Tag Archives: Great Plains Living

The Code…Ride For The Brand

The term “brand” goes back thousands of years and originally meant “to burn”. To the cowboy of the American West, the “brand” not only identified the ownership of cattle, but it also became the symbol of loyalty, pride, and commitment. Some people credit Louis L’amour for coming up with the term “Ride for the Brand,” but I can imagine some cow boss telling a slacker hired hand cowboy that if he wasn’t going to “Ride for the Brand,” he might as well hit the trail. It was his way of communicating that if he wasn’t going to work hard, take pride in his work, and be loyal to his employer, then he didn’t need to be working there. Riding for the brand was, and is a great way to sum up a how to have a good employee/employer relationship, but the phrase can be applied in a number of ways.
As an equipment dealer, we are proud of our brand. We are constantly working to build the reputation of. We brand our caps, tractors, uniforms, buildings, advertising, and just about anything we can think of that is related to Great Plains. We are also proud of the brands we represent, and “Ride for those Brands” each and every time we open our doors. Our goal is to communicate to our customers through our actions that is the “Brand to Ride With”.
As a Christian, “Riding for the Brand”    is really summed up in a scripture that I should remember every day. Colossians 3:23 says.
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
My goal in life is to ride for the    and even though I make many mistakes, fall off my horse, and disappoint my Heavenly Father, I hope that at the end of the day, people will see by my actions that I belong to Jesus.
In my opinion, the best example of a person “Riding for the Brand” occurred a couple of thousand years ago, long before the cowboy rode the range on the Great Plains. The apostle Paul was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, whipped and imprisoned numerous times and said in Galatians 6:17 that “I bear on my body the scars that show that I belong to Jesus”.
Isn’t that what a “brand” is?

This story and others posted in this blog are originally published in Great Plains living.  The official magazine of Great Plains Kubota.


Ethics On Outdoors

The only thing worse than not catching fish is finding an empty cup of worms or livers mindlessly discarded on the bank.  Summer is here, and the following months will bring an array of outdoor activities that will inevitably have a footprint on nature.  Camping, fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, picnicking; you name it, all provide the chance for improving or ruining the outdoor experience.  Having a mind set to pick up someone’s trash or obey state regulations makes time spent outside more enjoyable for everyone.  All that’s needed is just a little bit of respect.  Respect goes a long way in nature.  If it isn’t taught and learned, sooner or later mother nature will give you a lesson of her own.  It may be in the form of a legal citation, or something as serious as a brush with death.  No matter the severity, having respect from the moment your foot steps out on nature’s playing field is a must.
Why do we go outside in the first place?  Picnics can be a lot of work, and walks can be taken in a living room while watching television.  We go outside to be closer to nature.  We fish and hunt to make that primal connection, and turn what our ancestors did for survival into recreation.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting on your back porch or white water rafting, being outside provides a connective experience that brings us closer to who we truly are.  These experiences that we are subconsciously trying to connect with are enriched when we consciously leave a particular patch of nature better than we found it.
We live in a time of relative excess.  Combine that with ample opportunities offered by public lands and parks and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.  There are simple steps that can be taken to avoid the damages of human impact.  For starters, always plan ahead.  Carrying a plastic sack for trash is perfect for day trips, while trash bags or containers are more appropriate for camping.  I know it’s fun to take the road less traveled – but only off-road where designated.  Take only what’s needed and always obey the regulations!  By doing this we allow others the same opportunities we have.  If you’re going to make a campfire this summer, make sure there isn’t a burn ban.  Finally, be considerate of wildlife and others.
Outdoor ethics goes beyond the realms of the outdoor enthusiast.  Farmers and ranchers, like outdoorsmen, have a responsibility to make the land better.  Their connection to land and livestock goes far beyond that of recreation, and for most farmers and ranchers, explaining outdoor ethics would be like preaching to the choir.  Land owners inherently become stewards of their property.  Of course there are different means of maintenance, but their constant efforts and results are globally profound.
Having a code of ethics means it will be put to the test.  I find myself challenged every time I go hunting or fishing.  Do I pick that piece of trash up, or keep that fish that’s a quarter of an inch under the size limit?  It’s the small things that make up the big picture.  As a former Boy Scout I can’t help but share the BSA’s “Outdoor Code” to help illuminate this bigger picture.  It states:
As an American, I will do my best to—
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation minded.

