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My Friend Jay Joseph at the Hunewill Ranch in 2012.

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Video of Jeff Light riding his horse edited to Dave Stamey’s “Song for Jake” from his CD “Twelve Mile Road.”

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In a land of enormous skies and majestic valleys, Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Resort & Sanctuary is home to over 600 Wild American Mustangs.

Cowboy and family man, Clay Nannini, shares insight into the value of preserving the American Mustang while introducing his children to this icon of American history, and a legacy worth protecting.

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By Del Williams
From Cattle Today



When a farmer or rancher has to clear fields of round hay bales, there’s nothing that does the job like a hay trailer. But what kind is best for you? That depends on your equipment (tractor or pick up), your use (bale size, quantity, and labor), and your budget.

If you’ve got enough tractors and labor, and would like to minimize the up front cost of a trailer, then traditional inline, self-unloading hay trailers are a good choice. These trailers typically load bales with a tractor’s hayforks from the rear, until the trailer’s cradle is full. When the trailer reaches its destination, a lever is pulled and the hay bales are rocked then rolled off the cradle by gravity.

If a farmer or rancher is choosing a traditional inline, self-unloading hay trailer, there are two questions they need to ask: 1) How reliable do I want the trailer to be, and 2) How long do I want it to last?

For those hauling less hay, for less time, and lighter bales, a typical trailer will do. Still if you don’t want your hay trailer in the repair shop when it’s time to bring in the bales, it’s important to look for at least a few quality features.

For instance, it’s best to choose a trailer with a frame at least 5′ wide. Many inline hay trailers only use a 4′ wide frame to save on freight shipping cost. But sitting a 6′ wide bale on top of a 4′ wide trailer frame makes a load more top heavy and less stable. This becomes a problem on fields filled with berms, terraces, gopher holes, and ditches. Too often, when narrow trailers hit a ditch, the whole load is dumped.

With many trailers, hauling 6,000-12,000 lbs. of bales per load, another caution is to choose a trailer with a double latch system, since latches hold the load in place until it’s ready to dump. Single latch trailers are prone to tearing the sidewall off the main tube over time, which can require cutting off the latch, regrinding, and rewelding. A double latch system cuts the latches’ metal fatigue in half as bale weight is dispersed, improving safety and reliability. A linkage between the latches also allows them to operate with only one lever.

For heavy bale loads, more loads, long use, consider a hay trailer that’s built to last. Besides an extra wide 5′ frame and double latches, trailers such as the Red Rhino or the Competitor Bale Handler use more steel in the cradle, neck, axles, main tube, and rail supports.

Since the main tube is the backbone of the hay trailer, some are built heavier than other manufacturers. The Red Rhino trailer, for example, is built with an 8 5/8” OD .352 wall thick main tube. Typical hay trailers use 8” square .188 wall tubing or 8 5/8” OD .250 wall. Rail supports are also critical because they carry most of the bale weight and should be made of more steel.

Since bale capacity can determine how many trips you have to make to clear the field, it’s important to consider this as well. Hay trailers typically range from 21′-40′ long, with a 32′ trailer carrying about 6-8 bales. When capacity is a concern, it might make sense to consider some of the larger inline hay trailers which can haul 9-11 bales at once.

Farmers or ranchers wanting the speed and convenience of staying in their tractor or pick up while loading or unloading bales should consider self-loading/unloading hay trailers. With these hydraulically operated trailers, it’s a one-person operation that doesn’t take physical strength. If they choose a pick up-capable version, it doesn’t even require a tractor.

In fact, some farmers and ranchers find they can dramatically improve productivity with their existing equipment if their wife hauls baled hay in a pick up-pulled trailer while they bale hay with the tractor. This can remove the bottleneck of waiting for one person to do all the work with a single tractor.

While self-loading/unloading trailers initially cost more than inlines yet save much labor, it may make sense to consider a simpler machine with few moving parts like the 2EZ Bale Mover. It’s designed to gently but hydraulically pick bales straight up and set them straight down when its rails slide under or away from the bales. Because it has few moving parts, this can mean less cost, maintenance, and downtime. Its design allows even old and mis-shaped bales to be transported with no further damage. Since its design keeps a single side of the bale in contact with the ground, it also saves hay by minimizing the number of bad hay spots caused by ground-absorbed moisture.

Since it loads bales individually or up to six at a time, using your tractor or truck, it can unload the whole load at once or one at a time. Come winter, when it’s time to feed the cattle in pasture, this ability can turn three typical trips with a tractor and hayforks into one with a pick up and hay trailer.

While the original bumper pull 2EZ works best with tractors, and the gooseneck model works best with pick ups, the new hydraulic bumper pull model works best for those using both a tractor and a pick up to haul bales. The new hydraulic bumper pull model, in fact, combines the speed of the original bumper pull model with the ground clearance of the gooseneck model.

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The National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas has started and for all you fans it’s important to have the official clothing, whether you can attend or not. The NFR has all kinds of cool stuff this year – and they make great Christmas gifts.

You can get more information at their website by clicking HERE.

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From the New York Times


LEESBURG, Ind. — Kip Tom, a seventh-generation family farmer, harvests the staples of modern agriculture: seed corn, feed corn, soybeans and data.

