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Womack Nursery

Pecan trees growing at Womack Nursery, who specialize
in fruit and pecan bare roots. This operation also has
some cattle and orchards as well, but the Nursery is really
what makes them money. Mr. Womack emphasized the
importance of being involved in your industry and getting
on boards. He suggested for us the TALL program through
Texas A&M and Ag Lead through the Farm Bureau.

Farley Farm Supply
Fertilizer tanks and truck parked outside Farley Farm
Supply. Mr. Farley is a businessman, which was evident
when he spoke with us. He listed the essentials in his
business as being the customers, suppliers, and
employees, accurate records, the banker and the CPA.
Threats to his business include regulations and laws
such possibly losing the ability to sell ammonium
nitrate due to the fertilizer explosion in West, Texas
and the location of his store in town.

Sierra/Vanderhorst Dairy
The above picture is a bird’s eye view of the 60 cow, state-of-the-art, rotational milking system. Cows
load themselves on the rotary (with the help of an employee who makes sure this goes smoothly),
another employee applies iodine to the utters for cleaning, and a third attaches the milker itself. By the
time the cows go around the circle and are back at the starting point they have been milked completely
and back off the rotary by themselves. This is a large-scale system and takes nine hours to milk all of the
4,500 cows one time. They are milked twice a day. The below picture is the free stall barn the girls can
relax in when they are done being milked. This dairy is a leader in technological innovations of the dairy
Rockin’ R Ranch Supply
Three strand alfalfa hay for sale at Rockin’ R. Casey, a Tarleton
graduate, is the owner of Rockin’ R. He has a plan for his
business and began to build it from the ground up when he
was still in school. Right now he is working towards becoming
more of a one-stop shop. He also sells whole-sale, and has
begun franchising. He says that good employees are what
make his business work. As far as leadership goes, he believes
that well-trained employees and managers who know what is
going on minimizes the confusion.

Justin Boot Outlet
Justin Boot Outlet’s selection is vast and wide, to
accommodate all kinds of boot needs. The outlet carries all
kinds of boots that were left over and carries a variety of
“odd” sizes and styles, that one may not find in another store
or catalogue. Some products have minor imperfections,
allowing customers to get boots at cheaper rates as well.
October through December, stock show season is the busiest
time of year, with May through July being the slowest.

Texas Cattle Raiser’s Association
The magazine published by the organization, given to us when
there. The TCRA is unique for a number of reasons, the biggest
one being their law enforcement and legislative sectors. Law
enforcement has on average, 900-1,200 cases per year and
recovers 5 million dollars’ worth of property. Association brand
inspectors cover all livestock markets and educate the public on
brands and brand design. Legislation represents the reality not
taken into account by some laws non-agriculture politicians try to
press. Communication and events is committed to education of
members and educational events they hold are based on
feedback from producers. There are also nine policy committees
made up of members who decide procedures and direction the
organization should go in. The mission of TCRA is to “protect the
stewards of land and livestock in the southwest.” It was clear that
all segments need each other in order to function as a whole, and
that in this case, there was no one leader, but a cohesive team that worked together.
HEB Central Market
Above is a portion of the fresh fish selection, and to the left are
some fresh herbs with fresh fruits and vegetables in the
background. The manager of HEB Central Market in Fort Worth
is a leader because he is a realist. He is laid back, does not yell
and get upset, and treats his employees like what they are-real
people who are working for a living. He emphasizes family-work
balance and wants work to be enjoyable. Central Market is a
testing center of sorts for new products, some of which
eventually filter down to all HEB’s in Texas.
Ben E. Keith Foods
One floor-to-ceiling aisle in the warehouse at Ben E. Keith.
This company is a distributor that sells to institutions such as
restaurants, schools, and retirement homes. They are one of
the largest Busch beer distributors and service a 10-state
area. They have seven different temperature freezers to
accommodate all of their foods temperate needs. This
company does more than 800 million dollars a year in sales,
offering next-day delivery, but not shipping on Sundays. I am
sure it must be present, but I found leadership to be hardest
to find here. Operation is on such a large scale, and the
logistics have been worked out so precisely that the
leader(s) must have gotten lost (to my eyes) in the shuffle.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Photo Courtesy of Google Images and as electronics were not allowed in the facilities.
Leadership in the form of a human was not seen here as an automated voice gave us a tour. Considering
the new technologies and
printing methods used to print
United States currency, such as
Intaglio printing, printing with
red and blue fibers, and
watermarks, all on a specially
blended 75% cotton, 25% linen,
cloth paper, I think it is safe to
say the USA is a leader in
fighting counterfeiting.

