Both Sides of the Fence with Andee Marston — From breeding and presenting to marketing cattle

Both Sides of the Fence with Andee Marston —
From breeding and presenting to marketing cattle
By Courtney Wesner

Andee Marston’s love of the beef industry is like that of how a range cow loves seeing the cube truck. He says it more eloquently, “I have had a lifelong love affair with the seedstock cattle industry and its people. Some people may call it a “disease” but it has been a wonderful sickness; I met my wife through it and each job I’ve had has been in this industry. There is something about the challenge of it all that has kept me hooked.” Continuing his beef industry ventures, Marston has taken a contracted position with the ASA serving as a Field Representative for the membership located within a 350-mile radius of his current home in the east Tennessee town of Pikeville.

Marston calling bids at the 2013 North American Select Sale in Louisville

Marston calling bids at the 2013 North American Select Sale in Louisville

Launched in the fall of 2013, the rejuvenated ASA Field Representative program is a more localized program based on members’ advertising dollars through promotion with ASA publications. $1,000 spent in advertising ensures a farm/ranch visit from an area representative, $2,000 secures sale attendance. In his role as an ASA Field Representative, Marston will be readily available to attend SimGenetic sales and events at the direction of ASA’s Regional Field Staff Manager, Bill Zimmerman. More importantly Marston will put his in-depth knowledge of the cattle industry to use to aid and educate ASA members in successfully marketing their Simmental and Simmental-influenced genetics.

Marston brings an unprecedented amount of passion, first- hand production experience, and a talented eye for cattle to his position with ASA. As a child Marston was exposed to top-tier seedstock production through the American Junior Shorthorn Association, 4-H and alongside his Dad, Twig Marston. “As a kid we moved around quite a bit. Dad had jobs managing cattle operations in Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Oklahoma and working in Extension. But through all the moves, there was always family and good cattle. That consistency is something I’ve always valued. Those two things are a mainstay in my life,” said Andee.

2009 National Western Stock Show Grand Champion Bull, TM GUS 36S raised and exhibited by the Marston family

2009 National Western Stock Show Grand Champion Bull, TM GUS 36S raised and exhibited by the Marston family

After graduating from high school, Marston made several decisions that kept the cattle train moving for him. While at Kansas State University, where he graduated with a degree in Animal Sciences including a Production option, Marston followed in his father’s footsteps by starting his own cattle service business. Lucky 7 Cattle Services was not just supplementary income through school but it also provided Marston with substantial experience in fitting cattle for show and sale.

 

 

As a field representative he works with breeders to market their Simmental genetics to the highest degree. “There’s a lot to be said about someone who has experienced something from both sides of the fence. I understand the challenges, the substantial resources, and better yet the blood, sweat, and tears involved with breeding and presenting cattle. It is nice to be able to stand on the other side at times and help breeders reap the benefits through my help with marketing,” said Marston.

Lucky 7 was only the beginning of Marston’s true cowboy makings. Upon graduation from Kansas State he took a job at Bohi Land and Cattle in Wellsville, Kansas, where he was hired to manage the show barn. At Bohi Andee handled high-quality Angus and Limousin cattle, managed a Limousin Dispersal sale and two Angus sales. He then went on to manage the Bohi East Ranch in Missouri. “Good cattle are good cattle. My experience at the Bohi East Ranch was a good reminder of that. Our cattle have to be sound, functional, and fertile in order to be productive money makers whether they run on the ranch or are in the showbarn. Bottom line,” commented Andee.

After leaving Bohi, Andee joined the American Hereford Association where he served as the Southeast field representative. Marston covered the Hereford membership base from Virginia to Mississippi and Tennessee to Florida. This experience made the conversion from Hereford breed representation to Simmental breed representation seamless for Marston. “Although the breeds and the strengths of the breeds differ, the principals of field representation remain the same across the two breeds. I was able to sharpen the principals of networking, meeting and connecting people, and creating marketing opportunities among breeders and newcomers while I was at Hereford. Now as a Simmental field representative it is as simple as putting these skills to use,” said Marston.

Andee with his with Robin and son Trigg

Andee with his with Robin and son Trigg

Marston currently serves as the herdsman at Burns Farms in Pikeville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife, Robin, and 18-month-old son, Trigg. When not on the farm, he can now be found representing the ASA at various events, usually purple clad in traditional Kansas State alumni fashion. “The ASA has always been at the forefront of genetic evaluation and first-class in EPD advancement. It has been great for me to use this as a marketing tool and to assist breeders in raising better stock.”

The breeders and sales management who have worked with Marston are complimentary of his abilities. DP Sales management commented, “Being in the sales management business, we work with a lot of staff to successfully market an event. Andee has a lot of knowledge of the seedstock business. He is great with people before, during, and after the sale. He takes pride in what he does and works hard to be an asset to the Simmental industry at each event. We are incredibly lucky to work with Andee.”

“The breeders have been great. They are all very people driven. These are honest people who honestly represent their cattle and this has been nothing but refreshing for me,” commented Marston. Simmental breeders are lucky to have this valuable resource at their disposal. With a talented eye and practical experience Andee will not only advance breeding programs but help the Simmental breed to the next level by utilizing available tools and marketing spheres.

Andee (far left) representing the ASA at the Cattlemen's Choice Sale

Andee (far left) representing the ASA at the Cattlemen’s Choice Sale

Marston can be contacted at 931.335.0303 or by email, amarston@simmental.org. For details about ASA publication advertising, contact National Ad Sales Coordinator, Nancy Chesterfield at 406.587.453, by email, nchesterfield@simmgene.com. For more information about ASA representatives click here.