by Tammy Taylor
When we first purchased our property neither one of us had ever lived or worked on a ranch and we had no idea where to start. Thankfully one of our first local acquaintances was a veteran cattleman who purchased our first calves for us at a livestock auction. Not only were we holding down full-time jobs in Dallas without flexibility to attend these auctions ourselves but we’d never been to an auction before and were very intimidated by the entire process. This wonderful gentleman purchased those calves and brought them to his corrals to work them for us, then delivered them to our own fledgling ranch. He is a valued friend and mentor even today.
After we raised those first calves we decided that we liked the old-time western look of the Hereford breed so we contacted a breeder and purchased our very first registered Hereford pairs. We’ve gone from that timid inexperienced landowner to raising a small herd of registered Hereford cows and now even being certified to breed them through artificial insemination, eliminating the need for a bull to be present on our ranch.
Since our ranch is so small much of our clientele also consists of very small operations, oftentimes just 2-3 cattle at a time. The beauty is that it puts us in the position of being able to Pay-It-Forward from that first wonderful mentor of ours and assist some of these inexperienced landowners with their own endeavors. We’re always happy to give advice when asked and lend a hand when possible. We’ve helped amend a fence while delivering calves to a new customer when we felt their fence would not hold their newly-purchased calves. We’ve driven to an individual’s property to aid them with corral set-up and penning, and we’ve passed on numerous names and numbers for various agriculture authorities that aid with financing, pasture renovations, and education.
The interesting part about this is that each of us have our own justification for being a mentor or for paying-forward kindness and assistance offered freely to us in the past. Think about it – what a wonderful world it would be if we all stepped out to help each other just as we ourselves have been helped by others!