It Makes a Difference for that One

Posted January 27th, 2019 — Filed in Stockmanship

[Note from Tina—]

As you know, Mom and I kicked “writing the book” into high gear at the beginning of January. We’ve been building time-lines, collecting resources, writing schedules, and recording stories. One of the resources we had was a big envelope of letters Mom had written to our good friends Rich and Carolyn Hunt in Northern California between 1978 and 2005. Carolyn saved those letters and returned them to Mom for the express purpose of using them for the book! I finished typing them in last week, and they were full of great stories on their own as well as insights into other stories Mom will flesh out.

One item I found interesting, and a little sad, was this part from a letter Mom write September 5, 1989 when Dad was just breaking out of his first “retirement” and really getting into teaching large numbers of people. Mom write:

“One of the things they are having trouble with is the cattle don’t settle down and enjoy their new paddock. They either walk the fences or go over them. They don’t pick up their calves when they move the cattle to a new paddock, so they have to leave the gates open between several paddocks which pretty well negates the whole idea. I guess the coyotes have gotten smart to the fact that when they move the cows out, the calves are easy pickin’s.”

The sad part is, we hear these exact words from attendees of our schools today even though Dad’s teachings (which reached an astounding number of ranchers for thirty years) showed exactly how to stop each of these challenging situations.

Richard and I were talking today about how, sometimes, it does get depressing to think that maybe we are fighting a losing battle. Maybe no one is listening as we carefully try and explain how to “get their minds right” and various other keys to Proper Stockmanship (that Dad also carefully explained in his many schools).

But then we were reminded of the call we got a few days ago from a student who had received a new load of calves, and one wasn’t eating yet. We talked with him about proper driving and working with them all, and yesterday he messaged us a shot of all the calves peacefully eating at the bunk!

This reminded us of the story of the Starfish Thrower. I googled a little to try and get the proper wording and found the story has actually been told and re-told in many different ways from the original book described here. However, I liked the version below I found on this web page.

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.

— Adapted from ‘The Star Thrower’ by Loren C. Eiseley

I think this message fits in well as we come up to the 2019 Bud Summit, a gathering of “Budders,” subscribers to the stockmanship.com/subscription website, sharing the word about Bud Williams Proper Stockmanship (and Livestock Marketing).

Maybe, just maybe, there will come a day when every rancher will be able to drive his pairs to new paddocks and have them put their heads down and graze quietly. Until then, those of us teaching and sharing Dad’s methods will continue to throw the starfish and “make a difference to that one!”

Stockmanship Schools Coming up!

Posted January 17th, 2019 — Filed in Calendar, Stockmanship

Whit Hibbard and Dawn Hnatow will be putting on two Low-Stress Livestock Handling Clinics near Sulphur Springs, TX.

The Introductory session will be March 1-2, and the Intermediate session will be March 8-9. Note the date changes.

Contact John Haskell at 435.881.2871 for more information or to register.

Time to Write the Book!

Posted October 6th, 2018 — Filed in Calendar, Marketing, Stockmanship

[Note from Tina] Mom, Richard, and I have been talking about writing the book about Mom and Dad’s life for a long time now. Finally, we realized that, if we don’t start on it and really put some focus into it, it just won’t happen. Therefore, we have decided to not teach ANY Hand ‘n Hand Livestock Solutions schools in 2019 (except the 3 day Marketing and Stockmanship School in February just before the 2019 Bud Summit) so we can focus on collecting the information and writing the book.

Watch for notice that the book is ready to order!

The Bud & Eunice Williams Book

Cow’s Mothering Rating

Posted July 28th, 2018 — Filed in Stockmanship

I have been following a thread on another e-mail list comparing the mothering rating of the cow that tries to attack anyone who gets close to their new-born calf as opposed to the cow that is OK with this. The consensus seems to be that the mellow cow is not as good mother as the cow that will try to eat you. I disagree with this.

Bud and I found that when you work livestock properly – that is, by using pressure/release methods instead of force and fear, the cows learn to respect but not fear you.  Since they don’t feel you are a threat to them, they also don’t think you are a threat to their calf so they don’t “get on the fight” when you need to handle their new baby.