“I’m hooked on a drug of information and productivity,” he said, sitting in an office filled with computer screens and a whiteboard covered with schematics and plans for his farm’s computer network.

Mr. Tom, 59, is as much a chief technology officer as he is a farmer. Where his great-great-grandfather hitched a mule, “we’ve got sensors on the combine, GPS data from satellites, cellular modems on self-driving tractors, apps for irrigation on iPhones,” he said.

The demise of the small family farm has been a long time coming. But for farmers like Mr. Tom, technology offers a lifeline, a way to navigate the boom-and-bust cycles of making a living from the land. It is also helping them grow to compete with giant agribusinesses.

While some benefit, others will lose. Silicon Valley is credited — or blamed — for tearing down many old ways of doing things. With its adoption of the latest technology, Mr. Tom’s farm is expanding, to 20,000 acres today from 700 acres in the 1970s. But some of his neighbors’ farms are fading away.

Furthermore, such costly technology is beyond the smallest farmers. Equipment makers like John Deere and AGCO, for example, have covered their planters, tractors and harvesters with sensors, computers and communications equipment. A combine equipped to harvest a few crops cost perhaps $65,000 in 2000; now it goes for as much as $500,000 because of the added information technology.

“We’ve seen a big uptick in the productivity of larger farms,” said David Schimmelpfennig, an economist at the Agriculture Department. “It’s not that smaller farms are less productive, but the big ones can afford these technology investments.”

And there is another risk. There is an incentive to grow single crops to maximize the effectiveness of technology by growing them at the largest possible scale. Farmers with diverse crops and livestock would need many different systems. Smaller farmers without technology could also grow one crop, but they would not capture most of the gains.

Technology encourages farmers to move too aggressively toward easy-to-grow and easy-to-sell crops that are more easily measured by instruments, rather than keeping some diversity in the fields — an age-old hedge against bad weather and pests, said Ann Thrupp, executive director of the Berkeley Food Institute, a policy and technology research institute at the University of California, Berkeley.

That is the fear. But there is also the promise that technology can make farming far easier. Like Tom Farms, other farms have also grown with the adoption of technology.

At a large family farm in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, Brian Braswell uses satellite-connected tractors to plow fields with accuracy of one inch between furrows. His soil was tested with electrical charges, then mapped so that fertilizer is applied in exact doses from computer-controlled machines. He uses drones, the newest new thing, to survey flood irrigation.

“It would be easy to put an infrared camera on one of these and spot where crops are stressed,” he said, except that he is wary of Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Brent Schipper takes data readings from his combine every three seconds at his 6,000-acre farm near Conrad, Iowa. In the storm season, he checks the weather app on his smartphone every 30 minutes. With the harvest in, he and other farmers who used to spend winters resting and repairing machines will be adding new sensors to their equipment, and poring over last season’s data, hoping to get an edge on the next season.

And at Iowa State University in Ames, a professor, Lie Tang, hopes to have his prototype weeding robot in fields by next spring. The robot may use infrared data to help identify weeds it then plucks.

In the past, “a farmer with 1,000 acres could make a good living,” Mr. Tom said. “I’m not sure that’s going to last.”

Tom Farms has genetically modified crops, cloud-computing systems and possibly soon drones, if Mr. Tom does not go with lasers on low-orbit satellites. All of these items will be sending their data for analysis on the cloud-computing systems that Tom Farms rented from Monsanto and other companies.

“Farmers still think tech means physical augmentation — more horsepower, more fertilizer,” Mr. Tom said. “They don’t see that technology now is about multiplying information.” With corn prices at almost half the level they have been in the past few years, “my growth is going to come from farmers who don’t embrace technology.”

From a self-driving John Deere combine, Ernie Burbrink, a Tom Farms employee, sorts real-time data about moisture, yields and net bushels per acre on his iPad, sending important information by wireless modem to distant cages of computer servers that begin analyzing the data for next season’s planting.

“It used to be, if you could turn a wrench you’d be good at farming,” Mr. Burbrink said. “Now you need to know screen navigation, and pinpointing what data should go where so people can plan and predict. You need to be in tune with other people: seed consultants, agronomists, the equipment folks.”

Left unsaid: Mr. Burbrink, 34, has left behind his own family farm. “I just work for Kip. He’s probably five years ahead of my dad in technology. You have to have more land than we do to pay for all this,” said Mr. Burbrink, who has an undergraduate degree in agricultural economics from Purdue.

Tom Farms has 25 employees, including six family members, year-round and at various times can have up to 600 temporary workers. “Farms of this size can gross more than $50 million in a good year,” Mr. Tom said. He will not disclose profitability, but he notes that margins are generally lower in farming than in most industries.

He still remembers begging for loans at 21 percent interest during the 1980s farm crisis. He credits his survival and growth to using technology, and figures it is how he will prosper now that corn is at $4 a bushel, about half the level it was two years ago.

Looking at last year, he said, better uses of data analysis have raised his return on investment to 21.2 percent, from 14 percent. Other technology, like variable rates of irrigation and automated farm machinery, he said, accounted for another 4 percent of the total.

