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TSCRA Special Ranger Marvin Wills joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, to share a few of his most memorable cases over the last 14 years, as well as tips to prevent cattlemen from becoming the victim of a crime.
Wills explains the importance of staying vigilant with livestock and property, which includes keeping a record of all equipment VIN numbers and having contracts on all partnerships. He stresses the importance of knowing your neighbors–have their phone number and contact them if something out of the norm is noticed.
As technology has increased so have the crimes committed through online transactions Wills says. He encourages cattlemen to talk to the real person who is selling livestock or equipment online and to not provide payment until it has been delivered and inspected.
Wills reminds listeners to brand their cattle. Tune in to hear about the crimes committed by two criminals who devised a plan after meeting in prison.
Dr. Ben Espy, a veterinarian with an extensive equine-focused practice, joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, to discuss equine wellness tips. In addition to being the King Ranch veterinarian, Espy cares for professional roughstock and timed event horses. For 25 years, he has served as the head of veterinary services at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. He was awarded the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Veterinarian of the Year award for 2021.
Espy discusses the importance of a vaccination program for all horses at the ranch, especially if some horses are leaving for competitions and then returning without a quarantine period. Hoof care and teeth floating are also discussed, with Espy suggesting that a variety of factors be considered when it comes to human intervention.
When it comes to equine nutrition and body condition he shares that a horse can only gain three pounds per day and it takes about 100 pounds of body weight to see a change in the horse; therefore, time must be given to the horse for the change to happen.
Wrapping up the episode, Grace Dunham, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s executive director of events and partnerships, joins Brown to discuss the upcoming Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo. The event will be held March 25-27 in Fort Worth. Dunham shares President George W. Bush will be the keynote speaker in a fireside chat with Red Steagall.
Additionally, there are new components being added to the convention including a graduate research poster showcase and a learning lounge where speakers from the School for Successful Ranching will be available to answer additional questions. Another new event is the After Party Saturday night for the young and young at heart to continue to visit and two-step.
To learn more about the Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo, visit cattleraisersconvention.com.
Sustainability expert Myriah Johnson joins TSCRA Talk host Kristen Brown to discuss three components that make up the broad scope of sustainability — environmental, economics and social. Later in the conversation, Johnson shares about ongoing research to continue to strive for improvement in terms of sustainability.
Digging deeper into the environmental pillar of sustainability, Johnson explains it includes greenhouse gases, water, ecosystems but, often, each topic overlaps with another pillar. The economic pillar focuses on the financial viability of each level of the industry but also includes how the local economy is impacted by the beef industry as well as the generational transfer of cattle operations which keeps working lands working. The social pillar encompasses health and nutrition of beef as well as the mental health component of beef producers.
Johnson shares that a lot of current research is focused on the social pillar as that has been an under-studied area. Community security is a specific topic that is being evaluated as researchers look at the ways in which ranchers contribute to their communities and, in turn, what ranchers need from a community.
Wrapping up the episode, Johnson says that continued conversations about sustainability are important because consumers are asking questions and it is also a great way to continue to improve the industry. Resources to learn more include beefitswhatsfordinner.com and beefresearch.org.
Jeremy Fuchs, director of policy communications and government relations at Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, joins TSCRA Talk host Kristen Brown to discuss the legislative happenings in 2021. Fuchs shares that the second and third special legislative session in Texas produced productive funding for border security and COVID relief funds to help with rural broadband infrastructure and rural hospitals. Redistricting was an important component and Fuchs says with the growing populations of Texas in urban areas it’s important for rural communities to keep their voice.
Additionally, Fuchs discusses the TSCRA Austin team’s work monitoring state and federal agencies rules and regulatory framework that has been proposed. Two significant items include the infrastructure bill that passed and has been signed by President Biden and the Build Back Better plan, which, as of recording time, had not yet moved to the Senate. Fuchs debunks a tax myth about the Build Back Better plan and says that the bill has already been cut down to about half the original cost which eases a lot of concerns about taxes. With the change in administration this year Fuchs talks about a variety of other issues that they have been monitoring.
Closing out the episode, Brown asks Fuchs to share two topics that cattlemen and landowners need to be aware of in 2022. Tune in to hear his response.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith joins TSCRA Talk host Kristen Brown to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD. Smith shares the background on CWD being identified in the state of Texas and the monitoring taking place through both mandatory and voluntary testing. He says early detection and containment are vital to prevent the disease from being spread. With the value hunting brings to rural land, Smith says that it is important that landowners know that their wildlife are healthy.
