Check Challenges: Cashier’s Checks Aren’t Always As Good As Cash


by Kristin Lewis Hawkins

When it comes time to sell your calves every year, do you accept cashier’s checks?

Many people assume a cashier’s check, which is a check issued by a bank and payable to a specific person, is as good as cash. By using a cashier’s check, a buyer is guaranteed those funds by the issuing bank instead of gambling on the legitimacy of a personal check.

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) special rangers want to remind cattle owners that this is not always the case. Thieves can create fake checks with a home computer and printer that would fool most people. Here are eight tips to avoid cashier’s check fraud.

Know Your Buyer
Refuse cashier’s checks from strangers. Make other arrangements for payment, such as a wire transfer.

Trust Your Gut
Does something feel a bit off about the transaction? Has the buyer insisted on changing the agreement or has a litany of excuses or extenuating circumstances? It may be better to rely on a more dependable method of payment or arrange with the buyer to hold the cattle or product until the paying bank has cleared the funds. If the buyer can’t or won’t do this, it could be because it’s a scam.

Use Common Sense
Is the buyer in a rush? Are they knowledgeable about what they’re buying? Do they want to forego other methods of secure payment? These factors may indicate a scam.

Give the Check a Critical Eye
Does the cashier’s check look fake? Are there misspelled words? Is the paper poor quality or missing security features like watermarks?

Purchase Price Only
Don’t accept a check written for an amount over the purchase price. Scammers will sometimes offer a check over the purchase price and then request the seller to send them the overage via wire transfer or Western Union after the check has been deposited.

Use a Local Branch of the Bank
Ask for a cashier’s check written by a bank that has a local branch so you can verify the check is real, once it arrives. They might be in a better position to see if a check is genuine versus asking an unrelated bank.

When Will the Check Clear the Bank?
Know the difference between funds being available for withdrawal from your account (usually this can happen quickly, within a business day or so) and the paying bank clearing the funds. It could take a cashier’s check days or weeks to clear the paying bank.

Look up the Bank Phone Number
Yourself Look up the bank contact information to verify the check. The telephone number provided on the check is probably not associated with a bank, but rather with the scam artist.

If you have been victimized by a fraudulent check scam, call your police department and your TSCRA special ranger. To find your local special ranger, visit



Note: TSCRA has 30 special rangers stationed strategically throughout Texas and Oklahoma who have in-depth knowledge of the cattle industry and are trained in all facets of law enforcement. All are commissioned as Special Rangers by the Texas Department of Public Safety and/or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

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Isa Beefmasters, LLC’s 56th Beefmaster Bull Sale Report

Isa Beefmasters, LLC’s 56th Beefmaster bull sale was held October 7th in San Angelo, Texas. It was an excellent sale; with 46 buyers from 8 states and Mexico taking home 140 Beefmaster bulls at an average of $4821. Isa’s President, Lorenzo Lasater, stated the sale was extremely strong, with unprecedented demand for good Beefmaster genetics. Auctioneer Joe Goggins of Billings, MT sold the 140 bulls in the blistering time of 1 hour, 50 minutes.

The high-selling bull, L Bar 6209, sold to Dwight Bertrand and Danny Fuller of Louisiana for $12,000. This awesome young herd sire prospect is the son of Lasater 1759 and was one of the overall top performers in the offering.

Volume buyers included: Lykes Brothers, FL – 17, A. Duda and Sons, FL – 11, Alamo Ranch, NM – 10, Jeff Cole, LA – 9. Other Volume Buyers included Goff Ranch – AZ, Rio Ranch – FL and Estill Ranches– CA.

Isa Beefmasters also sold 21 top registered pairs, bred females and open heifers averaging $2567. Thanks to female buyers James Sanderson – TX, Michael Deville – LA, Judy Niell – TX, Keith Price – LA and John Hale – TX.

Current Isa president, Lorenzo Lasater, represents the 4th generation of the family dedicated to breeding performance Beefmaster genetics. The breed was founded by Lorenzo’s grandfather, Tom Lasater, in 1937. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the breed.

According to Lorenzo, “This set of bulls represents 80 years of consistent, balanced selection for economically viable cattle. These bulls will produce excellent feeder calves and replacement heifers in any environment, but especially the tougher ones. With more pounds at weaning, lower input costs, more longevity and the best mother-cow on the planet, Beefmasters can’t be beat.”

