Fort Worth Breed Specific GeoMaps


These are maps of where the branding steers from each breed came from.

Online Sale Monitor

Current Bid: $2,600
Simple Math

Current Bid: $2,500
Made to Order

Current Bid: $2,300

Current Bid: $2,300

Current Bid: $2,200

Current Bid: $2,200
Dakota Gold

Current Bid: $2,000
Daddy of em all

Current Bid: $2,000
LJR Texas Touch

37 Lots on CW
Ryan Forman Summer Born Sale - TX

Recent Updates

Fort Worth Grand Champion Steer Prices 1991-2016


Based on news reports from the archives of the Fort Worth Star Telegram...

The growth rate for the prices from 1991 to 2010, when prices basically levelled off, was 10.8%.

I couldn't find a price for the 2004 grand champion.

The 1996 grand champion only got $100k because it was the 100th anniversary of the show.

That big dip below $150,000 was in 2009, the February after the 2008 financial crisis stuff hit the fan.

Based on normal inflation, the 2016 sale price of $210,000 is still five times what it was in 1991.

GeoMap of Fort Worth Branding Steers


Tradition is pretty darn important to the Fort Worth stock show and as is tradition, the Lubbock area cleaned up in the steer show. 

In fact, that area isn't even given proper credit by this map because there are so many large dots stacked on top of each other that you can't see over half of them.

The cities and towns with 4+ steers branded...

1. LUBBOCK, TX - 10
2. MIAMI, TX - 7
3. DALHART, TX - 6
4. ABERNATHY, TX* -  5

* - towns that are essentially "ag suburbs" of Lubbock.

Top Web Sale Lots Week of 2/1/2016


Sale Reports

Top individual sale lots of the past week...

  1. $47,000 - Bred Cow sired by Irish Whiskey
    Dakota Classic 2016 #5
  2. $40,000 - Bred Heifer sired by Mr HOC Broker
    Dakota Classic 2016 #54
  3. $34,000 - Bull sired by Matern Made
    Martin Livestock Dual Threat 2016 #5
  4. $30,000 - Bred Heifer sired by GCC Whizard
    Dakota Classic 2016 #56
  5. $29,000 - Bred Cow sired by Bodacious
    Dakota Classic 2016 #4
  6. $22,000 - Bred Heifer sired by GCC Whizard
    Dakota Classic 2016 #51
  7. $22,000 - Bred Heifer sired by GCC Total Recall
    Dakota Classic 2016 #52
  8. $22,000 - Bred Cow sired by SS Ebonys Grandmaster
    The Ryan Went Family and Went Blacks Annual Elite Female Sale 2016 #20
  9. $20,000 - Cow sired by Alias
    Martin Livestock Dual Threat 2016 #14
  10. $20,000 - Bred Cow sired by TC Total
    Dakota Classic 2016 #13

Can I watch Fort Worth online?


I've made a handy tool that will tell you everything you need to know about watching the Fort Worth steer show online.

Just visit...

...for all the details you need to know.

Exhibitors Want to Trust You as a Judge


There was an excellent article floating around last week about showing proper respect to the judges.

My only slight disagreement with it would be that the crazies who think the only good judges are the ones that pick them won’t care one bit about it.  They're going to criticize judges for anything they can find because they've gotten so focused on their own efforts that they can't comprehend a judge not appreciating that effort just as much.

The best strategy for shutting those guys up is proving them wrong by providing the one thing that every other exhibitor at a major wants from you as a major show judge.

They want to be able to trust you.

Why do people like Greiner?

He’s as big an outlier, at least for Texas major show judges, as you’ll find nowadays.  The big boys who preach that you should just buy the best calf and never buy one for a specific judge throw that advice out the window as soon as they hear he’s judging a major.  He likes big butts, big tops, and they may not be the soundest set of cattle in the world.

But you know that and you can trust him that he’s not going to suddenly change direction and decide the steer show should be judged like a heifer show. 

People like showing under him because they know that and they can trust him to pick a specific type of animal.  If you don’t like his type of cattle, you still know what you are expected to bring.  You can use that to make strategic decisions on animal selection and feeding throughout the year and go into the show knowing with a fair bit of confidence that your work has been toward the proper end.

Why do people like Mark Hoge?

They trust him that when they go into the ring, they will get a solid look and that he’s going to bust his tail making sure he takes the entire show seriously.

They know the year of work that went into that calf for 15 minutes in a show ring will be respected and if they don’t get picked, it will be because they didn’t have a calf that was good enough.

They don't worry that they won't be seen because he's feeling tired during their class or there are too many cattle in the ring.