When we lived in Canada we were involved with a Beef Booster cow herd.  In case you aren’t familiar, this is a composite breed.  Some of the herds were rated “Maternal.” Their main function was to produce heifers to go into the cow herd, another raised “Terminal bulls” to use on the herds that would market all of their calves, etc.  The man we worked for had about 100 head of cows that were designed to raise “Terminal bulls.”  He wanted to change over to a “Maternal” herd so he swapped his herd with a neighbor.  When these cows were delivered the neighbor also delivered a list of ear-tag numbers of cows that would kill you if you tried to handle their baby calf.   The only way they could weigh and tag the calf was with a bucket loader on a tractor.  A man in the bucket would get the calf, then the tractor operator would try to raise the bucket before the cow could climb in, too.  We received these cows in October.  We handled them quite a lot.  If the feedlot shipped a pen of cattle and there was still feed in the bunks, we’d put these cows in the pen for a while to let them clean the bunk.  Through the winter we tried to move their straw bed every few days to make it easier when they farmed the ground in the spring.  This usually meant we had to drive the cows to the new bed a couple of times to discourage them from going back to the old one, etc.  When spring came the owner was able to weigh and tag every calf with no aggression from any of the cows.

The first year we worked on the elk ranch In Texas, we didn’t see an elk calf until it was a couple of weeks old.  The following year, the cow elk would bring their newborn calves with them when we drove through the pasture, scattering hay.  We even had one calf born in the corral.

Bud Tee-Shirt

Posted July 6th, 2018 — Filed in Miscellaneous, Stockmanship

An email from Steve Cote—I was going through some boxes this week and came across a forgotten old T shirt from 1996 or 7. It has never been worn because it was a special one because of the story behind it.

When I was working with the Morgan Creek Grazing Association in Challis, ID, we had gone to schools and one day I was riding on the allotment with Lloyd Bradshaw and Tim Westfall. We were looking out over cattle scattered over thousands of acres. While we knew we had to get them working, we knew we had to get them put together and handling well like he said but in reality, none of knew just where to start. After we talked about it enough Lloyd finally said, “Let’s put a little Bud on em” and off we rode.

After that whenever were rode to new bunches, that was the game plan “put a little Bud on ‘em”. Things went phenomenally well that year, we won many awards, and the Custer Soil and Water Conservation District decided to get everyone involved in the project a Bud Williams T shirt. They took a picture of us moving stock on the allotment with a logo across it. The printer got the saying partly wrong but the idea was right.

We Do Not Endorse the BudFlow Tub System

Posted May 27th, 2018 — Filed in Miscellaneous, Stockmanship

I know Bud’s name means something in livestock circles so just to set the record straight, Bud Williams Stockmanship does NOT endorse the BudFlow tub system.

Canadian Job Opportunity

Posted March 1st, 2018 — Filed in Miscellaneous, Stockmanship

Hello Eunice, I haven’t talked with you in quite awhile.  My name is Kevin Cherpin.  I have worked at learning proper stockmanship for years.  I was introduced to it in college, and took the course from Richard and Tina about 3 winters ago.  I work on a community pasture in south west Saskatchewan.  It has been difficult to find riders for our summer riding positions, let alone one that wants to work toward proper stockmanship.  I was curious if you, Richard, or Tina would know of anyone that would be interested in a job like that in Canada?  This will be a federal position for this upcoming summer so they would need to be a Canadian resident. They wouldn’t need a lot of experience as long as they were keen and willing.  Thank you for your time.

Kevin Cherpin – SW Saskatchewan
1-306-296-7706    kevincherpin@gmail.com

Bud’s Influence in Brazil

Posted November 21st, 2017 — Filed in Stockmanship, Testimonials

Recently I had an e-mail from Hellen Santos, a Brazilian journalist from Globo Television, the main TV network in Brazil. She was putting together a journalistic piece on a “Brazilian feedlot that had recently installed a Bud Box and had its team trained to incorporate Bud William´s technics on livestock handling” and asked if I would send her a video clip of Bud to include.

I had just sent a Stockmanship-Plus video to Denis Antonio, a MERCK employee in Brazil so I asked him about this. He was highly complementary of Globo Television and offered to send me a copy of the program when it aired. He not only sent me the link so I could view it, but he had his people translate and subtitle it in English. I think you will find it interesting.

 

Below is the same video using another video player in case your browser can’t view the first one.

Proper Stockmanship Training Saves Cattle from a Range Fire

Posted October 15th, 2017 — Filed in Stockmanship, Testimonials

A friend just forwarded this to me. . .