Like many farmers Mr. Tom is wary of what big company might own his data. He shares some information with Monsanto, for example, but is careful of others’ policies around data retention. He also worries about how computation is going to change the farm he hopes to leave to his children.

“We and the other farmers could pool all our harvest data in real time,” he said. “You think the big companies would like that? You bet they would. Farmers don’t trust that; they’re independent. Your neighbor is also your competitor.”

Kassandra Rowland, one of Mr. Tom’s five children, manages personnel and partnerships with other farms and companies, and also the farm’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Her 9-year-old daughter is in the local elementary school’s robotics club.

“That’s another big change,” said Marie E. Tom, 84, Mr. Tom’s mother. “Our daughters go to farming meetings, and they speak. They’re respected. It wasn’t like that when I kept the books, and farming was all about what you did on the field.”

Mr. Tom’s father still tends cattle at 87. “Too many people don’t think farming is a business,” Ms. Tom said. “When we were first married, I told my husband, ‘You don’t ever go to town dirty; that’s what those people think farmers are.’ We’re a business, and if you don’t keep up, you get left behind for good.”

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A few days ago there was a story that Budweiser beer was going to drop the famous Clydesdale horses in order to “appeal to a younger audience”. Anheuser-Busch, which made Budweiser, was purchased by AB InBev in 2008. AB InBev is a Belgian-Brazilian multinational beverage and brewing company.

Fortunately a huge public outcry has reversed that decision.

From USA Today


After a Monday morning story in the Wall Street Journal detailed a new marketing strategy for Budweiser that will focus more on “Jay Z and zombies” than the iconic American images normally associated with the brand, there was much worry that the company’s iconic Clydesdales would fade from the Super Bowl advertising landscape they’ve been a part of since 1986.

But fear not, lovers of the famed horses. Though a younger vibe will indeed be prominent in Anheuser-Busch advertisements in the future, the Clydesdales will continue to be featured in Super Bowl advertising in February.

“The story this morning may have left a wrong impression – the Budweiser Clydesdales will, in fact, be featured in next year’s Super Bowl advertising and are also a part of upcoming holiday responsible drinking advertising,” Anheuser-Busch said in a statement.

The company’s 2014 spot “Puppy Love” which featured a Clydesdale chasing after a departed canine friend, was the runaway winner of USA TODAY’s Super Bowl Ad Meter. Another Clydesdale-inspired spot was named the winner in 2013.

In all, five Budweiser spots have taken the crown.

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By Jen Skerritt
From Bloomberg News




There’s been a lot of attention paid to how Canada’s oil boom has helped make gasoline cheaper. What many people may not realize is that the boom is also driving up the prices they pay for burgers and steaks.

Surging energy investment in Prairie Provinces, home to most of the nation’s farms and cattle ranches, has boosted domestic crude output to a record and sent pump prices to a three-year low. That’s led to jobs on drilling rigs or pipe crews paying two-thirds more than those in livestock, luring cowboys and beef-plant workers to the oil patch.

The labor shortage is squeezing a cattle industry already diminished over the past decade by mad cow disease, drought and floods. The herd in Canada, the world’s eighth-largest beef exporter, is the smallest in 21 years. Beef supplies are so tight that Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) is importing more meat from the U.S., where prices are the highest ever.

“It’s impossible to find workers,” said Tim Stewart, 57, who has four unfilled jobs and is considering selling the 4,000-head ranch in Rockglen, Saskatchewan, that his family has owned since 1910. “If someone came along with a big fat checkbook, we’d probably walk away.”

In Alberta, Canada’s biggest producer of oil and beef, annual wages for specialized livestock workers was C$44,870, ($39,700) or 63 percent less than petroleum workers at C$73,105, according to a provincial government survey of employers last year. The data showed 72 percent of farm employers experienced hiring difficulties, with 25 percent reporting unfilled vacancies for more than four months.

Industry Losses

Meat processors including Cargill Inc. and JBS SA (JBSS3) also are affected, with fewer cattle and workers reducing beef output. The slowdown will cost the industry as much as C$300 million this year, even with beef prices at all-time highs, according to the Canadian Meat Council.

At the same time, Canada’s crude reserves, which are the world’s third largest, are attracting $514 billion of planned investment in oil sands production over the next 24 years, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

Output has risen for four straight years, expanding 23 percent to a record average of 3.95 million barrels a day in 2013, according to data compiled by BP Plc. Retail gasoline plunged to C$1.1452 a liter on Nov. 21, the lowest since February 2011, government data show.

“The oil patch is rolling along pretty good right now, and it makes it difficult for agriculture to compete with the same labor force,” said Greg Bowie, chairman of Alberta Beef Producers, a Calgary-based industry group that represents 20,000 producers. “It’s difficult to get and retain good labor, and in a lot of cases, that’s crucial.”

Smaller Herd

Canadian ranchers held 13.3 million cattle as of July 1, the fewest since 1993, government data show. Since then, heavy rains in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have flooded pastures, damaging forage and boosting feed costs that are forcing ranchers to cut their herds even further.

