Team Roping

A  #11 Slide Team Roping will be held on Friday, July 18, 2014 at the Mallet Arena in Levelland, Texas!

This is an incentive for riding Caprock Ranchers bred horses. The roping will be held during the annual 2 day event of the Caprock Ranchers Ranch Horse Futurity and Horse Sale.

The books for the roping will open at 4:30p.m.  Roping will began at 6:00 p.m.

Enter 1 Draw 1, or Draw 2. Fee: $100. Can enter 2 times.

Haystack Mountain Ranch is the sponsor for the team roping incentive.

All in the Family
Interview with Sam Middleton

Lands of Texas Magazine Broker Spotlight Interview

lead-imageWhen looking for an example of a family run business, one would be hard pressed to find a better example than Chas S. Middleton & Son.  Located in Lubbuck, Texas, the company was founded by Charles Middleton in 1920.  Almost a full century later, the company is thriving with a solid reputation as premier ranch brokers and land value experts in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma.

While some traits are inherent and consistent in each generation, like integrity, hard work and dedication, each generation has also brought its own contribution to the business, capitalizing on current markets, technologies and trends.

Charles S. Middleton forged the company out of an existing cattle sales operation, with inside knowledge and impeccable contacts.  Lee Middleton expanded the business to include mortgage loans, loaning money on farms and ranches, which kept him in contact with farm and ranch buyers and lead to many ranch sales.  Sam Middleton, took a great interest in the appraisal side of the industry, growing the land value side of the business and establishing the company as land value experts.  Charlie Middleton is currently capitalizing on the digital age, offering high tech mapping and marketing technologies.

with four generations of deals behind you, what is your favorite thing about the industry?

Thinking about different things, I think the one thing that comes to mind, and that is really important, is the appreciation that land has had over the years.  There are properties we have sold and resold over the years, and how great the appreciation has been on these ranches, historically.  I can give you many examples of that to really show how the value has went up tremendously over the years.   For example, one ranch my dad sold, 56,000 acres in 1955 for $11 an acre.  I sold it 1987 for $450 an acre.  Today, it would probably bring $1500-2000 an acre.  Those kind of sales really show what a great investment land has been.

do you remember the first ranch deal you worked on?

I started with my dad in about 1971, I would have been about 22 or 23 years old.  And, the first ranch I ever sold was about 8,000 acres in the Palo Duro Canyon.  That is  rough, canyon country. I sold that ranch for $65-acre; and about a year ago, Charlie resold that ranch for about $600 an acre.

One of the things I will always remember about that ranch is that it was part of the JA Ranch, a big ole’ ranch in the Texas Panhandle; we had to survey it.  And, my dad said, “You need to get experience learning how these surveyors work.”  So, he sent me out with the surveyor.  That was back in the old days when you drug a chain.  The measurement they used was called varas.  A vara is 33 1/3 inches; and this chain was 100 varas long.  Here we were dragging that  chain in this straight up and down, rough canyon country; If you think about that means of measurement compared to today’s satellite imagery, there is no way it could have been very accurate back in those days.  A lot of ups and downs, you know?

what would you say the market is like today?

It peaked in 2007 and then when the recession started at the end of 2007 or early 2008, ranches just quit selling for awhile.  They started selling again, but the volume has been down quite a lot.  I would say, overall, depending on the type of land, the market has softened somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15% over the peak.  But, it seems pretty stable right now.  The economy and the drought, together, have really slowed things down.

so, if i was a buyer, is right now a good time to buy?

Oh, I think it’s a real good time to buy!  Right now, because, we are going to have inflation again; I don’t know when.  Our buyers today, principally, are investors  or oil people, without any real ranching background, but they just view land as a safe, long term place to park money.

which one would you fix first, the drought or the economy?

The drought!  If you could fix the drought, it would do a lot to fix the economy.

how has the industry changed over the years? 

