“It’s All About the Numbers” for the 15 speakers on the slate of the annual Capital Farm Credit Hemphill County Texas A&M AgriLife Beef Conference scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, April 25-26. These authorities on Ag issues will bring their experience and know-how to this year’s theme. The program for the event features ranchers, cattlemen, Ag industry businessmen, processors, and lenders, as well as experts in natural resources and animal science.
Five of the speakers are ranchers and cattlemen: Moderator Donnell Brown, Angus breeder Josh Worthington, local ranchers Jason Abraham and Adam Isaacs, and cattleman Monte Cluck of Gruver.
The moderator is Donnell Brown, who has served in that capacity at the beef conference for several years, providing the welcome and introductions. He is a fifth-generation owner and manager of the R.A. Brown Ranch in Throckmorton, a family business since 1895. He and his wife, Kelli, raise registered Angus, Red Angus, and SimAngus cattle and sell 800 bulls, as well as registered and commercial females, in their semi-annual auctions.
In an interview with The Canadian Record Editor, Laurie Ezzell Brown, AgriLife Extension Agent Andy Holloway, said of Donnell Brown, “He’s one of the most well-known ranchers in Texas.” Brown has served as president of the Beef Improvement Federation; as a strategic planner for four different breed associations, as well as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; and he and his wife both served as national FFA presidents.
Josh Worthington, who will speak at 3:45 pm on Tuesday, is a first-generation Angus breeder from Dadeville, Missouri. He and his wife, Corry, along with their three young sons, own and operate Worthington Angus. “This guy’s in his mid to late 30s,” said Holloway. “He had no inheritance. He had no financial backers … he had a good job and he quit it to take a lease with virtually no money and no ability to buy any cattle. And his message is (and the subject of his segment): Is it possible to get in the cattle business as a young person today? Even if you start with nothing … and this guy has gone for 10 years now.” Worthington also speaks at multiple conferences and cattlemen’s meetings each year. “So this Josh Worthington, I think speaks to our future,” added Holloway.
Jason Abraham of Canadian is a fourth-generation resident of Hemphill County. Abraham and his wife of 25 years, Bonnie, raised their two children on the Mendota Ranch, southwest of Canadian. The title of his conference segment at 11:30 on Wednesday is “The War is On to Kill Cedars and Junipers.” Holloway said that Abraham has patented his new technology he developed to fight cedars. “We are actually going to do some demonstrations for producers, and what he’s developed is all extremely environmentally safe,” he added.
Abraham certainly has the chops for the science involved in his projects. He has been a vanguard in the field of cloning of horses, cattle, deer, goats, pigs, and cats. The cloning lab at the ranch is one of only a few in the nation. He is also a commercially-rated helicopter pilot with 23 years of experience.
Another local rancher, Adam Isaacs, will speak on “Range Soil Health Using Grazing Practices and New Technology,” at 11 am on Wednesday. Isaacs is a native of Hemphill County who currently leases his family’s ranch with his wife, Aubrie. The ranch has been owned and operated by his family since the 1890s. He received a ranch management degree from Texas Tech University, and his use of innovative technologies and management practices was featured in the New York Times last year.
“Producer-Owned Beef” is the subject of Monte Cluck’s talk, scheduled for 12 pm on Wednesday. Cluck is a fourth-generation native of Gruver, who has spent his entire life as a cow-calf producer, stocker operator, and cattle feeder. His father, Dean, was one of the pioneer cattle feeders in the area, building his first feed yard in 1961. As the CEO of Dean Cluck Feed yard and general partner of Dean Cluck Cattle Company, Cluck and his team have expanded grazing and farming operations by tens of thousands of acres and increased the one-time cattle feeding capacity to 104,000 head. To further diversify and expend, Cluck has added order buying, trucking, and commodity brokerage businesses to the company portfolio.
Cluck’s vision, tenacity, willingness to accept risk, and passion for future generations of cattle producers and feeders in this region led him and small group of partners to found Producer Owned Beef near Amarillo---a subject he will address at the conference. In 2020, the National Ranching Heritage Center awarded Cluck the National Golden Spur Award, in recognition of his many contributions to the nation’s cattle industry.
For more information about the conference, or to register, log on to www.hemphillcotxbeef.com, or call 806.323.9114.