The Lasater family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to everyone in attendance, especially the many repeat customers, including several second generation buyers. We are already working hard to bring you our 57th set of Beefmaster bulls on October 6th, 2018.

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Cattlewomen Custom Ranch Door Mat Fundraiser


Beefmaster Breeders Cattlewomen are selling CUSTOM, HAND PAINTED Ranch Doormats!


YOUR RANCH – YOUR BRAND! Cattlewomen’s Ranch Mat Order Form!


These personalized ranch doormats are also the perfect gift for that someone on your list who seems to have everything! Taking Christmas Orders Now!


The custom ranch door mats are $100 each. Order now for FREE delivery to you at the BBU Convention in Galveston, Texas! Payment for orders must be received BEFORE October 16, 2017, to qualify for FREE delivery. If you are not going to convention please add $10.00 per 2 mats for shipping.


Cattlewomen’s Ranch Mat Order Form! There are several designs to choose from and you can choose between a red or black Beefmaster on your mat. Don’t forget to add the date your herd was established.


Thank you in advance for supporting Beefmaster Breeders Cattlewomen! All funds raised benefit the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association!


Please call or email us with questions or inquiries
Mona Scherer 979-203-4288


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Checklist of Issues to Consider for Your Farm Lease


By Cari Rincker, Esq.

Fall is a popular time to renegotiate farm leases for the next year’s growing season. This article summarizes a checklist of issues to consider when renegotiating the terms of the lease. Farm leases should be in writing to ensure that both parties understand the terms of the lease. A written lease also provides a record of the agreement in case an issue later arises between the parties.

1. Type of Lease. Broadly speaking, there are three major types of leases: (1) cash rent, (2) crop share, and (3) hybrid. A hybrid lease provides for a minimum fixed cash rent in addition to a smaller share of the revenue. The type of lease that worked one year may need to be adjusted for the next.

2. Description of Property. Perhaps what land is and is not included in the lease needs clarification. A legal description and/or maps should be attached to the lease. In limited circumstances, a survey may be appropriate.

3. Lease Term. If you had prior oral leases, it’s possible that the start and end dates were not clear. It’s suggested to have the term of the lease and any renewal terms memorialized.

4. Payment Terms. Payment terms should be clear (including when payment is due, where it should be sent, penalties/interest for late payments). Any responsibilities for the landlord to reimburse the tenant for improvements or operational expenses should be noted.

5. Duties and Prohibitions. Farm leases should clearly describe responsibilities (e.g, maintaining fenceline, soil conservation, controlling noxious weeds) and prohibitions (e.g., use of certain chemicals, certain types of improvements, agri-tourism/ agri-tainment).

6. Management. Who is making what decisions for the farming operation? This is especially important for crop share or hybrid leases. This part of the lease may affect whether the income is “active income” or “passive income” for social security purposes. This may be especially important for landlord farmers closer to retirement.

7. Termination Procedures. The farm lease should include procedures for terminating the lease either voluntarily or involuntarily (e.g., in case of a default), including notice provisions.

8. Insurance. Who is required to have what kinds of insurance at what limits?

9. Ability to Sublease. Can the tenant-farmer sublease part of the property?

10. Confidentiality. Some farmers would prefer to have the terms of their lease private between the parties.

11. Farmstead. If the farm lease includes a house, it is recommended that the farmstead have a separate residential lease.

12. Intellectual Property. Any use of the landlord farmer’s “brand name” should be memorialized in a separate trademark license agreement.

This checklist is non-exhaustive. Farm leases should be in writing and individualized for each farming operation. Farmers are encouraged to speak to an attorney licensed in their jurisdiction about issues affecting his or her operation.

For more information contact:

Cari Rincker
Rincker Law, PLLC
Licensed in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut & District of Columbia
Illinois Office:
301 N. Neil Street
Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 531-2179


New York Office:
535 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(212) 427-2049
Fax (212) 202-6077

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Hurricane Harvey Recovery


BBU has been in contact with many Beefmaster breeders located in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. The ones we have spoken with are safe, but have the daunting task of rebuilding and recovering from the destruction left behind by Hurricane Harvey and its flooding.

Are you a livestock producer affected by Hurricane Harvey or flooding? The USDA Farm Service Agency has multiple resources for agriculture disaster relief programs. Or contact your county judge or emergency management coordinator to request state assistance for stranded livestock.