Next, James Oliver, chair of Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s natural resources and wildlife committee, explains how the association has been involved in the Chronic Wasting Disease Taskforce with Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He emphasizes the financial impact that hunting brings to cattle operations and the importance of minimizing the effects of the disease.
Justin Sexten, farm boy turned ranch tech expert, joins TSCRA Talk host Kristen Brown to discuss utilizing technology at the ranch.
Sexten says the best advancements provide the user with a simpler experience, saving them time. He says technology offers a lot of opportunity in converting data points into usable information to visualize in a valuable way, ultimately leading to making fact-based decisions no matter the size or scope of your operation.
For cattlemen who are already collecting data and information digitally, Sexten encourages continued development of the data by evaluating what questions cannot be answered about the cattle and what data is needed to meet that need. Additionally, he shares insight into the latest and greatest technology that producers are currently using and what he anticipates will be the next advancements.
In this episode, Radale Tiner joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, to discuss buying and selling at seedstock cattle sales.
For cattlemen in the market for bulls, Tiner recommends knowing what your end goal is with the calves that will be produced and make a game plan accordingly.
Tiner also recommends communicating with the seedstock producer as they will want to help their customers be successful in finding the bull that is going to best fit the operation and the producer’s goals.
On the producer side of the sale, Tiner encourages good customer service by being available to answer questions but also proactively reaching out and staying in touch with buyers.
Jeff Goodwin, conservation stewardship leader and senior pasture and range consultant with the Noble Research Institute, joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, to discuss regenerative ranching. Goodwin explains it is the process of restoring the degraded grazing lands using practices based on ecological principles. He shares how both ecology and economics flourish jointly on the ranch. Additionally, Goodwin explains the importance of the right mindset — seeing opportunities where a challenge once might have been perceived.
Risk management analyst Casey Mabry joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, to discuss basics of risk management for cattlemen. On the episode he discusses tools for managing risk looking at both the downside and the upside of the market. A key factor he says is building a plan and then working through the plan with a long-term vision in place, which helps keep emotions from taking over. Mabry goes on to explain Livestock Risk Protection insurance, which is underwritten by USDA, protect downside risk but it doesn’t limit upside growth.
Closing out the episode Kaleb McLaurin, TSCRA’s executive director of government and public affairs, joins Brown with a brief update on the 87th Texas Legislative session. McLaurin shares that quite a few pieces of good legislation passed this session. “Anytime the legislature comes to town and doesn’t do harm that is a good thing,” McLaurin says. He touches specifically on the eminent domain reform bill says they are considering it a “net zero bill” because it didn’t change drastically but it does set minimum easement terms with the passage of the bill. Two special sessions called by Gov. Abbott are expected this year to address winter storm Uri legislation and redistricting.
Texas Beef Council Executive Vice President Molly McAdams joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, to discuss consumer trends over the past 15 months (and share which ones are sticking around).
McAdams shares that during the pandemic consumers were learning to cook at home and turned to their online platforms for information. She explains how the Texas Beef Council team focuses on meeting consumers where they are with the information they are seeking.
As sustainability continues to be top-of-mind for both producers and consumers, McAdams shares the importance of producers sharing their story to build trust and transparency. Have you ever heard of a flexitarian? Tune in to find out what it is.
Thanks to LANDVisor by Corteva Agriscience for sponsoring this episode.
Texas AgriLife Extension Agricultural Law Specialist Tiffany Lashmet joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, to discuss the importance of properly setting up a hunting lease. Lashmet shares a variety of topics that need to be included in the written hunting lease as well as who needs to sign the lease. Landowner liability protection is another important factor when it comes to having people on the land, according to Lashmet.
“You never think it will happen to you.” Lashmet says, “And the odds are probably that it won’t. But if it does, taking the time to really prepare ahead of time … is money really well spent.”
Later, Grace Dunham, TSCRA’s executive director of events and partnerships, joins Brown to discuss Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo, which will be held July 23-25 in Fort Worth. The event will include 30 hours of educational opportunities, live cattle demonstrations, more than 250 trade show exhibitors, evening receptions and a dinner and dance featuring Jake Hooker and the Outsiders. Registration is open now with early bird pricing available until June 1.
This episode of TSCRA Talk is sponsored by LANDVisor from Corteva Agriscience.
