Jirl grew up on a small cow calf operation which mainly produced Limousin cattle and ran yearlings on grass in the summer. His family showed heifers and steers and was involved in 4-H and FFA. The highlight of Jirl’s junior show career was when his steer won a class at Oklahoma City his senior year. His dad, Bill Buck, was very talented at clipping and many people brought cattle to him to clip in the early days, as a result, Jirl learned some valuable skills at a very early age. He attended Murray State College and Oklahoma State University. It was during college that he had the opportunity to work for several top cattle producers including McKown Limousin, Magness Land & Cattle Co., American Cattle Services, Hal Courtney, and Ferris Ranch.
Jirl and I were married in the fall of 1988, and with very little in our pockets we started our club calf business. I remember making flyers by hand, photocopying them, and taking them to local shows, events, etc. This was before home computers and graphic designs were a thing. Jirl and a few of his friends built our first show barn. He traded and clipped show steers and cattle around the country. During that time, he made several great connections and worked alongside some of the most elite people in the business. Jirl partnered with Bobby May for several years selling show steers. He had the opportunity to be involved with many champion steers back then that he sold or helped prepare for the shows. There were many influential families that he worked with, which we credit for giving him the confidence that he could compete at every level, and the encouragement to make it on our own.
In the early 90’s we were running a handful of club calf cows when a show steer customer, Dr. Bob Morton, approached Jirl about partnering with him on a set of registered Maine-Anjou cows. Little did we know what effect that purchase would have on our future. When the first calves were born Jirl realized the demand for high quality show heifers was on the rise, and high-quality Maine-Anjou cattle were in short supply. The commitment to the Maine business was wide open from there. We could not have found a better breed to be involved in than the Maine-Anjou breed. The Maine-Anjou people will always be our first cattle family. Jirl has served on the American Maine-Anjou Association Board and we also served as the junior advisors for the Oklahoma Maine-Association for about ten years. We have so many fond memories with the Maine breed, especially all the junior national trips with the Moore family and many other customers through the years.
In 1994, we decided to host our very first Fall Premier Sale in Lawton, Oklahoma to market our spring born females. In 1996, we had our first Spring Edition Sale to market our Fall born females. Both of those sales went well, taught us a lot, and showed us where we needed to improve. We celebrated our 25th Fall Premier Sale last October and we are gearing up for our 24th Spring Edition Sale in March, and we still strive to improve with each sale.
In 2009, we purchased our first Hereford female at the National Sale in Denver, the following year we purchased a heifer in that same sale for Bailey to show. That female was our first taste of victory in the Hereford arena, she won the Junior National Hereford Expo, Reno, Kansas City, and Tulsa. We were hooked! Now, here we are ten years later with 300 plus Herefords. The Hereford breed is another breed we are fortunate to be a part of. The association and the breeders are all awesome people and we appreciate all they have done for us. There were several people that were very beneficial to our good start in the Hereford breed, but some of the key players that helped us were Jack Ward, Todd Herman, Jason Hoffman, Mark McClintock, and Kyle Colyer. We can’
t thank them enough for their encouragement and advice.
The Buck family has always been a huge fan of rodeo and has always had numerous connections to people in the rodeo business. With that background and Jirl’s interest in bucking bulls, the local veterinarian, Dr Ken Carlson, introduced Jirl to Dillon Page. The timing could not have been more perfect because the bucking bull industry had just formed a registry and was set to begin competitions for the bulls. The Page’s had been in the business for many years and had one of the top breeding programs. Jirl persuaded Dillon to do embryo transplant work on a few of his elite females. The offspring from those embryos is how the D&H and Buck partnership began. D&H Cattle had the elite genetics and Jirl began helping them with their production sales and marketing. The Pages are partners, but more like family, they simply have the best genetics and strive to be better every day. We are not directly involved with the daily management of the bucking bulls. We run a group of the cows on our place, but the bulls are all managed by D&H Cattle. D&H hosts three sales annually marketing bulls, bred females, and pairs. We have been fortunate to have been involved in many of the great bulls D&H has had over the past 17 years. No doubt, the most noted bull we have ever owned is Sweet Pro’s Bruiser. Bruiser is the Who’s Who of the Bucking Bull Business. He was the World Champion Classic Bull, 3X PBR Bucking Bull of the Year, and PRCA Bucking Bull of the Year. On an interesting note, Bruiser’s grandam was the very first bucking bull cow we purchased.
Buck Cattle Company runs 450 cows and produces Maine-Anjou, Hereford, and bucking bulls. We host two annual production sales in March and October. We also have several online sales throughout the year. Our bulls and groups of bred females are marketed at private treaty.
We are involved in this industry because we love the challenge of producing superior cattle and the awesome feeling of seeing those cattle work for our customers, whether in the show ring or in production. The junior program has always been a priority for our operation, there is no better program in the world for young people. They learn responsibility, sportsmanship, work ethic, communication skills, and are exposed to the best people in the world. Even if they don’t remain in the cattle business, they have learned skills to help them be successful in life. Our goal when we began was to develop a team spirit with our exhibitors in our show barn, and we have been fortunate to work with many great families who are part of our team.
There are far too many people that have influenced our lives to mention them all. No doubt the most influential would be Jirl’s parents. They believe in God, family values, hard work, and having a good name. The outfits Jirl worked for all had a part in directing his life and he was fortunate to have worked with top quality programs. Some people within the industry that definitely deserve recognition are; Bobby May, Mark Copus, Steve Bonham, John Boddicker, Jim Pannell, Ronnie Glover, Dr. Bob Morton, Dr. J Butler, Jerry Gibson, and Scott Manley. Many of those same guys are responsible for our success, however, we wouldn’t be where we are today without Matt Scasta, Davey Young, Ethan Moore, Craig Moore, Brett Carter, Jeremy Clark, and many others.
Bailey grew up in the show barn. She had a love for cows from the start. She would ride her tricycle from our house over to the barn and park in her "parking spot" next to the guys’ trucks and feed trucks. She started showing around age six and attended her first Jr. National Maine-Anjou Show in 2000 in Enid, Oklahoma. She showed her steer named Scooby. Scooby did not win that year but that class ribbon she received was just enough to spark her competitive spirit. She attended every Jr. National Maine-Anjou show from 2000-2014. She enjoyed competing in the contests, as well as, showing her cattle. She also served on the Junior National Maine-Anjou Association Board as a director and also as President. She began showing Herefords in 2009 and concluded her junior career in 2015 with Champion Polled Hereford female and Reserve Champion Horned Hereford female at the JNHE. Such an awesome way to end your junior show career! Her time spent in the barn, in the show ring, and serving on the junior board was significant in getting her where she is today. She will gradua
te medical school this May, but her work ethic and determination were put into motion many years ago. During her interview for medical school the panel of doctors were more interested in her show cattle career than what she knew about medicine. Before the interview was over, she ended up showing them cattle pictures on her phone and explaining to them all that went into preparing a heifer for show day. Bailey is still very involved in our cattle business. She spends time at the ranch when she’s home and shows for us at open shows when her schedule allows.
We have always had many goals and we are blessed beyond measure to have reached many of them. Our goals for the future involve improving the quality of our cattle, expanding our marketing, supporting the youth programs, and hopefully to be debt free someday. We appreciate all who have helped us along the way including our customers, our crew, and the good Lord above.