March 2, 2012

Ranch Hospitality Part 1

Ranch Hospitality Part 1

There are many opinions of what hospitality means, and probably even more opinions of ranch hospitality. Ryan and I have picked up a few specific things that we have learned along the way or what we hope to offer in the form of our hospitality. This will be a two part series, the first part today and the second will be next Friday.

I hope that when you drive into our place or any other place, it looks nice, the trash is picked up, the corners are painted and you aren’t dodging potholes! Now our corners need to be painted this year, and the wind has been blowing 90 mph for days, so trash is hanging in the barbwire. But for the most part we want you to know that we take pride in our place, and we want to know that of other places. We try to keep it mowed and I’ll plant a few flowers. The hay is stacked and hopefully everything else is in its place. I hope your gates are not held together with hay wire or duct tape. And I hope the pastures are clean so that cattle can’t be injured.

Next we want to greet you or be greeted as soon as possible by you. This is easy for us, there are no trees, obstacles or anything in our view, we know when someone is driving down the road. But we own our place and are proud of it and want to welcome you. And we expect to be welcomed when we arrive at your place. And please be dressed in something other than pajamas!!! I don’t let my own dogs jump on me so I expect the same of yours as well. I love my animals but not necessarily yours!! Remember we all put our pants on the same way. Side note: during my speech at career day on Wednesday the third key to success is the golden rule…and that makes a huge difference in a promotion or big sale. You never know who your future cattle buyers or partners might be, treat them all equally.

Once you’ve had time to step out of your truck and shake my hand…the tour is on. Why, well because Ryan and I are so proud of our herd and what we are producing. We started with two head, acquired five more calves from the herd my parents had and then they eventually a couple more of the retired show gals. But we started with two…and by keeping back heifers and buying cows from certain bloodlines we’ve built a unique set. I want you to know that Sadie is old, she’s nice, we have lots of daughters and granddaughters and she’s the last show heifer I ever had. But that there are five more daughters of show heifers, some Registered Angus, and heifers that we’ve raised ourselves that can compete in the pasture or show ring, which is our goal. I’ll even show you Annie – the little orphan calf that grew up to raise two beautiful heifers (on the critters page). She might be little, but dynamite comes in small packages. At your ranch I expect the same, want to know what you’re proud of, any cow that has a history and the future of your herd. That’s part of being cow-people and going cow-shopping! If the visit has been arranged beforehand know what you customer is looking for. Be prepared (hey that was the first key to success!) have cows or bulls or a set of something in the pen for the customer to look at. Or be ready to feed them again so they all come up. Or have the show calves tied and ready to be looked at. I don’t want to have to help you pen them from five miles away; as soon as we make a deal I want to load them on the trailer!! And momma always said never tell all of your secrets!!

What’s for sale…everything! Well I won’t sell you my husband and he isn’t allowed to make deals on me either. But anything on four legs except the dogs are for sale, the price just depends on how bad we want to sell them!

Part II will include what happens after the tour!!!

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