Thursday, December 16, 2010

Big Win, Bigger Smile

by Victor Guerra
At the recent Synergy III Showcase there were lots of good kids who worked hard with their Simbrah cattle in order to show them to the best of their ability.  For those of you who have paid particular attention to Jane Hunt and her heifer Miley, you know that in her first year she had her work cut out for her showing this heifer.  I believe it is a combination of Miley being a tough heifer to show and Jane being a young girl.  I have seen Jane work hard at every show, giving 100 percent to get Miley shown.  As a calf, Miley and Jane were named Grand Champion at the Synergy Showcase II and captured the coveted $3,000 check.  Although Jane had won the show with Miley, nothing had changed Jane is still a young girl trying to show a heifer with a mind of her own. 

Over the course of the next year Jane continued to work hard at home however Miley still gave her all she could handle when trying to get her to stop and set up for the judge.  In order to get it done, she used a nose bud to show her at certain shows, however one judge commented unfavorably about its use.  Her stepfather, Mr. Steve Atzenhoffer often consulted with others and did everything he could to try and make things easier for Jane.  The morning of Showcase III Mr. Atzenhoffer and Jane had decided not to use the nose bud.  It is natural that you always want to win, however I was unaware of just how bad Jane wanted to repeat with Miley at the Showcase.

As the course of the morning went on, Jane told me that she was nervous about showing Miley but eager to get in the ring and win.  After winning a big class and the Senior Division, Jane came out of the ring for a second and I could sense that she was nervous about getting Miley stuck just right in order to give herself the best shot to repeat.  Finally, the moment came and Miley was selected Grand Champion Female for the second year in a roll at the Synergy Showcase, once again attaining Jane that coveted $3,000 check.  When she came out of the ring, I don’t believe I have ever seen a young person so full of life.  With a smile that words can’t describe, Jane received congratulatory hugs from friends and family. 

In this moment, I couldn’t help but appreciate what was really going on.  Yes, Jane and Miley became the first to repeat in MAS Showdown and Simbrah Synergy history, but this feat could not compare to the special moment that Jane and her family were experiencing.  Jane’s smile and fullness of life was a culmination of her hard work and all the hard times she went through in trying to stop Miley and get her shown.  Being part of a company who breeds Simbrah cattle made me proud and the happiness the Atzenhoffer family was experiencing in my eyes was the utmost gratification.  Since this big day, I have often thought about the joy that Jane and her entire family expressed after their big win. 

For me, it wasn’t about cattle during this moment it was all about the happiness and fullness of life that the Atzenhoffer Family was experiencing, especially Jane.  It is my hope that you have had an experience like this as well, where you have worked hard at something, overcame set backs and obstacles and wanted to achieve something so badly, to the point to where when you accomplished it you had that “full of life” feeling.  No words can describe it, but I saw it in Jane that day and I was proud that we as Simbrah breeders were partly responsible for making this moment possible for this hard working young lady and her family.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No Such Thing As Vegetarian

Are you starting to hear the terms vegetarian, vegan, or even vegetable fajitas? Yes there are meatless fajitas on the menu at Uncle Julio restaurants, as well as vegetable hamburgers in many places. Well study the diagram I've attached here and you will have interesting points to make in your next vegan discussion.  I found this to be very informative and again makes the point that the cow is just pretty hard to live without!

Monday, November 22, 2010

We Have An Image Problem!

Last week I visited an elementary school on the southwest side of Fort Worth, Texas--the same Fort Worth that is recognized as Cowtown. I was asked by my friend, Suzanne, who is the counselor there to speak at their career day on my work as an agricultural journalist. Suzanne also figured out real quick, when she learned about my work that I had connections to get her a pickup truck and cattle/horse trailer at her school's vehicle day last week, too.
     So on Thursday, Lesli Groves (some of you old Simbrah breeders will remember her and her photography work) and I loaded up in her truck and pulled her trailer into the school parking lot. The kids were so interested in where the horses rode, why they were hauled, how you feed them in the trailer and etc. None of these kids owned a horse, a few said they had ridden one and some had grandparents who had horses. It amazed Lesli and I how many really had no personal experience of riding a horse.
    Then the next day, I returned and visited with 3rd and 5th graders about my career. I also used this platform to mention how beef producers raise the safest, healthiest and most economical beef in the world and that they are truly people who care about their animals. Everything went well through the first three classes and then I was blindsided.
     A fifth grade girl in the last class I visited with, immediately pointed out to me after I mentioned the above that she had heard that beef was not safe because of the large amount of antibiotics in them. Thankfully, I knew how to address her misinformation because of a speech my daughter did last year on being an advocate for agriculture and because of the Master Of Beef Advocacy program.
    As cattlemen, you know you do not use antibiotics in your cattle, but only when necessary because they are costly and it takes time to administer. I was able to relate this information by comparing it to when this young lady is sick and what steps her parents might use.
     If you have not taken the Master of Beef Advocacy (MBA) class, then I strongly urge you to do so. It's 6 one hour sessions that you can do online!  I recently wrote about this training in Southern Livestock's October 1st and 29th issues.  You can go to and search their site with the keywords mba to read. 
    We are feeding a world that is now three generations removed from the farm and that is being bombarded with misinformation about our industry daily. This was a wake up call to me that our opponents are doing a much better job of spreading their mistruths than we are our truths. And they are reaching the youngest group of consumers, who will soon be the ones making the buying decisions.
     As Simbrah breeders and cattlemen, you have a responsibility to learn how to address these mistruths and the MBA program can help you do that just it. We all need to put a face on production agriculture and tell our story.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nolan Ryan Beef