Beef processors may be forced to reduce plant operations to as low as 70 percent of capacity, the lowest since 2008, because they don’t have enough animals, said Brian Perillat, a senior analyst at Calgary-based Canfax, a livestock industry researcher. Meat packers will probably slaughter as few as 2.4 million head in 2015, the fewest since 1963, he said.

The price of Grade A slaughter cattle in Alberta have surged 40 percent in 12 months to a record C$173.25 per 100 pounds on Nov. 7, the most recent data available for Manitoba’s agriculture department. The cost of feeder cattle, the young animals purchased to be fattened for slaughter on feedlots, are up 74 percent from a year earlier, after reaching an all-time high C$295.50 per 100 pounds in October, the data show.

Expensive Beef

Supplies also are dropping south of the border in the U.S., after grain costs surged to a record in 2012 and a multiyear drought damaged pastures in Texas, the biggest producer. The herd fell to 87.7 million head on Jan. 1, the smallest for that date since 1951, after the smallest calf crop since 1949, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Cattle futures in Chicago are up 26 percent this year, touching a record $1.7275 a pound on Nov. 19. Prices traded at $1.70 at 10:50 a.m. in Chicago.

Retail ground beef in Canada rose 23 percent in the 12 months through October to a record C$11.74 per kilogram, according to the government. Consumers paid C$21.43 a kilo for sirloin steak in September, also the most ever. In the U.S., where meat prices are rising more than any other food group, beef output will drop 3.2 percent in 2015, USDA data show.

Herd Incentive

While it can take as long as three years to expand cattle production, higher prices are creating an incentive to boost global supply. Calves born on ranches graze on pastures until they are about a year old. The animals weigh 500 pounds (227 kilograms) to 800 pounds and are fattened on corn until they reach 1,300 pounds, when they are sold to meatpackers.

Canada’s herd may increase as much as 4 percent in 2016, Canfax’s Perillat said. In the U.S., drought is receding in Texas, and the feedlot herd in October was 0.5 percent larger than a year earlier at 10.633 million head, government data showed Nov. 21. Australian feedlots held the most cattle since December 2006, industry data showed Nov. 11.

For now, flooded pastures in parts of the prairies is compounding the stress on ranchers. Portions of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the largest beef producers after Alberta, had a record wet growing season in 2014, according to Gail Martell, the president of Martell Crop Projections.

Excessive Rain

The rains fell on parts of Manitoba where the soil remained saturated from flooding in 2011, with excess moisture reported on 80 percent of the province’s cattle-ranching areas, said Melinda German, general manager of Manitoba Beef Producers.

Neil Olafson, who has 200 head on 2,300 acres near Lake Manitoba Narrows, said he may have to sell half his herd next year to generate the cash needed to feed the rest of his herd because the pastures are so water-logged. Most of his hay fields are too wet to plant, and calves are about 100 pounds below their normal weight, he said.

“The stress is unbelievable,” said Olafson, 57. “That’s why so many of our neighbors are throwing up their hands and saying we just can’t deal with this anymore.”

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Adrian Buckaroogirl

Adrian Buckaroogirl

Music: Branding Pen of My Father / What Will I Tell Him? (feat. Waddie Mitchell)” by Adrian Buckaroogirl. Photos by Cayde Cuprak.






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images-1We recently lost the great photographer and really nice guy David R. Stoecklein. But thankfully we’ll have his pictures forever.

imgresJean Prescott is known as “The Songbird of the Prairie”. She lives a little bit south of Abilene with her husband, singer/songwriter Gary Prescott.





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Texas cowboy poet Andy Hedges recites “The Red Cow” by Larry McWhorter at the 28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.

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S. Omar Barker

S. Omar Barker

By S. Omar Barker
From the Cowboy Poetry website


A beef roast in the oven and the hands all waitin’ ’round,
So they got to kinder talkin’ ’bout the different things they’d found
That each of them was thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day,
And some, they told it solemn-like, and some, they told it gay.

Tom thanked the Lord that hosses had four legs instead of two,
So cowboys don’t have to walk like some poor suckers do.
Ol’ Bashful claimed that women was the blessing in his life—
No doubt he meant his mother, for he’ll never get a wife!

“I’m thankful most for cattle, boys,” says Slim, who thinks a heap.
“In a world without them critters we would all be herdin’ sheep!”
The Ramrod spoke his thankfulness that grass was good and long,
And Curly said he thanked the stars that he was young and strong,
While Bud, he blessed his appetite. The way that beef roast smelt,
He also felt thanksgivin’ for the long holes in his belt!

Ol Dunk, he kinder sucked his pipe and gazed off toward the hills.
“Well boys,” he says, “I’m sixty-five and full of liver pills.
My rheumatism aches me and my pipe is gettin’ stale.
My hossy days are over, and I’m feelin’ purty pale.
My bunion’s grown so bulblous that I’ve had to split my boot.
My ears—I’d have to climb the tree to hear a hoot owl hoot.
Cain’t down my woes in likker, for my ticker’s on the blink.
I cain’t enjoy the cattylogs, the way my blinkers wink.
I’ve got some nose for smellin’ left—that roast is purt near done,
But all the chawin’ teeth I’ve got adds up to only one.
Ol’ Gus shore savvies cookin’ beef! I’d like to eat a pound,
But hell, I couldn’t chaw it if he took and had it ground!