When exhibitors can trust you that you will judge every calf in the ring in a consistent manner they’ll drown out the crazies that will never be satisfied.

Politics in the Showring


Post January Texas Cup Standings


Rank Team Points Top 20s
1 Fort Bend County 1887 10
2 Washington County 1326 6
3 Needville FFA 1247 8
4 Bellville FFA 1106 5
5 Angleton FFA 1037 5
6 Navasota FFA 1027 5
7 Harris County 920 7
8 Guadalupe County 892 4
9 Caldwell County 867 6
10 East Bernard FFA 752 4
11 Sealy FFA 731 4
12 Rudder FFA 729 4
13 Hamilton FFA 707 5
14 Coryell County 648 3
15 Robertson County 567 5
16 Floresville FFA 504 2
17 Burleson County 483 2
18 Taylor-Katy FFA 472 4
19 Klein FFA 462 2
20 Pearland FFA 461 4
21 Young County 455 4
22 Live Oak County 447 7
23 Johnson City FFA 420 3
24 East Central FFA 413 4
25 Refugio County 403 3

Top Web Sale Lots Week of 1/25/2016


Sale Reports

Top individual sale lots of the past week...

  1. $24,000 - Bred Heifer sired by Wrangled UP
    Combined Forces Bred Female Sale 1-30-16 #48
  2. $23,900 - Bred Heifer sired by Carnac
    Right Direction Elite Female Sale Kelly Cattle Co 2016 #15
  3. $20,500 - Bred Heifer sired by I-80
    Minnaert Show Cattle Online Heifer and Genetics Sale 1-27-16 #1
  4. $20,000 - Bred Cow sired by Cerveza
    Combined Forces Bred Female Sale 1-30-16 #2
  5. $18,000 - Bred Heifer sired by Solid Gold
    Combined Forces Bred Female Sale 1-30-16 #46
  6. $16,500 - Bred Heifer sired by GCC Whizard
    Combined Forces Bred Female Sale 1-30-16 #66
  7. $16,000 - Bred Heifer sired by Goet I-80
    Combined Forces Bred Female Sale 1-30-16 #85
  8. $16,000 - Bred Cow sired by Apocalypse
    Combined Forces Bred Female Sale 1-30-16 #1B
  9. $15,000 - Bred Heifer sired by Irish Whiskey
    Combined Forces Bred Female Sale 1-30-16 #30
  10. $12,500 - Bred Heifer sired by Irish Whiskey
    Combined Forces Bred Female Sale 1-30-16 #32

Wearables and Judging Contests


Pull up your local major show's premium book and do a search for "cell".

Please turn OFF your cell phones during the contest. There will be no usage of cell phones at all, i.e. texting during the contest

Usage of Electronic Devices: Neither contestants or exhibitors may be in possession of electronic communication or storage devices at any time during judging or while in arena or in competition. These devices include but are not limited to cell phones, Palm Pilots, Blackberries, personal computers, pagers, and radio devices, such as walkie-talkies and/or handless phone devices.

Cell phones are not allowed in the judging arena by any contestant. Use of any cell phone will result in immediate disqualification.

Exhibitors are not permitted to bring any form of an electronic device (i.e. cell phone, pager, etc.) into the judging arena. Any Exhibitor that violates this rule will be ruled ineligible and removed from the Show.

No electronic devices will be allowed in contest area, including cellphones. Violating this rule may cause the Participants and their teams to be disqualified and ineligible to receive awards.

Rules regarding cell phones are almost standard for just about any show organized enough to put together a premium book.  Not only are the prohibited in judging contests, at many shows they’re prohibited when exhibiting animals.

But who is paying attention to wearables?

I’ve asked that question several times at livestock judging contests over the past few months.  The general answer is “what are wearables?”  That’s certainly understandable, the people officiating contests generally don’t have much time to waste keeping up with such things.

Well, what ARE wearables?

They’re things like Apple Watches, think mini phones that look like watches.  They have all the functionality of a phone that you’d want in order to cheat in a judging contest.

A contestant could text their placing of one class to a teammate via a wearable quite easily and it’d be significantly more inconspicuous than doing it with a phone.   A kid could look like they’re just holding their hands behind their back and text other contestants.

On the receiving side of things, it would just look like somebody checking their watch.  There’d be no need to pull out a phone, they could do it while looking at their scantron.

Just something else for you guys to worry about….

The Proper Response to PETA Bashing FFA


Meyer Ranch 734 Semen Auction Prices Over Time


734 may not be the only bull anybody thinks of for replacement clubby females anymore but his semen has consistently remained in that $300-400 range for half a decade now.

