Flying home from New Orleans and the annual National Cattleman’s Beef Association convention and trade show that I have been a part of every year since 2005.  It’s now part of the Stockmanship and Stewardship program that Merc Animal health sponsors across the country each year.

It started with a great presentation of the style and tradition of the Luisiana cattle and horse industry.  I met Kent Ledoux and his family on a visit to the Gray Ranch many years ago and then started one of the Ranch colts for Vinton Feeds along with Purina in a demonstration at the race track there in Luisiana.

He did a great job showing the style and some of the tools that were pretty much only used in the southeast and Louisiana.  The stockman of Luisiana has many challenges that we don’t have in other places.  The main challenges are bugs, worms, bogs and hurricanes.  Kent told about one time having 100 head bog down.  The high spot on the ranch was 23 feet above sea level.

The Gray Ranch is known for their great horse program and Kent brought two gooduns.  A grey Mare and a bay roan gelding that I got to ride.  

I got along pretty good with the bay, and used him the next two days in our demos and my Partner Ron Gill Used the Grey.  We had four sessions a day that we presented, and Dean Fish and Todd McCartney helped us with them all.  

The cowboy crew and the sound and video crew-best sound yet!

The focus was on Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) best practices type handling to share ideas with the audience in attendance to take home and try and also to give guidance on how to communicate these best practices with family and employees at their operations.

It is so great to be surrounded by and visit with likeminded cattleman from all over the country and world.  People seem to really enjoy the live cattle and horses in the middle of the big city convention centers and we love to get to share ideas and work cattle in these settings.  Dean and Todd and the NCBA staff do an incredible amount of planing and work to get it all done.

It wasn’t all work.  I never take the time to see the sights, but Wednesday morning I took a walk down to the French quarter and had some great Cajun food and walk clear down to the places people lived and saw quite a bit of the culture for that Cajun lifestyle.  I liked it in the morning but had no interest in going down at night with the Mardigras  crowd.  I enjoyed my pasture walk!

I ate lots of great Cajun food!

A couple of other fun things I got to do was and interview with Cattleman to Cattleman Host Russel Nimitz with me and my longtime friend Forrie Smith.  If you don’t know the name he is Loyd on the tv show “Yellowstone “ and a big star.

Interview will be on RFD Cattleman to Cattleman.

The thing I am so proud of this rough raised crazy wild cowboy is that he had a dream and never quit going for it and finally hit the big time, and he is using that fame to promote Ranching and all things cowboy.

We had lots of fun before his handlers wisked him away for his next interview.

That night my Friends Bill Dale and Mike Williams we’re headed off to dinner and David Nelson my longtime leader from Purina grabbed us and took us to a big purina gathering at a fancy restaurant.  I got sat down next to this crazy Cajun guy and it didn’t take long to figure out he was a famous something.  His name was Troy and was the star of the show “Swamp People”.  We had a great time and ate lots of great food, with lots of good people laughing and really enjoying themselves mostly because of this crazy Cajun alligator hunter.  Lots of fun.

Friday morning I met my friend Trent Johnson at his Greeley Hatworks Booth at 7 am because that was the only time he had free to visit and shape my new hat. I don’t know how many hats he has made and shaped for me but it’s a bunch. I’ve never had one that didn’t fit and I’ve never changed the shape one. He knows.

Trent loves his business and the western lifestyle it represents and gives back more than anyone I know. If you want quality get a Greeley.

After our last Demo the last day of the convention I went to watch my friend and mentor Tom Noffsinger get his award for being selected “BQA Educator of the year”. 

I am so glad he got this award.  He has helped thousands of people in all parts of animal agriculture see and understand the importance of good animal stewardship and has been a big part of BQA training for a long time.  It was so great to see he and his wife Diane up on that stage so proud and happy.

I can’t believe I have got to be around the greatest people in the greatest industry in the world for the last 17 years.  The folks at the NCBA have been great.  Michaela, Jollee, Josh, Grace and the rest of crew along with Merc Animal health make it all work.

Thank you and I hope we see you all next year at a stockmanship and stewardship event or in Florida for the next convention.

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