” he said. “We started with a two-year-old heifer that’s going to be having her first calf and added eight years to that. That means we’ve gone out 10 years into the future, so now she is 10 years old,and we came up with what I can pay for her, which was $2,301 a head.”

Bevers said that leaves three numbers to consider.

“We know the market is $1,650 to $2,300, and it takes $1,400 to $1,500 to raise her, and now she is worth $2,300 in my herd economically.

“What do you do with those numbers? Well, if nothing else, it illustrates how complex this decision is right now,” he said. “It’s not right or wrong. It’s based on what type of operation you have and your costs. You finally have to decide to pull the trigger and say this is what we are going to have to do.”

Bevers threw in a fourth number – what feedlots are paying for commercial heifers destined for the beef market. Right now, it’s about $1.93 to $2.03 a pound, he said.

“You are talking about a heifer in the 750-pound range that’s worth $1,500 on the market and that’s for beef,” he said. “So, if you don’t keep her as a replacement heifer, you now have a floor price of about $1,500 a head. If you don’t want to take her and put her back in your operation, the feedlot is going to take her for $1,500 and turn her into beef later down the road.”

Bates Represents Brangus on Texas Purebred Cattle Alliance

Jason Bates, Director of Field Services and Commercial Marketing

Jason Bates, Director of Field Services and Commercial Marketing

SAN ANTONIO, TX- Jason Bates representing the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) was elected first vice president of the Texas Purebred Cattle Alliance (TPCA). The TPCA was organized to form an alliance of all purebred breeders and purebred associations to promote and protect the seedstock cattle industry in the State of Texas and to improve production techniques and the conditions of persons engaged in the purebred cattle industry.

“I look forward to working with this progressive group,” said Bates, IBBA’s Director of Field Services and Commercial Marketing. “As a representative of purebred breeders, I welcome your feedback and ideas on how we can advance purebred beef cattle.”

The TPCA promotes marketing ideas, international and domestic trade, and encourages better communication among the purebred cattle breeders and their associations. The TPCA works closely with the Texas Animal Health Commission, the Texas Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture and their representatives on animal health issues and marketing seedstock cattle. The TPCA also cooperates with the Texas Beef Council, United States Beef Breeds Council and the American Dairy Council in efforts to improve the purebred cattle industry.

The 2014-2015 TPCA officers include: President Radale Tiner, American Angus Association; First Vice President Jason Bates, International Brangus Breeders Association; Second Vice President John Ford, Santa Gertrudis Breeders International; and Secretary/Treasurer Collin Osbourn, Beefmaster Breeders United.

Texas Purebred Cattle Alliance Officers

Texas Purebred Cattle Alliance Officers (L to R):
President Radale Tiner, First Vice President Jason Bates, Second Vice President John Ford, and Secretary/Treasurer Collin Osbourn

Texas Brangus Association Elects New Officers

SAN ANTONIO, TX – The Texas Brangus Breeders Association (TBBA) announces four new officers to serve on the TBBA Board of Directors. The officers were elected at the TBBA meeting May 3, 2014. They will be charged with providing strategic guidance and overall leadership for Texas Brangus breeders.

The newly elected officers include:

President Doug Muenchow is the owner and operator of Muenchow Farms in Flooresville, Texas. Somewhat new to the Brangus breed, Doug has a thorough knowledge of the cattle industry and chose to incorporate Brangus genetics into his operation to produce more heat tolerant cattle that could thrive better and more efficiently in the hotter, more humid environments prevalent in South Texas. Doug is very involved in the Bexar County and Wilson County junior livestock shows and is on the livestock committee for the San Antonio Livestock Exposition (SALE). When he is not working as a cattleman, Doug is an outside salesman for Alamo Crane in San Antonio.

First Vice President Kelly Grissom is the owner and operator of 8G Brangus in Stephens County, Texas, located west of Fort Worth. Kelly’s passion for cattle stemmed from spending extensive time on her grandparents’ ranch east of Fayetteville, Ark., where they began raising cattle in 1963. After receiving her master’s degree from Tarleton State University, she taught biology and chemistry for high school and two local colleges for 20 years. Along with business partner Jackie Grissom, 8G Brangus’ primary focus is producing fertile, functional, sound, quality Brangus cattle. Now in her third year as a TBBA Director, Kelly previously served the board as secretary and firmly believes there is no better bovine than Brangus. 

Second Vice President Brandon Belt from Gatesville, Texas, received a J.D. from the Baylor School of Law after attending Tarleton State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After a period in private practice in Gatesville, Brandon was elected County Attorney of Coryell in 2005. The main purpose of his registered Brangus operation is raising range bulls for commercial producers. He has been involved in many local, regional and state associations within the cattle industry and is currently serving as secretary/treasurer for the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) Board of Directors.

Secretary/Treasurer Steve Densmore has been involved in the Brangus breed his entire life. For almost 15 years, he has been the cattle manager of Circle X Land and Cattle Co. near Bryan, Texas, where he oversees more than 1,400 head of commercial cattle and a purebred Brangus cow-calf program. Steve has served on the TBBA Board of Director for numerous years and has held leadership positions on the TBBA board as well as on the IBBA board. He is a profound supporter of the International Junior Brangus Breeders Association (IJBBA) and received the IBBA Breeder of the Year Award in 2013.

The IBBA, located in San Antonio, Texas, strives to increase the demand for Brangus cattle domestically and internationally. It was founded as the American Brangus Breeders in 1949 and has since evolved into the IBBA. The purpose of the IBBA is to enable members to serve the commercial cattle industry. For more information, visit www.gobrangus.com.