From mountain top to river bottom, wherever the cry of nature takes you this summer, leave only footprints.  But like the trash, leave no memory behind.

This article was published in the 2016 Summer issue of Great Plains living.  For more articles visit www.greatplainsliving.com.

We Are Great Plains Kubota

We’ve asked our customers to ride with the brand.  We’ve now become “The Brand That Works For You.”  At Great Plains we operate beyond the boundaries of our slogans and brand statements because our actions speak louder than our words.  The GP Kubota mission is to provide quality equipment solutions while conducting business in a manner that honors and respects God, our employees, our customers, our suppliers, and the communities we serve.
It’s our job to understand the work of our customers.  It’s our responsibility to represent Kubota and our other equipment vendors with integrity.  It’s our duty to stand by our products and our customers. We don’t always have the answers, but we don’t stop until we’ve found the right solution.  Beyond the solutions Great Plains offers, customers will experience a friendly and helpful shopping environment.  If it’s not right, it’s on us.  That’s as simple as it gets, and is exactly what we promise.  From showroom floor to field, our promise, combined with a clean and professional environment, takes GP services beyond the sale.  It doesn’t matter if it’s two or 20 years, every time a customer operates equipment purchased from us, they’re doing business with Great Plains.
What makes Great Plains Kubota different from other equipment dealerships?  A solid foundation built by honest, hard-working ownership and management supports all aspects of GP operations.  GP leadership makes our business more than a tractor dealership;  they’ve created an oasis in a desert of work.  Our full-line Kubota dealerships in Ada, Duncan, Edmond, and Shawnee will quench customers’ thirst for productivity.  Great Plains Kubota is a diverse group of friendly employees, trained to operate as a unified resource that strives to earn every customers’ business.  The privilege to serve customers does not come automatically; the privilege is earned by the daily diligence of our employees.
Great Plains Kubota is comprised of people that, like you, know the value of quality equipment.  We are farmers, ranchers, pastors, leaders, gardeners, hunters, builders, fishermen, cooks, and auctioneers.   We’re friends of the family and stewards of the land.  We are “The Brand That Works For You.”
What we offer is more than equipment sales, service, parts, and rentals.  We offer the means to achieve dreams and goals.  We offer a hard to find promise: We will work for you every step of the way.  As we continue to grow we will continue to improve and refine our operations.
What it all boils down to is this – many places offer equipment, furthermore there’s lot of places that offer Kubota equipment.  It’s the service and satisfaction you’ll get at any Great Plains Kubota dealership that makes all the difference.  We are many different things, but most of all, we are Great Plains Kubota.

For more information about Great Plains Kubota visit www.gpkubota.com

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

Always Finish What You Start

By: Bill Clark (President Of Great Plains Kubota)

From: 2015 Summer Issue of Great Plains living

I grew up in Duncan near the Chisolm Trail, which ran very close to what is now Hwy. 81.  In fact, the Chisolm Trail Heritage Museum is now located a few hundred feet from the home I lived in until the sixth grade.  Museums have been built, movies have been made, and numerous books written to commemorate this important part of history.  Even though I literally grew up next to the trail, I took for granted what it took to complete the task of driving cattle to market.  To drive cattle up the Chisolm Trail was hard, dangerous, and dirty work that once started, couldn’t be stopped until the mostly wild longhorn cattle were delivered to their pens near Abilene, KS.  It usually took over two months to complete the entire journey from south Texas to northern Kansas.  These cowboys had no weekends, no time off for injuries, no comp time, no compressed work schedules, just a little sleep on the ground while working to keep the cattle together and headed up the trail.  This determination is one of the characteristics that made the American Cowboy a hero in the minds of many, and has shaped what we know of today as a good work ethic.
I can imagine that many of the cowboys wanting to hire on for the ride were told by the cow boss that if they started, they had to finish.  In fact, most of the cowboys got paid at the end of the trail when the cattle were sold, so if they quit along the way they didn’t get paid anything.  Even if there is not payday at the end, there’s still the satisfaction in completing what you start, especially when the job isn’t easy.  I vividly remember coming home from school one day wanting to try out for football, and my Dad warning me that it will be tough.
He said, “Billy, if you start, you can’t quit.”
On the hot two-a-day practices that I sure thought about quitting on, but I’d hear my Dad’s words ringing in my ears, and knew that I just had to tough it out.  We didn’t have a winning team, but I was really glad I finished when I got my new letter jacket.
Finishing what we start at Great Plains Kubota is a key part of our brand promise of, “The Brand That Works For You.”  You have work to do, and our job is to be sure that your equipment is prepared for the task.  Our commitment is that if we service your equipment, and it’s not right, it will be on us.  We appreciate the opportunity to serve you, and truly want to know if we have not completed the job we started.  Not just because we want to get paid, but because we want to finish what we started in order for you to complete your work.
Arguably, on of the wisest person who ever lived was King Solomon.  He tried everything under the sun hoping to find meaning and fulfillment in life.  He found very few things that truly brought about satisfaction.  He did find that finishing something was better than starting something.  He wrote in Ecclesiastes 7:8 – Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof:

