A Labor of Love

Labor of love

Published with permission from American Cattlemen

Mention the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the name of Bob Tallman often comes up. After all, his deep, resonant voice is heard by more than 60 million people across the country each year as he announces the events at the top rodeos across the country. For his contributions to the rodeo industry, Tallman has been inducted into the PRCA, The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy hall of fames. In addition to his golden voice, Tallman has a philosophy that has stood the test of time. “Tell them the truth. Say what you are seeing because the fans are seeing the same thing that you are. And if you can’t be positive, don’t say anything!”

For the 70-year old Tallman, his announcing has been a labor of love, and without it, “My wife, Kristen and I would not be where we are today. From the very beginning, Kristen supported the 250-300 days I would be on the road.”

To say that ranching is in his blood is also an understatement. He is a fifth-generation rancher dating back to his great great uncle in Montana, then Winnemucca, Nevada in 1894. Today, Tallman and his wife have an Angus cow/calf herd at their ranch, 3T Angus Cattle Ranch near Poolville, TX. The family operation includes their daughter and son-in-law and their two young children. It is the family relationships that are extremely important to Tallman. “Family is important to us. We eat at night together and talk about the day’s activities, the ranch. These are things that keep us close.”

Tallman notes that those 40 years on the road have been an important learning experience. “While I would be announcing the rodeo at night, I would be talking to riders, ranchers and all kinds of people in the industry during the day. I wanted to learn and would ask them questions: How does this work? Why do you do this? What do you think? My travels allowed me to become involved with people in the livestock industry who were way ahead of the curve.”

Tallman took many of those ideas back to the ranch to improve his cattle’s health, improve his facilities, which would in turn improve the bottom line profit. Now, as he works his cattle at 3T, he utilizes products that simplify and improve productivity. The use of scales to keep track of each animal’s weight has been crucial in improving herd health and profitability.

“The best scale I have found has come from Tru-Test, located in Mineral Wells, TX. You know, you can’t manage what you can’t measure!” By weighing, Tallman has found he can make sure livestock are sold at the optimum weight, checking weight gain on calves can help monitor reproductive performance and what cows to remove from the herd, minimize treatment waste and identify sick or lame animals early on.

Tru-Test has several different scale options to meet the needs of the producer. One that Tallman presently has is the XR5000 scale indicator with the HD1010 load bars. “I can check weights daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly. This gives me the entire picture of weight gain for each animal. Software has also made it so I can be away from the ranch and actually download and check everything that is going on.”

Tallman makes the most of his land by using electric fence to rotate pastures. Every 7-10 days, he moves cattle and his solar-powered fence to another stretch of land. It’s all about efficiency, and the electric fencing offers flexibility, ease to make changes, affordability and safety of the animals. By using several paddocks, we can maximize the grass for the cattle, while at the same time not over graze the pasture.

"When we researched the many types of electric fencing options, we chose to go with Speedrite.” When Tallman moves the cattle to the next pasture, he goes back to the vacated pasture and spreads the wealth (manure), cuts down any weeds that might have grown and then lets it rest until the next rotation.

by Steve Weisman


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