I just wanted to write you and let you know that I used LSLH [low stress livestock handling] for an application that you may never have thought about before.  On June 27th we had a lightening strike start our range land on fire.  The fire was moving fast but there was a paved road between the fire and the range ground where my cattle were so everyone thought they were safe.  Due to some crazy circumstances, the fire jumped the road and started roaring through where my cattle were.

I have to take one step back before I finish the story.  After I got back from the Republic workshop I hadn’t been crazy about how I had done, so I decided to double down my efforts.  I already handle my cattle a lot but at the workshop I identified some skills I was really lacking.  When I got back home I took my cattle somewhere every day and even if I just took them in a big loop, when I got them back home, I settled them.  By the way, when you start getting the hang of settling cattle, it feels pretty magical!  I have to admit, it still felt silly taking my cows “for a spin” but they seemed fine with it.

Fast forward back to the fire jumping the road:  I didn’t have time to saddle a horse, so I jumped on an ATV with my Border Collie and raced down the road to where the cows were.  First off, they were all within sight range of each other because I have been working with them to stay together. I don’t mean to anthropomorphize, but they seemed glad to see me, like “Oh good, she’s here to tell us what to do.”  I used the dog but I had good motion from the start, they mothered up, and went head to tail at a steady pace.  That good motion drew the few outliers in and they just fell into place.  They were quiet, there was no bawling, and they just moved calmly in the direction I asked them to.  In fact, the flames were coming so fast that I actually had to pick them up into a jog.  But even then, they just did a steady jog, no one ran.  I think about it so much, it seemed so amazing!  I took them two miles to an irrigated field where I placed and settled them.  The flames roared around the field (see picture) but they calmly stayed in the field.  I just want you to know that I feel like you (and Bud Williams) are the reason my cows are alive today.  It would have torn me up in so many ways if my cows had burned up–I can’t hardly stand thinking about it.  They were in 1,000 acres, so if they had been spread out I would have lost cattle. Also, if we hadn’t practiced going places beforehand I’m certain I wouldn’t have saved them all.  Thank you so much for what you do!!!!!  Gosh, I just can’t thank you enough!

Predatory Stress

Posted June 26th, 2017 — Filed in Stockmanship

I wrote this in answer to a post on Kit Pharo’s list, but thought it might be of interest to viewers of this site.
 At the risk of being the person with a hammer and looking at every problem as a nail . . .
          A great many handling and health problems in livestock stems from the fact that most of our livestock are prey animals and we are predators.  No matter how  slow or gentle or sneaky (dart guns) we are in moving or treating our animals, they continue to be stressed by that very fact.  Bud learned how to handle animals in such a way that they don’t consider us a predator.  He probably put more pressure on the animals he worked than most people, since he expected crisp, energetic movement from them, but his body language and angle of pressure was such that their instinctive reaction was to go the way he wanted them to go.
          Bud and I spent the first years of our married life working on large mountain ranches in n/w California.  It was unheard of to have a sick calf while it was on the cow.  No matter how badly the cattle were gathered and handled in the corral at spring roundup, when they were turned back out the cow was able to convince her calf that she could take care of things and there wasn’t anything more to worry about.  Now that most people never teach their cattle to drive and are moving them with feed, which necessitates getting the cows so psyched up that they are not in a normal state of mind, they are actually putting more stress on their calves instead of taking it off.
          I’m sure Bud irritated a lot of people when, addressing a specific problem, he told them to “Work with your animals and do what they tell you they need.  There is no way I can write you a recipe.”   Richard and Tina say “Drive your animals.”   They are absolutely right, and Bud eventually got around to saying that this is the first step, during the conversation.  I prefer to say “Take them for a walk”  since to me, this tends to put a person in the right mental attitude to do the animals some good, and this was what Bud would tell me he was going to do when I asked him where he was going.
          I don’t think most livestock feel comfortable anywhere in their pastures.  There are some places they feel less uncomfortable and that’s where they hang out.  On the big set-stocked ranches I mentioned, certain cows could always be found in certain areas.  As soon as we started working them better they stopped doing this.  When Bud put cattle in the corral, unless you drove them out, they would stay there, with the gates open until thirst or hunger caused them to leave.  Bud seemed to make them feel that this was the safest, most comfortable place they could be.  If you are interested, go to our website  www.stockmanship.com and click on the “Herding” button.  Especially read “My Two Cents Worth” posted July 12, 2009 for several incidents that make me believe this is true.
Next Page »