Well, going back to when my dad was in business; I followed him around for about 20 years.  When I started out, he would keep an inventory of 20 or 30 ranches for sale.  But, he, and most brokers back then, neverCharlie and Macoy Christmas 2012 thought about having an exclusive listing.  It was all handshake agreements and open listings.  It was more of what I call a “buckshot approach,” where you have a lot of properties for sale, and you find a buyer for one of those deals. He was very successful with that.  After I got into the business, I kind of converted our operation into just working on exclusive listings.  We generally only have six, or eight or ten ranches for sale, but we have exclusives on them, where we can spend the money to advertise and really showcase the property and still be protected on the listing.  That has been a major change in the business over the last forty years.

so, what i am hearing is that when you take on a new property, you kind of take it on as your own and hold the seller’s hand through the deal?

Yes, yes, we are an exclusive agent.  We represent the seller in the transaction.

Basically, what I would like to say about my company: We are a small company.  We don’t have a lot of salesmen.  I own the company, and I handle the larger ranch sales in Texas and the other states we work in.  Charlie, my son, is really involved in hunting and he is very interested in the recreational market.  Charlie handles all of the recreation type properties.  Then, we have two other guys in the office.  Chad Dugger helps me on ranch appraisals.  He travels with me and writes the reports. Then, we both sign them.  And, Rusty Lawson, my farm salesman; he also does all our farm appraisals. The beauty part of our business, right now, is that each of us has our own strength and we work together as a very specialized team.  We have been very successful with this. Everybody has their own piece of the pie.

1939 CSM Cattle Drive

what is the best or most interesting deal you have worked on?

There are stories about all of them that are great, but I guess that 71,000 aces up in the Texas Panhandle is one of my favorites.  I’ve sold it three times.  Always a fun deal to work on, the uniqueness of the country, a good cattle ranch, but it also has good hunting on it; and a lot of good history behind it.

does having a “good history” sell property?

Oh yeah.  Anytime you’ve got a property that is part of a well known, historic ranch, it peaks buyers interest and will usually bring a premium.

what have you learned is the most important aspect of selling large properties?

I think you have to learn the property and believe in it.  Nowadays, with all the satellite imagery and technology available, it makes it easier.  We put together a really good map and put together a good packet of information and figure out the best way to show the ranch.  I truly believe that to successfully sell a ranch, you have to be sold on the ranch yourself.

what is the key to being a successful broker?

I think that what has benefitted me is the history of the company, the longevity of the company and the fact that I inherited some very good contacts!

what is the strangest experience you have had while showing a ranch?

I remember when we first started our website, and I wasn’t sold on the idea of a website at that time, but I had a lady call me who had seen a ranch we had listed, about a 7,000 acre ranch.  She called and was really interested in the property, but wanted to view the property in all four season of the year.  She wanted to pick out her “plot” after viewing all the seasons.  Apparently, she understood that because the property was listed with a per acre price, you could just pick out five or ten.  Nowadays, the website is a very valuable tool for buyers and a big asset to our business.

what do you think is the greatest benefit of owning land?

Well, I think long term appreciation; the enjoyment of the land, you know, a guy in Houston that works in an office is able to go out and spend a few days on his ranch, get away from the grind of doing business in Houston and enjoy the property and the lifestyle; and then the tax benefits, the depreciation you can get off of the improvements and charge that against your other source of income.  It really is the lifestyle and long term appreciation.

what do you do on your day off?

Well, I’ve got a personal ranch over at Dickens, Texas.  We work a lot on the weekends, but if I get one off, I go over there.  It is only 55 minutes from Lubbock, which is handy for me.

and, what do you do on your ranch?

Oh, you know, dream and plan, look at the cattle. It is something I enjoy.

Charlie-Buckobviously, selling ranches is in your blood, but has it always been a clear path?

My dad got me in the business; I got started in it at a very early age. And, this is all I have ever wanted to do.

if you had to pick another career….any career…What would it be?

Well, if I could afford it, it would be ranching.  But, I have to sell ranches to be able to afford the ranch I’ve got.

your family has been selling farms and ranches for four generations, are we training a fifth?

