“Howdy! This is Helen with TriTails Premium Beef. How can I help you?” If you’ve ever called us, you will be talking to me, Helen. Connor, my adoring husband, has written about me in the past, but I’m giving Connor a bit of a break and had an itch to write. I won’t lie to you, I struggled about what I should write. When I originally took this upon myself, I had a bunch of different ideas, but as my deadline closed in, the ideas all scrambled from my head! So, here I am… Writing about myself and our wholesale gig and jewelry… very humble, I know!
You might have noticed that when you order our beef, the handwriting has changed. That is because Connor now has completely taken over our retail operations. From shipping boxes to inventorying to advertising to taking photos, he is doing the heavy lifting and doing a phenomenal job! But, if he’s taken over that side, what am I doing? My job has evolved more and more behind the scenes, and frankly, I’m perfectly fine with this. I went from doing the advertising while in school to packing boxes and now, doing all of the computer work. I still am customer relations and love talking to all of you, but there is a bit more than just that.
As many of you know, we have started a wholesale division of our business. It serves the DFW region at this time. Our vision is much larger than our stomachs at the moment, however, we truly have a great team working with us. Chase Foxworth, our once salesman who has worked up the ranks to Director of Business Development, has been doing a wonderful job helping clients and seeing our vision. Oh! Our vision! I know Connor has told you in the past, but our vision is to bring power back to the ranchers who raise your beef, and you quality beef! Unfortunately, we’ve seen many ranches being sold around the country due to a “bait and switch” (for lack of a better term) of the financial ability to run cattle. It is an expensive endeavor and very hard work when you’re raising them right (like we do)! We want to help other ranchers and bring you, the customers, the beef you deserve! High quality beef that makes your grandparents proud and what they remember! (We’ve gotten so many phone calls from the elderly about how they haven’t had this quality of beef since when they were a child, and yet, ours beats that!).
Recently, I took up the challenge of helping my sister, Faith, create her jewelry business. You might have seen some shoutouts of Rockin AF Jewelry on our home page. Now, don’t get your mind in the gutter with the name, it’s her husband and our ranch hand, Aaron, and Faith’s initials! I’ve recently helped her with photos and her most recent drop of her first full collection, the fall works! All of her jewelry is thoughtfully crafted with the western theme in mind. As a “cowboy,” she knows the ranching culture almost more than most of us (as my father likes to run around in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt… doesn’t really look the part… fun fact! After my wedding ceremony was over at the ranch, he changed into such an outfit for the party after!) Faith’s jewelry is simply beautiful! But, I might be biased, so don’t take my word for it, go look at it yourself: rockinafjewelry.com
Whether it be beef, jewelry, or anything in between, I’m a problem solver at heart. I think that’s mandatory for any business person to be! Thank you for reading this newsletter and being a part of our family business with reading newsletters like this! We cannot express the gratitude of helping our vision come through and making a slice of heaven be shared among us. As I always write on your order slips, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out as we are here to serve you (quality beef)!
An Unexpected Turn of Events:
As a ranch, occasionally we have a trespasser or a cattle wrestler (yes, like the ol’ west in those Clint Eastwood or John Wayne movies. They still exist). But, today, I’m going to tell you a story that here at the Harrell Ranch, we think is a funny turn of events.
It all started with our neighbor allowing some hunters on his property. As they creeped through the fields and passed fence lines to find a beautiful aoudad sheep, they didn’t notice the impending doom that would soon come. With each step they took in the long grassy rolling hills into the canyon, the group of 9 didn’t know what was around the corner.
As an everyday occurrence, Faith and Aaron were out feeding cattle. It was a cold day, flakes of snow trying to come down and brush Faith on the eye lashes as the siren called for the cattle to come in. They had finished at one pasture and we're goin through the roughs. The roughs were really where you could see the canyonland start to embrace the plains. Just as the feed truck came up over a ridge, the cowboy couple could see heads bobbing up and down, as though this group had something to grab. Aaron yelled at them, his billowing deep voice echoing in the cold landscape.
