The Largent Tradition
A man named C.M. Largent Sr. was born (1863) and raised in Texas. In 1896 he started a ranching operation with commercial cattle in Merkel, TX. C.M. purchased his first purebred registered Hereford cattle in 1902. C.M. passed away in 1938 with pastors from the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches officiating. All of the town businesses were closed during the services out of respect for this loyal and upstanding man.
Early Largent bloodlines included Superior 39, Superior 51, Prince Domino 3rd, Prince Domino 151st, Gay Lad Jr., and the great Publican Domino. Publican Domino’s “Get” in the 1917 to 1934 era won 246 Championships, 543 blue ribbons, and 408 red ribbons at major US shows. Largent Herefords won the “Get of Sire” 50 times during this period.
Roy Largent, C.M. Largent’s son, born in 1902 became a tremendously important member of the operation. Roy had two sons, with his wife Hazel, David and Rust. Both sons would go on in the tradition of Hereford cattle and continue the fame and fortune of the Largent name. Largent’s became known for their outstanding seed stock cattle among the American Hereford producers.
As time passed, David took the role of showing cattle at major shows around the US. Largent’s set the pace during this time by showing cattle at 32 major shows in 1 year. With a new name, “Largent and Sons” would be run by Roy’s sons. David handled the purebred cattle and Rust handled the commercial herd. Because of the advertising in many show rings from coast to coast Largent and Sons had some outstanding results. In a 1953 Denver sale they sold a $25,000 bull and an $8,500 heifer.
Roy was elected as President of the American Hereford Assn. and had been a past President of the Texas Hereford Assn. The Fort Worth Stock show honored Roy for over 50 years of attending this prestigious show, but also for his loyalty to Hereford cattle. An article written about Roy said that he attended Texas Christian University. He was very talented in singing and was given the chance to study in Italy, but refused by saying, “I could never give up the idea of being associated with anything but Hereford cattle.” Roy finally took his doctor’s advice and dispersed his herd in 1954. He passed away in 1968. He was elected to the Hereford Heritage Hall in 1978.
After the dispersion, David managed the Herschede-Suncrest Ranch in Arizona. He stayed there until they dispersed in 1962. Rust made his way running the family ranch in Texas with Herford cattle until 1962. At this time David’s family returned to continue together as a family until 1970. David and Freda, with their sons Steve and Mark, moved to Montana and bought a mountain ranch near Wilsall, MT. Mark also left with his beautiful new bride, Cathy, because he could not leave Texas without her.
After this move, David became a very prestigious judge of the cattle shows. He judged at the Registered Merit Shows all over the US and judged the Calgary bull sale (the biggest sale in Canada). In 1979, S Titan 7777 graced the Largent’s and Descheemaeker with the Denver Champion. Largent’s established an annual production sale in Montana. S Titan 7777 sired calves that went on to do very well in the production sales. Around this time David was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Hereford Assn. He became the American Hereford Assn. President in 1981 and was also enshrined to the Montana State Fair Hall of Fame. Largent’s wanted to expand their herd and decided to look in the state of Wyoming. Soon after, they moved to Kaycee, WY and bought the land in 1989. Steve experienced health problems and decided to move his family to Arizona. Mark began to take a more managerial role of the ranch in the ‘90s. The ‘90s marked a change in the cattle industry, cattlemen, and in the Largent family. The show ring became obsolete and David and Mark began to focus on carcass, traits of reproduction, performance and efficiency in the feedlot. They began immediately to turn their program in a new direction.
Freda, being a true southern woman, married David in 1946. David’s quote “No man is better than the woman behind him.” Freda was not only a wife, mother, and cook; but she was also the bookkeeper, coordinator, advisor and stabilizer of the entire operation. AHA CEO, Hop Dickenson, also said, “The two best words that describe a lady are ‘Freda Largent’.” “She has been a joy to have around Hereford events and her presence around these events has always enhanced the event.” We all agree with these statements. David and Freda, remained a very important part of the operation. They encouraged, gave advice, and wisdom. They were forced to slow down physically, but heart and soul and mind they were going strong. Due to Diabetes, David had to finally retire from the everyday work of the ranch and spent a lot of time checking cows on a four-wheeler. Even when that became obsolete Freda would step in and take him where ever he needed to go in their pick-up. David and Freda moved back down south to Glenrio, NM with their oldest son Steve and his family. David, after a wonderful life with Hereford cattle and a wonderful family operation, passed away in September of 2003. Freda still resides in Glenrio, NM.
Mark has carried on the tradition of the family. He has had the privilege to serve two terms as President of the Wyoming Hereford Assn. He has also supported the Junior Hereford activities in Montana and Wyoming. Mark has also been a part of the judges’ guild and judged the junior heifer show at the National Western Stock Show (Denver) and the North American Livestock Exposition (Kentucky), along with many regional shows. Mark prides himself on continuing his personal focus on God, family and church members. He also continues to focus on carcass, reproduction traits, performance and feedlot efficiency. Feeders and packers have said that the Largent steers in the feedlot are among the best they have fed and carcassed. Of course, the woman behind Mark is his wife Cathy. She took over the running of the operation when David and Freda retired and has stepped up to the task of wife, mother, cook, bookkeeper, coordinator, advisor and stabilizer and loyal pastor’s wife. All who have come to know her would say she is the hardest working person they have ever met. Mark said he couldn’t leave Texas without her and everyday she proves why. Mark and Cathy have three children: David, Laura, and Sherry. All the kids grew up with Herefords in their hearts and hard work ethics engrained into them. Largent’s began showing again when their children became old enough to do it by themselves. They went to plenty of regional shows during the kids’ Jr. High and High School years.