As many of you know Nolan Ryan Beef was largely started to promote and find a marketing outlet for American Breeds sired carcasses, which of course includes Simbrah!

The product is also completely fed, harvested, packaged and shipped from South Texas. Markets for the beef are growing and I suggest you go to their website and view where Nolan Ryan Beef is sold. Of course Super S and Kroger Food Stores, along with Sun Harvest and Super Target have it. Black-eyed Pea Restaurants are also carrying the line of high quality, guaranteed tender cuts of beef.

The website provides a lot of information on the line, the standards required, how it is raised and the markets it fits.

I would suggest every Simbrah breeder become familiar with these specifics and see how your steer calves could be part of this great chain.

And of course Nolan Ryan Beef is served in the Ballpark at Arlington, home of the American League Champion Texas Rangers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Simbrah breeders and enthusiasts had to have left Giddings, Texas energized and synergized this weekend.

The Synergy III event once again drew a large crowd,  demand was strong for the cattle and a record number of junior exhibitors vie for titles in the show.

Some highlights for me included:

Bill and Jane Travis brought the Moochis with them--Mr. Moochi was instrumental in forming the Panamaian Simbrah Association and serves as  an officer. It was great to have an international flair.

Jane Hunt and LMC/ATZ Miley repeated as champion of the show. How cool, that she showed the female last year as a calf and took her home and a year later brings her back to repeat as champion. There were 97 entries in the Synergy Showcase!

New breeders were in the stands for the sale--that is what keeps the breed going, going and going!

The prices paid were strong throughout and the sale saw an average of $3,613 on 127 Lots! In Texas there were 12 or 13 purebred sales on Friday and Saturday and this was one of the highest averaging!

Another $6,000 was raised for the American Junior Simbrah Roundup Scholarship Fund. That's $1,000 for six up and coming juniors to be used for college!

The Photography contest was well received. I think there were close 30 entries and some darn good ones too!  There was some heated competition especially in the adult division between Kim Hagan and Carlos Guerra. You'll be seeing some of these photos in the future!

Joe B. Rodriguez proved to be the luckiest man in Simbrah again. In last year's Cow Patty Bingo Fund Raiser, Joe B was the winner. Well just like Jane and Miley, Joe B, was the winner again and he only bought one square in his name. The other squares were in other family names. A special shoutout to Wayne Reavis, Rickey Burch and Terry Whitaker for organizing the contest with the funds going to promote Simbrah.

Sam Hodges, who won the first AJSR Scholarship, put together a skillathon contest  that was challenging and Robert Davila brought some interesting additions to the contest, also.

Fun was had by all--I mean who can forget Dancing Dean. Dean Fuchs can line dance! And the Rangers created excitement for all on Friday night by winning. Cell phones were kept busy at the sale preview and dinner, following the game!

Food. The Hagan family and cooking crew from Yoakum, Texas outdid themselves. If you weren't there Friday night, you might have just missed the meal of the year. Plus then the Tortorice Family brought some of the best breakfast muffins this side of the Mississippi!

Thanks Tim Smith for having the breed to Smith Genetics! And thanks Simbrah breeders for your energy, enthusiasm for the breed! It's contagious! P.S. lots more pixs on Synergy Facebook page and full report coming to this week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Simbrah Promotion

Welcome to Simbrah Blog!

This page is just another way to promote the breed, share the news of Simbrah and keep everyone in touch!

Promoting our product is important and is something we need to do everyday!

We want to send a shout out to Amy Wright, mom to junior exhibitor Justin and daughter of Bob and Brenda Cuvelier, Bright Star Farms, for promoting Simbrah everywhere she goes. How about that license plate!

If you want to write a post (column) for Simbrah Blog, just send it to as in order to keep the site positive, all materials will be posted by her for Simbrah World. SEND YOUR THOUGHTS! Also you can post comments here!