John Down, owner of Southern Cattle Company, called Rachel a few days before Houston and said he’d like to sell out his Brahman cattle. We had established a close relationship with Mr. Down, as he had purchased several cattle from us over the previous few years. Rachel said, give me 30 minutes to call Brandon, but I’m giving you my word that we are 99% certain we are going to do this deal. We felt this was God’s divine intervention putting this opportunity in our path.
By this time, we had also paid off our D-Bar loan, and now were facing our third loan for a cattle purchase, this one 3x the amount we had done on the last loan. Mr. Down is a man of faith, hard work, and integrity. He picked us for this deal because he saw those same traits in us.
Rachel consulted with her granddad, Sloan Williams, who always loves a good cattle deal and he said famously, “If you don’t buy them I will!” He became our advisor in the process. Brandon Cutrer and Britt Larson, our assistant cow-herd manager at the time, travelled to Marianna, Florida to make the deal, and bring home the cattle.
The deal – though quite large to us financially – was basically done over a handshake, each other’s word, and a casual document made in Microsoft Word. And that’s how deals can be when it’s between two people of integrity. The only thing Mr. Down said is that if there was ever any trouble, he didn’t believe in lawsuits and he wanted to work it out together, in a good way. We agreed 100%, as we also believe in the Bible’s outline for disputes, especially the part about not filing a lawsuit against a brother/sister.
We took out the largest loan of our lives and purchased the majority of the Southern Cattle Company Brahman herd, embryo inventory, and semen inventory. This acquisition added over 200 head to our program and gave us interest rights in Mr. V8 604/7, Mr. V8 194/7, and Mr. V8 279/7. The addition of these bulls and the Southern program brought our numbers to over 350 head of purebred Brahman cattle owned directly by Brandon and Rachel. We paid off this debt in less than 2 years.