Apparently, I have always loved cows. My mom tells the story about my 6th birthday request being a drawing of a cow from a local kid’s show host known as “Cowboy John”. Cowboy John sent a drawing of a horse with the note that his cow drawings were not as good. Mom said I threw the drawing away with the explanation that “I would have asked for a horse drawing if I had wanted a horse drawing”. For my 40th birthday Mom gave me the original drawing that she retrieved from the trash and held for all of these years.
While in Junior Highschool I was able to get my first cow. Since cows were not allowed in the trailerpark we lived in I arranged to “lease” a couple of acres of land down the street. The lease payment consisted of my clearing the plants growing in the field and repairing the broken fence. Soon after, I was loaned a Brahman heifer by a current Beefmaster breeder by the name of DVM Glenn Rhodes. Forty plus years later Dr. Rhodes would guide me in the purchase of my first herd of Beefmaster cattle. I will always be thankful for the guidance and generosity of Dr. Rhodes.
In Highschool I showed 2 steers through the 4-H program. I also began cleaning dog kennels at the veterinary clinic where Dr. Rhodes worked. With the praise I continually received for my thoroughness and my continued love for cows it seemed logical for me to set my sights on going to Vet school at Texas A&M University.
Things were going well at TAMU, until my first exam was returned with a note to see the Professor after class. The short version of our conversation, actually I just listened, was that she had never had anyone in her 34 years of tenure score as low as I had on any exam. She continued by saying TAMU was a fine institution, and she was confident there was a program for me but that it definitely was NOT Vet school. Thus, I have a degree in Agricultural Economics with a Master’s Degree in Land Development.