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Just the Facts - We do the math!

Bob (left) and Jesse (right)

Raised on the Kansas “Dirty Thirties” stories of both my grandparent’s farm struggles & their eventual survival of that definitional agricultural era, my curiosity emerged early for observation & creation of financially sound & ecologically innovative cattle production systems.

Dennis Sheedy's Camp Winter Herding on the Upper Arkansas Worrall
"Courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society": Worrall " Winter herding on the upper Arkansas"

My maternal great-grandfather arrived at Abilene, Ks at least three times from Texas with trail herds of cattle, as a runaway Ohio boy, turned Texas to Kansas Chisholm Trail hand. The story claims the second Kansas trip arrived to a “poor cattle market” which forced a wintering of that trail herd in extreme western Ottawa County, Kansas, based at a spring laden brushy draw that faced south, at the top of the Saline & Solomon River divide.  A Kansas homestead there on that spring laden draw, after the third Kansas trip, initiated a career of yearling cattle ownership and rearing of 10 children. That volatile stockman career eventually spiraled down with the local banker as the next & last owner of the “biggest house in town”.

lange_hay_derrick.jpg     Hay Derrick    COWBOY1902.JPG

My paternal grandfather “S.A.” arrived in Kansas from New York, via North Dakota at the request of his 20 year older entrepreneurial brother & one-time schoolteacher.  S.A. traded agriculture & mercantile properties frequently and often, with a perspective for enhanced production with projected innovation.  A local mercantile general store at Laton, Ks, was timely traded for a larger store at Gorham, Ks, which was then transformed to some lower Arkansas River irrigated hay & stationary baler experience in far eastern Colorado.  That irrigation knowledge value was then captured within an application in Sheridan County, Ks on the South Solomon River.  Alfalfa seed production in Sheridan County, a specialty goat cream production in northern Russell County, with a brief detour through an Arkansas mountain property of his senior brother’s, eventually evolved into a retail gasoline station with an adjacent lumberyard at the east edge of Hoxie, Ks.

  jayhawk stacker.jpg  DCP_3793.JPG 

My father George, named after the older entrepreneurial brother of his father S.A. almost worked his way through Kansas State University on the WWII GI Bill.  A “Kansas Oilfield Geology” chapter in a late college course piqued his curiosity for his considered change of college majors that would require additional college courses and tuition.  The unpalatable prospect of continued academic expenditures transformed his thought process toward a career within the late 1940’s central Kansas oilfields.  That career, as a knowledgeable owner & entrepreneur of the soon obsolete cable-tool oil-rigs crashed, just prior to the volatile Kansas crude oil challenges of the late 1960’s.  A decade long sales career for John Deere industrial machinery across north-west Kansas, north-east Colorado & southern Nebraska then supplied the justification to again roam those Great High Plains, always in search of the next deal that might “just hit a lick”.  The ovarian cancer death of his first wife, Phyllis on Christmas Eve, 1981 initiated a third career that still produces and celebrates the Kansas Post Rock Green Horn Limestone quarried fence posts.  Thousands of those barbed wire strung stone fence posts still stand today in a silent testament for the earliest labors of the pioneer Kansas stockmen, for their local innovation and cattle production focus within those semi-arid Kansas rangelands.

Lacey Homestead

My mother Phyllis’ youth, as the daughter of an Ottawa County, Ks. tenant winter wheat farmer & stockman, was graced with her exceptional talent as vocal music performer, which propelled her to Kansas Wesleyan at Salina, Ks for her post high school voice training.  Receipt of her Kansas “two year” teacher certificate from Fort Hays State enabled an initial single year sojourn at a Dubuque, Ks rural one-room, eight-grade school.  The successive school term brought her arrival at Paradise, Ks. as a first & second grade teacher, where the community embraced and encouraged her voice and her boundless energy, even as she ambivalently chose her exit from teaching after two years, for a centered focus on her emergent family.  Phyllis graced that local landscape for the next 31 years, with even a brief but much loved tenure as the middle school lunch cook for George’s transition from cable-tool oil-rig entrepreneur to his industrial machinery sales career.

movin’ ‘em 2009

Born between an academically & musically gifted older sister and a Mac computer savant younger brother, my career spans the complete spectrum from the technical academic to the current cattle ownership & innovative bred heifer production on the annually leased tribal rangelands of extreme northern Montana. The motivation that could blend GPS cow collar location collection with simultaneous colt-breaking opportunities has been nurtured by a life-long curiosity & experience with rangeland, cattle and finances. That curiosity propelled the cattle marketing questions that evolved into the concept, research, development & profitable personal application of the Efficiency of Calf Value Capture™ &

Bob on Vaquers

Son Jesse arrived in Pueblo, Colorado at the very bottom of the production agriculture financial crisis of the 1980’s.  His initial community & grade school experience in the remote rangelands of south-east El Paso County, Colorado, grounds his earliest academic, ecologic & economic realities.  The abrupt removal to Montana at the start of the fourth grade generated that sense of self-directed & intellectually disciplined responsibility that defines his current capacity for computer program innovations and software process explorations. An early interest in Japanese animation technology generated multiple Japanese language courses, completed within his computer science degree at Montana State University, Bozeman.  That linguistic talent then enabled a single year sojourn in Japan where he taught English to Japanese students.  His self-directed & self-financed design & construction of an autonomous prototype robot as a self-selected class project, garnered attention as an innovative computer programmer by DISTEK, at Cedar Falls, IA, where Jesse & his new bride now call home.

Jesse in the Bob Marshall Wilderness 2005
Great Trails

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