Well, Charlie has a one year old, so hopefully!

Feds Declare New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse Endangered Species

Saturday, June 21, 2014 5:00 am WASHINGTON — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse an endangered species, saying that without active conservation efforts the mouse will be at “elevated risk of extinction.

Welcome to New Mexico, where a colorful chicken and a very small mouse are causing a big ruckus.

Four counties in New Mexico on Tuesday joined in a lawsuit complaining about the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

The announcement came just one day after the Fish and Wildlife Service declared the meadow jumping mouse should be protected under the Endangered Species Act, giving it greater habitat protection, but angering ranchers in a southern New Mexico county who are at odds with the federal government over water and property rights.

“Yes, New Mexico has become a focal point,” said Bryan Bird, program director for WildEarth Guardians, an environmental group based in Santa Fe that hailed both decisions. “On the one hand, we’re blessed to have these beautiful, unusual animals in our state, but on the other hand, we’ve mistreated our lands so badly that they require” listings to protect them.

Critics of the meadow jumping mouse listing say the federal government moved too quickly.

“Once again, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chose to cater to big-city radical special interests instead of protecting our jobs, and ignored the fact that conservation and economic growth are not mutually exclusive,” Rep. Steve Pearce, R-New Mexico, said in a statement.

In the meantime, officials from Eddy, Roosevelt, Lea, and Chavez counties — in the heart of New Mexico’s oil patch — joined a lawsuit filed in federal court in Texas by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, claiming the decision to protect the lesser prairie chicken puts too heavy a burden on the industry and accusing the feds of not following correct procedures when they made the listing.

“Historically, there have been at least three times when scientists have believed the bird was truly on the verge of extinction,” Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, told KWES-TV. “What the data shows now is that the birds’ numbers and range of habitat have continued to grow, although they’ve slowed down some during this period of extended drought.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service says the population of the chicken — known for its energetic clucking and strutting during mating — has been reduced by 50 percent since 2012.

Protecting the habitat for the meadow jumping mouse led the U.S. Forest Service in Otero County, in southern New Mexico, into an ongoing dispute with local ranchers.

The Forest Service reinforced the padlocks at a creek to keep cattle from drinking, saying the herds risk trampling on the area where the mouse lives.

But a group of ranchers say while the Forest Service may have access to the land along the creek, it doesn’t hold the water rights and complain the federal government is overstepping its authority.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Blair Dunn, an attorney for Otero County, told New Mexico Watchdog after a meeting last month failed to reach a compromise. “In the past when we’ve had drought and problems, the Forest Service came and opened the gate … but they didn’t have any interest in doing that.”

“Some might say, ‘why do we need to worry about a mouse?'” Bird said. “This mouse is like the canary in the coal mine. It represents the health of our streams and rivers in the state of New Mexico. If we don’t have healthy streams and rivers, nobody will thrive in the state.”

Just two years ago, many of the same parties were fighting over a different species — the dunes sagebrush lizard.

Efforts to protect the three-inch lizard, whose habitat stretches from southeastern New Mexico to West Texas, threatened to put restrictions on oil and gas production in the area.

But in June 2012, then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar decided against listing the lizard as endangered after the industry and local ranchers agreed to a series of conservation agreements.

So far, the kind of compromise that worked for the lizard hasn’t been reached for the chicken or the mouse.

Full Story: Newsmax

clark-ranch-bobProject establishes first-ever genome assembly of bobwhite quail.

In their pursuit to unlock the mystery of bobwhite quail decline in Texas, Park Cities Quail provided funding for a study of the bobwhite quail genome.

The project, which began in 2011 with the harvesting of a wild bobwhite quail test subject from the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch in Roby, has been completed, and the work has been publishing in the current issue of the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

The genetic mapping of this wild bobwhite quail, named Pattie-Marie, could prove to be instrumental in helping researchers understand historic and future bobwhite population trends.

