Book Reviews


Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle.

 When words of advice or pearls of wisdom come from the mouth of a husband, it’s easy for the wife to ignore or discount those words. When those same pearls come from Heather Smith Thomas, they should be etched in granite …

and the wife should admit that the husband was right after all. Some lessons need not be learned the hard way. Every conceivable aspect of raising beef cattle is addressed in depth by Ms. Thomas from her 40 plus years of experience, complete with excellent illustrations and photographs. This book is so fundamentally wise, yet basic in its content, that neither novice nor career beef producer should be without a copy. It is pertinent whether the raising of a herd of cattle is for a means of making a living or is for the enjoyment of a way of life. No matter the size of an operation, there is everything one needs to know in this newest version of Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle.


Again, I have to give “the old man” credit. Ms. Thomas’s begins her “guide” in the same manner that customers of the Cross M Longhorn Ranch received . . . What is your plan? What are your goals? What kind of cattle are suited for your area? What is the market in your area? What traits do you desire in your cattle? This book lists the characteristics established and standardized by all the beef breed registries with an emphasis on hybrid vigor, the combining of traits to produce even better offspring through crossbreeding. She stresses that only the best animals should reproduce, then gives the reader in depth guidance on how to proceed to breed and raise superior livestock.
Instructions on how to handle and move cattle are extremely helpful in understanding how cattle behave, to avoid injury, both to the animal and the handler. Illustrations of proper equipment, supplies, facilities, pastures and fencing also add to the health and safety of both. Covered are tips for buying and selling cattle, what to look for in a bull and what to look for in a cow. An understanding of the reproductive system of both is recommended and diagrammed. Proper care and nutrition of the reproducing animals is discussed, to help ensure sound offspring. Once the calf hits the ground, feed and health tips, including vaccination techniques, help the producer insure that calf’s best chance to make a profit for the breeder once it is weaned. The weaning tips alone would have been quite helpful early in the Cross M operation. Cows running around Belen looking for their calves that were moved to Cedar Crest could have been avoided.
While this book emphasizes establishing a good initial relationship with an experienced veterinarian, it also illustrates in great detail how the breeder can address problems such as health issues, various diseases or weed poisonings, plus calving/birthing difficulties. How to “pull” a calf is demonstrated; however, this need not be a badge of honor with cattle breeders. As long as the homework provided by Ms. Thomas in this guide has been done and attention has been paid to the breeding female’s age, overall care and health, and attention has been paid to a bull’s record of progeny, calving problems can be avoided and the raising of beef cattle can be profitable and pleasurable.
This book is easily read and highly recommended.
Story Publishing, 2009, 352 Pages, photos & illustrations throughout, $19.95 Paperback, $29.95 Hardcover. – Review by Rebecca Moeller, Cross M Longhorn Ranch, Socorro, New Mexico

Ranching With Wyatt West

W. Todd Lindsay, Author
A-10 Etcheverry, Illustrator
Kristy Romero Cummings, Photographer

Ranching With Wyatt West is about life on a New Mexico cattle ranch. It is designed for middle school students from 4th to 8th grade. It is full of great stories about Wyatt West and his family. It is a realistic fiction and is published by Authorhouse. The book has been tested and approved by many students at Truth or Consequences Middle School, and the reviews are great. It is a book that could be used in the classroom or just as good reading. This book is the first of a series that promotes family values, honesty and real life on a New Mexico cattle ranch.

This book is available at the Authorhouse, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon,  ISBN – 978-1-4520-8341-4(SC), Library of Congress control number 20110917427.

To contact the author for book Signings or information: 

W. Todd Lindsay, 575/740-1002,