You talk about Thanksgivin’, boys, and here you see me set,
A plumb wore-out ol’ cowhand—but I’m mighty thankful yet
For every hoss I’ve ever rode and every sight I’ve saw,
But most of all for gravy—which a man don’t have to chaw!

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by Darrell Rankins
Ph.D, Alabama Cooperative Ext. System Animal Scientist
From Cattle Today



On numerous occasions the topic of calving in the fall versus calving in the spring has come up as a topic of discussion among cattlemen. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each of them and as with most management decisions it becomes a matter of which fits your production scenario the best.
Fall calving. Most cattlemen who utilize a fall calving season calve during the months of September through November. Ideally, the system would allow for the first calf heifers to calve in early September and then be followed by the mature cows that would finish calving by the end of November. The two main disadvantages of this system are that during calving season an adequate supply of good quality forage (pasture) is not available. Warm season forages have dramatically declined in quality by this time and cool season forages have not yet produced appreciable growth by this time of the year. The second factor that makes fall calving unattractive for some producers is the fact that you will need to feed a lactating cow a lot more feed during the winter than you will a pregnant, non lactating cow.

The advantages of a fall calving season include the following: 1) The weather is generally mild during this time period. Most of the baby calves will be born during times of warm days and cool nights and relatively dry conditions. This type of weather is good for calf survivability and health. 2) In the spring when forages are abundant and the quality of those forages is excellent the calf has gotten old enough to spend an appreciable amount of time grazing and will have excellent weight gains as a consequence. This leads to heavier weaning weights of the calves compared to springborn calves of the same age. 3) It is quite common for a fall born calf to be sold as a weaned feeder calf in August of the following year. Historically, calf prices tend to be relatively good during that time of the year.

Spring calving. The months that comprise a spring calving season are somewhat variable but for many it would start with the heifers calving in February and then followed by the cows for the next two months, March and April. The disadvantages of this system include the following: 1) The weather is generally more erratic during this time period leading to slightly more baby calf health problems. 2) Breeding season would be in late April for the heifers and from late May through late July for the mature cows. In general, conception rates tend to be lower during extremely hot weather which would be the case during July in Alabama. 3) Calves tend to have lower weaning weights when they are weaned in the fall because forage quality and quantity are usually limiting during September and October. 4) Weaning and selling the spring born calf in October coincides with the historically low calf price of the year. Most calves in the U.S. are spring born, thus there are extremely large numbers of weaned calves being marketed during the fall of the year. A large supply equals a decreased demand which equates to lower prices.

The main advantage of calving in the spring is that it allows the cow herd to get the vast majority of their nutrients from grazing forages and results in minimal feeding of both hay and supplement. It does not require a lot of high quality feed to winter a dry cow and when her nutrient demands peak (60 days after the calf is born) she has abundant amounts of lush, spring forage available.

Take home message. Calving during the spring or fall can have both advantages and disadvantages. Like most management decisions it becomes a matter of what works best in your situation. The primary advantage of calving in the spring is that it requires considerably less supplemental feeding for the cow herd. The primary advantage of calving in the fall is that you are able to market heavier calves at a time when market prices tend to be a little higher. Either fall or spring calving is much better than year round calving.

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Heart B Dyna, ridden by Laura Hermanson, is the first mule ever to compete at the US Dressage Finals. Check out http://www.psdressage.com/viewarticle for the full story. Video courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video: http://www.richardsequinevideo.com.

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Johnny Carpenter (above right) (1914-2003) was an American film actor, screenwriter and producer. Between 1953 and 1956 he produced and starred in a handful of Westerns, three of which — The Lawless Rider (1954), Outlaw Treasure (1955) and I Killed Wild Bill Hickok (1956) — were lensed on the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth.

Besides being B-Western actor, Carpenter had a great love of horses and tried to share his enthusiasm with all who cared. In the 1940s he created “Heaven on Earth” ranch, which eventually settled in Lake View Terrace, CA. The ranch was available for handicapped children — mostly from Los Angeles — to come and spend a day enjoying horses and the mock western town that served as the ranch’s backdrop. The ranch operated until the mid 1990s — approximately fifty years.


This article is from the wonderful website b.westerns.com
By Boyd Magers

Johnny Carpenter, the last of the shoestring B-western independent combination producer/stars, didn’t make top drawer B-westerns, but through all the budget pinching and corner cutting, his love of western films shows through on the screen in much the same way his friend Ed Wood’s did in low echelon horror films. Johnny tried. And tried hard to make decent, exciting B-westerns. His best was BADMAN’S GOLD (1951). Johnny didn’t get started til it was nearly all over. If he’d come along ten years earlier — who knows. But at least we must give him A for effort when every other producer was fleeing for the TV range.

What Johnny accomplished off screen, out of his own pocket, for hundreds of thousands of handicapped children who visited his “Heaven on Earth” ranch for 47 years far surpasses what he did on screen. Johnny’s motto, emblazoned on a sign at the ramshackle ranch, read, “The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. Dedicated free forever to the handicapped.”

