The Livestock Marketeers added five industry professionals to their Hall of Fame wall at the National Western Stock Show Club on Jan. 14.
The Livestock Marketeers — an informal fraternity of livestock fieldmen, auctioneers, sale managers and related livestock business leaders — met for their 47th Annual Banquet in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO. The event is hosted by American Live Stock.
This year's honorees included Don Cagwin of Virginia, IL; Dick Carmichael of Springfield, TN; and Jay George of Lebo, KS.
Master of ceremonies was J. Neil Orth, executive vice president of the American-International Charolais Association and a 1984 Hall of Fame inductee.
Posthumous additions included Walt Browarny of Calgary, Alberta, and Ed Huff of Warrenton, VA. Their names were added to the special plaque provided by Crow Publications.
The Livestock Marketeers group was started in 1965 by Harry Green, Ross Miller and Claud Willett. Their purpose was to form a fraternal organization of livestock professionals, and to make annual awards in order to encourage younger members of the industry to succeed in their chosen profession.
Seventy Marketeers were in attendance for 2012.
Don Cagwin was born Aug. 3, 1939, in Lockport, IL, and raised on a livestock feeding farm.
Don exhibited cattle nationally through Illinois 4-H and FFA for many years, winning championships at the American Royal, Chicago International, National Western, Fort Worth and San Antonio shows.
In 1963, Don took over management of the Royal Tartan Shorthorn Farm at Lemont, IL. From 1965-1968, he worked for the American Shorthorn Association as their eastern fieldman. Don was named manager of the Questing Hills Shorthorn Farm in Chandlerville, IL, in 1968, leading out champions at the American Royal, Chicago International and National Western Stock Show competitions.
Cagwin Cattle Services, Inc., took his professional career to a new level in 1971, when he established the sale management firm to serve the Maine-Anjou and Shorthorn breeds. Don was responsible for importing the first Maine-Anjou into the United States, as well as the first Irish Shorthorn cattle. He purchased a packing house that added more depth to his dedication to the beef industry.
"Don has done a great job for Shorthorn breeders, and travelled the world to find the new and different bloodlines," said Sherm Berg, Blair, NE. "You have been the oak tree of the Shorthorn breed."
"He is a really good stockman and a believer in the purebred cattle industry, and has been for many years. Thank you, Don," noted Bruce Brooks of Marietta, OK, and 2010 Hall of Fame Marketeer.
The firm continues the management of Shorthorn sales today and lists many millions of dollars in sales. In 1993, Don took over as publisher of Shorthorn Country magazine, as well.
"I certainly appreciate the honor that you've bestowed on me this evening," said Don Cagwin. "I've enjoyed it."
Don Cagwin currently owns and operates a Shorthorn farm in Virginia, IL. This herd was established in 1973. He lives on the farm with his wife of 51 years, Kathleen, and they have three children: daughter Cindy, who manages Cagwin Cattle Services; son Jeff, who owns and operates a Charolais cattle farm in Peoria, IL; and daughter Amanda, a CPA and chief accountant for the city of Springfield, IL. Don and Kathleen have five grandchildren.
If you've attended a purebred livestock auction in North America over the past four decades, it's highly likely that you've seen Dick Carmichael working at ringside taking bids.
Richard "Dick" Carmichael grew up on a family-owned farm near Bloomington, IN, raising, fitting and showing purebred Angus cattle for competition at local, state and national shows. His fascination with purebred livestock auctions began at an early age, attending sales with his father, Elsworth. Dick was intrigued with the excitement an auctioneer and ringmen could create.
Dick earned a degree in animal science from Purdue University, where he was an active member of the Collegiate 4-H and Block and Bridle clubs.
Like many other professional ringmen, Carmichael started his career as a field representative for The Drovers Journal. He interviewed for this position while fitting cattle at the 1969 Chicago International Livestock Exposition for two prominent Charolais operations -- 4T Ranches, Georgetown, TX, and Silver Creek Farm, Blue Mounds, WI. 1999 Livestock Marketeer Hall of Fame auctioneer Stanley Stout, then director of field staff for The Drovers Journal, interviewed Dick up in the seats of the Chicago Amphitheatre show arena and ultimately hired him.