“This is an important piece of the puzzle. It is our hope that this once humble bird will provide the foundation of independent research by scientists all over the world,” said Joe Crafton, who also helped fund the study. “This is a classic example of hunters funding the research that will eventually result in population growth of key wildlife species.”

“By sequencing and assembling the bobwhite quail genome, the team has produced the most comprehensive resource currently available for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in the bobwhite,” said Dr. Chris Seabury of Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine, who led the study. “We now have a more formal resource of studying the bird and identifying new, or perhaps even more specific reasons for its serious decline.”

The bobwhite quail was recently named first on the “Top Ten Bird in Decline” in North America by the Audubon Society. With a population crash from 31 million in 1967, to only 5.5 million in 2007, the bobwhite quail has experienced an 80 percent decline over the past 40 years. With this groundbreaking research on the bobwhite quail genome, it is hope that researchers can identify genetic factors that may play a role in their decline, and perhaps even quail “lineages” with higher resistance to disease and environmental stresses.

– Park Cities Quail

Lone Star Outdoor News

Category: Publication Articles | Article Credits: Park Cities Quail

Click here to view the full article

RMEF logo high resolutionNumbers Don’t Lie, RMEF Charges On

Numbers and statistics can be fickle. You can twist and manipulate them in numerous ways to tell numerous stories. Just ask a baseball player. He can have a great batting average but a lousy slugging percentage. He can have a great on-base percentage but the team may have a losing winning percentage. A pitcher may have a stellar earned run average and a solid walk to strikeout ratio but still have a winless record.

One glance at the latest Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation project history summary shows one simple fact—numbers don’t lie! Dating back to RMEF’s humble beginnings on May 14, 1984, through June 30, 2014, here’s a numerical look at some of RMEF’s cumulative accomplishments:

  • 6,473,344 acres of habitat enhanced or protected
  • 713,176 acres opened or secured for public access
  • 8,795 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects
  • 203,703 members (as of December 31, 2013)
  • 504 RMEF chapters
  • 10,000+ RMEF volunteers
  • $918,611,443 = total value of RMEF efforts
What’s the bottom line? RMEF continues to charge forward in its quest to accelerate a mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.



zzzmid year report

RMEF – Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Conservation At Work!

Wyman Meinzer – Between Heaven And Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.

Wyman Meinzer’s West Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.

Wyman Meinzer’s West Texas

Texas Cotton Association

Produced over two years, this short film was presented at the 2012 Texas Cotton Association Annual Conference, held at the JW Marriott Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas on April 12th-14th 2012.
Texas Cotton Association from Studio 84 Productions on Vimeo.
Link to video (Opens in a new page):
71599_153324448041910_5656947_n2014 is shaping up to be a good year for growing cotton here in West Texas. Although the rains were a little later than we would have wanted there is still a lot of hope with around 10 inches of rain in the area for May and June. Much of the land is rested from the drought over the past few years so this could be are really good crop.
7-9-2014 Kelly Kitchens – Slaton, Texas Area Farmer
Tags: Texas Cotton
Texas Cotton Association
Pigweed can grow 3 inches a day. University of Arkansas/Associated Press

The Environmental Protection Agency is weighing an emergency request by Texas regulators to allow cotton farmers to deploy a controversial herbicide, marking a new front in the war on “super weeds” that has divided agricultural groups and environmentalists.

The Texas Department of Agriculture asked the EPA last month for an exemption to permit growers to douse fields this summer with propazine—a chemical little-used in U.S. agriculture—to control an invasive plant known as palmer amaranth, or pigweed.

Pigweed, which can grow 3 inches a day, is one of several nasty invaders that have developed resistance to the nation’s dominant weed killer, glyphosate, which is widely sold by Monsanto Co. as Roundup.