How can you help livestock producers affected by Hurricane Harvey? You can donate to the State of Texas Agriculture Relief (STAR) Fund. Managed by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), the STAR Fund provides emergency assistance to Texas farmers and ranchers affected by disasters. Funded exclusively by private donations, STAR funds are often used to rebuild fences vital to livestock businesses, restore operations and pay for other agricultural disaster relief.

Texas Farm Bureau’s Agriculture Research and Education Foundation is also accepting tax-deductible donations to aid in the relief effort following the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. This fund will collect and distribute monetary contributions only. One hundred percent of the donations to this fund will be dispersed via an application process directly to farmers and ranchers located in counties that have been designated as disaster areas by the federal government for this event. Donate online or if you prefer to pay by check, it should be made out and sent to:

Texas Farm Bureau Agriculture Research and Education Foundation
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
P.O. Box 2689
Waco, TX 76702-2689
Attn: Cyndi Gerik

Donations, supply points

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agents have set up the following Animal Supply Points and are requesting square bale horse quality hay, various types of hay for cattle in round or square bales, all-stock feed and range cubes/protein supplements at this time. They are not currently taking donations for fencing supplies.

Before collecting or delivering donations, contact the AgriLife Animal Supply Point Hotline at 979-845-7800 to confirm needs and delivery.

San Patricio County Animal Supply Point:
San Patricio County Fairgrounds
219 W 5th St, Sinton

Brazoria County Animal Supply Point:
Brazoria County Fairgrounds
901 S. Downing St., Angleton

Harris County Animal Supply Point:
La Porte High School
301 E. Fairmon Pkwy, La Porte

Chambers County Animal Supply Point:
Winnie-Stowell Park
335 Spark St., Winnie

Additional Animal Supply Points will be set up in other regions as the conditions allow.

Other organizations/agencies accepting donations

A New Day: Texas Agricultural Education Disaster Relief Fund
This fund will help FFA chapters and agricultural education programs rebuild following natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. Donations to this fund will be dispersed via an application process directly to the programs and chapters affected by the storm. Click here for more information.

Texas 4-H Relief Support Campaign for 4-H Programs Affected by Hurricane Harvey
The Texas 4-H Youth Development Program and the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation are facilitating a monetary campaign to directly support 4-H clubs and county programs in the hurricane zone. Click here for more information.

Resources for farmers and ranchers

Animal Shelters and Holding Facilities
If you are seeking a large or small animal shelter/holding facility in your area or in your evacuation area, call 2-1-1 or contact the emergency management department in the area you are seeking shelter. Click here to view a list of Texas animal holding facilities and shelters.

Lost or Found Livestock
If you find stray livestock, call Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) at 817-332-7064. Visit for more information. If you find cattle or other livestock with official identification, document the number, location of the animal(s) and call the TAHC at 512-719-0733 or 806-354-9335 and TAHC will contact the owner.

If livestock have strayed onto your property, you must report them to the sheriff’s office in the county you are located in within five days of discovery to be eligible for reasonable payment for maintenance of or damages caused by the estray livestock. For more information regarding Texas’ estray laws visit, Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 142.

Hay Hotline
To access TDA’s Hay Hotline, call 512-463-9360 or visit TDA’s Hay Hotline webpage.

Livestock Indemnity and Assistance
USDA-FSA Producer Hotline: 866-680-6069

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers many safety net programs to help farmers and ranchers recover from eligible losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) and the Tree Assistance Program.

The FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters.

Farmers and ranchers located in counties that received a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. USDA encourages farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office to learn what documents can help the local office expedite assistance, such as farm records, receipts and pictures of damages or losses.

Animal Disposal
Animal carcasses on public property: Animal carcasses found on public property or right-of-ways should be reported to the local jurisdiction (county or city) to be handled through the jurisdiction’s debris management plan.

Animal carcasses on private property: Animal owners and operators are responsible for the proper disposal of the animals on their property. To learn about common methods of non-diseased animal carcass disposal, visit TAHC’s Disaster-Related Carcass Disposal Guide.

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Genetic marker sought for feed efficiency in cattle


Article by Feedstuffs

Researchers with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture are working to identify genetic markers that can help cattle producers find the best bang for their buck when choosing breeds and budgeting for feed.

Kelly Bryant, director of the Division of Agriculture’s Southeast Research & Extension Center (SEREC), and several members of his research team and staff from Beefmaster Breeders United are monitoring offspring from the SEREC herd of Beefmaster heritage lines in an effort to determine if feed conversion efficiency is an inheritable trait.