One year moving average price of Meyer Ranch 734 semen since 2008 based on 185 lots sold in 92 different sales...

Why is the National Western in January?


Denver was pretty cold this year, not terribly cold, about what you’d expect for Denver in January.

It was nothing like 2006, the year Monopoly was on display.  That year was dangerously cold.  It was the first year I went up there to shoot videos and about 1PM on Saturday I had to stop because I couldn’t get my fingers to move enough to operate the camera.

But that’s to be expected in Denver in January from time to time.

Come to think of it, why is one of the most prestigious shows in the country in January?

No, “because it’s always been done that way” isn’t an answer even though it’s what literally every single one of you says is the reason.

The big Midwest shows are in the fall and it if you had to pick a state for big stock shows in January, Texas or Arizona would be some of them most logical choices.

But Denver is right there in one of the harshest weather months in a region known for bad weather in the winter.

So why is the National Western in January?

I went ahead and asked and Keith Fessenden, the archivist and historian for the National Western was nice enough to let me know….

I believe the scheduling of the first stock shows in Denver in January 1898 and 1899 was because several organizations interested in such a show met in January in Denver. They were the Colorado Cattle Growers Association, the Colorado Horticultural Society, the Colorado State Forestry Association and the National Wool Growers Association. In 1899 a poster advertising the show read “Second Annual Convention National Live Stock Association and National Exhibition of Range Cattle”.

Later this practice continued in 1906 with the first of the 110 National Western Stock Shows which was also scheduled for January. As noted above January is a month which was found to work well for the annual meetings of the Colorado Cattle and Horse Growers Association, the Colorado Horticultural Society, the Colorado State Forestry Association and the National Wool Growers Association. It is also a time when farmers and ranchers are less busy. (Which is probably the reason it worked well for the members of the above mentioned associations to hold there meetings in January.) It is also a month which does not conflict with the stock shows which were held each year in Chicago, Illinois; Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; and Saint Paul, Minnesota.

One source states the members of the Colorado Cattle and Horse Growers Association had been supposedly been pushing for an annual cattle exposition in Denver in January since they began holding annual conventions in January.

Top Web Sale Lots Week of 1/18/2016


Sale Reports

Top individual sale lots of the past week...

  1. $12,000 - Heifer sired by H Excelt 8051 ET
    Herefords on the Rocks 2016 #1
  2. $10,750 - Bull sired by AAR TEN X 7008 SA
    Texas Angus Association Best of the West 12th Annual Bull Sale 2016 #71
  3. $10,500 - Heifer sired by Buyers Choice
    Herefords on the Rocks 2016 #17
  4. $10,000 - Bull sired by AAR TEN X 7008 SA
    Texas Angus Association Best of the West 12th Annual Bull Sale 2016 #2
  5. $9,500 - Bull sired by VAR Discovery 2240
    Texas Angus Association Best of the West 12th Annual Bull Sale 2016 #56
  6. $9,000 - Bull sired by RITO 9Q13 OF RITA 5F56 GHM
    Texas Angus Association Best of the West 12th Annual Bull Sale 2016 #11
  7. $9,000 - Bull sired by AAR TEN X 7008 SA
    Texas Angus Association Best of the West 12th Annual Bull Sale 2016 #25
  8. $9,000 - Bull sired by EXAR DENVER 2002
    Texas Angus Association Best of the West 12th Annual Bull Sale 2016 #50
  9. $8,750 - Bull sired by VAR Discovery 2240
    Texas Angus Association Best of the West 12th Annual Bull Sale 2016 #116
  10. $8,500 - Bull sired by DEER VALLEY ALL IN
    Texas Angus Association Best of the West 12th Annual Bull Sale 2016 #67

Minor Front Page Updates


I’ve done some maintenance on the cattle blog spider.

Thumbnails are now being pulled properly again and it’s able to work with more image types and blog formats.

Youtube thumbnails are now pulled from blog posts in both iframe and embedded formats.

I've fixed a problem that caused the spider to skip over several posts and record the incorrect link address.

The blog links have sent 18,539 visits to various blogs between December 23rd and January 21st of this year.

Theodore Roosevelt quote...


Theodore Roosevelt once said, “I do not believe there was ever a life more attractive than life on a cattle farm.” It’s amazing how this one sentence perfectly describes how the cattle producers feel about raising cattle. Farmers and ranchers take pride in their work, and live a more attractive life than most could imagine.

