John Peirce, DVM
A third generation cowboy whose ancestors worked on the Matador, Waggoner and LIT Ranches for lifetimes. His generation is likely the last to know the days of historic cattle activities and the arduous life it entailed.
Dr. Peirce graduated Texas A & M University in 1970 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. He practiced large animal medicine and surgery during his early veterinary career. His mid-career encompassed the development of a remote “ranch practice” in the arid lands of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico. An extended eleven year drought finally forced him to seek a career change.
He would tell you that he was mightily blessed when he found a home in the feedyard (cattle feeding) industry. The feedyards are all business. Anything, everything can be measured, and is available, if you want to look – he did.
With time, he developed a new operational philosophy: Genuine Care & Concern for the Individual. Treat them kindly, elevating their sense of wellbeing at every opportunity, critically well developing their immune systems, and supporting socialization issues became the foundation legs of this new operational philosophy.
Dr. Peirce loves his work and no one cares more about the cattle and consumer issues, than he. He is also focused on getting consumers reacquainted with agriculture, in general, and the beef cattle industry, in particular. The long separation has hurt both. You need to know that the beef cattle industry wants to, and is willing to, produce any kind of beef that you desire – if you are operating from an informed knowledge base.
Thus, most of his efforts today are focused on consumer education. He firmly believes that the more you know about the beef cattle industry, the better off both become. EDUCATION is absolutely the key. You must come to terms with the use of “production efficiencies” – producing more with less. The industry would not still be in business without continuing to push the envelop relative to production efficiencies. AND, their use continues to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Yes, it’s true. A glass of milk today has two-thirds LESS carbon footprint than 40 years ago. Production efficiencies are a long and involved topic, but many examples are described through this website, and within the pages of his book: “The Beef Industry, What They Don’t Tell You”.
He wants your knowledge and decisions regarding the beef industry to be based on fact, rather than emotionally made decisions. It’s easy for the uninformed to become fearful regarding areas they know nothing of. Mankind’s history is rich with such examples. GMO is one such topic today. Learn the facts, then you too might say, “Future generations will look back on these “frankenfood” times and consider it similar to the witch burnings of the 16th century: much ado about not being able to control our fears in the face of factual evidence.”
My brother and I were raised on a family ranch in Lost Valley in north Texas, the fourth generation of a ranching family. We learned early the love of the land and the importance of the cattle in our care. I am the elder sibling and went with my dad daily as he went about the chores of the ranch from the time I was big enough to stand up in the seat beside him in the pickup. Later, I helped gather and work cattle. We always had chores such as milking, gathering eggs, feeding the horses. My playground was the ranch land either on foot or horseback. With no children in the area, I learned to be independent and entertain myself; and I learned to love the land. There were always new discoveries to be had: new baby calves, wild plums in the spring, hunting for fossils and arrowheads.
I was born a few years after WWII and was raised in the post-war boom. Yet, it didn’t feel much like a boom at the time. Times weren’t harsh, but they were hard. Unlike today where there is a variety of assistance programs, then if you wanted to eat, you needed to work. Although my mom managed to stay home most of the time, my dad worked two jobs for periods of time to get us by: in the oilfield and managing the ranch. He would volunteer for work on the top of the derrick because it paid 10 cents more an hour, even though the work there was much more dangerous. Today, it’s hard to conceive that 10 cents could mean that much difference.
Our ranch was and still is about halfway between Wichita Falls and Fort Worth, good strong country for cattle, if it will rain. My paternal grandparents lived across the highway and ran registered Hereford cattle. Old photographs of my granddad show a style of bull that was short and compact. Cattle have evolved through these many years, and gone through several fads.
My dad went to work with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association in about 1960 as a special ranger and field inspector while still living on and running our ranch. The TSCRA is a an association created by cattlemen in 1877 to fight cattle theft. Field inspectors are commissioned peace officers and recognized today as Special Texas Rangers both in Texas and Oklahoma. They are charged with the primary responsibility of assisting with the investigation of livestock thefts and other ranch-related property losses. About 3 years later, my dad was moved to the headquarters of the TSCRA located in Fort Worth as assistant to the General Manager. A very short time later the General Manager died and my dad assumed the reins of the TSCRA. He served in that capacity 29 years and was considered a notable and valued manager. Over the dinner table every night, my dad would rehash his day and discuss what the challenges were for the cattlemen and the industry. I heard many stories about the integrity and honor of the people in the cattle industry. My dad was and still is my biggest hero and he taught me to always work hard and to do what is right regardless of the consequences. That is the value system that runs throughout the agriculture industry and one we are extremely proud of. The TSCRA members and staff became my extended family and gifted me with many fond memories and honored contacts.
I graduated from college with a math degree from the University of Texas at Austin and went to work for Texas Instruments. It took me a while to get back to the land, but I did. I eventually married into another ranching family and continue to manage that operation as executrix. I am no stranger to life involving cows and cattle operations, in general.
My real strength is probably people. I enjoy and meet people well, beyond cattle people. I appreciate the differences in people and how their various circumstances have contributed to making them the people they are. I am a trained Stephen Leader and Minister and was a CASA volunteer and board member for many years. As an outgrowth of my CASA involvement, I spearheaded a local group who organized our County Child Welfare Board.
John and I are dedicated to building better communication between the urban consumer and the people who supply their beef. As our world gets more and more complicated and diverse, the common ground that we all share is the desire for wholesome and healthy food for our families. John and I want to do our part to get the message about beef delivered in a clear and concise manner.
We love our customers and welcome your feedback and suggestions. Use our Contact Us page to tell us what we’re doing right or what we can improve on.