Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Something to think about

In today's mass market world, where everybody is "making branding irons" and selling you this great item
or that, the personalized touch which at first blush looks to be there really isn't.

Why do I say that? because what is personalized about something made by the millions in China?
and put together or not there. Things that are formed in a cast while are admitted much easier especially after the initial creating are far from handmade or unique. And lets face it in this day of cookie cutter everything who wants what everyone else has.

 I certainly don't I want the truly unique and handmade that's why my husband and I create and sell handmade livestock and steak branding irons. These are not made in China, they are handmade by one man. My husband in WYOMING and yes that's in the US of A.

So if you want to stand out in a crowd whether it be in a branding corral or a dinner party or even an upscale high dollar event go for the best, the unique, the personalized, the handmade by one man. Rick Loetscher at the Prairie Forge.

And contact his wife Cate and she'll see that it's done .

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Being a small home based business

        As you know if you've read this blog or seen our website www.prairieforge.net we are a small home based business that builds branding irons here in Wyoming. We are not a company that has anything made in China or anyplace else in the world. We do on occasion have a few pieces made for us with a plasma or lazer cutter but that too is done here in Wyoming.
        That being said, I was amazed to see that Wal Mart is now selling branding irons on their website. Yes their prices are low, yes they are made in China or another country, and no they don't necessarily offer customer service or life time guarentee on any of their products. Let's just not go there as the whole "Wal Mart" drama is enough to make any small business owner mad, except for those who have their product sold in this "world wide market". 
          I for one like the handmade items, made from which ever country them come from that I choose to purchase. If you choose to take a stand and purchase from us. You will be getting a handmade item, made here in Wyoming, by a husband and wife team. The moneys goes to support not only themselves, but the animals; Navajo-Churro sheep, 2 cows, chickens, geese, 3 pigs, and 2 dogs as well as various cats (rat control). Your money will not be going to some CEO sitting in an office somewhere making more than the man actually making the iron. No this is no large operation but a Pop and Ma shop. In fact when you call or e-mail you will be talking to Cate the "Ma" of this operation and on the rare occasion she's busy you might even get Rick (Pa) who will eventually turn you over to Cate, so please know you are purchasing from real Americans working hard not only for you but for themselves. We aren't on the welfare system, we're taking care of ourselves and we like it that way. But we also know that sometimes due to economic issues we all have to purchase things from places we don't want to because we can't afford the more expensive product. That we understand. But Please purchase the best you can and weigh the situation carefully as when you purchase from us you will get our best.
        So here is what you get when you do decide to purchase from us:
                       *American made, in America
                       *life time warrenty, ours or yours
                       *excellent customer service/aka the personal touch
                       * Cate to visit with
                       * Rick the man who will be making your iron
                       *someone who cares about the product being sent to you.

So give us a try, we'll work for you.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Where we are now.

Well things are still going here at the forge, of course life sometimes gets in the way, and then there is always the weather to contend with but life is good and the forge is always looking for new things to create and get out there.

We are not on Etsy in a new store called Oxcart Artizans and are selling some of our ready made items through them, so check us out, as you'll find a variety of items, from looms, to steak flippers and even skewers and branded towel racks. We are trying to expand our line and this is one way of test marketing things, so let us know what you think.

Thanks and Happy branding!!!



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chisholm Trail Brand

The Prairie Forge
had the honor of working for the present day family of the late Richard H Chisholm the founder of the Chisholm trail.  His brand the quarter circle TC was registered in the late 1840's and was one of the earliest brands in Texas
The family has shared with us the following information:
The brand was registered in the late 1840s and was one of the earliest brands in Texas. Thornton Chisholm's Fathers brand, registered earlier could have been the first. I would have to review the book for exact dates. The reunion is for descendants of Richard H. Chisholm, who settled in the 1820s on the west side of the Guadalupe River, and his father in law, Josiah Taylor settled on the East side of the river, and we're two of the earliest settlers in those parts. According to the 1840 Census of DeWitt County Texas, Richard Chisholm was worth $10,000.00, a lot of money during that time.
The Chisholm Heritage Museum is being formed in Cuero, Texas, and they are looking for pictures and historical information appertaining to that portion of the Great State Of Texas's Heritage.
Thanks, Hoss
So keep an eye out for this new Museum and go and have a little cowboy fun.
Thanks for choosing us to help recreate the brand of  Richard H. Chisholm

Thursday, June 28, 2012

TEST of FIRE Video Finally here

I'm so excited to share with you the evangelical version of the video we had a small part in.
The Prairie Forge is pleased to say we made the letter/words for the TEST of FIRE video
and the Evangelical version is finally out, you can still find the Catholic version on You tube and on this blog as I have a connection to it as well, but here is the latest one created for ValueVotersUSA.com
 please click the link  http://www.valuevotersusa.com  and check it out, then if you think our work is good
give us a quick e-mail or call and we'd be glad to work for you as well.

