Tag Archives: Cattle

Operation Allen Angus

By Reed Boettcher (Originally Published in the 2016 Summer Issue of Great Plains living)

There’s nothing covert about the operation at Allen Angus Ranch.  The ranch’s dedication to providing quality cattle to the commercial cowman is backed by superior genetics and forage. Through improvements and utilization of resources, Allen Angus is streamlining it’s operation to increase productivity and higher profits for their customers.
Vertical integration was the goal of Greg Spears, co-owner and Operations Manager of Allen Angus, when he purchased the 5200 acre ranch in 2014.  As owner of the Texas based FMC Feeds & Supply, which is managed by Kelley Adair, Spears decided to get into the cattle industry to better understand his customers and to fulfill his wife Kathy’s childhood dream of owning a cattle ranch.  Kathy and Greg have been business partners for 25 plus years.  As a CPA graduate from Texas Tech, she is a major contributor and the “soul” of the Spears enterprises.  First, Greg and Kathy started Scenic Point Land & Cattle in Young county Texas.  As this operation began to take off, they started looking for ways to raise more cattle with less acres.  When an opportunity arose in Allen Okla., Spears, along with business partners Jack Little and Randy Cantin, recognized the land’s potential and made the decision to purchase what is now Allen Angus.  There was a lot of work to be done to bring the ranch up to speed, but with the advice of several entities Spears quickly made ranch improvements that are increasing production.
Customer service is important for any retail business, and understanding the wants and needs of customers is at the core of service.  By purchasing the ranch north of Allen, Okla. Spears and his partners have literally put themselves in their customer’s shoes.  It would have been simple enough to research his target audience, but for Spears, becoming a customer himself not only strengthened his Texas based feed store, but streamlined his entire business operations as well.
First and foremost, Allen Angus is in the forage raising business.  Spears commented on the importance of good forage for the ranch.
“We are blessed to have the opportunity to be stewards of this ranch, but there have been some challenges.  When we took over and started Allen Angus there were a lot of forage improvements that needed to be done. This is where good equipment comes into play.  If you have a tractor that won’t start, or a baler that won’t bale, or swather that won’t swath, you can’t effectively produce the forage you need to improve production.  We decided to buy local and went with Great Plains Kubota because they’re cattle people and farmers.  Like us, they understand the importance of our windows of opportunity.  Thus far GP has been responsive.  In the Ag business, I view the service provider and service purchaser as best friends.  Nobody can make you madder than your best friend, but in the end it’s almost unconditional, because you both have something invested.  Great Plains has invested in Allen Angus, and likewise us with them,” Spears stated.
Since the purchase of the Allen ranch in 2014, the lands’ productivity has come a long way.  It has flourished over the last few years which Spears contributes to good management and advice from outside sources such as the Noble Foundation, and Mark Gardiner of Gardiner Angus Ranch.
Ranch Manager James McWilliams has been with Allen Angus since the purchase, and he brings 14 plus years of experience from a Missouri ranch to the Allen operation.  It’s the sound management and employees of Allen Angus, FMC Feeds, and Scenic Point Ranch that help streamline the entire operation.
The Noble Foundation has also been instrumental, and has helped set the pace for everything Allen Angus does.  Hugh Aljoe with the Foundation has been a huge help, both with the cattle and with improving grass.  Before purchasing, Spears met with the Foundation to get an idea on the Ranch’s potential, and what expectations Spears and his partners should have.  Mark Gardiner, of Gardiner Angus Ranch in Ashland, Kansas, not only provided 100% of the Allen Angus genetics, but has given unmatched sound advice. Much like the Noble Foundation, Gardiner has been a critical part of the start up and growth of Allen Angus. As a business owner, Spears understands good vendors, such as Kubota, can also play a vital role in the ranch’s success.
The Allen Angus mission is to raise known genetic cattle of the highest quality that is affordable and profitable to the common cowman.  Their goal of raising the same quality cattle as registered Angus is obtained by using Method Genetics which test the known genetics of all their bulls and heifers.  There are three points of production they focus on; carcass yield, grade, and performance.  Allen Angus Ranch provides profit proven breeding stock to the commercial producer for a value that helps secure long term viability.  Their cattle are raised on grass range with low stress handling methods.  Allen Angus offers calving ease Angus bulls, yearling bulls, cow bulls, semen, pairs, replacement females, open heifers, and bred heifers.  The 5200 acre ranch is divided into three sections which house 1160 “Momma” Cows, 27 sire bulls, 120 development Bulls, 140 “AI” heifers, and 600 calves.  Allen Angus closely follows the protocol set by Gardiner.  The genetics are present, and it’s up to Spears and ranch employees to give their cattle the husbandry needed to develop to full potential.  Quality genetics, given proper husbandry, provides this ample growth and development.  Method Genetics, and the other practices mention all create a better paycheck for the cowman.  As mentioned early forage is primary at Allen Angus.  Some of the crops raised are; Midland, Bermuda grass, five pastures of native grasses such as love grass and blue stem, along with vetch, and clover.  Since their start, they’ve been no-tilling 700-1000 acres, which has increased forage for the winter.  Spears elaborated further on the importance of quality forage.
“At Allen Angus we invest in components that will make more money for the commercial cowman.  We invest in forage and the quality of our herd…period.  We put money into things that add value.  At first, we were focusing on repairing the forage and ground to ensure a good future.  Our future is with forage, both quality and quantity.  We will continue to improve the land and upgrade cattle so that we can continue to make our customers a profit.”
Allen Angus Ranch is a doorway that leads to good genetics for the commercial cowman.  Through sound forage practices, research, and efficient equipment, Allen Angus develops a profitable product at an affordable price.  Those dedicated to the ranch are staying the course, and investing in their labor of love to insure growth and a sustainable future.  Some people are betting against the ranch’s success, but Allen Angus will stay the course.  It’s only been two years after all, and look how much they’ve accomplished.

