A Labor of Love
Published on Fri, 09/28/2018 - 11:18am
A Labor of Love
By Steve Weisman
Mention the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the name of Bob Tallman often comes up. After all, his deep, resonant voice is heard by more than 60 million people across the country each year as he announces the events at the top rodeos across the country. For his contributions to the rodeo industry, Tallman has been inducted into the PRCA, The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy hall of fames. In addition to his golden voice, Tallman has a philosophy that has stood the test of time. “Tell them the truth. Say what you are seeing because the fans are seeing the same thing that you are. And if you can’t be positive, don’t say anything!”
For the 70-year old Tallman, his announcing has been a labor of love, and without it, “My wife, Kristen and I would not be where we are today. From the very beginning, Kristen supported the 250-300 days I would be on the road.” To say that ranching is in his blood is also an understatement. He is a fifth-generation rancher dating back to his great great uncle in Montana, then Winnemucca, Nevada in 1894. Today, Tallman and his wife have an Angus cow/calf herd at their ranch, 3T Angus Cattle Ranch near Poolville, TX. The family operation includes their daughter and son-in-law and their two young children. It is the family relationships that are extremely important to Tallman. “Family is important to us. We eat at night together and talk about the day’s activities, the ranch. These are things that keep us close.”
Tallman notes that those 40 years on the road have been an important learning experience. “While I would be announcing the rodeo at night, I would be talking to riders, ranchers and all kinds of people in the industry during the day. I wanted to learn and would ask them questions: How does this work? Why do you do this? What do you think? My travels allowed me to become involved with people in the livestock industry who were way ahead of the curve.”
Tallman took many of those ideas back to the ranch to improve his cattle’s health, improve his facilities, which would in turn improve the bottom line profit. Now, as he works his cattle at 3T, he utilizes products that simplify and improve productivity. The use of scales to keep track of each animal’s weight has been crucial in improving herd health and profitability.
“The best scale I have found has come from Tru-Test www.tru-test.com, located in Mineral Wells, TX. You know, you can’t manage what you can’t measure!” By weighing, Tallman has found he can make sure livestock are sold at the optimum weight, checking weight gain on calves can help monitor reproductive performance and what cows to remove from the herd, minimize treatment waste and identify sick or lame animals early on. Tru-Test has several different scale options to meet the needs of the producer. One that Tallman presently has is the XR5000 scale indicator with the HD1010 load bars. “I can check weights daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly. This gives me the entire picture of weight gain for each animal. Software has also made it so I can be away from the ranch and actually download and check everything that is going on.”
Tallman makes the most of his land by using electric fence to rotate pastures. Every 7-10 days, he moves cattle and his solar-powered fence to another stretch of land. It’s all about efficiency, and the electric fencing offers flexibility, ease to make changes, affordability and safety of the animals. By using several paddocks, we can maximize the grass for the cattle, while at the same time not over graze the pasture. When we researched the many types of electric fencing options, we chose to go with Speedrite, which is owned by Tru-Test.” When Tallman moves the cattle to the next pasture, he goes back to the vacated pasture and spreads the wealth (manure), cuts down any weeds that might have grown and then lets it rest until the next rotation.
For Bob and Kristen, the past 49 years together has been a journey and a learning experience. And it’s far from over. The rodeo will continue to be a huge part of their family’s life.
A new venture-Bobby T’s Beef Jerky
Over the 40+ years Bob Tallman has been on the road, he’s stopped at convenience stores across the country for fuel for both his vehicle and himself. Often it was a snack, maybe a package of beef jerky, just to get him through until supper. “Over the years, I just got tired of all the sodium and preservatives, and just not knowing what was in the jerky. So, 14 months ago we started the learning process and 45 days ago we introduced our own brand: Bobby T’s Beef Jerky!”
So, what sets Bobby T’s apart from the rest? First off, all of Bobby T’s Beef Jerky has been inspected and approved by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Tallman makes sure it is high quality grass fed beef, literally a “steak in a sack.”
Tallman personally selected Marsha and Max Stabel, who own Ranch House Meats in Menard, TX, to produce his jerky for their nearly 40 years of experience in producing quality beef products with small-town values and a dedicated sense of integrity.
Preparation is an important part of the process. The beef is hand cut and trimmed, then marinated for hours in a variety of personally tested flavors. Once marinated, the jerky is then hand-laid on smoking trays and placed in smokers over smoking and flavorful hickory wood. There is no liquid smoke added. It’s all real!!
Once smoked, it is then cooled to ensure moistness and placed in bags for shipment.
Tallman says, “Currently, customers can go to our website www.bobbytsjerky.com and place orders personally, and we are in the process of getting Bobby T’s Jerky marketed in Boot Barn Western Stores throughout the country, and grocery chains are next.”