Baxter Black: The herd sire
This is one of those stories that sound so unbelievable, you’ll know I didn’t make it up.
Mike studied the bloodlines. He checked performance records. He knew his herd like the top two layers of his tool box. He was a good young cattleman. When he decided on the course of action to improve his herd’s genetics, he called the breed association rep. They discussed his needs. Plans were made for the fieldman to attend a bull sale in Texas with the express instructions to buy exactly the right bull.
The call from Texas delighted Mike. The fieldman had bought the perfect yearlin’ bull that would carry Mike’s cows into the 21st century for $10,000 … half interest. He agreed that the co-owner, a purebred breeder from Oklahoma, could use the bull that fall. Then he would ship him to Pine Ridge country of northwestern Nebraska in time for Mike’s spring breeding.
In February, arrangements were made to put the bull on the back of a load going as far as Sterling, Colorado. The trucker would call Mike on arrival.
Mike waited anxiously. Several days passed and nobody called. He called his partner only to find they’d left Oklahoma territory a week before! Feeling uneasy, Mike called the Sterling sale barn. “No? No,” they didn’t remember any bull. “Let us check.” They suggested possibly the bull Mike was lookin’ for had been bought by a trader!
“What’d he pay?” asked Mike.
“Fifty-six cents a pound.”
In a panic, he tracked down the trader. He’d run the bull through the Brush sale. The trader said he broke even. Packerland had bought him as a baloney bull! Mike drove all night to Packerland in a desperate effort to save his bull! “No,” they said, “he was too thin to kill, so they’d sent him to a feedlot in Rocky Ford!”
Mike smelled like burnin’ rubber and was chewin’ the upholstery when he boiled into the feedlot in a cloud of dust! The foreman was surprised but led him over to the receiving pens. There stood Mike’s future, road weary, coughin’ and covered with sale barn tags!
Mike’s knees were shakin’!
“Nice bull,” the foreman said. “But ya cut’er close, sonny. Tomorrow evenin’ he’da looked a lot different without his horns and cajones!”