Since birth my life has never been without animals, and most everything I have been involved in has had to do with the care or handling of livestock.
We had sheep, pigs, cattle, horses, and chickens on our place. It was a great way to grow up.
My step-father, Ralph Wegner was college educated and used all up to date farming methods. From a 90 sow farrow to finish hog operation, custom slaughter house, wheat and hay farm as well as a couple hundred cows, I learned much about production agriculture.
My grandfather, Len Frank went to the 6th grade and was a butcher, cattle trader, rancher, and real estate speculator. He was very frugal and understood cattle from the inside to the outside. He was the biggest influence on me in my passion for the livestock industry. He was good at dealing with people, livestock, and took excellent care of the land. He was always upgrading quality and a master at making a deal work out for everyone involved. He taught me that big was not always better and how important it was to do things right to make a profit.
My other grandfather Ed Pate, was a stockman. My grandmother told me when he was young he went on 3 trail drives from Texas to Kansas City, Missouri. He was an excellent sheep and cattlemen, and trained horses until he was well over seventy. He was in charge of the cattle on a large feedlot when I was a kid and I spent part of my summer riding pens, processing cattle, and riding on outside cattle with he and my uncle. They were great cowboys and could get ‘er done.
My father, Tex, and my uncle, Wilson, were rodeo cowboys. They got me started riding bucking horses and bulls. Most rough stock riders have a great respect for livestock they compete against and I feel fortunate to have learned this respect of animals from the rodeo world.
To me, it seems so important to understand why we do what we do. We can’t change the past, and I sure would not change mine, but it has created where we are right now. It will help you understand what you need to do to improve the areas you would like to improve upon.
It is important for you to know a little about my past, to understand why I feel and do the things I do. For me, I had the best upbringing possible. We were not rich, we were not poor, but almost everything in my life had something to do with animals, and that is the great gift that has always been in my life.
~ Curt Pate