Breeder Spotlight with Tyler Cates: Cates Farms
A well-respected, long-standing Shorthorn breeder
As a third-generation cattle breeder, Tyler Cates’ love for the industry runs through his veins. His father (Brian), grandfather (Rex) and uncle (Randy) are three of his biggest influences when it comes to how Tyler and his wife, Cortney, raise their Shorthorn and Angus cattle.
Together, the husband and wife have a herd of roughly 200 Shorthorns and 40 Angus located in Modoc, Indiana. To him, this industry is everything. It all started as a 4-H project for Brian and Rex many years ago. They would show at their local and state fairs, but later decided that they wanted to have a purebred Shorthorn herd of their own.
The Cates Family eats, sleeps and breathes cattle; but their number one priority is family. Tyler and Cortney have a two year old daughter named Piper that is already in love with being around cows and stock shows. Being involved in the cattle industry is something that the whole family is passionate about, but it is also their way of life and how they provide for their loved ones. That’s what matters most to Tyler and Cortney. They want to be able to continue to provide for their family while also instilling the same values and work-ethic into their daughter that their family taught them while they were growing up. Even though raising cattle is technically Tyler’s job, it is also something that he considers his hobby and his favorite thing to do.
The Cates enjoy the Fort Worth Stock Show because it can act as an escape from reality. It is a more relaxed atmosphere where they are able to bring fewer cattle and yet still have a good time and be competitive. Cates says, “The people are nice, the facilities are clean and one of my favorite things about this show in particular is the food!” The people that he meets and the connections that he makes while traveling to all of the different shows means that there is never a dull moment for him or his wife.
Winning is always an amazing and satisfying feeling; but the experience, as a whole, and being able to provide for their family means so much more than that Grand Champion ribbon. Every single exhibitor that walks into the arena wants to win it all. It is how you carry yourself inside and outside of the ring that reflects your character and business. Cates says, “The way you treat other people will determine how successful you are, and how long you will remain successful.” He believes that it is important to produce a product that you like, but to remember that at the end of the day this market is a supply and demand kind of business. You have to constantly be adapting to change so that you can provide the best product for your clientele so that ultimately you can support and provide for your family.
Being a strong Christian, Cates always tries his best to remain positive and be a light while showing cattle. He says, “It is an extremely competitive industry and it is so easy to to get caught up in the moment, but it is always important to remain grounded and remember who you are, what you stand for and why you started in the first place.” Their goals for the future are to maintain the quality of excellence that he and his family have worked so hard to achieve, and to eventually build a competitive herd of Angus cattle. He also wants to continue supporting the youth through the breed associations and to make it a priority to focus on them more and more each year.
You can find out more information about The Cates Family by visiting their website: http://catesfarms.com