Johnny Carpenter — a true western hero, on or off screen!

Born June 25, 1914, in the small Ozark mountain town of Debinsville, AR (just south of Russellville on Hwy 40), Johnny learned to horseback on his Dad’s farm. His father also operated a butcher shop. Little else is known about his childhood, but as a member of the University of Arkansas varsity team at 18, he moved up to the Southern League and was set for a first team berth in 1936 with the Chicago White Sox when, during spring practice, he was run over by a car in a hit and run accident, breaking his left leg in seven places, breaking his back and causing internal injuries. In a body cast for 119 days, he lost his chance at a baseball career. During an eight year recuperation, he went back to riding and shooting on his Dad’s farm, interests he had prior to baseball. (At the bottom of this webpage are census records and other info which indicate that Carpenter was born in Dardanelle, Yell County, Arkansas.)

Johnny (and his brother, Frank ‘Red’ Carpenter) came west to Hollywood in the early ’40s, finding work at a stable where he put his riding skills to use.

His first part in a film is apparently a bit in THUNDERING TRAILS (’43) with the 3 Mesquiteers at Republic. Working as a stuntman, he was the only stuntman to ride the entire prestigious Grand National horse race on film for Mickey Rooney’s NATIONAL VELVET in ’44. Johnny’s also seen in NAVAJO TRAIL (’45) with Johnny Mack Brown, NORTHWEST TRAIL (’45) with Bob Steele, SANTA FE SADDLEMATES (’45) and EL PASO KID (’46) with Sunset Carson, SONG OF OLD WYOMING (’45) and COLORADO SERENADE (’46) with Eddie Dean, TRAIL OF KIT CARSON (’45) with Allan Lane, SONG OF THE WASTELAND (’47) with Jimmy Wakely, STRANGER FROM PONCA CITY (’47) with Charles Starrett, RELENTLESS (’48) with Robert Young, RED CANYON (’49) with Howard Duff, KID FROM TEXAS (’50) with Audie Murphy and COMANCHE TERRITORY (’50) with Macdonald Carey.

Stranger from Ponca City, The (1947)[supporting role] starring Charles Starrett, Virginia Hunter, The Lone Star Cowboys (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

Stranger from Ponca City, The (1947)[supporting role] starring Charles Starrett, Virginia Hunter, The Lone Star Cowboys (Iverson Ranch) Columbia

In 1950, Johnny hooked up with producer Jack Schwarz (releasing through Eagle-Lion) who gave Johnny bigger and better parts each time in I KILLED GERONIMO (’50) with Jimmy Ellison, BORDER OUTLAWS (’50) with Spade Cooley and Bill Edwards, FIGHTING STALLION (’50) with Bill Edwards, and Johnny’s breakthrough film as the Tucson Kid in CATTLE QUEEN (’51) with Maria Hart. Directed by prolific Bob Tansey, this was a remake of Tansey’s Trail Blazers title, BLAZING GUNS. Tansey then produced and directed Johnny in what is regarded as Carpenter’s best B-western, BADMAN’S GOLD (’51) released again by Eagle-Lion. Tansey’s death within the year put an end to any other starring films for Johnny for a couple of years. Meantime, he was riding and stunting at Universal-International in CAVE OF OUTLAWS (’51) with Macdonald Carey, DUEL AT SILVER CREEK (’52) with Audie Murphy, IRON MAN (’51) with Jeff Chandler and LAW AND ORDER (’53) with Ronald Reagan.

Johnny also found work in the early ’50s on several episodes of TV’s WILD BILL HICKOK starring Guy Madison.

imagesBut Carpenter’s main claim to fame were the four B-westerns he self promoted in the ’50s — SON OF THE RENEGADE (’53) distributed by Schwarz again through United Artists; LAWLESS RIDER (’54) directed by stunt great Yakima Canutt and produced by longtime Gene Autry associate Alex Gordon — again released by U.A.; OUTLAW TREASURE (’55) directed by B-vet Oliver Drake and distributed independently by Amco; and finally, I KILLED WILD BILL HICKOK (’56) directed by another stunt legend, Richard Talmadge. This one was even shot in Eastman Color.

Jack Schwarz was again involved in distribution through his own Equity Studios. For unknown reasons, on the last two Carpenter listed himself as writer/producer but billed himself while acting as John Forbes. Besides the name directors Johnny associated himself with, he’d also hire two or three name actors — Douglass Dumbrille, Frankie Darro, Noel Neill (LAWLESS RIDER); Jack Ingram, Henry Wills (SON OF THE RENEGADE); Adele Jergens, Glenn Langan, Michael Whalen (OUTLAW TREASURE) and Tom Brown, Helen Westcott, Denver Pyle (I KILLED WILD BILL HICKOK).

To round out the casts in his films, Johnny fell back on friends and a stock company of regulars — his brother Frank, Kenne Duncan, Whitey Hughes, Bill Coontz (aka Bill Foster), Verne Teters, Lou Roberson (brother of John Wayne stunt double Chuck Roberson), Bill Chaney, Roy Canada, Alyn Lockwood and Bill Ward. Bob Burns, who’d starred in a few silent 2-reelers at Universal and had played character roles all through the ’30s and ’40s, wound up his career with a part in LAWLESS RIDER. Carpenter went back to stunt work and roles as a heavy after I KILLED WILD BILL HICKOK.

