| Dec 01, 2015
Earlier this year, the Texas Longhorn Journal delved into the world of our customers, the Randolphs of Lonesome Pines Ranch. Their passion is evident in the many hours they have spent on the road and participating in events over the years. We are proud to be a part of their program by adding our Internet marketing capabilities into their plan. Be sure to visit their Hired Hand website and see their herd after checking out the article!
Where Visitors Are Treated Like Family - Lonesome Pines Ranch
By Laura Patterson
John and Christy Randolph.
“Not many people know that she’s crazy,” John Randolph jokes about his wife, Christy Randolph, while discussing Christy’s two terms as president of the TLBAA affiliate organization STLA. But it’s obvious from these seasoned veterans of the Texas Longhorn industry that it’s not a question of sanity but rather proof of their complete devotion and dedication to the breed.
After John’s dad passed away in 1990, the couple made the decision to purchase the family’s farm located in Smithville, Texas. John was working as a construction manager, and Christy was employed with Prudential Insurance Company in Houston, Texas. After selling all of the commercial cattle at the homestead, they kept several Texas Longhorns on their “weekend” ranch.
“Since we were just going to the ranch on weekends, it made the decision easy for getting more Longhorns,” Christy says. “They are self-sufficient, calve easily, and are selfsustainers.”
John and Christy wanted to acquire registered Longhorns, so they attended their first sale at the L Bar Ranch in 1992. They started with 17 head, and the number quickly grew. Five years into it, Christy retired from her job and began managing the Lonesome Pines Ranch. She made the trip from Houston to Smithville, more than 250 miles round-trip, several days during the week and every weekend.
“John semi-retired, and we came out and built our house,” Christy says. “That was 11 years ago.”
John officially retired in January 2015, and the two still haven’t slowed down. After their original Longhorn purchases, they made the decision to get into the Show aspect of the industry. With the help of their granddaughter, Lacie Jeffrey, John and Christy’s breeding program focused on showing animals all over the country.
Spread of the Texas Longhorn Journal article.
“At one time, we were doing at least 21 shows a year,” John says. “I love the competition, so one weekend we were in Texas, then we’d travel to California the next weekend for a show, we went everywhere.”
They had tremendous success with the show circuit. Lacie showed the Randolphs’ cattle from when she was seven to a senior in high school, and she was Points Champion three years running. Their program was focused on producing the top quality show ring animals. One Texas Longhorn they were very successful with was Turbo Jet. Along with being recognized as one of the best bulls for breeding show prospects, he continues to be represented by offspring competing in shows across the country.
“Most of the time, it was like a traveling circus, but it wasn’t cut-throat,” Christy says. “Everyone in the show circuit helps each other out. You hold someone else’s lead. You loan tack out to others. You just build that comradery, which is critical. We all share a common love and respect.”
Their program later shifted gears to focus more on the complete animal. They started with a Phenomenon son, JMC Phenomenal Archie, blending those genetics with Turbo Jet. LP Sombrah was a turning point for their herd, as he was the one who helped them achieve their “complete package” herd. A lot of his daughters were crossed with Ja’Malice, who is out of the late WS Jamakizm. Black Kettle, a Sittin’ Bull son, was added as well to pull in a different genetic cross.
“We are breeding for the overall animal – 1200 lbs, 80” cow,” John says. “We have a good blend right now. They are all nicebodied with a lot of horn and looking really good.”
Christy adds, “We would like to see the industry recognize the complete package. There is more to the animal than the longest horn. We need to be sure the breed is complete as can be and bred to do what they were originally bred for.”
During the third year of the Millennium Futurity, which started in 2000, Christy was asked to be a judge for the popular event. At the time, it was held in Culpeper, Virginia, near the home of Ben Gravett, who created the event with Bill Davidson. John and Christy quickly knew they wanted to become partners of the event.
“It looked like so much fun,” Christy says. “It was growing in popularity, and it was going to be a great way to push cattle in a different direction. You should promote the breed however you can, and this was a great way to do it.”
Christy now serves as a Managing Partner of the event. “It is our goal to honor Ben Gravett’s memory by continuing this event in the fashion to which it was intended – lots of good fellowship, fun, and the opportunity to purchase/sell some of the nicest heifers in the breed today.”
Besides being heavily involved with Longhorn events and sales, John and Christy are strong advocates for eating only Longhorn meat. They have been using their own meat for more than 12 years, and they have been furnishing it to friends and family.
“We butcher four to six a year,” John says. “Every bull can’t be a herd sire. We are also in the process of private labeling our beef to sale to the public.”
The couple recognizes the importance of educating fellow breeders as well as the general public of the benefits of Texas Longhorns. They recently became Founding Members of the TLMA in order to help do their part in marketing the breed.
“It’s always tough talking to the public about raising Longhorns, and you get that ‘look,’” Christy says. “But this is an organization that provides services and sale avenues, so it can be nothing but beneficial. We need to help everyone recognize that Longhorns are a viable beef breed, and education is critical.”
John and Christy celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary this year. They hit it off immediately after being set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.
“It was the luckiest day of his life,” Christy jokes.
The couple have three children and eight grandchildren. Lacie has been the only one interested in helping with the Longhorns, but the interest definitely paid off. Now 24, she graduated from Texas A&M debt free due to money earned from all of the shows.
“The Longhorns made that happen,” Christy says.
They enjoy all of the friendships made since 1992, admitting that everyone comes from different backgrounds and wouldn’t have met many of them if it weren’t for the Longhorns.
“It’s odd to realize that when we first got in the business, everyone was talking about the ‘old-timers,’” Christy laughs. “Now, we are the ‘old-timers.’”
However, being an ‘old-timer’ isn’t bad at all. John and Christy spend their retired years out at the ranch, with the help of Ranch Manager Nick Kaatz. Most of their nights are spent on the porch taking it all in.
John says, “We just relax and enjoy the view.”
To find out more about Lonesome Pines Ranch, visit their website at:
Christy & John with Nick Kaatz and Taylor Toddy.
Posted with Permission from the Texas Longhorn Journal.