For more information about Kubota equipment visit www.greatplainskubota.com

The Cattlemen Connection

Great Plains Kubota and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation Working Together for a Better Tomorrow

The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is a membership driven organization.  OCA leaders are cattlemen who are physically, emotionally and financially involved in Oklahoma’s beef industry.  In 1979, the OCA leadership took a progressive step toward the future by creating the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF).  Those leaders recognized the need to establish a financially viable organization that would be charged with the responsibility of supporting those individuals and organizations who commit themselves to the improvement of the beef industry.
The Foundation’s mission is to preserve the heritage of the West and the viability of Oklahoma’s beef cattle industry through research and education.  With the leadership of Bill Clark, Great Plains Kubota, has established itself as a major partner of the OCF with a true passion to help the Foundation accomplish its mission.  This partnership has helped the Foundation expand its scholarship program, and opened many new doors for the youth of our industry by allowing us to set up a scholarship endowment fund within the Foundation. This is the first endowment fund made possible with the help of our allied industry professionals.
When we first went to visit with Bill and Great Plains Kubota in 2014, we weren’t sure what kind of a response we would get. We knew that we wanted to establish an endowed scholarship fund, but we weren’t sure how to get the amount of funds that we needed. Bill never hesitated when we asked him to donate an RTV to be raffled off in order to start the fundraising process. Great Plains Kubota gladly stepped in to help support our youth, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history”.
By the end of 2015, we realized that we were coming up short on the amount of funds needed to create the endowment. Bill and Great Plains Kubota once again stepped up and donated a lawnmower to be raffled off this year and complete the endowment fund. Bill’s generosity and passion for helping others went even further by issuing a challenge to our membership and offering a chainsaw to the member that sold the most tickets this year.
Great Plains Kubota is a major sponsor of all OCF activities and events.  It’s a pleasure to work with Bill and the rest of the crew at Great Plains Kubota.  They respect and believe in our mission and continue be excellent partners whenever and wherever a need arises.
The OCF published its first ever Annual Report for 2015 that was made possible in part by the ongoing relationship with Great Plains Kubota. The annual report highlighted the work of the Foundation and provided transparency for current and future donors.
OCA’s leaders outlined goals for the Foundation to reach by 2020 during a strategic planning seminar last October. By working together with committed supporters like Great Plains, we can reach these goals and make tomorrow better for the Oklahoma beef cattle industry and its youth. Cattle producers can rely that our legacy and livelihood will be passed on to the next generation, and will remain in good hands thanks to outstanding companies, like Great Plains Kubota, that are willing to make huge investments in the next generation.