More than 7,000 bills have been filed for the 87th legislative session in Texas this year. Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Director of Government Relations Kaleb McLaurin joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, to discuss top priorities for TSCRA as well as how COVID-19 has shifted many aspects of the session. The conversation covers eminent domain, rural broadband, animal import/export facilities, truth in labeling, farm animal liability act as well as other legislation.
Additionally, McLaurin shares about how producers can stay up-to-date and the importance of engaging with their local representative.
This episode of TSCRA Talk is sponsored by LANDVisor from Corteva Agriscience.
Episode 14: Eat beef for good health
Dr. Richard Thorpe is an emergency room physician, rancher and past president of Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, this month to discuss the scientific data that proves beef does fit into a healthy diet.
Thorpe gives insight into the history of inaccurate information surrounding beef and how it was perpetuated through dietary guidelines. A wealth of knowledge, he also shares how there has been great progress over the last decade showing that eating a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and help with weight loss.
Additionally, Thorpe shares a bit of wisdom for ranch work to prevent trips to the emergency room. Closing out the episode he shares some good news about COVID-19 and his thoughts on the vaccine.
Episode 13: Neighborhood watch, ranch-style
Scott Williamson, TSCRA’s executive director of law enforcement, brand and inspection services, joins host Kristen Brown to discuss the importance of a “neighborhood watch” mentality at the ranch. Williamson says all eyes and ears are required when it comes to preventing theft of livestock and equipment. A valuable component is knowing your neighbors and making a phone call to them when something appears out of the ordinary.
Additionally, establishing a relationship with local authorities including the sheriff, game warden, fire department and judge can be important for landowners and cattlemen. Closing out the segment, Williamson shares theft prevent tips.
Episode 12: Marketing cattle during a pandemic (and beyond)
When it comes to marketing calves, the first thing that likely comes to mind is the price. But as Dan Childs, senior agricultural economics consultant at the Noble Research Institute, shares in the December 2020 episode of TSCRA Talk, there are several other factors to consider.
Childs visits with podcast host Kristen Brown about the Livestock Risk Protection program, preconditioning calves and the value of knowing the genetic potential of the calves. Additionally, they talk through learning moments from 2020 including price risk management and other tools available for cattlemen.
Episode 11: Advocacy with Amanda Radke — telling your story to protect your way of life
Amanda Radke joins TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, to discuss beef advocacy and connecting with consumers. Radke discusses the importance of being an authentic and transparent resource for people to learn more about beef. As an author of children’s books that show the factual side of agriculture, she talks about the opportunity to engage with even the youngest of audiences to talk about agriculture. A seasoned veteran of sharing the story of cattle and beef, Radke gives advice on joining the conversation both in-person and through social media.
Closing out the episode, Katrina Huffstutler, executive director of communications at TSCRA, shares how the association supports members and the beef industry in a variety of ways. With a finger on the pulse of trending topics, the communications team works to share pertinent information with the media as well as connect the media to producers for interviews. Additionally, Huffstutler shares that their team is ready to help provide resources to empower cattlemen and landowners to connect with consumers.
Episode 10: Fire 411 + bonus election preview
Brian and Morgan Treadwell of Christoval, Texas, join host Kristen Brown to discuss prescribed burning as a management practice. Brian and his dad, John, recently won the Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship Award at the Cattle Raisers Virtual Convention.
In this episode, Brian talks about the importance of using the tool of fire to regenerate the land as well as his experience performing prescribed burns across Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Additionally, Morgan brings a wealth of knowledge as an AgriLife Extension rangeland specialist. The two also offer tips for cattle raisers who want to incorporate prescribed fire on their own operations.
Next, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Second Vice President Carl Ray Polk Jr. talks about the importance of the upcoming election, from national to local races. He encourages listeners to do their research of the candidates and make personal contact with their offices.
See a list of candidates the TSCRA Political Action Committee supports here.
Episode 9: Eminent domain with Jim Bradbury
In this episode, attorney Jim Bradbury shares insight with host Kristen Brown into the hot topic of eminent domain. He explains how the process begins, the importance of the landowner engaging and negotiating, and tips during the construction phase. Additionally, Bradbury talks about the role of the state of Texas in eminent domain.
Closing out the episode, Jeremy Fuchs, TSCRA’s director of public affairs, emphasizes the need to refine the process with the state. He talks about the importance of TSCRA members and landowners engaging with their state representatives to express concern about the current process. Tune in to hear Fuchs’ number one piece of advice if faced with eminent domain.
