Mickey Richnow said he would never own a Brahman.
They are too hot, too aggressive he told himself and others. “I just didn’t have time for that,” he says.
When he purchased his registered Angus herd in 2015, he was sure it was the right breed to allow a heavier stocking rate on his limited land, turn a profit and be easy to manage.
When a friend in the rodeo business, Dan Arnold came to him for help when he wanted to switch from bucking bulls to beef production, Mickey knew the Brahman breed was right for him — knowing Dan wouldn’t mind a little extra attitude. Mickey became a student of the breed, studying their market value and advantages to convince Dan to transition to a Brahman cow base.
“I had been arguing that registered cattle values experienced lower price volatility in down markets,” he says. “However, I began to see that Angus cattle, especially in South Central Texas were indeed subject to a high degree of the commercial markets volatility. Brahman cattle however, as well as Braford and other F1 Brahman crosses, seem to hold up value wise much better than Angus cattle.”
In his work to convince the friend to switch to Brahman, Mickey convinced himself.
As part of his research to help Dan select the best genetics, Mickey met Rachel and Brandon. They started emailing. Mickey was looking for high-quality females who could potentially become embryo donors and as partners Dan and Mickey purchased embryos from the BRC herd and implanted them in recip cows.
That was two years ago, and the naysayer has become the prophet. Mickey admits his Brahman cattle aren’t hot or dangerous and he has a new-found appreciation for their intelligence and personalities.
Along with his wife Alisha, they hand-raise every cow on their place and maintain a small herd outside of Kendalia, Texas. The genetic base is shifting quickly as they’ve learned to love the new breed. This year they are working to convert the entire operation to Brahman calves with their embryo transfer program. While he maintains a day job in the petroleum business, the cattle are a lifelong passion and one he’s focused will be more than a hobby, but a hopeful (and profitable) retirement plan.
“I have a lot of confidence that Brahman calves will bring much better returns in all market conditions,” says Mickey.
One thing Mickey won’t change his mind on is the quality of his relationships in the Brahman breed.
“Through all of this process of learning to raise Brahman cattle, Brandon and Rachel Cutrer have been amazing mentors,” he says. “They have both been gracious and willing to answer any and all questions and from a business perspective they have shown incredible integrity. The cattle business is one you hope holds on to the old ways of having integrity and is filled with producers willing to help other producers, and the Cutrers represent that to the fullest.”