All Terrain Hunting

It’s hard to imagine a time when big game hunters didn’t use ATVs or

utility vehicles (UTVs). The classic images of western hunters packing

in with horses and mules are now kept by only a nostalgic few. Of

course there are plenty of hunters today who don’t use off-road

vehicles. However, all hunters from those who stalk big game to ones

who hunt upland birds, could benefit from using an ATV or UTV. From the

first snow machines to the modern day side-by-side, the extreme demands

of avid hunters have influenced the evolution of these vehicles.

Mirroring this evolution, off-road vehicles themselves have changed the

sport of hunting. History proves there’s no turning back from these

advanced machines, and the farthest frontiers are only as far as a few

extra gas cans.

Two main factors have increased hunters usage of off-road vehicles

during the past few decades. Hunting popularity has increased, and

innovations of hunting products and tactics have been introduced.

When something is popular everyone wants to do it. For hunters

this means traveling farther to find that perfect secluded hunting

spot. Whether it’s hunting farther from base camp, or scouting a

potential hunting lease, off-road vehicles allow hunters to quickly

expand their range. Realistically, there’s only so far a hunter can

venture on foot, but with off-road vehicles remote hunting locations can

be reached sooner, hunted longer, and daylight is no longer an issue.

With increased popularity comes more hunting pressure, especially to

public access areas. Once secluded destinations have become hunting

hotspots, forcing hunters to spread out to find their piece of paradise.

Perhaps just as important to the evolution of these machines is

the use of hunting tactics that require vehicles with hauling

capabilities. Deer feeders and tree stands, for example, are popular

among whitetail hunters. Scouting and staging multiple feeder-stand

locations can be a one man job when using a UTV. UTVs easily haul

multiple passengers and cargo through a variety of terrain, making them

ideal for hunting clubs and lease partners. On the other end of the

hunting spectrum UTVs are ideal for setting up remote hunting camps.

There’s so much time devoted to creating or escaping to a hunting

paradise that off-road vehicles have become a necessity.

Great Plains Kubota salesman, Brent Elliott has a large family,

and they all enjoy the outdoors. He stated that without his off-road

vehicles they would do a lot less hunting.

“We use our ATVs and UTVs to check cameras, which is a great way

to scout for a busy guy like me. There’s no way I could check five

cameras after work if I was on foot. I also use them to drop off family

and friends at different hunting spots on my property. They’re more fuel

efficient than larger vehicles so I can haul kids, recover deer, and

scout without breaking the bank or my back. I wouldn’t be able to hunt

the way I do without these machines,” said Elliott.

Planting food plots is another increasing tactic hunters use to

attract deer. Hunters on a budget can easily plant supplemental food

anywhere on their property with an off-road vehicle paired with an

all-in-one tow behind implement.

The dedicated woodsman who treks solo after big game knows the

importance of a maneuverable off-road vehicle, such as an ATV. When it

comes to packing out game, a well-equipped ATV or UTV is simply the

superior method. Accessories like winches, trailers, cargo boxes,

additional lighting, GPS, and protective coverings are essential to the

all-terrain hunter. Another Great Plains Kubota hunter who knows the

challenges of hunting dramatic terrain is Allen Dennis.

“The land I hunt is only accessible by a steep ridge next to a

river. Trucks can’t handle the extreme incline so we have to use ATVs

to haul our gear to the hunting locations. We’ve even used ATVs to pull

trailers with riding mowers, so we could maintain our food plots. It’s

not like we actually hunt on them, but we couldn’t hunt without them,”

said Dennis.

