Trying not to puke

Just heading home from the first of 5 Stockmanship and Stewardship events presented by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Boehringer Ingelheim, this one being in Clemson, South Carolina.  Real well thought out event that was way worth the money and  I can’t imagine why anyone would not attend if they wanted to improve knowledge and skills for producing beef in the modern day beef production model.

I have been starving for knowledge in the production side and quality of life side of animals for a long time, and the more I eat the hungrier I get.  I have spent lots of money on schools and seminars on grass management, animal handling and behavior, marketing and ranch management.  If you knew how much money I have spent on books and videos and audio tapes on these same subjects, and how much time I have invested in studying them, you would think I would be a bunch smarter and handier than I am.

If you look at a lot of the seminars that are offered by some of the “Gurus “ in the industry they seem to be very expensive.  I remember when I went to rodeo announcing school and I told a fellow that had been announcing rodeos for a long time how much it cost, he said I was a fool for paying it.  

The thing the school did was give me a few tools and lots of confidence to step out and get rodeos and go to work and it created a good income for us, and the return on investment for the $1200 was pretty good short term and that was the important thing, especially when you are a young family with lots of dreams but no money.  The thing I didn’t realize is how much those skills I learned and the confidence it created was going to help me all through my working like.  Thank you Bob Fiest and Bob Tallman for taking my twelve hun and giving me great value for it.  I’ll trade money for knowledge any day.

I’ve spent lots of money on Ray Hunt. I’ve spent lots of money on Bud Williams.

They have things for sale that I am willing to pay for.  They are both dead.  I wish they weren’t so I could learn some more from them.  Lots of folks are trying to keep adding to it, but Bud and Ray are done and now we are trying to teach in their name and it is not the same.  For me to pay the same money to someone trying to repeat or say they are teaching what these guys had in their head has never been a good investment of time or money for me and I don’t do it anymore.

I also spend lots of time learning from Temple Grandin.  She is a dedicated teacher of animal husbandry. I have not spent near as much money as Temple spreads knowledge in a different way.  I’ve read lots of her books and studied her videos and designs but have never had to pay for a school or clinic.  It’s a whole different dynamic.

With the gurú type thinking it creates a club type atmosphere.  If your not part of the club your wrong and the enemy.  This is very ego driven (by the club members) and I think very dangerous as it keeps you from expanding your knowledge and skills for you own situation.  YOU CANT BE SOMEONE ELSE!

(I am sitting in seat 8C on an flight home and the guy in seat 8D just got sick and blew chow all over the side of the plane.  I’m writing this to keep my mind occupied so I don’t blow chow!  Just thought you would want to know, and I wish I could be someone else that is somewhere else.)

So with all that, back to the program in Clemson.  It was a two day program that was focused of Stockmanship and Stewardship on the production of Beef.  The presenters were successful producers in the industry willing to share knowledge and instill confidence. Extension personal that are paid to research and present the research they or others acquire, and Ron Gill and myself presenting cattle handling and for the first time and to our surprise, (which we actually like)a trailer and transportation safety demo.  I had watched Clyde Lane do one last year, so I had a good template and then we added the live cattle loading and hauling aspect to it so it turned out good.  I would say something and Ron would have the facts and research to back it up in his head.  I don’t understand how he can know so much.  He knows something about everything!

We got along real good with our horses, the cattle did everything we asked or said we would do, even though some of the “club” members think what we do is wrong.  I feel Ron and I did a  good job of presenting ideas for those in attendance to take home and work cattle better and to explain to others how to work their cattle better.  We will keep getting better at presenting.

(The guy next to me fell a sleep, so I hope he’s better.  If I think about it I go to gagging so I got to get back to writing.)

So the folks that invested the time and money in the two days got this.  Thousands of hours of experience condensed into presentations from industry leaders in a variety of subjects from using poly wire and a fence reel to manage the yearlings that folks learned to grade for marketing abilities when they sell, to inspiration on starting and maintaining a family operation, and a very enthusiastic presenter on what makes a great steak in a meat cutting demo, plus a whole lot more.  Add to that great meals and fellowship with like minded people and I wonder why someone would not attend.

I don’t know what it cost, but the folks from the southeast that put it all together with the crew from the NCBA should be proud of the value they provided for those in attendance.  It will be a great return on investment.

There are 4 remaining Stockmanship and Stewardship events remaining in 2018.  Check out to find out more and sign up.

(My seat mate woke up and is feeling much better, turns out his father has a Hereford operation in East River South Dakota)

7 thoughts on “Trying not to puke

  1. John

    Good to meet and get to know U Curt Pate. Thought U did even better than I expected (and I had pretty high expectations since I had seen some at NCBA, TN). See U down the road, Ben’s Dad.

    1. curtpate Post author


      When I met Ben I took an immediate liking to him, and the same thing happened when I met the guy known as “Bens Dad”

      “Mesa’s Dad”

  2. Marcos Giménez Zapiola

    Thanks for your very stimulating post. I really enjoyed your thoughts on gurus, clubs and investments in knowledge. One of my best investments in life was my $ CAN 500 in Bud’s school at VeeTee (US $360 at the 1995 exchange rate).
    As to your comment on cattle loading demos, my experience is that most people think they can do whatever you show as well as you, until you load cattle. Then, they think “wow, this is really better, maybe this guy has something to teach me”. I began including loading demos in my presentations in 2006, and it really made a difference in my ability to reach people’s minds. You can see some of my loading .videos in my youtube channel marcosgz6491. Saludos!

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