Texas, at the behest of the state’s cotton growers, is asking the EPA to let farmers spray propazine, the active ingredient in the herbicide Milo-Pro, on up to 3 million acres, or nearly half of the state’s estimated cotton acreage this season. The Lone Star state is the nation’s largest cotton producer, accounting for 33% of last year’s crop, which was valued at $5.2 billion, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

The Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit advocacy group, and other environmental watchdogs oppose the proposal on the grounds that propazine poses potential risks to human health. Propazine has been identified by the EPA as a possible human carcinogen and is a restricted-use pesticide requiring a license to purchase and apply, according to Milo-Pro’s manufacturer.

Propazine is closely related to atrazine, a herbicide used by many corn growers that is banned in the European Union. Critics of the sister herbicide cite studies indicating it can interrupt sexual reproduction in frogs, and result in potential human reproductive problems.

The EPA says that propazine’s similarity to atrazine suggests it may cause disruptions to hormonal systems in rats, and has the potential to leach into groundwater or reach surface waters by runoff.

Milo-Pro, produced by Iowa-based Albaugh Inc., is currently approved by the EPA only for use on grain sorghum crops in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas, according to Jim Musser, a sales manager for the company.

Originally registered in the 1950s, propazine’s EPA registration was cancelled in 1988 due to failure of chemical companies to provide data for a groundwater monitoring study, but a new registration was issued a decade later.

“We’ve been selling Milo-Pro for the past five seasons and we’ve had no issues with groundwater or surface water after conducting the required testing,” said Mr. Musser. “It’s further down the molecular chain than atrazine and is used on far less acres.”

The EPA began seeking public comment on the request Wednesday and typically rules on emergency exemptions within 50 days. The EPA declined to comment on the request.

“Pigweed is a really serious problem for farmers,” said Bill Freese, science policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety. “But propazine is not the solution. We need to have farm practices that don’t create resistant weeds in the first place, so we don’t have to resort to toxic herbicides to treat them.”

U.S. farmers have had some success in controlling pigweed using a growing arsenal of herbicides, but Texas’s proposal underscores the challenge farmers face in keeping the weed from strangling their crops.

“Weed resistance is of utmost concern for us,” said Ned Meister, director of regulatory activities for the Texas Farm Bureau. “The purpose of the request is to put another tool in the toolbox for farmers to address weeds that are resistant to other chemicals.”

Farmers for a decade have been fighting weeds that have developed resistance to glyphosate, especially in the South, where a longer growing season and warm climate have made it the battle’s front line.

St. Louis-based Monsanto revolutionized the pesticide business in the mid-1990s when it began selling genetically modified seeds, some of which were altered to withstand sprays of glyphosate, which kills plants by halting their internal protein production. Farmers embraced Monsanto’s Roundup, which could destroy many weeds while leaving crops unscathed. But they increasingly have used herbicides considered harsher than glyphosate in recent years, including the chemicals 2, 4-D and dicamba, to fight the super weeds.

Besides chemicals, farmers can try to stem pigweed’s growth by rotating crops each year, planting cover crops and hand weeding. But finding labor for weeding nowadays is tough, according to cotton farmers.

“One pigweed plant can produce thousands of seeds, so it doesn’t take many plants to get you in trouble in a hurry,” said Walt Hagood, a third-generation farmer who grows cotton, grain sorghum, wheat and other crops near Lubbock, Texas. “In some places, pigweed is starting to take whole fields.”

—By Jesse Newman and Tony C. Dreibus via. The Wall Street Journal

Cotton Bale
Things that they can do with one 500lb bale of cotton

Did you Know That One 500 lb. Bale of Cotton Can Make:

215 Pair of Jeans

249 Bed Sheets

409 Men’s Sport Shirts

690 Terry Bath Towels

765 Men’s Dress Shirts

1,217 Men’s T-Shirts

1,256 Pillow Cases

2,104 Boxer Shorts

2,419 Men’s Briefs

3,085 Diapers

4,321 Mid-Calf Socks

6,436 Women’s Knit Briefs

21,960 Hankerchiefs

313,600 $100 Bills


Keywords: Cotton Texas

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