That position laid the groundwork for Dick to later work for the Charolais Banner, headquartered in Shawnee Mission, KS. Dick served as field representative for the eastern half of the United States, selling advertising and working the ring at sales, before moving to Kansas City to work as the magazine's director of field staff and to eventually become part owner of the publication. In time, the American International Charolais Association started their own breed publication, the Charolais Journal, and Dick served as field representative in the eastern United States for the new publication.
During his years with the Charolais publications, he became acquainted with Charolais breeders across the North American Continent, as well as the cattle they produced and merchandized. So in 1979, Dick and his wife, Ruth Ann, formed Carmichael Enterprises, an independent Charolais sales management business. Over the next 15 years, Dick conducted and managed over 200 auction sales throughout the U.S. and Canada, with many of those sales setting high-selling records for the breed that still stand today. They managed consignment sales held in conjunction with several major livestock shows, including the National Western in Denver, American Royal in Kansas City, Dixie National in Jackson, the North American in Louisville, and the NILE in Billings. Dick also managed sales at all of Canada's major livestock shows, including the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Calgary Stampede, Toronto Winter Fair, Edmonton Northlands Expo, and Manitoba Ag-Ex in Brandon.
Dick had an eagerness to return to working the ring and to once again be dealing with all breeds and species of livestock. Farm Progress Companies afforded him that opportunity in 1994, when he was hired as livestock advertising representative for the Wallace's Farmer, Missouri Ruralist and Wisconsin Agriculturalist. In 1999, Farm Progress Companies acquired several farm publications in the southeastern U.S. and selected Dick to head up the livestock advertising sales for all those magazines under the umbrella of the Southern Beef Producer.
In 2004, after a successful tenure with Farm Progress Companies, Dick became an independent, full-time ringman, once again operating as Carmichael Enterprises. While the purebred beef cattle industry remains his main focus, he branched out in 2006 and works with Williams & Williams Auction Company of Tulsa, OK, taking bids at the firm's real estate auctions across the country.
"For the last 40 years, Dick Carmichael has been a fixture at some of the great events around the nation," pointed out Craig Reiter of Elmore, OH. "He's an especially talented teacher and mentor."
"I've traveled many a mile with Dick Carmichael, and one lesson I've learned is that he knows the small breeders as well as the large breeders," said Delvin Heldermon of Sulphur, OK. "He loves people. He's a true professional, always in control, and I've never ever seen him give less than 100%."
Over the years, Dick has taken bids at sales in every state except Alaska, as well as nine Canadian provinces and New Zealand. He has worked auctions for every breed of cattle and every species of livestock. For years he was a fixture at ringside for the Kentucky Standardbred Yearling Sale in Lexington. Dick was also at ringside when the stallion Nu Bar, a son of Doc Bar, was sold by Bill Lefty, 2011 Hall of Fame Marketeer, at public auction in California for $1,100,000.
"I've been honored to work with some of the finest breeders of livestock, along with some of the greatest and most talented auctioneers of our time, and for that I will always feel extremely blessed," Dick says. "The thousands of people I've met and the places I've been over the past 40 years are a lifetime of incredible memories. I couldn't have wished for a better profession to work in, and I still enjoy it."
Dick resides in Springfield, TN, with his wife, Ruth Ann, and he continues to work the ring at more than 150 sales annually. His life still tends to be "dictated by the datebook," but he considers that a good thing since this kind of work has always felt more like an adventure to him, rather than a job.
Kansas native Jay George understands that livestock producers have a passion for what they do, and he brings a matching respect and enthusiasm to marketing their stock. His career has encompassed the entire spectrum of livestock marketing: breed association fieldman, professional sales management, ring service, livestock photographer, sale catalog and advertising design, order buyer, livestock evaluator and event manager.
A 1973 graduate of Kansas State University, Jay was a member of KSU's Livestock and Meats Judging Teams, the Block & Bridle Club, and a student employee at the KSU Purebred Beef Barn. Jay built his career as an American Hereford Association fieldman and with United Livestock Brokers, Inc., sales management. He also worked as field staff director for Tri-State Livestock News for four years.
Additionally, Jay spent a term as Black Hills Stock Show/Central States Fair board director, where he initiated the Stockman's Hall of Fame and Banquet, the BHSS Foundation, and helped start the Cowboy Heritage Old West Collector Auction.
Ten years with AHA laid the foundation for his entire career as a Marketeer, Jay says. He started in the upper Midwest and then moved to the North and South Dakota territory. Jay was recognized as a "breeder's fieldman," focused on building AHA's Total Performance Records program and expanding its use as the primary tool for breeder herd improvement; using performance proven bloodlines; promoting Hereford as the commercial cowherd crossbreeding sire of the black baldie; and maintaining a Hereford "presence" at commercial cattlemen's events. He also organized the successful joint South Dakota and Nebraska L7 Ranch commercial cattlemen's Challenge Field Day, and assisted in planning two Register of Merit National Shows and an All-American Junior Field Day and National Heifer Show.
Jay then joined the United Livestock Brokers, Inc., sales management firm established in 1970 by 2006 Hall of Fame Livestock Marketeer Gary McDonald. McDonald's four founding principles are customer service, integrity, innovation, and information and detail. ULB's main focus has been on Hereford breed sales, but has also included Angus, Red Angus, Charolais and Salers cattle, and in the mid-1990's expanded with the management and promotion of ranch and performance horse sales.
"For ultimate success in this business, as a breeder or marketeer, you must 'talk' purebred but 'think' commercial," Jay quotes McDonald. "Remember that in the end, commercial cattlemen drive everything we do."
Jay's reputation through his ULB sale service has been built upon his signature dynamic promotional campaigns and ad layouts: an eye for expert photography; first-class sale catalogs that sell the program, presenting complete, accurate performance data; his respected stockman's eye — "run a good bull or horse by me first, then we'll talk about his performance and pedigree"; innovation; customer longevity; and a respected client base that includes beef cattle and Quarter Horse leaders who have set the standards as breeders and marketers of superior stock.
Highlights of 27 years of ULB's "Jay George era" include the leading annual Hereford production sales for 50-, 75- and 100-bull categories in AHA's year-end sales summary, as well as many of the annual highest selling bulls at $67,000 and $65,000. He also conducted two of the breed's largest cow sales in history when Oxley Hereford Ranch's 2003 auction earned $1.26 million and the 2010 Jamison Herefords sale brought $1.42 million.
Outstanding equine sales management landmarks include Cowan Bros. with the 1997 sale averaging $9,000 and PC Frenchman's Hayday selling for $65,000; the 1999 sale at $14,000 featuring PC Frenchman at $200,000; and the 2009 auction with a $6,000 average. The 2007 Mel Potter Ranch sale averaged $7,000 and was topped at $60,000. ULB also worked with the Dean Reeves Ranch on the nation's biggest rancher gelding sales; the first Myers & Fulton Performance Horse prospect sales; Wyoming's Arapaho Ranch sale of working geldings; the 1991 Holloway Ranch Great American Bucking Horse Sale, the first offering of pedigreed rodeo stock in the world; and Willow Creek Quarter Horses' sale of the stallion, Ali Frost, to The Four Horsemen at $35,000.
"South Dakota has a really good horse program, and Jay's been a big part of that," noted auctioneer Lynn Weishaar of Reva, SD. "He's been a great friend and we've had a lot of fun. He's an outstanding part of our family. Hats off to you!"
2006 Hall of Fame Marketeer Gary McDonald of Benson, AZ, founded United Livestock Brokers and listed Jay's accomplishments and skills during the banquet.
"You're a good man, you're very talented and I'm proud of you," McDonald summed up.
