Few families have influenced the livestock handling industry as significantly as the Priefert family from Mount Pleasant, Texas. For half a century, the Prieferts have been designing, building, and marketing cattle handling equipment, and, in the process, changing the way the American rancher handles cattle. Marvin Priefert founded Priefert Manufacturing in 1964 with the invention of the first fully front-opening headgate. 50 years later, Marvin’s son Bill, and his grandsons, Eddie, Nate, and Travis, still own and operate the family business, with the goal of continuing to improve upon the design and functionality of today’s livestock handling equipment.
For 46-year-old Brian Weidner cattle producer and farmer near rural Newton, Illinois, he is living the dream of his childhood. “As a kid, I was always plowing in the sandbox,” Weidner says with a chuckle. “My dad always had livestock, and all I ever wanted to do was raise cattle and be a grain farmer.”
Go to any farm equipment show, or “surf” the internet, and you will see there are a wide range of makes and models of TMR mixer on the market today, which can make selecting the right one for you a bit confusing. In this issue we will look at the origin and key differences between the two main classifications of mixers that are available today, namely, Horizontal and Vertical mixers.
HORIZONTAL TMR MIXERS
The Brangus breed, a 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Angus composite, was developed to utilize the superior traits of Angus and Brahman cattle. This two breed combination resulted in a breed that unites the traits of two highly successful parent breeds. The Brahman, through rigorous natural selection, developed disease resistance, overall hardiness and outstanding maternal instincts.
When this column started, we encouraged our readers to forward their comments, questions and suggestions for topics to us by email at the address given at the end of the column. We thank you for the communications received to date, to which we reply directly. Starting with this issue, we will occasionally share with you an expanded response that was inspired by a noteworthy question.
Safe and effective cattle handling has always been important. In the last few years there has been a move toward what has been called low-stress handling or as we prefer to call it a return to sound, effective stockmanship. The animal industries must not tolerate any form of abusive behavior or handling of livestock. The culture of handling on any operation originates from upper management and is expressed by the workers on the ground.