In Sept. 1994, David married a Wyoming born and raised girl, Heather. David and Heather were married a year and then decided to make their way to Texas where David went to Wayland Baptist University and Heather finished high school. After college with a Bachelors Degree in hand, David and Heather returned home to work on the family ranch. David and Heather have 4 children: Jordan, Kelley, Mark G. and Nathan. David still resides with his family on the ranch and is an important managerial part of the operation. Alongside the family operation, Heather has started her own hobby of breeding and selling Pembroke Welsh Corgi pups. This has come about with the help of her sister-in-law Laura who started Heather with a sweet female dubbed “Belle”. David attended the Wyoming Leadership Education in Agriculture Development (LEAD), has been on the Youth Advisory Board to the Board of Agriculture and has been to Australia, Argentina, Chile, and Egypt.
In Aug. 1996, Laura married a Kaycee resident, Toby Pierson. Toby and Laura pursued college also, but soon home and cattle called them back to what they love the most. They lived and worked on the ranch for a time and then Toby took a local job hauling bentonite. With the experience Toby gained in a semi he put to good use and acquired a well paying job at one of the coal mines around Gillette and Wright, WY. He has since made his way up the chain and is now training to run a drag line at Jacob’s Ranch coal mine in Wright, WY. During this time, Toby and Laura have acquired their own property east of Kaycee called T. Pierson Cattle Company and are finding a market in Club Calves. Laura is also breeding and selling Pembroke Welsh Corgis in conjunction with her sister-in-law, Heather. Toby and Laura have two children, Tinley and Vaun.
In July of 2000, the youngest daughter, Sherry married a Kaycee resident, Brad Christensen; who is the son of the local veterinarian. Brad swept Sherry off to Fort Collins for college where he would study to become a veterinarian. He spent a total of 9 years in school and came away with 2 Bachelors Degrees and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. In 2003, Brad and Sherry accepted a small animal veterinary job in Las Vegas, NV. Brad and Sherry currently reside in Nevada with their two children, Devan and Trevor. They are both active members at Hope Baptist Church. Brad has also gone on two overseas mission trips: 1 to Africa and 1 to Egypt accompanied by his brother-in-law David Largent.
Recently, we have added to our entourage of dedicated, hard working crew. Cody Helms and Casie Smith graced our doorstep with their presence starting in May 2007. We are excited to see what a new era with them will bring. As they grow and learn our program we are sure they will adapt into our family as well as our co-workers. Cody and Casie fit in well with our family and became great assets to our business. They helped with winter show trips and added to their own herd during the Bull Sale in 2007 among many other things. In February of 2008 they went on to new endeavors and started work in Pennsylvania. They are missed and will never be forgotten. We wish them all the best.
Largent and Sons has grown not only in family but in the Hereford industry. We sold the lower place out on the Barnum Hwy in 2001, and are now residing on I-25 South of Kaycee. We have started showing again as a means of advertising and showing the nation what we have to offer the cattlemen and consumer of today. Mark has been blending and crossing pedigrees to find the most suitable combinations, which is why we developed “Desert Mart.” They are known for carcass, maternal ability, performance in any condition, reproductive ability, eye pigment, and even polled genetics. In recent years, at the Wyoming State Fair, six of the steers in the Championship lineup were Largent bred steers and the Grand Champ. was sired by a Largent bull. At the Denver Stock Show, Largent’s won Grand Champ. Cow/Calf division. In the Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) in Billings, MT, Largent’s took Grand Champ. female, Grand and Reserve Champ. cow/calf, Champ. Bull as a calf (Jrs.) and Premier Breeder and Exhibitor. At the Jr. National Hereford Expo in Denver, CO; one of their steers took 1st in his class and was 5th in the carcass contest out of 87 steers. At the Montana Jr. Beef Expo, the same steer was first in his class and at our State Jr. Field day he was Reserve Grand Champ. Steer. At the Wyoming State Fair Largent’s had a steer in the championship round with all the breeds from around the whole state. They had Reserve Champ. Bull at the State show and one of the females took Reserve Champ. Heifer in the 4-H show. **All featured in the Show Results**
Byron Bayers, a long time friend, talked about co-owning a bull with Largent’s and he pointed out that this kind of ownership has its good points and its drawbacks. He talked about trying to get hold of Dave or Mark and neither of them being around. He said that Largent’s “know how to work and have done the hard work for a long time”. “Largent’s entire income for this 100 years has come from Hereford cattle, a remarkable fact. Dedicated, knowledgeable, capable people with a deep religious faith, this fine family of Hereford people may go on for yet another Century. I feel proud to have known them.”
We here at Largent’s are striving to be that family run business of integrity, loyalty to each other and the Hereford breed, and having something for everyone in the cattle industry.
With that, Please stop by and visit us at the ranch, call us on the telephone, write us a note. We would love to hear from you and about your business ventures.
All information was provided by Byron Bayers article in “Hereford America” and from family members of Largent and Sons. Thank you for your help in this endeavor.