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture researchers at the Southeast Research & Extension Center are studying 31 Beefmaster heifers for the next three to five years, hoping to identify genetic markers for high feed conversion efficiency.

“From the time they’re weaned until the time they’re either ready for slaughter or ready to deliver a calf, they’re in a growth stage,” Bryant said. “It’s all done through either grass or grain. Some can just gain more weight on less feed than others. It makes it cheaper. Gain is what we’re after, and if we can do it on less feed, then we’ve got less money in them.”

If specific genetic markers tied to that higher efficiency can be identified and isolated and are found to be inheritable, growers could potentially improve the conversion efficiency of entire herds over time by introducing Beefmaster genetics into their breeding operations.

On Aug. 5, Bryant and his research staff took possession of 31 heifers that had spent the previous 60 days at a Grow Safe facility in Texas.

“The Grow Safe systems track animal feed intake and weight gain, allowing us to measure feed conversion efficiency for each animal,” Bryant said. “With this information, we hope to determine if feed efficiency is inheritable.”

Bryant said the research project, which is expected to last at least three to five years, is being funded, in part, by Beefmaster Breeders United, a trade association of cattle producers who both maintain purebred Beefmaster cows and use the cattle for commercial crossbreeding.

Bryant said cows in the herd maintained at SEREC typically calve in September or October. Females are typically bred no earlier than 15 months of age, calve when they are about two years old and generally calve once a year after that.

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Beefmaster International Tour


We are excited to be hosting the first Beefmaster Breeders International Tour and we are expecting guests from several different countries. The tour will take place from October 22 – 25, 2017 and we will visit ranches and operations in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The tour schedule details are enclosed in this packet. If you will be attending the tour, please complete enclosed registration form and return it to our office with payment by October 1, 2017.

If you are planning to attend either one of two sales on October 21, 2017, we have made arrangements to transport you on Sunday, October 22, 2017 from the sale to Gulfport, Miss., in order to join the rest of the tour. Please indicate on the registration form which sale you will be attending and if you need transportation from the sale.

If you are flying into Gulfport, Miss., on Sunday, October 22 you will be staying at the Holiday Inn Express that evening. Transportation will be provided to shuttle you from the airport to the hotel, which is not far from the airport. Also, there are multiple choices for dinner on Sunday evening that are within walking distance of the hotel.

On Wednesday, October 25, the tour will conclude and we will arrive in Galveston, Texas at the Moody Gardens Hotel just in time to participate in the 57th Annual BBU Convention! We are planning an international panel and discussion, as part of the convention activities. If you will be attending the BBU Convention, the registration form and agenda are located in this packet. Reserve your convention hotel room now at the Moody Gardens Hotel by calling 1-888-388-8484 and asking for the Beefmaster rate of $139 per night plus tax. Self-parking is complimentary. Visit for a full overview of the beautiful property and amenities.

As you make your travel arrangements, please let us know your arrival times and what airline you are arriving on.

Learn more about the tour here.

Thank you,

Robert Williams, Ph. D.

BBU International Committee

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SFA Heifer Development Program


Stephen F. Austin University (SFA) Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce that we will host our heifer development program again this fall. Weaned heifers weighing between 400-700 lb will be accepted into the program beginning mid-October with a start date of November 3, 2017. Producers needing to deliver cattle at an earlier date may do so by contacting farm manager Chris Koffskey.  Calves will be developed on a forage-based diet. Information on the program along with the signup sheet is attached.

For more information contact Chris Koffskey (979)224-8178  or (936)468-6948 or Dr. Erin Brown  (936)468-4433.

Stephen F. Austin State University is preparing for its Heifer Development Program. The program is designed to assist producers in selecting and managing for replacement heifers. It offers producers relief from providing additional facilities, labor, and feed to retain young heifers. The program is designed for heifers ranging in weight from 400-700 lbs. Heifers are entered into the program in mid-October and fed through May. Producers are issued a bi-monthly report on the performance of each heifer in the program with information including BW, ADG, REA, RF, and IMF. Additionally, heifers can be entered into the breeding program and be artificially inseminated at the conclusion of the feeding period. Heifers should gain 1-3 lbs per day in the program.

Sign up for program by: October 1
Deliver heifers on: October 6, 13, 14
Feeding program begins on: November 3
Acceptance into the program will be first come first serve, based on availability of space.

Program Cost
Cost will be figured by entry weight starting at $2.00/day for a 400 lb heifer. An additional $0.15 will be charged for each cwt above 400 lbs. The cost will remain fixed for each individual heifer throughout the program. In other words, a heifer coming in at 600 lbs will be charged $2.30 per day until it leaves the program.