In accepting his award, Jay pointed out the industry leaders and mentors he's been privileged to work with during his career.
"Any man's success is due to the foundation upon which he started, and the team of people by which he is surrounded. I have experienced some of the best," Jay explained. "I have been fortunate to be surrounded by many livestock industry leaders, breeders and marketeers who built the foundation, set the standards, and have served as mentors. Any career success I may have experienced can be attributed to their guidance and support."
He credits his father, Phillip, and uncle, Jackson George, for instilling a work ethic and a profound passion for Hereford cattle. Dr. Miles McKee of Kansas State University, who opened his mind and expanded his horizons. The AHA's respected fieldman, Claud Willett, 1968 Marketeer; former AHA CEO and 1985 Marketeer Hop Dickenson; and 1975 Marketeer and AHA mentor Bud Snidow. Gary McDonald of United Livestock Brokers, who "presented the opportunity to step up, experience the real industry and express my talents with the support of his well-respected record." Lynn Weishaar, leading South Dakota auctioneer, who introduced Jay to the horse sale business and "together we cut a path!"
"It's been a helluva ride, and there's more to be done," Jay said. "Thanks for the opportunity!"
Jay George maintains a full United Livestock Brokers sales schedule. And after 30 years in western South Dakota, he has returned to the George family's Kansas ranch, breeding commercial Hereford cattle and performance Quarter Horses.
See the YouTube presentation about Jay George from the Livestock Marketeers banquet at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xeGq79uHQk.
For more than 40 years, Walt Browarny set the standard for livestock photography.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Walt began his career at Imperial Oil, where he worked for 14 years. He began to branch out into freelance photography, working for The Albertan Daily newspaper. Some of his assignments were to attend rodeos; the newspaper was most impressed and he won a Canadian Press Award for one of his rodeo photographs. Walt was becoming very well known for his rodeo photography and it was at this time that some of the executives at Imperial Oil invited Walt to their ranches to photograph their horses.
Walt was hired to photograph the First World Charolais Show and Sale in 1967. This was the beginning. In 1969, he went into photography full time. He went to Denver for the National Western Stock Show and from there on, he was committed to livestock photography.
Walt travelled the world with his job, shooting livestock in their natural environment -- from the Alberta foothills to the dairy barns of Europe and grassy pastures of South America. He spent long hours in show rings around the globe, photographing champions of all breeds. His clients included ranchers of the West as well as the rich and famous. Walt photographed for all the breed associations and publications, and was recognized by them all. Walt was honored as the Record Stockman's Canadian Man of the Year at the National Western in Denver in 1998.
Developing a number of techniques to get just the right shot, Walt changed the angle of his camera to depict an animal's muscle, used mirrors to get its attention and brought a natural profile pose to his photos. The BROWARNY look became the cattle industry's standard worldwide.
Walt died in Calgary, Alberta, on August 24, 2011, at 75 years of age. Besides his wife, Marie, Walt is survived by his daughter, Shannon; son, Allan (Roxana); and grandchildren, Corbin and Sophia.
Allan is carrying on the tradition as a livestock photographer.
"On behalf of my family, I want to thank you for this great honor," said Allan Browarny at the Livestock Marketeers banquet. "So many exhibitors have stopped me at the show this year to visit about Dad. I feel so honored to follow in his footsteps and cary on the family tradition. I truly feel honored to say that Walt Browarny was my father."
Thousands of images from the Walt Browarny Legacy Collection remain as testimony that the animals, landscapes, faces and the moments captured by Walt Browarny are truly one of a kind. Visit http://www.browarny.com/ or http://www.showchampions.com.
Ed (Erskine) Huff of Warrenton, VA, established and led a long tradition of livestock fieldmen in the southeastern United States. He was a pioneer who worked for the Eastern Breeders Journal and the Livestock Breeder Journal, and is remembered as a great mentor and teacher to future generations of fieldmen in that region.
For more information on the Livestock Marketeers, visit http://www.livestockmarketeers.com.