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Editor's Letter - July 2016

Thanks for the Help

by Ellen H. Brisendine

This month’s cover is reminiscent of the tornado that brutalized El Reno, Okla., in 2013 — a natural disaster that tore up homes, businesses and lives. One of those businesses was OKC West Livestock Auction Market. Some months ago, I listened to a very good presentation on disaster preparedness by Terry Chapman, Oklahoma Livestock Marketing Association. He used OKC West as a real-life example of how a business was scoured off the face of the Earth and then was rebuilt by the owners and their dedicated crew, better than ever.

In this issue, you’ll find Chapman’s tips on preparedness in the story of OKC West, and many more pictures of the tornado’s destruction. Gary DiGiuseppe wrote that article. It and this month’s installment in the series on fire in the Ranching department are the last articles he will provide for The Cattleman. Shortly after he submitted the articles, he was involved in a fatal accident with a wrong-way driver on a highway bridge during his early morning commute to his other job as a farm broadcaster. His talent and professionalism will be sorely missed by this publication and many others in agriculture. We send our deepest sympathies to the DiGiuseppe family.

Toward the back of this issue, you’ll find a list of livestock auction markets that are members of the Texas and Oklahoma chapters of Livestock Marketing Association (LMA). Livestock market owners are key partners with members of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA). While a good number of our members and advertisers market their cattle through production sales at the ranch or through private treaty sales, a significant portion of our 17,000-plus members rely on the help of their local auction market owner to get their calves sold each year.

We appreciate the help that market owners provide to ranchers. These days a rancher will find help with animal identification, herd health protocols, special sales and just plain good advice on getting their cattle ready for sale day. I hope you’ll refer to the list of LMA members when it comes time to market your cattle through a market in Texas or Oklahoma.

"Conversations" is from the July 2016 issue of The Cattleman magazine.