Off-road vehicles used in hunting have also created conflicts

among the hunting community. Hunting and shooting from these machines

isn’t fair chase, and reflects poorly on the sport. Laws set in place

are designed to protect both the environment and the future of using

ATVs and UTVs for hunting.

So, which off-road vehicle is better? Choosing between ATVs or

UTVs comes down to preference, price, and capabilities. Typically ATV’s

are less expensive. They are faster and narrower than UTV’s, making them

capable of going places UTVs can’t. However UTV’s make up for this with

their torque and towing capabilities. With more storage capacity and

passenger options utility vehicles offer hunters versatility ATVs don’t

have. Despite there small differences off-road vehicles were both

designed to get hunters to and from extreme destinations.

For some, hunting is about creating a private paradise. For

others, it’s about escaping to far away destinations. Whatever’s

desired, off-road vehicles can be a hunter’s companion, pack mule, or

rescue team. They’re invaluable when setting up remote camps, scouting

property, planting food plots, or reaching extreme destinations. They

make all the wants and needs of the modern day hunter possible, and will

continue to evolve with the sport.

Great Plains living Turns Two

eviewing the covers of the past eight issues reassures me that Great Plains living is going in the right direction.  It’s been two years since Great Plains Kubota president, Bill Clark and I decided to produce a quarterly magazine.  During this time the distribution of Great Plains living has grown from 5,000 to 13,000.  During this time GP has also grown as a dealership, first with Great Plains Shawnee, and now with Great Plains Edmond.  We thank all our wonderful customers and dedicated readers, because without you GP wouldn’t be the dealership it is today.
     I try to reserve my editorial space for my passion of writing about the outdoors.  For example, my new goal of fishing at least once a week would make a great topic for this spring issue, but being the two year anniversary issue I feel it’s important to briefly skim the last 256 pages of Great Plains living.
     The Spring 2012 issue taught our first readers the importance of equipment maintenance.  They were given a history lesson about Polaris, and read about what makes the Weed Wiper so effective.  Like the current issue, the spring 2012 cover featured our spokesmen Cord and Jet McCoy, whose images and representation have impacted our advertising over the past two years.  Readers also learned how helping others is part of what GP does in the articles Helping Hands and A Place for Hope.
     The Summer 2012 issue showed cattle producers an effective grazing practice, in Bale Grazing 101.  The Crossbar ranch in Davis was featured, and readers learned the small town of Clarita had more to offer than an auction.  Again, the importance of Christian faith was explored in From Fitzhugh to Kotzebue.            
     The Fall 2012 issue featured two hunting articles, Great Plains Shawnee was introduced, and the importance of fostering children was covered in Bridging the Gap.
     Be Prepared…Use Kubota was the Winter 2013 cover story about how Camp Simpson used Kubota equipment.  The first customer submitted article was published, and readers found how the Oklahoma Outdoor Outreach impacts those with disabilities.
     The cover of Spring 2013 displayed the residential Kubota Kommander mower.  Long time Kubota owner Bob Harris couldn’t say enough about his Kubota tractors, and readers learned customer service has been apart of the GP family since 1932.  Storm Shelters Plus gave insight to the “plus” side of owning a Kubota excavator, and the impact Fall Creek has worldwide was covered.
     When Disaster Strikes the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief crews are there to help.  Other Summer 2013 articles covered rattlesnake hunting, a nearly fatal tractor accident, and riding RZRs on the red river.
     Fall 2013 explained the impact grass has on rotational grazing in the article Fields of Dreams.  A Close Connection explored how Brad Clay’s national TV show, Final Descent connects God and hunting.  Readers also learned how a local riding group called the Oklahoma Mud Mafia was there to help.
         The Winter 2014 issue told readers about the GP sponsored TV show, the Land Doctors.  Two new customers and our neighbors to the far north were featured on the cover because they drove from Alberta to Ada to purchase a used Kubota.  Great Plains Edmond was introduced as the newest GP dealership, and Kubota announced their new line of hay equipment.  Readers learned they could rent Kubota equipment in Ada and Edmond, and read how the Polaris Ace was truly one of a kind.  Finally, the article Compassion Without Judgement reflected God’s work through a
local mission.  “Thanks for reading.”