Partner’s Perspective – Great Plains Kubota President elaborates on the “Cattlemen Connection”

“A lot of us at Great Plains Kubota raise cattle, and are members of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.  I think the real question isn’t why would we partner with OCA, but rather, why wouldn’t we partner with the OCA.  As Kubota continues to expand it’s equipment line into the larger Ag market I feel it’s our duty as a Kubota dealership to represent Kubota equipment to the right customer, and OCA members are these customers.  Most of them, like us, depend on equipment to manage their cattle operations, and  while we’re excited for the opportunity to earn new business, our main purpose of supporting the OCA is to help establish a solid
future for the beef industry in Okla.  We hope we
can make a positive contribution, and aid the hard
working men and women of the OCA.”
– Bill Clark

By Jeff Jaronek Published in the 2016 Summer Issue of Great Plains living

Hereford Heaven

There are many reasons for visiting Hereford Heaven.  Whatever your personal reasons might be you are always a welcome visitor.  Here you may visit the various ranches and see the lush pastures which have so much to do with the production of good cattle.  Here also you may see the best of Herefords and fill the needs of your own herd.  This is true whether you are looking for registered or commercial cattle.  For here we produce the best of both.”
This excerpt from a 1940s advertising pamphlet paints a different picture of today’s south central Oklahoma.   One can still find lush pastures and great cattle production, but it might be a challenge to locate large herds of Herefords.  Now a visitor to the area would scarcely find a trace that this was once Hereford Heaven but Heaven isn’t necessarily a physical place you can see and touch.  Heaven is all around us.  Likewise Hereford Heaven is still around, and with the right pair of eyes, one can see that this neck of the woods, was and is, truly a bovine Eden.
For some like Beth, David, and Buck Buxton it isn’t hard to see how south central Oklahoma was heaven on earth.  They grew up in the heart and golden era of Hereford heaven.  As children they would spend weekends on the family ranch, (The Horse Shoe Ranch) located near Hickory, Oklahoma.  The Horse Shoe Ranch was truly a hub and a community all its own as were other bigger ranches of the time.  The Horse Shoe even had a one room school house.  To this day they have people from all over the county approach them to tell them that they attended school on the Horse Shoe.  After the passing of C.C. Buxton Jr. and former ranch foreman Alvin Powell, the heirs to the ranch made the decision to sell the herd of registered Herefords.  At that time they had the oldest herd in the state.  The Horse Shoe Ranch was also home to “Camp Horse Shoe Ranch” during the mid 40s, which was an actual German POW camp.  The practice of relocating German soldiers to centrally located ranches was not uncommon.  These soldiers weren’t treated as prisoners though, rather as underpaid ranch hands.  According to Beth they were given 80 cents a day.  She elaborated that after the war her father tried to help several of the POWs achieve US citizenship.  In fact, Beth had the opportunity to meet with one of the POWs and his family long after the war was over while touring Europe in college.  Whether it was common practice to pay POWs, or to take them into town to do yard work, the kind actions of those involved with the human lives during such a difficult time in our nation’s history was a testament to the friendly and welcoming nature of the residents of Hereford Heaven.  Surely the POWs would have thought they’d died and gone to heaven after facing the horrors of war.
From Ada to as far south as the muddy banks of the red river, Hereford cattle reigned supreme in the early part of the 20th century.  Local ranches like the Horse Shoe and Turner ranch were just a couple of the forerunners for promoting the breed.  It was progressive thinking of the times, paired with good gazing and sound practices helped make what this area is today.  It was said in the August 1st, 1944 issue of The Hereford Journal that the words “Hereford Heaven” are worth bales of folding money to the breeders that live in the area.  It’s hard to judge if this saying would still be worth bales of folding money, but one thing is for sure, the impact of the times will not soon be forgotten.

Read more about Hereford Heaven and the Horseshoe Ranch at www.greatplainsliving.com