Thank you Creative-Labs for choosing us to work with!!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Organized Chaos part 3

So here we are again the calves are just starting to head into the chutes and calf table. . . 

calves ready to go 

The calves are worked through a series of pens that gradually get smaller and will run into a single file lane that will put them directly into a calf table to be worked. Neal and Shane check the calves first as they work them one by one down the lane heading into the table.

electric branding iron that will be used

Fire brands waiting to be used

calves ready and waiting

                                                                Mama's ready and waiting

calf crew planning strategy and waiting for go ahead

Cow crew planning strategy 
Neal and David looking over today's job

Once the calf is in the calf table a large number of things will take place. In fact nine separate things will be done to each calf as a minimum. This is a dance of “organized chaos” as everyone works their individual job without getting in the way of the other. What jobs you ask, let me show you.

Amber shuts the table and calls out the calf's ear tag number

First Amber will call out the calf’s ear tag number since this will be used in multiple places during the next few moments as well as being the muscle to shut the calf table which will hold the calves, at the same time the head gate is shut which holds the animal still for all the different operations to take place. 

Amber ran the chute and used an Igenity tag that takes a sample as it is put through the ear.  This sample is sent to a lab where tests are performed to determine parentage of the calf.  PRA multi-sire its cows and need to do this to register the animal.  All their herd bulls are sampled and receive a DNA (Genetic) Panel which is used to determine their calves through the sample provided by the Igenity tag.

first calf in table getting ear cleaned by David Oedekoven

David is cleaning the calf’s ear from dirt and ear wax as well as holding the calf’s head steady for Kim and Amanda’s jobs

Rori doing her job of ear notching
Rori was taking an ear notch sample to be sent to a lab to be tested for persistently infected (PI) animals which carry and shed the BVD virus.  If a PI animal is found they are basically a Typhoid Mary.  They shed the virus but do not show the signs of the disease.  PRA basically does this for liability reasons. With selling bulls you do not want to be accused of bringing in a disease to your customers cattle.

Kale is branding the "+++" PRA brand on the calf

Kale uses an electric iron to brand the calves with the  "+++" brand on the hip.

sporting her new brand

Kim is putting “Inforce” an intranasal product in each calf’s nose to help with respiratory problems. 

Kim holding the calf's head to get to it's nose

Paige and later Sonny are putting a “Pour On” on to prevent external and internal parasites, it is colored a deep purple and disappears on the calf’s back.

Paige with the pour on gun 

Paige vaccinated for Clostridial Diseases and also Pasturella(s) which can cause pneumonia with her two handed syringes. 

Paige giving shots

Amanda is tattooing, the American Angus Association requires cattle to have a permanent ID, to help if they lose the ear tag, there will still be a way to trace the animal and find out pertinent facts. 

Amanda with the tattoo gun and the calf's ear

All the while 10-12 pairs of eyes are looking at each calf searching for anything out of place, and creating a general health checkup.

A couple of things were caught and treated an infected ear tag, and a pink eye. The calf’s health is paramount to the operation because each calf is worth several hundred dollars at the time of birth, and by the time they are full grown in the current market that same calf is worth way more. But a sick or ill cared for calf is worthless so special care is given to each one to insure the best possible outcome and future for the operation.

calves telling tales after their branded

balling gun to give medicine to calf that needed extra meds
Once everything is done and recorded, the calf if released into a large pen to be with the others. Later they will rejoin their mamas but for now they are tired and just want a place to lay down.

"man what a day!"
But first we need to finish branding and use the other brand today, David's brand. David brands with a fire brand, since he is only branding a few at this time, this method is just as easy as the electric iron. 

Fire Brand being used 

Once the heifers have been completed and are let back in the larger pen the calves that are done are released back in with their mamas. Now is the time stories are told by each calf to its mother of the trauma it experienced. Such stories are often exaggerated since over the course of its life each calf will be worked a number of more times. But mama’s are for complaining to and telling your tragic sob story too, so all is good. 

