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.
One of my favorite cowboy movies is “Lonesome Dove”. It was set in 1876, during the heyday of cowboy driven cattle drives which developed our perceptions of what we now know as a Cowboy.
The movie was based on the actual life of Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving, and the relationship they built as pioneers during those first cattle drives. The two leading characters in the movie, Gus, portrayed by Robert Duvall as (Oliver Loving), and Woodrow, played by Tommy Lee Jones as (Charles Goodnight) could have written the “Cowboy Code” as they lived it out. One of my favorite lines from the movie comes after Woodrow diligently hauled Gus’s body in a wagon from Montana to Lonesome Dove to bury him.
Woodrow had earlier promised Gus he would bury him under a pecan tree by the creek on Lonesome Dove. Real life accounts report that Goodnight hauled Loving’s body from New Mexico to Weatherford, TX to bury him. Real or fictional It was a long, tough journey, and most people would have given up and just buried Gus anywhere. But not Woodrow. After he buried Gus he put up the grave marker made of the famous Hat Creek Cattle Company sign, and said.
“I guess this will teach me to be careful about what I promise in the future”.
Woodrow had made a promise and he kept it.
At Great Plains, we have a promise that we’ve made to our customers. It is something that we take very seriously and is a part of everything that we do. Our Brand Promise is that Great Plains Kubota is “The Brand That Works…For You”. Here’s how we try to keep that promise.
– Sales –
We’ll work hard to earn every customer’s trust.
– Service –
If it’s not right, it’s on us.
– Parts –
Our goal is to have the parts our customers need when they need them.
– Rentals –
Our equipment will be ready to work.
There’s a reason behind why we make promises, and work to keep them. It’s so that we can be trusted.
At Great Plains we strive to keep our promises so that you will trust us with your business. Unfortunately, we are Human. We do make mistakes at times, and consequently loose customer’s trust. Even though we always work to correct our mistakes, damage is done when trust is lost.
Although people, businesses, and even the best of the cowboys will fail you at times with broken promises, there is One you can always trust.
In Psalms 31:14, David said: “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands;”
If you haven’t, I would encourage you to place your trust in the One who always keeps His promises.
This article was written by Bill Clark in the Summer 2016 issue of Great Plains living
. To read more about Great Plains living visit www.greatplainsliving.com
This is the fifth article in the Cowboy Code series that I have written in Great Plains living. Of all of the Cowboy ethics we have talked about, “Be Tough, but Fair” might be one of the most lacking in our society today. It’s really easy to find examples of people who are tough and maybe we can even name a few people who we might consider fair, but the combination of the two is where most people like myself fail. Who is the first person that comes to mind when you think about someone who was or is “Tough but Fair”. John Wayne? Roy Rogers? Gene Autry? All of which are great examples of “Tough but Fair” cowboys in the movies, but we know they were just human and in real life, they made some mistakes. So, as I started to put my thoughts to paper, the week before Easter, I simply couldn’t get off my mind that there really is only one perfect example of someone who was, is and always will be, “Tough but Fair”. His name is Jesus.
No, Jesus wasn’t a cowboy during his time here on earth, but he did ride a donkey. My belief that Jesus was fully human and that He is fully God is why I say no one, including the best of the cowboys, has ever been tougher or will ever be fairer.
Jesus as a human was tough. During the time He spent here on earth in human form, He suffered the most painful and humiliating death known while going through more mental suffering and anguish than any human has ever endured. His mental strain from carrying the burden of all of our sins was so much that the Bible tells us he literally sweated drops of blood the night before his crucifixion. No human has ever been tougher.
Jesus as God is fair. How many times have each of us said or at least thought “that’s not fair”? I will confess that I probably weigh things on the fairness scales several times a day and catch myself saying “that’s not fair”. When we see injustice on earth, it is at the hands of men as the Bible tells us that God is just. This means that He is fair and impartial. It also means that He hates the very things that we would call unfair, the ill-treatment and oppression of people and of nature, which He has created. The fact that God is just means that He can and will judge between right and wrong and He will administer justice in accordance with His standards, in His time.
I have a friend in law enforcement that has a movie poster showing Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers walking down the street of Tombstone, side by side, fully armed. The poster is titled “Justice is Coming”. Revelations 19:11 speaks of Jesus’ return to earth. It says, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.” Justice is coming and this time He will be riding a white horse instead of a donkey.
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: