Author Archive for Kelln

18 hours

I made an 18 hour quick round trip to Texas to pick up a critter or two.  I was flying solo, driving south into a very stiff wind and encountered quite a bit of road construction.  The road construction slowed me down, so I changed my dining plans.  Instead of lunch at Cooper’s in Llano, I ate supper.  It all worked out.

Got to my destination, sorted through a pen of stock, loaded a couple, shook hands and headed back.  I took a different route home.  With the wind now behind me, that big diesel pickup did over 20 mpg with an 80 mph avg.  Now, I am a bit jet lagged.

I have been through Albany, TX on several occasions.  Always at night.  This time was different as it was on a Friday evening.  The signs advertise “Home of the Hereford”.   There businesses named after Herefords–Hereford Hotel, etc.  Yet, all of the street signs are adorned with Longhorns.  And there was a pen of Longhorns on the courthouse lawn.  There were statues of Longhorns.  I never saw an actual Hereford, just lots of Longhorns.

I am sure that there are several Texas Longhorn fans in Albany, TX but I bet that it is more of a Texas Tech crowd.  I drove home wondering about the “home of the Hereford”.  I knew that the first Herefords in the U.S.  were brought to Kentucky.  So, maybe the first Herefords in Texas?   NOPE!

It is kind of interesting reading about the history of this little town but it doesn’t give much info as to why Albany, TX is the “Home of the Hereford”.

By the way, when Vernon to Seymour to Throckmorton is green in late June….then the whole country is green.

 

Have a good one.

Greatest Ever?!

I got off the tractor on Saturday afternoon.  I made a sandwich and turned on the tube.  The greatest movie ever made was just starting–The Godfather.  I watched 2 hours of it.

I have seen pieces and parts over the past couple of decades but I have never seen it in entirety. Then on Sunday afternoon, it was on again.  I caught the last two hours of it.  I have now seen all of it.  And I now have an opinion on the subject.

There is a reason that The Godfather is considered to be the best movie of all time.  Great story, great actors, well placed, cool music.  That movie is almost as old as myself.  It has held up to the test of time.  Great movie.  I have very few arguments with it being at the top of a lot of lists.

Then, Duke and I started cleaning the kidding barn.  I found a snake. Just a bull snake. Duke then found the same snake.  He might have a skid mark in his shorts.

Don’t TEXT for more pics!!!!

I am not the only breeder that feels this way.  Read the write ups on these online sales.  “There are NO more pictures, no videos, this is it.”

My favorite is Stork’s.     “P.S. – I do not have any more pictures or references nor do I know his current weight, hobbies or other interests.”

Maycon and any other breeder is right to do this.  My experience is that the one’s texting for more pictures and videos NEVER bid.   Even if you send them the desired pics or video.  It isn’t that they don’t buy, they don’t even bid.  These fools aren’t even tire kickers.  They don’t even come to the car lot to kick the tires.

Time Wasters–ain’t nothing worse than somebody that wastes others time.

If you are actually a serious buyer, ask specific questions and then TALK to the breeders.

 

A couple of weeks ago, I get an anonymous text–“Do you guys have any does available?”

That’s it.  No name.  No specifics about what they want or need.  So, I reply, “Mature Does?  Yearling Does?  Doe Kids?”

They reply–“Yearling and mature.  Could u send me pictures?”

Damn!  They went straight to the picture question.  With a quick phone # search it becomes apparent that the texter lives within 2 hours of me.  Not a long distance to come look at stock.  So I reply  “I do have some of each.  No, I’m not taking pics of them.”

Immediate reply.  “OK!  Then we’re not interested.”

 

As a breeder, as a stockman, as a salesman and as a decent human being, I am now PISSED!   I don’t know what they are looking for–certain genetics, cheap does, the ONE doe, what the eff?  I am not going to go take a picture of every dang doe that I would sell.  Heck, for the right price, I would sell any single thing on the place.  But, I don’t know who it is, what they want, what price range they need to be in, nothing!

 

So….I replied–

“This was an anonymous text sent to me inquiring about does.  There was no discussion about genetics, productivity or price.  Just straight to the picture question.  Therefore, I would not have a clue which does would interest you or any other un-named random texter.  Going forward, I would recommend including a name in a text when you send these requests to other breeders; therefore, they can properly help you.  Thanks, Chris Kelln.”

 

I don’t care if it sounds rude or condescending.  It isn’t as rude as the random, anonymous text asking for pics.  It isn’t like I lost a customer.

Numerous breeders are posting the “no more pics comment”.   Milligan had a Facebook rant about an old chevy avalanche that he had for sale.  Jared Schneberger called to vent about a pic/video TEXT request and the reply that he got.  “Hey Kelln, I got a topic for that stupid blog that I read.”  I agreed with him.  This is a valid topic.  Then, I pulled up Stork’s sale and read that comment.  Classic!  A young breeder that is at the top of the game, has no known enemies, a clean reputation and even he is sick of this crap.

If you call me, or any other reputable breeder, they will gladly talk to you about their stock.  I will tell you any positive or negative about any animal that I own.  Most breeders will do the same.

I recently had a good visit with one of the true stockmen in the livestock industry–Mike Harbour.  We were discussing the livestock industry in general.  Harbour made the comment, “The new customer base wants the livestock industry to be like Amazon.  Give me a couple of pics, a brief write up and deliver the animal to my front door.  That’s what they want.”  You know what?  He ain’t wrong.

However, the serious buyer may text, but they have their name and what they want.  And then actual conversations happen.  There may even be more pics and video.  There may be a 3rd party come take a look at the stock and report back to the buyer.  Lots of things happen when it becomes a legit conversation.

I’ve had a heckuva good week so far.  Thursday is tomorrow and I get staples out of my belly button, new glasses and my hip lasered.  It is hell getting old.  It is also expensive.  At least I won’t be wasting anybody’s time.

Have a good one and a better tomorrow.

 

 

Hot N Cold

I did not make the trip to Angelo for the fever.  I stayed home and got some farming done (miserable).  I wanted to plant some cover crops today but we got a skiff of rain that stopped that.

It looks like the fever was an extremely high grade kind of fever.  83 head with an average of $8,412.  Damn!  That’s hot.  Highlighted by a couple of $30K wethers and numerous $20K+ wethers.

Saturday was one of the hotter days that we have seen so far in 2019. (? You serious Clark?)    Yeah, for reals.  Ain’t nobody walking around with a real sun tan in this part of the world.  It was only about 90F but it was a direct sun that we hadn’t seen in a bit.

Then came Sunday.  Heck, it was almost nippy.  50 degrees in mid June?  Wheat harvest and a drying out phase for those that are flooded just doesn’t want to happen.

Tyke and I banded kids today.  Every time that I use that wee bander is a whole new tutorial on how to operate that piece of engineering.

I had some Georgians that needed to pick up a goat about midnight on Saturday.  I was like “Dudes, I’m strong before 10 pm and after 2 am, so you might have to call several times to wake me.”  Nope, one call.  I fell asleep on the couch with the phone on my chest.  The combination of vibrations on my sternum and the ringing rattled me awake fairly quick.

Kids come home from Washington Leadership Conference tomorrow morning and I head to Stillwater for some classes.

Good luck and I hope the rains spare your goat herds.  In the words of Bob Seelke, “I don’t need no gD rain.  I can buy hay to feed these effing goats.”  Lot of truth in that statement.  Goats do NOT do well in a high moisture environment.

 

Have a good one and a better tomorrow.

The Journey

Some of my favorite books that I have ever read are by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The hobbit series, if you will.  I read those in the early 80s and loved them.  Then, they came out with the Peter Jackson directed movies.  Kela and I went to watch them and I was like “That dude read the exact same books that I read.  AWESOME!”  I still blame these movies on Kela being in California as she loves the production of tv/movie AND she loves going on an adventure.  I still like the adventure.

It is that time of year, at least in OK and TX,  when exhibitors, parents, ag teachers, breeders, etc. are making the final decisions for “their journey” in the goat showing world.  I have literally been down every path on the journey to show goats.  As a parent, as an ag teacher, as a friend, as a breeder, as a buyer, as a seller, as the coach/jock, whatever….we’ve done it.  And I can tell you after 16 years of showing goats, there is not an exact RIGHT path.  It is different for everyone.

There are those that are headed to San Angelo on Friday.  They know that it isn’t going to be cheap but they have decided to make the plunge.  Goals are set and decisions were made.  The great ones have been coming out of that sale and they are tired of getting beat.  Pick a #, they have made the decision to spend X amount and are making the drive while getting mentally prepared to cross that boundary if need be.  A beer or two might accelerate that decision on Friday night when the fever kicks in.  Fever–hunh?!–cramped quarters, good stock, cold beer, desire to get that magical one, loud and fast paced auctioneer–yes, that sale is named appropriately.  It’s called marketing.

Then there are those that started this journey with goals AND a budget.  They might even have the champagne taste on a beer budget BUT they have an eye for livestock, so they stick to the budget, flip some rocks and try to find a couple that will work.  They might spend more on fuel, tires and time but they got their stock bought within range.

This post is not necessarily about Chris Kelln or even the Kelln family.  It is basically an old, tired dude thinking about what is going on in other people’s minds this week as the biggest month of high $ goats gets ready to unfold.   But I do have a lot of experience with this stuff.

I remember what it was like chasing banners with Kela.  I remember buying my first Kelly goat in 2005.  I remember winning an OK State Fair wether banner in 2006 with a student (Makeitha Nance) with a $250 Kelly goat–not many with those bragging rights.  He was a paint, cheap and Fred Slater and I both wanted her to have that goat.  Our kids got beat but we did eat a  lot of shrimp and crawfish dinners as a result of that “other” kid win.  I would do that again….and have a history of doing so.

I vividly remember helping Mikey Thompson and his step-son with goats.  They were doing well but Mikey and Tammy had mentally crossed the line and the journey changed.  It was time to win.  NOW!  I was the one about half sick when we left the Kelly ranch with the high seller in May 2009.  Ten years later and $14,000 is still a damn high dollar wether.  That wether dang neart died and was only shown twice.  Grand at the State Fair of OK and then OYE.  Then we bought the high seller at Powell/Holman the next month.    He was only shown once–grand at Tulsa.  This isn’t bragging on my part.  They were and are great livestock people and Chance could show.  But, I watched as Mikey, fueled by momma, made the decision to WIN!  I get it.  The journey for that family is still going and going strong in the hog barns.

I had a friend that used to talk a lot of shit about winning goat shows.  (still does)  Every year, I had to listen to this dude talk smack about how great his goats were and we didn’t have crap to beat them at the district.  AND then we would wipe the ring with them.  This continued for several years.   Then, that dude had enough of getting his ass whipped.  His kids were turning into good showman.  He finally asked for help.  At that time, he was a tire kicker.  He turned into a rock flipper, then he graduated to whatever it takes.  Now, we have come full circle.  TravASS and the Schovanec clan have had a heckuva journey.  A grand at OYE, couple grands at Tulsa, reserves at OYE (3 times), state fairs, Denver, etc.  Cheap goats then good, cheap goats, then high dollar goats, then back to basics.  They have fed a high seller at a Pfeiffer sale, a Gallagher and other breeders.  Their best goats were found standing on top of rocks but at a decent price.  Those kids are some of the best showmen ever. TravASS is one of those that works best under the radar.  Is that possible for that family to be “under the radar”?  Yes, yes it is.  I haven’t bought a goat for them, so don’t try to read anything into this.  I’m just saying that they won’t be buying any top sellers in the near future.  But Carson will show something.  The Schovanec family has won but also helped others on their journey to win.  I enjoy watching the cycle continue.

The Taylor family started their journey very similar to mine.  Keep it in a budget, work hard, show better and get better every year.  Bree did well.  Then better.  Then better still.  Then a string of winning divisions at Tulsa, then the Lone Star Elite, then a reserve at Woodward, then a couple of grand drives at OYE, a grand at Woodward.  Then decisions were made.  Looking back, this was an awkward time for me.  I had made the decision to leave a really good job.  They made the decision to WIN.  I then accidently became the ag teacher.  I’m sure the fact that Duke and Bree were in the same class didn’t help things.

There were differences of opinions about this journey.  We finished our journey as friends/ag teacher with a reserve grand at Tulsa, a grand at Phoenix and a premium sale at Woodward and OYE.   Helluva run for one year!  Some would call that year a career.  They then moved to Kingfisher.  I told Bill, that girl will win national championships with the Burns.  I was right, several times.  Their journey continued with 3 limo rides and 2 grands at OYE.  Decisions were made and journeys continued down different paths.  I do not take credit but I do understand the dollars spent, work ethic and decisions that were made.  I don’t have to agree with everything for other families but I understand.  We aren’t close friends now, but I do feel that there is still respect between the families.

I have watched, even advised, as others made decisions about their families’ journey in the goat show world.  Some of it makes me wince.  Some make me proud.  I think about the Rhodes and Comstock family and I dang neart get tears.  Yeah, that is bull.  I have tears at the corners.  The journey has been better for my family from dealing with those families.  There are others.

I don’t know that any family chose the wrong journey.  To each their own.  If anybody chose poorly, it was probably me. At this time last year, I felt that many doors were closed to me.  Several of my normal buying places had changed or quality had fallen off.  Things just didn’t feel right with others.  So, we chose otherwise.  And when I say We, I mean Tammy, Duke and I.  We should have just cut some of our own stuff as it turned out.  As a result, we ended a stellar career on a not-so-stellar result.  My fault.  Duke dang sure did his part.  But, I learned valuable info as to how to direct others in the future when it comes time to spend a pile or not.

I now find myself at crossroads on my own journey.  For the first time since 2003, I don’t have a goat order that I have to fill.  My choice.  Sure, a couple of student deals but not that serious, pound the pavement, flip rocks kind of deal. I’ve got excellent kids but they have to make that decision as to what their journey is going to be.  All of the kids that Tammy and I have helped have now graduated.  Thank GOD!  We have been blessed to deal with great kids and great families.  Truly the best.  (It ain’t bragging when you look at the track record and there was NO dirty pool on my part.)  But, this is the first time in 16 years that I do not have a target showman for winning a district show, state fair, OYE, Tulsa or whatever else…doe or wether.

In 2014, when I quit a really good job, this was not what I had in mind.  However, it has strangely worked out for me.  Not planned by any means.  But good.  Very, very good.  Tammy is in an even better place.

It is no secret that I love kids showing stock and I love excellent livestock.  But, I am addicted to the journey that one makes while helping kids succeed while learning about livestock, life and all that goes with it.  Decisions have to be made and then you have to live with those decisions.  The lessons learned are more important than the results but……. a banner damn sure validates a decision.

GOD speed to all as they head down the pavement to find that magical, mystical beast that fits their program.  Good luck and have fun.

Have a great one today and a better tomorrow.

 

The time will come

when we are wanting all of this rain.  But right now, there is a large portion of the midwest that needs a break.  Last night, at 11 pm, nothing on the radar.  This morning, bout 3 am, thunder and rain.  Another 1″ of moisture.  I was going to have fertilizer put down but it looks like we will wait a few days.

 

I haven’t been able to do much, actually for a month or more.  I haven’t had a Mountain Dew since March.  It has been several weeks since I drank any iced tea.  And I would imagine that Budweiser is a bit concerned about downward sales trends during the month of May.

 

I did help Duke sort calves last night.  Which consisted of me pointing and yelling out ear tag #s.  I check feeders and then tell him what where to dump bags of feed.  I’m probably going to have to pay him something by the time I get healed up.

 

I did some goat shopping but once again, I pointed and others caught.

 

This weekend is the spectacle known as Friday Night Fever.  It will be hot.  Sales run in cycles and this one is the hottest of the hot.  I don’t know if I will go or not.  There is almost zero chance of me buying anything but…..

 

 

Basic Instinct

Yes, there was that really bool 90s movie called Basic Instinct.  Yes, the one with that Sharon Stone scene.  There was also a bad ass Yorkshire boar in the 90s that sired a lot of really good hogs.  He was housed at Great Plains Genetics in Buffalo, OK.  He sired numerous grand barrows including a grand at Tulsa.  He was also the sire of one of the most influential Yorkshire boars of all-time–Slam Dunk.

Basic Instinct was known as a sire of good stock.  He was also known to be a sire that was pre-disposed to have offspring with belly ruptures.  If you were going to breed to Basic, you better have a vet that was good at fixing ruptures.  No animal is perfect.

I have thought about Basic Instinct several times lately.  Yes, I am old school but I recently had to deal with a rupture.  Last winter, while picking lint out of my belly button, I noticed something different.  This spring, while getting my CDL physical, the Dr. mentioned that I had a navel rupture started and needed to keep an eye on it.  Since the first of April, it has gotten worse.  So, it was time to get it fixed.

Of course, this turned into an adventure.  One of the nurses was trying to put one of the blood clot compression socks on my right leg.  She had it twisted and going on wrong.  She made me put my right foot right on her sternum and push on her chest while she wrestled this sock onto my leg.  She was having hell.  Another nurse came in, laughed and rolled the sock onto my left leg like she was a Vegas pro.

Then they took me to the ER.  The next thing I know is that I am watching the Price is Right (Who knew that it was still on tv?  Not this guy) and they had fixed not one, but two navel ruptures.

Now, I have time to watch some mid afternoon TV.  I watched several biographies about John Belushi, Chris Farley and Jeff Foxworthy.  I have always been a fan of Foxworthy but I really like a lot about this guy.  This interview was his life story.  It was Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, Kathleen Madigan and Ron White sitting around a table.  Not as comedians but as friends.  Really cool program.

I also enjoy watching Dan Rather with his Big Interview show.  This episode had Carl and Rob Reiner–TV legends.  I enjoyed watching a lot of it, until it got close to the end and they ruined it.  Why can’t these hollywood types leave their politics at the door?  I didn’t watch the show to listen to them bash Trump.  If I want to watch that, then I will turn it to cnn.  I don’t need an opinion on how to run our country from somebody in hollywood.  I don’t want an actor, athlete or musician spouting what is wrong with our government.  Just shut up and take it to the polls when it comes time.

Am I a hyprocrite?  Nope.  You don’t see me on tv bashing democrats or praising Trump.  But, if you flip to this page, there is always a chance.

Been doctoring a month old goat.  Pretty good goat.  I guess he got wet during the storms.  I am treating him for Thiamine deficiency as those are the symptoms.  But, I have never dealt with this on a nursing baby.  Always something new in the goat world.  I hope to save him but who knows.

I would imagine that there will be lots of goat worming going on during the next month.  This much moisture is going to cause a spike in worms.  I would be prepared for hook worms.  I like to use Prohibit to prevent or get rid of those dudes.

 

Stay dry.  Have a good one and a better tomorrow.

 

 

Memorial Day

Thanks to all that have served and sacrificed for this great nation.  At present times, there are things about this country that makes one go “hunnh?”  but the fact that we can question our nation is due in part to those who fought for these rights.  Thank you and GOD bless all that have or are serving.

We are wet.  Real wet.  But not as wet as those east of us.  Prayers for you all.  When one ventures outside, it smells wet.  Wet grass, wet soil, wet hay, wet feed, wet animals.  We need a little sunshine for several days.  I need to gather some calves that have a vet appt (dehorning) but they are on the other side of the draw that is full of water.  As Duke said, “We ain’t catching them till the water goes down.  And I’m not going to try to swim them across this.”  Small problems compared to what others are dealing with.

So, we worked some does.  We wormed every nursing nanny with Safeguard.   We also gave each doe a couple of cc’s of Liver & 7.  I really like to use this on first time mommas and does that are struggling to milk.  It doesn’t work miracles but it helps boost their iron and B vitamin levels.  We also trimmed some hooves.  Right now, hooves are soft.

 

 

Wicked

We were never in line of the tornadoes last night, but it is kind of wicked when the news is rattling off county road numbers and you could 1) drive to that location in just a few minutes and 2) you know the people that live nearby.

That was a bad looking set of tornadoes that came out of the TX panhandle and made a direct line for Laverne.  Luckily, that is wide open spaces and most buildings were spared.

We had more rain and some wicked wind.  I’ve got 4 self feeders currently in use.  Three are facing the southeast.  Normally, the wind does NOT come out of the southeast.  The fourth feeder is facing the southwest.  Well, I got to clean the soaked wet feed out of all four feeders this morning.  So, much for keeping feed and goats dry.

Here’s to hoping we can all make it through these storms with minimal damage.  It is way worse in eastern OK and the midwest has had it bad all winter and spring.  Lots and lots of acres of cropland that have yet to be planted to corn.  Hard for some to make a living when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.  Prayers to all.

 

Raising goats in the mud.  Big fun.

Next Adventure

Wednesday found the Kelln Klan traveling to Kansas.  We got to see lots of water in bar ditches, overflowing ponds and rivers that were at maximum capacity.  I35 near Tonkawa, had water that was nearing the point of crossing the interstate.  We traveled to Arkansas City, KS to the campus of Cowley College.

Duke is now enrolled in college.  His main focus is for the TIG welding program but he is enrolled in the full associate’s degree program.  He doesn’t have any friends going there and he doesn’t know any other students but this has been his decision and he seems excited (it is Duke, so it can be hard to tell).  He is ready for August to get here.

I am having to learn how to handle livestock completely solo.  All of us are getting prepared for things to change around here.

Prayers for all of you that are fighting water in eastern Oklahoma.  Rising and/or moving water is a hard force to battle.  Add livestock to the mix and it only gets worse.