Just Your Standard Bull

Michael Sturgess, Southern Livestock Standard

February 5, 2024

I recently had a lengthy discussion with a long-time friend and colleague in the cattle business about what we call legacy ranches. Our discussion centered around the seedstock industry. He and I, along with others we work with have now spent 40 plus years in this business. It has been a labor of love serving this industry, but as the years go by, one begins to ponder about who will take the reins going forward.

            Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that it’s time to sit on the front porch swing and watch life go by. But what I am suggesting is that we are of the age that we need to begin to equip the next generation to take over and improve upon what we have built.

            There are some who will have children who are actively involved in the family ranch or business that serves this industry. There are many that don’t. 

            One of the best examples of a legacy ranch in our part of the country is the RA Brown Ranch in Throckmorton. Since I began to help at those sales back as far as 1986, it has been my pleasure to work with Rob and Peggy Brown initially and currently with Donnell and Kelli Brown. But it doesn’t stop there. We now are working alongside the next generation of Brown’s—sons Tucker and Lanham. And just as Donnell and Kelli have and still are, Tucker and Lanham will help lead this industry into the future.

            Jim Banner and I started this publication back in 1989. In addition, we helped start the San Antonio All Breed Sale back in 1992. When we started this business, I was 29-years-old. Jim was 30. Jim has three wonderful kids. Lauren and I have our daughter Shelbi. While we love them all, they have not played an active role in this industry. So, one is left to ponder—who will take the lead in the future?

            For those of you in your 30’s out there with a background in this industry, you need to know this. There is a group of us in our 60’s—and we are watching you! Among you are our future leaders. Among you is a small group of hard-working men and women who will show the ability to focus on the task or tasks at hand and are willing to see it through until the end. Those who feel entitled need not apply. But what you do have is an opportunity to prove your worth.

            We already have our eyes on a few of you. But many more are needed. Good ones are easy to spot because they work so much harder and smarter than those around them. But many more are needed!

            We would love to share with you the things we have done right and the things we have done wrong. We want to see you succeed. We want to help you get there.

            And when the day comes when it is time to hang up our spurs, we want to know that we have left it in good hands.

Southern Livestock

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