"mom, you wouldn't believe what they did to me, they poked and prodded, and I got burned" Baby
"Well kiddo, that's to bad, but now your'e a big cow and belong to the owners, their really nice folks
they take really good care of us. . . "Mom

When the last calf is done and out of the table not to mention back with it’s mama things are wrapped up, tools and supplies are moved and put up, test tubes are put in the freezer and the path is cleared to return the group back to the pasture everyone is happy to be headed back out to food and water and away from those awful people J

Crew cleaning up

cows going back out to freedom

calves needing a little help to get out of the pen

just follow the leader and Mom will be waiting

"ah, supper time" Shane teaching son Coban the rules about yucky boots in the house.

When the last calf is done and out of the table not to mention back with it’s mama things are wrapped up, tools and supplies are moved and put up, test tubes are put in the freezer and the path is cleared to return the group back to the pasture everyone is happy to be headed back out to food and water and away from those awful people J

The job is done for this day. . .

While everyone was working hard a neighbor Jennifer came in and cooked lunch for the crew. The following are Jen’s recipes for a filling branding lunch.

Meat loaf muffins

4 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. fine dried bread crumbs
1 c. chopped onion
2 T. snipped parsley
2 teas. salt
3# ground beef

1/2 c. catsup
4T. brown sugar
2 teas. dry mustard

Combine eggs and milk. Stir in crumbs, onion, parsley. salt, and 1/8 teas. fresh ground black pepper.  Add beef, mix well using hands.  Scoop a good palmful(3/4 c.), roll into a loose ball and place in a well greased muffin cup.  Bake in a 350* preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Combine the catsup, brown sugar, and mustard.  Spread over each muffin and continue to cook another 10 minutes.  Your nose will tell you when they are done!!

Savory Mashed Taters

10 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 c. milk
1 teas. seasoned salt
6 T. butter
2 c. sour cream
6 oz. cream cheese
2 teas. dried chives
1 c. butter crackers, crushed
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Cook taters in salted water until tender.  Drain and beat potatoes with milk, seasoned salt and 4 T. of the butter until fluffy.  Mix in sour cream, cream cheese and chives.  At this point the taters are very 'soupy' ~ DO NOT panic!  The firm up when baked! Turn into a well buttered/greased 9 X 13" pan.   Combine remaining 2 T. of butter (melted) with cracker crumbs.  Sprinkle over top of taters.  Bake 20 minutes at 350*.  Top with shredded cheese and bake another 10 minutes.

Oven-Baked Pork Stew

1 1/2# boneless pork, cut into 1" cubes
2 T. oil
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 - 16 oz. can tomatoes (I use Roasted Garlic petite diced style)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teas. sugar
2 bouillon cubes, 1 beef and the other Chipotle beef
1/2 teas. dried thyme
1/2 teas. dried oregano
1/4 teas. hot pepper sauce (Chipotle Tabasco is great!)
4 medium sweet potatoes or 2 sweets and 2 baking, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1 medium green pepper, cut into about 1" chunks
1  - 10 oz. package frozen green peas

Brown meat in skillet with oil.  Remove meat from skillet; reserve the drippings.  Add flour, cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add undrained tomatoes, garlic, sugar, bouillon cubes, thyme, oregano, hot pepper sauce, 1/4 c. water and 1/2 teas. salt and 1/8 teas. black pepper.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  In a large (3 qt+) casserole or baking dish, add pork and potatoes, onion and green pepper.  Pout tomato mixture.  Stir to combine.
Bake, covered in a 350* oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.  Stirring occasionally.  Stir in frozen peas ans bake another 5-10 minutes more

Serves: 6

Supreme Pasta Salad  McCormick & Co.

1 package (16 oz) Penne pasta
5 c. assorted chopped fresh vegetables such as:
     broccoli florets, sliced carrots, bell pepper, cherry tomato halves and red onion slices
1 bottle (8 oz.) Italian dressing
1/4 c. McCormick Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme Seasoning

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse in cold water.
Place pasta and vegetables in a large bowl.  Add dressing and seasoning; toss gently to coat.  Cover.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours.  Toss before serving

Crock-pot Cherry Flan

5 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 teas. salt
3/4 c. flour
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 teas. vanilla
1 bag frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed
Fresh whipped cream

Coat crock-pot with butter or nonstick cooking spray
Beat eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl until thick and pale yellow.  Add flour, beat smooth.  Beat in evaporated milk and vanilla
Pout into crock-pot.  Place cherries evenly over the batter.  Cover and cook on low 3 1/2 hours.  Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.

So this group of calves are done,
tools are put away, everyone is out happily eating, and the crew is fed and on their way home. Next time, well, you guessed it neighbor will be helping neighbor again, and the talk over the calves will be great, and everyone will be glad this years branding is done for the moment.