Episode 8: How a rustler gets 37 years
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Marvin Wills joins host, Kristen Brown, to talk about catching one of the most notorious cattle thieves of modern times, Willie Rittenbaugh. Wills talks in-depth about bringing Rittenbaugh to justice after a total of five charges ending in 37 years in prison and $588,500 to be paid by Rittenbaugh in restitution to the victims. Later, he provides tips that will keep you from becoming a victim.
Closing out this episode, TSCRA’s Michele Woodham talks Cattle Raisers Insurance, including insight about insurance plans as well as those fast-approaching open enrollment deadlines.
Episode 7: Ranch management, portfolio-style
Portfolio management isn’t just for investments — it works for ranching, too. Jeff Geider, director of Texas Christian University’s Institute of Ranch Management, describes it as “the art and science of selecting and overseeing a group of assets and resources to meet long-term objectives.” On the ranch, that means human resources, financial resources and natural resources.
In this episode, Geider also discusses natural resource management and grazing systems more in-depth and the TCU Living Laboratory. The lessons hypotheses confirmed through this program can be applied to any ranching operation, large or small, near or far.
Finally, Stacy Fox, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s executive director of events and education, previews the now-virtual Cattle Raisers Convention, to be held Sept. 15 and 16.
Epsiode 6: Focus on finances
You know your cows are healthy — but what about the financial side of your operation? Now more than ever, it’s imperative you know where you stand and where you could do better. On this episode, host Kristen Brown is joined by ag economist Stan Bevers.
Bevers covers accounting systems that include a balance sheet, profit and loss statement, cash flow sheet and projected cash flow. Additionally, as producers saw with the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, it is vital to keep a livestock inventory report and update it annually. Bevers encourages listeners to be diligent in recording information and selecting specific key performance indicators to track trends and progress at the ranch.
Episode 5: COVID-19 and cattle raisers
Think you’re too small to benefit from the COVID-19 relief options? Concerned about some of those rumors floating around social media?
The effects of COVID-19 have raised a lot of questions for cattlemen. Joining host Kristen Brown for the May 2020 episode of TSCRA Talk are Kaleb McLaurin, executive director of government and public affairs; Jeremy Fuchs, director of public affairs; and Peyton Schumann, director of government affairs. They shed light on navigating government programs (no matter how small or large your cattle operation is!) and funds available as well as relaxed regulations to ensure the supply chain continues to function. Additionally, they discuss how Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s government relations team is working to help evaluate market concerns.
Link mentioned in the show: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
Episode 4: Checking in on your state Checkoff
Consumers have many options (and questions!) when it comes to selecting their protein. Rachel Chou, director of consumer marketing at the Texas Beef Council, shares how the producer-funded state checkoff works to tell the story of beef and how it fits into a healthy lifestyle. Chou and TSCRA Talk host, Kristen Brown, visit about BBQuest and the Beef Team, as well how the Texas Beef Council is meeting consumers where they are.
Additionally, Stacy Fox, executive director of events and education at TSCRA, gives listeners a brief update on how the association is working to keep the educational content flowing to cattlemen and landowners while in-person events are on pause.
Episode 3: Estate planning in five steps
Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, agriculture law specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, walks listeners through five steps of estate planning. She says one size does not fit all when it comes to transition planning. Therefore, Lashmet encourages listeners to take the time to sit down and have the important conversations about the direction and future of the business, and then follow through to create the official documents.
Later, TSCRA’s Director of Public Affairs Jeremy Fuchs joins us for a brief update on the legislative front including successes on early 2020, the recent primary elections and coronavirus.
Episode 2: Cattle raisers go to the White House
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association President Robert E. McKnight joins us to talk about his experience of attending the historic USMCA signing at the White House and the importance of the new trade agreement to cattlemen. Having been in a leadership role with the association since 1989, McKnight is passionate about being a part of the association. He shares his perspective on the importance of membership and engaging to keep the cares and concerns of cattlemen relevant in the changing times.
Later, Scott Williamson, director of law enforcement and brand and inspection services for Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, shares about the newly established Special Ranger Foundation. He also gives us a preview of items that we will see in the Special Ranger Silent Auction at the upcoming Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo.
Episode 1: Criminals don’t take holidays
In the inaugural episode of TSCRA Talk, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Wayne Goodman shares about his work, which recently included a call about a stolen item on Christmas day. Podcast host Kristen Brown visits with Goodman about theft prevention tips for landowners, as well as protecting yourself against check fraud. And since everyone loves a good crime story, Goodman shares one experience that stands out to him and one case he’s currently working on.
Have ideas for content you’d like to hear on future episodes? Send an email to [email protected].