Saturday, November 23, 2013

Flashback: Brangus Edition

Alright folks, I have hit gold. I must admit, yesterday was my very first time entering the doors of the Texas Tech library - I know, I know, it's sad. But, man, I have GOT to go there more often. I found pure gold. That's right, after searching mindlessly up and down the agriculture section trying to find resources for my research paper, I found a section entitled "Brangus". It held EVERY SINGLE Brangus Journal ever published, dating back to the 1950's.

Here is where it all started my friends

Then, I decided to pull out the 19(insert date unknown, I think I would get in trouble) to try and find some pictures of my mom and her sister/brother during their glory days. And man, I hit the jackpot. So, let it begin.

Before you scroll down and see all these fantastic pictures, please say a prayer for me that my mother and aunt don't skin me alive for posting these on the world wide web. But, I mean hey, they're already in print.

It all started when I found this glorious picture of my mother - showmanship winner at the American Royal, and her sister, who was the International Brangus Queen at the time.

Man, I wish I could've lived in the 70's.

Then, I flipped a couple pages back and found my aunt, being crowned the very first International Brangus Queen. Cue the emotional, sappy, "my roots run deep in the Brangus breed" moment.

Things were grand back then - roses and cowboy hats, it doesn't get much better.

Here's a picture I found rather entertaining. Now, granted I know cattle were a smidge taller in the 70's, and I know my aunt is not the tallest person in our family, but this picture really puts it into perspective!

P.S. In case you were wondering, this was the Grand Champion Bull at Houston!

Now, for a little queen break. I switched to the next edition, and found an article about a young man, freshly graduated from South Dakota State University, named ranch manager of a new herd. Today, this man should be known as one of the most influential individuals in the Brangus breed.

Comment below if you can name this founder of Gene Trust!

And then a moment that made me proud to be a Brangus breeder! Check out this bull who sold for 1/6 interest and 1/2 possession in 1979 for $95,000.

If you're in the Brangus breed, you have probably heard of Titan.

And then! Here is where it began to become a tear jerker, my mother was selected as the second International Brangus Queen.

My aunt crowning my mom; one of my favorite pictures!

In her article after being crowned queen, my mother writes about the positives of raising and exhibiting Brangus, including this excerpt:

"Brangus are adequate in size but but are not too big
 - like some exotics and other crossbreds - 
where they aren't fertile and can't produce calves annually."

If you know my mother, you know some things never change. She still has a deep rooted love for Brangus and unwavering positivity about their strengths. 

But, in all reality, I'm not really sure who was queen at this time. I think Aunt Gaye and mom wanted to share queen duties:

New Mexico State Fair 1979 Grand Bull - Gaye is queen
New Mexico State Fair 1979 Grand Heifer - Jodi is queen

Also, if you notice in the Grand Heifer picture, the showman has a cigar in his mouth. When you win, you do as you please.

I know some people will enjoy this blog post more than others. But, to me, it really is special. My family roots run generations deep in this breed, and I will forever be proud of the way I was raised, and these wonderful critters I got to grow up around.

Thanks mom. Thanks family. Thanks to everyone who makes this wonderful life oh so better when it's filled with cows.

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