In 1956, he appeared on eight episodes of the Russell Hayden produced JUDGE ROY BEAN with Edgar Buchanan, filmed on Hayden’s ranch in Pioneertown, CA. Johnny’s also seen in RED SUNDOWN (’56) with Rory Calhoun, WILD HERITAGE (’58) with Will Rogers Jr., NO PLACE TO LAND (’58), TOMBOY AND THE CHAMP (’61) and 7TH COMMANDMENT (’61). Johnny never gave up hope on producing another B-western. Leading lady Beatrice Gray, who’d worked opposite Hoot Gibson, Bob Steele, Kirby Grant and Johnny Mack Brown in the ’40s, was Carpenter’s ‘wife’ for a small scene in WILD HERITAGE. For our book Westerns Women (McFarland 1999) she told us:

“He talked me into investing $10,000 up front to finance a western script he called ‘Johnny Ringo’, which he’d direct. Everyone would get paid when it sold. It was shot in Jacksboro, a small town in Texas. One day, the leading lady’s (Elaine Walker) husband misunderstandably told them (the cast) that I had money to pay their salaries. He organized a work stoppage only halfway into the film. So, it had to be shut down. I returned to L.A. minus my 10 grand. Johnny kept the film. I’d sure like to see it! What there is of it!”
It’s very likely this was some of the footage Johnny showed me, my wife and stuntlady Evelyn Finley one 98 degree day in 1984 in his barn at his “Heaven on Earth” ranch in Lake View Terrace.

Johnny Carpenter at his Heaven On Earth Ranch

Johnny Carpenter at his Heaven On Earth Ranch

Johnny Carpenter at his Heaven On Earth Ranch [/caption]Johnny’s first Heaven On Earth ranch, devoted to handicapped children, was in Glendale. Located there since the mid ’40s, he moved the mock western town to Foothill Boulevard in Lake View Terrace (20 miles northwest of Los Angeles) in 1970 where he stayed til he was evicted in January 1994 to make way for a housing development. It was Johnny’s empathy with handicapped kids stemming from his hit and run accident when he was 18 that led him to first open the ranch. He made a pact: If God would let him walk again, he would spend his life helping the handicapped. He kept his pact. Over the years, thousands of children from the L.A. school system and from such groups as the United Cerebral Palsy/Spastic Children’s Foundation were greeted at the gates by Johnny as they spent the day for free touring the western town set and riding horseback, with Carpenter’s help if need be. Johnny’s many supporters pitched in to pay the $700 a month it cost to rent the five acres of land. These included former President Ronald Reagan, L.A. mayor Tom Bradley and the Variety Clubs of America.

Johnny told Readers Digest in 1982: “The Bible says, ‘As you sow, so shall ye reap.’ Well, I’ve reaped two-hundredfold. I’ve gotten more satisfaction out of this ranch than anything else I’ve ever done. Everything I own is on my back. Yet because of the ranch, I can get up every morning and walk down the street like a king. If I get to heaven, it’ll be on the coattails of these kids.”

Indeed, Johnny Carpenter entered Heaven on February 27, 2003, after a battle with cancer for a year or so at a Burbank nursing home. He was 88. He was survived by a sister, Corinne Bostian, of New Mexico. Johnny is buried at Forest Lawn in Los Angeles.

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44cowgirl


Double 6 Ranch’s Open Forum: Gun Breaking Horses. SAFETY FIRST! If you don’t have firearms experience, please get someone who does.

If you have problems seeing the video below click HERE.

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By Andrew Schneider
From the NPR blog The Salt

If you’ve shopped for meat recently, you no doubt have noticed that beef prices are up. Some grades are even at the highest levels ever recorded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Though the inflated prices may be hard on consumers, they’re helping Texas cattle ranchers recover from a fierce drought.

On a sprawling ranch called 44 Farms in Cameron, Texas, about two hours’ drive northwest of Houston, cattlemen raise Black Angus, the most common breed of beef cattle in the U.S. The ranch recently held its fall auction, but none of the animals were headed for the dinner table anytime soon. Instead, they will be giving birth to a new generation of cattle.

Until recently, most Texas ranchers were reducing the size of their herds as they struggled with years of drought. A relentless sun withered the grasses and grains that cattle eat. During the worst of it, feed costs soared for ranchers.

“Our grasses were dying just from the lack of moisture. We were feeding just corn stalks and anything else we could find to maintain the cattle through that tough time,” McClaren says.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 2.15.23 PMFinally, ranchers had to respond by reducing herds to cut costs.

“The drought was so severe for so long, and the feed prices were so high, that you just couldn’t do that forever,” says David Anderson, a livestock economist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. “We do have producers who were forced to sell off all their herds. A lot of those beef cows did go to slaughter.”

Meat is displayed in a case at a grocery store in Miami in July. Pork and beef prices are up more than 11 percent since last summer.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has been improving, so more Americans want to grill beef again. Now the demand for beef is rising, just as packing plants are running out of excess supplies. The result is predictable: Beef and cattle prices are going through the roof.

