Texas, Mexicans, and King Ranch Institute


Jet lag is an interesting thing. I don’t know but I imagine it is how you feel after a drug high. It sure leaves your mind not working as normal.

I flew to San Antonio, Texas from Hawaii and went to work for Texas Cattle Feeders the next morning. TexAnna Feeders is one feedlot I always enjoy visiting. Jason Peeler and his family are not normal people. They all have this spark and ambition and a way of looking at things a little different and it really inspires me every time I go there. Had a long visit with Jason, and his son Ben showed up and he has his own style to keep the Peeler thing going.

Head cowboy Brad and his band of immortals (from the movie “Tombstone”)always impress me. They can get it done in any situation and do it with the right amount of pressure for the job. They exemplify what I feel a Texas cowboy should be.

We had a nice turnout for the day with other feedyards from the area attending and everything worked out good. Rode a nice horse, cattle worked good and they were very receptive to improving Beef Quality Assurance and cattle handling.

Great day, but I really don’t know what I said or did, and I had a tough time driving to Kingsville. Ben Weinheimer and Matt Davis of Texas Cattle Feeders treated me to the “Kings Inn” for supper and I was at the beach in the Gulf of Mexico. The seafood and the beaches are a little different in Texas and Hawaii.


Next morning we are at “Howell Feeders ” and we were treated with the great hospitality that I always find in Texas. They have a certain pride and a certain style of cowboy culture in this area as I found in Hawaii. Great place, great cattleman, great meal.

Mexicans will humble you. I’m not being prejudice here. I’m talking about cattle that have a “M” brand. This means they were imported from Mexico. After all the nice success in Hawaii at working cattle, a big old Mexican steer decided I was getting a little big for my britches and fed me a little humble Mexican pie. Everything I tried to do he did just the opposite.

I really enjoy watching and working with these cattle. You really need to read them for what they need, and some of them have a lot of feel, and some are just dull to any human pressure. That steer gave me much to think about and learn from. The rest of the work, pulling a pen, and processing through a tub system went pretty good.

Everything I did here was in total contrast to the time spent in Hawaii. Grass finished to grain finished. 98 degrees from 75. Cattle confined in pens to cattle in big open pastures.
Here’s the amazing thing. I think the cattle and the humans were just a content or more content in Texas! It’s all about attitude.

This is something we as humans need to realize and understand. The cattle in both places were content in either situation as long as they have feed and water and have the proper pressure put on or taken off by the human. We as stockman need to realize this and we need to help consumers of beef realize this.

The King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management has 6 students a year, 3 first year, 3 second year. They are prepared to manage large livestock operations. Ron Gill and I have presented at their symposium a couple of times and they do big things for the industry. I visited with Clay Mathis and Rick Machen , who head up the program, then we had a nice informal visit with some of the students. They were great, we shared ideas, I learned a bunch and feel much better about the future of big ranch operations after my visit. Check it out at “krirm.tamuk.edu”

I have just learned that Cargill has sold the Leoti and Yuma feedyards. I have been working with Katie Holcolm at these yards for the last few years. I am going to miss spending time with her and all the great folks we worked with at the yards, both in the office and out in the pens. Katie, you made a difference.

I can’t tell how proud I am to be a part of the livestock industry. The people I get to work with everyday are just salt of the earth solid people. That is from organization leaders like Katie, Ben, Matt, Clay and Rick to the pen riders and cowboys I have been working along side for the past few weeks.We don’t do everything perfect, but we’re working on it.The protein we produce is so important to the world. We will just keep getting better at it.

3 thoughts on “Texas, Mexicans, and King Ranch Institute

  1. drewfowles

    Curt as a new follower, of your travels I just wanted to say thankyou for putting these blogs up its really good to follow. And as I work cattle every day for a living it’s actually got me thinking again like I used to when I worked with another great cattleman John Quintana he taught me a lot as my stepfather did. But now it’s about refinement and getting better thankyou for sharing your thoughts.

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