NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Raising and showing cattle at livestock shows is a popular pursuit for many young Texans. It not only teaches important values and skills, but also offers the opportunity for generous cash prizes that go toward scholarships for the young showmen and women. The grand champion steer at this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo sold for more than $300,000, so it is no surprise that owners pay close attention when buying and transporting their prized livestock.
One East Texas family was doing just that when they contacted Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Larry Hand last week. They had purchased a registered Maine-Anjou show heifer that their daughter would raise. They paid to have it shipped from Wisconsin to their Garrison, Texas home, but became concerned when the man transporting the animal didn’t arrive as scheduled and failed to return their phone calls.
Special Ranger Hand immediately initiated an investigation. He quickly learned through his fellow Special Rangers that it was not an isolated incident. Two other individuals reported the same man had failed to deliver cattle in recent days. In Albany, Texas a second young lady was also waiting on her own show heifer, and outside of Houston two registered Black Hereford bulls were overdue. In total, more than $21,000 in cattle were missing along with the man transporting them.
Special Ranger Hand enlisted the assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety, who used resources at their disposal to help locate the driver and cattle near Lindsay, Okla. It was learned that the driver had become extremely ill near a local delivery point. The rancher at the delivery point received his cattle and unloaded the remainder for safe keeping while he got medical assistance for the driver, who was eventually admitted to the Norman Oklahoma Regional Medical Center.
Hand then went about coordinating the delivery of the remaining cattle. All were safe and healthy, and were subsequently picked up from the Oklahoma rancher and received by their owners.
“I am very happy that we were able to resolve this case, ensure the safety of the driver and ensure safe delivery of the cattle to their rightful owners,” said Hand. “Our investigation enlisted the services of numerous law enforcement agencies across three states, and demonstrates the incredible team effort that is required to bring resolution to these kinds of cases.”
TSCRA would like to thank the many Special Rangers who assisted Hand, including Larry Gray, Jimmy Dickson, Joe Roberts, Tommy Charbula and Brett Wellden, as well as the Nebraska Brand Committee, Texas Department of Public Safety and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics for their assistance. Information and outreach efforts conducted by the cattle’s owners were also instrumental, and very much appreciated by the investigators.
TSCRA has 30 special rangers stationed strategically throughout Texas and Oklahoma who have in-depth knowledge of the cattle industry and are trained in all facets of law enforcement. All are commissioned as Special Rangers by the Texas Department of Public Safety and/or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
TSCRA is a 140-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,500 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 55,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, but throughout the Southwest.