“Stop! Hey youuu! Stop”
The group came to a sudden halt. What was this? Who was this? We were in the right place, right? Wrong. They weren’t! Aaron drove closer to them. Faith quickly dialed Sam, her dad and ranch boss.
“Dad! Someone’s on the ranch! We’re in the roughs! Come quickly!” She frantically stated in the midst of what seemed to be a possible live western! The feed truck came to a sudden stop 200 feet from the group. Aaron hopped out and Faith, small in stature, had a bit of a fall but landed confidently on her feet.
“Hey!” Aaron almost growled in his low voice. “What’re y'all doing?”
“We’re hunting! We’re at the neighbor’s place!” Said the guide. Confident and cocky.
“No, you’re on the Harrell Ranch '' Said Faith. “What’re y’all doing?”
“We’re hunting ___” replied the father of the children, with the shotgun in his hand.
“Well, that’s a problem. I’ve called my Dad. He’s on the way!” Faith stated flatly,
The women in the group started to panic.
“We’re going to die!” Cried one of the women.
“Are you going to rope us and hang us by our feet?” said a young girl, tears welling in her eyes.
Faith started to laugh. But, just as she started to laugh, Sam’s big red truck could be seen in the distance. Literally driving like a bat out of hell. Faith tried to be reassuring, but as the roar of the truck got closer, its wheels could be seen going way faster than it should, and dust flying like the dust bowl, the group got more and more scared.
“Is your Dad like the western movies?” the father of the children asked, still holding the shotgun in his hand. “With the denim and leather?” Faith just laughed, knowing her father very well. She tried her best to be reassuring, but not even she would know exactly how this was going to play out.
“I’m so sorry!” cried the guide. “I didn’t know! Please don’t kill us!”
The truck came to a screaming halt. The group of trespassers held their breath, hoping it wouldn’t be their last ones. Their expectations were stereotypical. Big gruff man. Cowboy hat. Denim. Denim. Denim. Cowboy boots. Deep voice. Big guns with bullets around their waste, synched to a belt. And though Aaron definitely held up to expectations, would this Sam be the same?
Sam hopped out of the truck. His large stature was intimidating. But then, they saw the cargo shorts. In this weather? Some thought. His Hawaiian shirt could be seen peeking out of the top of his light jacket. His crocks and rolled down knee socks glided through the grass as he approached. Sam was intimidating by nature, his beard was long and thick, and the two pistols in his shoulder harness didn’t help. The little girl peed herself. Faith just smiled, anticipating what was going to happen.
“Howdy.” Sam said. They all introduced themselves. Small talk got started. Come to find out, this hunt by the neighbors was given to the father of the children who had terminal brain cancer. Sam’s heart melted. His family always called him a bear… Some days a straight up grizzly bear, but today, with his heart melted, a teddy bear.
“So, did you shoot something?” Sam asked sternly. The men in the group looked at each other, making a decision with their eyes.
“No.” said the guide.
“Now after you guys leave, I’m going to track you back from where you came from. You’ve left a trail as big as an elephant. Once I track you to the animal, I’m going to call the sheriff and confiscate all your stuff.” Sam looked at them dead in the eyes through his rose colored glasses. “Let me ask that again. Did you shoot something”
The guide straightened his jacket.
“Yes sir.” he pointed to the south.
“Well, let’s go find it,” Sam said.
Sam and the rest of the men in the group went to retrieve the animal and help get it packed up. On the way, Sam made it clear with the guide to know the property lines and to not go through fences he didn’t know who’s land it was on. By the end of the encounter, everyone was laughing and smiling. The terror was gone, but the joy of an interesting day remained.
The Harrell’s have kept touch with the family. The father died from his cancer early 2022. The family are still astounded by Sam and his family’s kindness.
Not all stories of trespassing end this way. We have had cattle thieves and pressed charges. As a disclaimer, don’t pass fences if you don’t know who owns the property. It might end as a very different story. Oh! Also, this story is being told by, me–Helen, a third party, so some of the small details have been a bit exaggerated.