Thanks to  Powder River Angus and Neal and Amanda Sorenson for letting me come and hang out this day and talk lots of photos. I learned lots and had a ball doing it. Til next year!


some of our future ranchers at play

another two generations of future ranchers learning to help one another

Friday, June 8, 2012

Kentucky Brand Laws

get them made with us, and they'll be right the first time




As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Animal" means any cattle, horse or mule;
(2) "Board" means the state board of agriculture;
(3) "Brand" means a permanent identification mark of which the letters, numbers and figures used are each three (3) inches or more in length or diameter and are humanly burned into the hide of a live animal with a hot iron or tattoo or caustic chemical substance and is to be considered in relation to its location on the animal and the term relates to both the mark and location;
(4) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture;
(5) "Livestock" means any cattle, horse or mule;
(6) "Mark" means a permanent cut identification from the ear of a live animal.

The board shall approve brands for registration and issue certificates of approval, and shall serve as an adjudicating committee in the matter of deciding and determining conflicts of brands and its decision shall be final. It shall publish a state report containing a facsimile of each and every brand and mark that is registered with the board, showing the owner's name and address, together with pertinent laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the registration and reregistration of brands.

The board is the legal custodian of any county record that may have been maintained under prior programs and shall upon request furnish a certified copy of the record of any brand appearing in the county brand record books and shall charge a fee of one dollar ($1.00) for each such brand.

Any application for the registration of a mark or brand with the board shall be on a form prescribed by the board and shall be accompanied by a fee of ten dollars ($10.00) for each mark or brand to be registered. Any such application for a brand shall show the brand location to the following body regions of animals: neck, shoulder, rib and hip. When a requested brand has been filed previously, the commissioner and the applicant shall agree on a second choice of brand and body location.

The board shall publish at such times as it deems necessary a report of the brands that have been registered. Every five (5) years thereafter all brands shall be reregistered. The commissioner shall notify each brand owner and provide the necessary forms. A reregistration fee of five dollars ($5.00) for each brand shall be charged for the ensuing five (5) year period or fraction thereof. The county clerk and the sheriff of each county, or authority approved by the board shall receive all brand reports without cost and the books shall remain as a part of the permanent records of their respective offices.

Brands appearing in the current edition of the state report, or supplements thereto, shall be prima facie evidence of ownership and take precedence over brands of like and kind should the question of ownership arise. An owner whose brand does not appear in the state report, or a supplement thereto, shall produce evidence to establish his title to the property in the event of controversy.

Any peace officer of the state may order funds derived from the sale of an animal of questionable ownership held until ownership is established. If ownership is not established within thirty (30) days, the person holding the funds shall remit them to the board, which shall hold the funds for one (1) year. If the title to the animal in question is not ascertained, then the funds shall be deposited in and become a part of the state department of agriculture trust fund.

There is hereby reserved to the state of Kentucky the brands of "B" and "T" on the jaw of cattle, and "V" and "AV" on the body, and it shall be unlawful for any person other than authorized agents of the state board of agriculture to use any of these brands. Cattle carrying the "B" on the jaw shall be recognized as reactors to brucellosis abortus (Bangs disease). Cattle carrying the brand "T" on the jaw shall be recognized as reactors to bovine tuberculosis. Cattle carrying the brand "V" or "AV" on the body are officially calfhood vaccinated.

Only brands appearing in the current edition of the state report, or a supplement thereto, shall be subject to sale, assignment, transfer, devise or bequest. The transfer of title must be recorded with the commissioner. The fee for recording the transfer of title is one dollar ($1).

All persons selling livestock branded with their brand, or brand and mark, recorded in a current state report or a supplement thereto, shall, upon request of a purchaser of such livestock, execute a written transfer of ownership to the purchaser.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter and except as may be directed by the board, the powers, duties, and functions vested by this chapter in the board shall be exercised and performed by the Commissioner. The board may promulgate administrative regulations and hold administrative hearings, in accordance with KRS Chapter 13B, as required to carry out the provisions and intent of this chapter.

All fees charged and collected under the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited in the State Department of Agriculture trust fund.

Any person who knowingly places upon any livestock a mark or brand which has not been registered with the board shall, if such mark or brand duplicates one that is registered with the board, be guilty of a misdemeanor. Such duplication shall be the use of a similar brand, used in any position on the animal designated for the use of a registered brand, such as the neck, shoulder, rib or hip.

253.990 PENALTY
Any person who knowingly alters or defaces the marks or brands on any cattle not his own, without the consent of the owner, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars ($200), or imprisoned for not more than six (6) months, or both.

Reviewed by AAHS in July 2001.