Early Blooms and Things
Some of the items offered at Early
Blooms and Things gift and flower shop.
Owners and Tarleton graduates, Mr. and
Mrs. Hohertz own and operate this
multi-faceted business. It started out as
a flower shop, sprung into gifts and a gift
shop, and now do bridal and baby
registries, wedding and event planning,
and whole sale scented and formed air
fresheners created by Lori. Each part of
the business has a different part of the
season that allows for a steady cash
flow. They said that the hardest part of
running their own business was being
other people’s bosses and having
employees. They also expanded on the
extra work and commitment you need
to put in to make your company grow and succeed.
Cowboy’s Last Ride Casket Company
A unique and unexpected stop, this company sells custom caskets, complete with stirrups for handles, if
the customer so chooses. (Photo courtesy of Google Images and Big Country Trading Post as I did not
want to be disrespectful and take pictures of the caskets). The manager and the owner’s son both talked
to us and explained that especially in this business, being able to adapt to help people is essential. There
is 24/7 access to calling and direct
shipping to customer or funeral
home. All employees can perform all
tasks associated with the art of
casket making. Normally, the artist
draws out the picture then the
carver puts it into wood form. One
casket takes approximately 40 hours
to complete. The young man we
spoke with had leadership qualities
of initiative and determination. He
knows what needs done, and does it.

This family-run operation is many businesses all rolled into one. It is a café. It is a gas station. It is a feed
store. It is a seed and fertilizer store. It is a grain mill. It is an export and import center. It’s a research
center. Jacoby’s knows that with their location and their customers’ location, they need to offer as much
as they can to not only keep their customers coming to them and coming back, but providing for the
surrounding farmers and ranchers who inhabit this area of Texas as well. Customer service is their
number one priority and believes that giving the customers what they want, is what will keep them
coming back. Diversity also gives them access to a number of different markets that can balance each
other out with highs and lows.

Hydroponics Greenhouse
Microgreens grown mainly for restaurants and “foodies” down in
Austin. Plants being grown in the hydroponic greenhouse and the
huge fish tanks water circulates through to provide nutrition for
the plants. Using a mixture of hydroponic and aquaponic
practices, enlisting the aid of Tilapia fish, this greenhouse is using
all new ideas to grown their plants. The fish fertilize the water,
which in turn fertilizes the plants. There are many laws and
regulations since Tilapia are registered as an exotic species. It
took time, trial and error, and research to nail the exact formula
used today.
Trapper Burkett’s Game Ranch
Some of the deer on the run. Trapper and his
two assistants showing us how the dart gun
and other equipment works. Trapper, like
many others along the tour, emphasized the
importance of diversity. In his case, this means
raising livestock, exotics, and whitetail, rather
than only one. He also stressed the
importance of stockman’s knowledge and how
much of what is necessary for his job and
other similar ones, cannot be taught inside the

Schneider Deer Processing
Hooks used to hang deer when they are brought
in and the industrial grinder used to make
various ground meats. This business is possible
because the only type of meat processed here is
wildlife that comes in already dead. This is not a
slaughtering facility. It is not legal to process beef
here either because of the BSE scare. Pricing
depends on what meat you would like to end up
with, and ratios of pork can be added in for items
such as sausages.

Fischer and Weiser Specialty Foods
Semi-automated production line, large mixing vats, and an example of product. This
company is more than simply a distributor, though they are that was well, they are
creators, inventors who are willing to think outside of the box to create foods unlike
those who came before them. They grew out of a roadside peach stand and now
service big box stores such as Costco. Their unique products range include party
sauces and salsas and often include a mix of sweet and spicy all in one tasty snack.

Becker Vineyards
Oak barrels costing between $500-$1,000 that are used twice to age wine in and then sold for
decorations and lawn ornaments. The special tractor used to pick grapes that shakes the grapes off of
the trees. A small portion of the wine selection Becker has to offer. The taste of wine depends on the
grapes, yes, but more so on the manipulated temperature of the fermenting tanks and when the liquid
is frozen.

Meek Ranch
A group of young Angus and Sim-Angus bulls
and a momma and her calf. The Meek Ranch is
a seedstock (purebred) producer who are one
of several in the beef industry looking to
downsize the stature of the Angus breed.
Through looking at their bulls, placing them,
and giving reasons, we learned that just
because we all had different answers did not
mean we were wrong. There is a place in the
commercial world for almost all of the bulls we looked at, it’s just a matter of what commercial
operations are looking for and which genetic direction they would like to go.

Vogel Peach Orchard and Fruit Stand
One of the orchards Mr. Vogel grows peaches in, utilizing the sandy loam,
clay bottom peach trees thrive in. An example of the peaches you can find
for sale at the peach stand. Mr. Vogel expanded heavily on being cautious
of changing legislation and regulations that can limit or alter your
production. He explained that those writing the law are so far removed
from agriculture that they do not understand the harshness and effects of
what they are passing.
LBJ National Historical Park
An LBJ ranch bull, as close to the genetic
make-up of a bull from the 1960’s as is
possible today. He is also donning horn
weights used to shape the horns of
bulls, making them less aggressive, a
practice not really used today.
Herefords grazing on the range which
still grows the same type of native
grasses as used during LBJ’s time there.
Lastly, a calf and her momma, complete
with LBJ burnt into the horns on one
side, and an identification number on
the other (not pictured).

This photo journal complete by Mikaela Heggenstaller for Dr. Lovell’s Agribusiness Tour 2014. Tarleton
State University. Special thanks to our hosts! Email me for more pictures or insight on anything seen