Consumers may hate it, but those higher prices are making it possible for ranchers to purchase expensive feed in those areas — like the Texas Panhandle and north-central Plains — where land remains badly parched. In other parts of Texas, the drought has eased, allowing ranchers to start rebuilding herds. That means McClaren is seeing strong demand for his cattle.

“We have had calf prices at auction pushing $3 a pound,” Anderson says. “That is twice as much as what we would have thought in the past being tremendously high prices.”

The fall auction at 44 Farms drew hundreds of bidders. The ranch made roughly $3 million in just a few hours, more than double the take from last year’s fall sale. McClaren is already gearing up for his next auction in February.

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Remembering Veterans Day with pride.

That’s my son Andrew Beal (above) around 2003. After a tour in Kosovo he served many more years in the Army and Army Reserves. These days he’s Executive Director of Hyperbaric Medicine for the Salt Lake Medical Regional Center hospital.

And here’s my Marine brother John Beal back in the early 1970s. A highly decorated Vietnam veteran these days he’s President at Reeltime Creative and a Composer/Conductor for the Film and Television Industry.

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Brother-in-law Brian Donnelly recently retired from the Air Force after decades of service all over the world.

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My grandfather (mother’s father) Everett Runyon entered the Navy for World War I. After marriage he settled in the Bay Area of Northern California and rose to be a Vice President in Del Monte foods. He died in 1986.

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And me when I first enter the Air Force in 1966. Got out in 1971 and these days I ride horses and work cows.

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Life is good because of all those Veterans before us. Thank you.





Lt. Colonel Oliver North tells stories of true patriots from the front lines.

If you have problems seeing the video below click HERE.

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Thanks to my brother John Beal for finding this.

If you have problems seeing the video below click HERE.

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My friend Bob Kinford. “You can follow holistic grazing plans with a minimum of effort, in larger pastures, or on land where fencing is impractical by instilling herd instinct into your cattle. ”




If you have problems seeing the video below click HERE
.

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By Michelle Innis
From the New York Times


You can get more information at their websiSYDNEY, Australia — Australia is close to signing an agreement to ship live cattle to China, opening up a significant market for producers, who said exports could grow to one million animals a year, driven by demand there for fresh beef.

The agreement could eventually result in a doubling of Australia’s export volumes for live cattle. It is likely to increase competition for beef and help lift prices, both in the domestic market and among other buyers of the country’s live cattle, including Indonesia and Vietnam, producers said.

“We are on the cusp of a new major announcement for the Australian beef industry,” Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce told reporters Friday in Tamworth, an agricultural center north of Sydney. He said that quarantine officials in Australia and China had worked for about 10 years on the export agreement and that the deal was separate from a trade agreement that is in the final round of negotiations between the two countries.

Alison Penfold, chief executive of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, said that industry and government officials had worked intensively on the agreement over the past 12 months. Completion of the deal rests with the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. The final hurdles involve Australia’s meeting health protocols commonly applied to live exports, including disease-free cattle, testing, quarantine periods and treatment for parasites like ticks, Ms. Penfold said.

“This is obviously a big market signal,” Mr. Joyce said. He added: “You’re about to be paying more for cattle, and this is good,” referring to producers’ hopes that the price of beef would rise from around two Australian dollars a kilogram — a bit less than $0.80 a pound — to above 3 Australian dollars, as demand for exports squeezes prices higher in domestic and existing offshore markets.

David Warriner, president of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, said that if producers achieved 3 Australian dollars a kilogram, then “the price is high enough to allow cattlemen to increase productivity,” and that there would be no threat to the supply to existing offshore buyers.

Australia exports about 1.13 million cattle a year, worth about $860 million, to Indonesia, Vietnam and Israel, and an agreement was recently reached with Cambodia. Mr. Warriner cautioned that the exports to China would build slowly and take some time to reach one million.

Exporters were more upbeat. “Our biggest market is Indonesia,” said Mauro Balzarini, owner of Australia’s largest privately owned cattle exporting company, Wellard, which buys and ships about 400,000 head of cattle mostly to Indonesia and Vietnam each year. “We hope once the market in China opens up, we won’t just export live cattle, but we will have joint ventures as well for processing, in places like Beijing.”

The potential in China is significant, said Troy Setter, the chief executive of the Consolidated Pastoral Company, which manages 390,000 head of cattle across almost 10 million acres of grazing land in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. The company exports about 80,000 head of cattle annually, 80 percent to Indonesia, where it also runs two cattle feed lots, and the remainder to Vietnam.

“The devil is in the detail when it comes to the health protocol,” Mr. Setter said. “We expect it to be similar to other export agreements for live cattle. China is a massive market, where we estimate 40 to 45 million head of cattle are eaten each year.”

Ms. Penfold, leader of the exporters’ group, said that all animals exported from Australia were closely tracked and that there were strict regulations about their welfare before export, during shipping and even after they landed in a foreign country. The regulations were tightened after export bans were imposed after accusations of cruelty in some Indonesian slaughterhouses.

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