Tag Archives: family

Get hooked on animals

After thinking about this addiction thing, it is becoming clear to me I am addicted to handling animals.  Just about everything I do in my life has to do with animals or people that work with animals.

I was very lucky growing up the way I did.  My Grandfather always had me help him take care of the chickens, feed the sheep and cows, and I went with him as much as I could when he would haul, buy, and sell cattle at the livestock auction.  Everything we did evolved around the care of livestock.

When I visited my Grandpa Ed and Granny Alice it was at a huge feedlot.  Everything there was about riding horses and working cattle and going to rodeos.

In my youth it was all about the care of animals.  My grandfathers, my mother, and stepfather were just incredible at taking care of animals. The animals always came before anything else in our lives.  This was a great influence on me.  We had a hog operation that I just loved.  I could pretty much take care of the sow barn and the finishing pens.  Someday I want to have pigs again.

We also had a custom slaughter house and meat cutting business.  I did not like it but I sure learned a lot about the meat side of the business.  My main jobs were hauling guts and salting hides, and that was just fine with me.

Every one I was around was very much into the care of animals but not really into the handling of animals.  They just got it done.

When I started getting real interested in horses and horsemanship the addiction started.

From then on I made all my decisions and work involve working with horses and grazing animals. If I had to irrigate I did it on a colt and learned it is a great way to get a horse real good.  I don’t put up hay, but graze intensively.  This allows me to work with the animals much more.  When I don’t know what to do, I go do something with animals.

I feel I am addicted to working with animals.  It is not as good always as I’d like but I keep working at it.  For a long time my work with cattle was about cowboy skills with a real emphasis on roping.  That was real good, but now my focus has really gone to getting animals to work better, and I am really focusing on getting the animal content mentally.

To me this is real satisfying to my addiction. I still like to rope, but working on getting animals to really trust me and want to be around me is my real goal.

I think this is a healthy addiction and am glad my addiction has turned into my work.  It seems to me that many of the people I observe involved with animal agriculture or horsemanship get so involved in the care and performance of the animal that they miss the the mental part.  The important thing to realize is that if the animal is not content you may not be getting the performance you are seeking.  You may not be as content as you could be with your involvement with animals. I hope you will search for a better deal as long as you are working with animals.  I hope you get addicted.

~ Curt Pate

It was my grandmother, Alice Pate’s 90th birthday.  We had a big family get together for her. She is an amazing woman that has been through it all, from the depression to the death of a husband.  It was a great day for everyone and only my granny could make everyone that attended feel special.  She’s special.

~ Curt Pate

grandma and curt

For the love of animals

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