Its hard work, but worth the sweat, blood, and tears. At the end of the day cattle producers can go to bed knowing that they built that herd that everyone in town is talking about. They went to sale barns and spent long hours searching for the right heifers and bulls that would throw that calf that is show, breeding, or carcass quality. It didn’t happen in one day, or overnight but when it was all done they had the privilege to smile as they placed their brand on those cattle.

Cattle farmers and ranchers help feed an ever growing population as well as provide essential byproducts for many of our everyday goods. They do this all without expecting a simple thank you. Also, dealing with people that are agriculturally lacking, and always picking a fight. Cattle producers don’t let this get them down though. They are always looking at the bigger picture, and know that what they are doing is important and does matter. It puts money in their pockets and food on their tables to feed their families.

It’s a family tradition for some. Some of these cattle producers grew up on a farm and watched their grandpa and dad keep the farm or ranch managed. They watched their family’s maintain that farm better than some politicians manage their own campaigns. It’s always amazing to see those third or even fourth generation farmers keep their great great grandpas farm up and helping his legacy live on. Farming and ranching for some, is just a family tradition that can’t be broken. A tradition that sometimes helps other families start their own traditions.

Cattle producers produce cattle for not only their selves, but others as well. Show animals are usually bought from someone that spends a lot of time and knows about what the stock show world is looking for. The cattle breeder gets the opportunity to help that kid have a great show season. They get to watch how that kid choses that animal that is best suited for them and begin working hard on preparing for a Grand Champion. For some, that show animal makes a positive impact on their life. They may even decide to become cattle producers themselves one day. Showing cattle is something that teaches you some of the best life lessons.

Cattle farms and ranches are the best way to learn about life. You watch life happen in the field, and sometimes end. You were the one that pulled that calf and the one that took care of it when its mother died. You nursed that calf back to health and watched it grow and become a mother. The circle of life can best be explained by working with cattle.

You learned to be selfless and take care of your herd better than you took care of yourself. You learned about how to use time and money management to the best of your abilities. An added bonus was the cattle farms and ranches also helped a lot of parents get out of having the talk about where babies come from.

The cattle farm helps kids mature at a faster rate than most. It’s something that more kids should go through. The people that get the opportunity to be cattle producers, are the luckiest people of all. They truly live an attractive life.

For what it's worth regarding oil patch junior auctions...


Nobody knew what the oil bust would do to the junior livestock auctions in the Texas oil regions this spring.

For what it's worth, two sales that rose in total gross right along with the oil boom were only off about 5% this past weekend.

That brought them back to levels in 2014 which at the time was considered a great year for junior livestock show auctions.

Something Better than Bull Videos


Want something that would get your site more attention than we used the old Denver bull videos to get here?

Setup a cameraman on top of the auction barn each night during the Herd Bull Alley display and video the a-holes stealing the banners from bull displays.

My gosh, why is that such a popular past time?  You’d almost think that the people stealing the banners each night would start bumping in to each other while they’re doing it.

At this point bull owners should probably just assume they’ll need to take at least one spare to replace the banners they get stolen each night.

Top Web Sale Lots Week of 1/11/2016


Sale Reports

Top individual sale lots of the past week...

  1. $240,000 - Bull sired by EXG RS FIRST RATE S903 R3
    Bases Loaded Elite Angus Sale 2016 #1
  2. $80,000 - Semen sired by QUAKER HILL RAMPAGE 0A36
    Bases Loaded Elite Angus Sale 2016 #45
  3. $80,000 - Heifer sired by CRR 719 CATAPULT 109
    Mile High Night The National Hereford Sale 1-15-16 #1
  4. $80,000 - Bull sired by CRR 719 CATAPULT 109
    Mile High Night The National Hereford Sale 1-15-16 #23
  5. $62,500 - Heifer sired by Buyers Choice
    Mile High Night The National Hereford Sale 1-15-16 #5
  6. $55,000 - Heifer sired by Buyers Choice
    Mile High Night The National Hereford Sale 1-15-16 #9
  7. $50,000 - Bull sired by DDA Dameron Northern Light
    14th Annual Denim and Diamonds Angus Sale 1-14-16 #1
  8. $50,000 - Bull sired by UPS Sensation 2296 ET
    Mile High Night The National Hereford Sale 1-15-16 #32
  9. $50,000 - Heifer sired by C Stockman 2059 ET
    Mile High Night The National Hereford Sale 1-15-16 #8
  10. $50,000 - Bred Heifer sired by Baldridge Waylon W34
    National Western Angus Foundation Female Sale Females Forever 2016 #1

Blog Archive
Lots Watched
New Reports
Sullivan Supply – Air Express III
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Stock Show University at Western Bonanza
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Throwback Thursday – Rolo
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San Antonio, TX 78260