Livestock State of the Union Address

rhdRHD Blog

Guest blog post by Colby Cummings

There’s no such thing as good money or bad money. There’s just money.

-Lucky Luciano

As horrible bad as the shape of this country is right now, I dare ask the reader, is it the same for the livestock industry?

Let’s open this discussion, like most of you haven’t talked about it in your group texts or around the cooler with blue mountains with a splash of OJ in it. I know those sewing circles ya’ll have in different breeds and associations. I really wish we had a version of sportscenter for the livestock industry.

Honestly there are days if you interview me you’ll need the beep button more than an edited version of a limp bizkit record. (cue break stuff)

The world and this industry has changed so much in the past 5 years it will make your head spin. Growing requires change — but sometimes I think we need to dive deep into whats going on and face it head on.

But if we do that…. then it becomes real. Let’s face it, very few of us can face real… cause I’ve seen how hard you tell me y’all work at this and according to Maury, that was a lie. 

Never thought I would see the day that this industry has influencers, Tiktok stars, and so on and so forth.

Some of y’all will go down a rabbit hole in a Facebook group – not for entertainment – but to lean on some of these people with all the answers.

Fact check. Most of them don’t win, can’t win and won’t win. True story. 

People will all but sell their soul and listen to a loser before they walk down the aisle and ask those families that ARE winning for advice.

But Colby, the people actually winning gotta be evil right?

You wanna know why winners don’t run all over the barn sharing advice are starting up some TikTok account to try to position themselves as “experts?”

They don’t have to. Period.

(I know some of yall gonna stop reading after that one.)

Okay, for those still reading, and as Mr. Rogers would say, “I’m proud of you, I hope you know that.”

There are those willing to help any fellow exhibitor, but you’ll need to set all the petty stuff aside and admit that you need help. You see, losing is kinda like a drug habit. You gotta admit you got a problem to move forward. 


Why are people listening to the Tiktok, self-appointed Facebook guru for advice?
Do me a favor… Check their winner history.

Some of them, no doubt can back up what they say.

But in life and politics, the loudest voice usually has the least amount of progress.
So just simply do your research…. Hell, all of y’all know who is in the cattle Illuminati and who isn’t — but you can’t tell me what operations are winning and losing… and (as I take a large drink) that is where we are at.

As the great Willy Couch said, “Winners win.”

Honestly as a man of few words that should be all I have to say, but apparently I gotta spell this out line by line.

There are those in the business that don’t breed anything, don’t sell any winners, but they can damn sure tell you what bulls to breed to and use their cool livestock judging voice in normal conversation when giving advice.

Stop taking advice from people who have nothing but ego.
They don’t care if your calves come out looking like one of the brother/cousins from The Hills Have Eyes.
You gave them what they wanted.. attention. And perhaps money.

Yes, I do have a tiktok and my social media shouldn’t be viewed by anyone with more than 3 brain cells but its more for humor than it is for y’all to know my stance on breeding cows, unless your breeding to full throttle, I die on this hill. 


Do me a solid, run a small background check on who you get sorting these shows.

Are there favors owed, sure.
Do we know it happens, absolutely.
Can we regulate the favors, not really.

BUTTTT you can do some things like make sure the judge doesn’t treat people like crap and go on an egocentric manic state where, quite frankly, I would rather choose violence than listen to how smart he is on the mic. Even worse are the judges who think we should all get down on our hands and knees and thank them for the opportunity to listen to the bombastic screw up of a day they did. Or those that have the whole “Well I have a PHD and you don’t” mentality. (BTW professor, she calved on time, you know the one you called the kid a liar on.)

Now, some of these people have Jeckyll/Hyde syndrome and you shouldn’t raise hell to the show management of a one year incident. I think some people hire one judge and get another. Let’s face it we got some real “rock star” judges and shows in this business.  Continue to support those shows. One bad day is not a reason to discount a show or management for everything they pour into getting one ready. I speak on behalf of those shows who try and want the best. Now, for those of yall running a show that is better off with the tilt-a-whirl operator doing it, go find another hobby. 