Learn more and sign up for the SFA Heifer Development Program 2017

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Central States BBA Announcements


Central States  – Over the last year BBU has made a commitment to putting more emphasis on the maternal traits of the Beefmaster breed. We all know this, but it is time to get the word out about not only their mothering and milking ability but their ability to be some of the most efficient cows out there. BBU has split up the United States into regions per say and would like to have some Beefmaster female events in these different regions. Central States is in the beginning stages of organizing a Beefmaster influenced replacement female sale. There are a lot of questions and ideas that go along with this. In the next few months, a round-table meeting will be taking place to discuss everything. The big question that involves all of us is, who can produce these females. It goes without saying that the females need to be of breeding age and on up. This means a breeder needs to hold on to these females for an additional year or more after weaning. If you’re interested in being a part of this sale (commercial or purebred breeder) please drop a quick email to Greg Lemke at We need to compile a list of people that would commit to supplying these kind of females, so we can decide if it’s feasible to proceed further.

Central States Advertising Committee – Last year Central States used the BBU co-op advertising program in three different magazines across the area. The way this program works is that BBU pays for 25% of the advertising, Central States BBA pays for another 25% and Central States BBA members pick up the remaining 50%. Last year the members were responsible for $50 per advertisement with a maximum of eight members per ad. This is a great way to get exposure for your farm at a very low rate. There are not very many places where you can get maximum exposure for $50. Last year’s advertisement featured a map of the state with a dot and the members farm and phone number (see example). The three publications that we advertised in were, The Oklahoma Cattleman, Missouri Beef Cattleman, and Joplin Regional Stockyards Cattleman’s News. At our next meeting we will be discussing whether we want to do this again in 2018. If you’re interested in being a part of this in 2018, please drop a quick email to Greg Lemke at This would not be a commitment, but a way to decide if we should do it again in 2018.


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European Beefmaster Herd is Growing


By Doyle Sanders, BBU International Committee

Lukasz Karmowski and his dad, Jacek, are now the proud owners of the first Beefmaster ET calf born in Poland.  Beefmasters are a unique American breed with leading feed efficiency and heterosis for strongest weight gains for all American and European beef breeds.

The bull calf was born on 11 August 2017. The Karmsowski’s Radzicz Ranch is near Radzicz, in western Poland.  The calf is a DBL D BAR Ranch “D’Vinci” son with the Dd-1112 donor dam.  The recip used is from their Limousin herd.

This family has been raising Limousin cattle on their farm since soon after Poland received independence from the Soviet Union- around 1990. They annually market about 200 bulls into Germany and Romania from their farm.  And they knew they needed to improve their product.  In 2014 they read about Beefmasters in their National Polish Beef Breeder Association journal.  After some research into how Beefmasters could improve their beef quality, fertility, feed efficiency, and carcass merit, among other key traits; they contacted DBL D BAR Ranch in Industry, Texas looking for semen to cross breed their Limousins.

There are EU constraints for CSS semen but further research by the Sanders resolved the issue by providing EU certified embryos instead.  The first Beefmaster EU shipment was made to Giulio DeDonatis near Rome, Italy; in early 2014. Using embryos also allowed them to form their own seed stock Beefmaster purebred herd.

Following the first successful shipment into Europe, the Karmowski’s ordered their first shipment of EU Certified embryos into Poland from the DBL D BAR Ranch.  Difficulties arose in their breeding season, however when their initial ET test attempt in 2015 proved no successful transfers.

In January, 2016, the Karmowski’s attended a USLGE/BBU Beef Workshop at Texas A&M University with their new Polish ET adviser and some beef officials from SGGW University and the national ProOptiBeef program focused on improving national beef quality. During the Workshop, they learned various lessons that helped them improve their ET operations to a pregnancy rate of 80% which they have now sustained on 2 further attempts. Typically 50% was considered acceptable.

They obtained a second embryo shipment and are starting to create their seed stock herd of at least 50 purebred Beefmasters- then cross breed to upgrade their Limousin herd of over 350 dams- to arrive at a 400 head Beefmaster herd by 2020-2021.  They are planning to expand their Polish Beefmaster market into Romania and other Baltic nations with demand growth of these genetic benefits unique to this American breed.

Congratulations to the Karmowski’s in joining the growing family of Beefmaster breeders around the world.

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