Jeff Springer and I had never met face to face, but minutes in to our first meeting, he was offering me a meal. The burgers were fresh off the grill he and his crew had hauled all the way from Cresco, Iowa to Denver, Colorado for the National Western Stock Show. He pointed out the homemade potato salad, cooler with drinks, and condiments then insisted my husband and I take his chairs and sit down in his tent in the stockyards to eat.
We had just finished his sale catalog before leaving for Denver, and I had noticed the fatherly pride in the tone of his sale letter when he wrote about his young crew. I could tell he valued the young men and women from his local area who helped him around the ranch in the day-to-day operations and especially before shows and sales. He had brought them with him to Denver to help him prep for the Simmental Show, and as we ate they worked around the pens clipping cattle, grilling burgers, and prepping the show pen banners. They easily laughed and joked together, and I could see that this was more than just a part-time job for all of them. There was a sense of family, of mentorship, and of community.
We discussed the changing cattle industry and the use of social media in marketing. He let me ask a million questions about his herd and operation, and he patiently answered them all. He loves his cattle, and he loves his people, both his crew and his customers. And now he was including us at Livestock HUB in the circle.
Good luck at the sale today, Springer Simmentals!