BREEDERS: (Currently successful).
You have the right to refuse service. Learn that.

To quote the beginning of one of my favorite Guns n Roses songs… “What we’ve got here… Is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach, which is the way he wants it. Well, He gets it.”

No more of  a true statement than a loser who wants to wreck a good one to show you how smart he is. A good friend of mine told me one time, “Sure its great to sell ’em high.. but a good family is sometimes worth more than a high seller.”

Sometimes they are one and the same.
Sometimes you get the ego of Axl Rose.

I really don’t know why winners get such a bad stigma. They usually have the most fun and are wanting the most of those in their circle. I have also been around those breeders/traders who only want them in good homes. I get it. But don’t come to a breeder guys saying ‘how bad you want it’ if you can’t fulfill everything on your end.

Do your part… (theres a fresh idea) – You can’t tell me how bad you want it, when your more concerned on where you wanna eat that night or getting Sonic and not be worried about your heifer. A lot of you want to win, you just don’t wanna dedicate to it. Promise. 

Now for the next category of breeders… (Not currently successful).
Cool….you were a big deal in the 90s and you ran the road and won everything.
But, you are literally stuck in that state.

Now you can’t understand why you can’t sell anything, or win… and blame everything but the man in the mirror.

Not my fault you wouldn’t progress and you bred yourself in a corner. Not my fault you wouldn’t adjust to the times of what the industry was demanding because that’s not how yall did it when you fed grown corn and thistle stems.

Get over yourself. Your reign is over.
Either change, get better or disperse.
Its really that simple.

You go to a show and take the few friends in your corner and do nothing but stir the pot and cause drama because you need what few shreds of dignity and ego you have left stroked.

Kinda sad to see those where people say – “Oh how the mighty have fallen.” I hate to see operations that get to that point. I honestly do, because they could serve as a mentor, or a teaching tool, but they decide to just be a tool.  

Sooooo where do we go from here… What are the solutions?

I don’t know, I’m acting like congress on this one. I’m just telling y’all what I think. I do know we didn’t have all these problems when Ragweed was together, but that’s for another day. I think we gotta do a better job from the ground up. Small changes relate to big changes. 

For one, do your homework on who or what you listen to for advice and where that advice comes from. Egos are delusions derived from someone not being told they weren’t loved enough as a child. 

Two:  Sit with winners the conversation is different. Real winners, not just the people who win shows, but those who are winning at life as well. (Big difference in that as well).

Three: Parents remember, you are only given a small amount of time to enjoy this time with your kids. Make the most of it. Don’t buy into the glitz and glamour of this industry. You’ll get lost in the mix and become bitter about it. 

Four: Don’t compare your success to others and vice versa. I’m just as guilty of this and I’m trying to be better. Some families just want to enjoy going to a show and being competitive at the country fair. Others want to be Napoleon. Both are fine but we forget sometimes both of those lines don’t need to cross each other. Celebrate those on all levels and not judge it. (I need to take my own advice on this). Also, don’t be scared to stand for what you believe in. I mean Boland stated “genius is always bound to be misunderstood.” Most of the time you see people for what they are. Sometimes it takes longer than others, and its really hard seeing those people for what they are when so many are steadily falling into their gaslighting ego trip. 

Five: You get to decide how much or little you get out of this industry. The world is yours for the taking. Just remember, some worlds are bigger than others.  Both can coexist and make it work. 

I guess.. All in all, do we need change in this industyr? Yes.

The true question is are we capable of it.

Will we lean and learn more on those who are truly vested in making us better or are we worried about being noticed by the Kardashians of the industry. 

I usually open with a quote, but today its my blog so I can do what I want, I’ll close with one too. You guys are really getting your moneys worth on this one…

“Truth is weirder than any fiction I’ve seen.”

Hunter S. Thompson