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  • Miranda Reiman, senior associate editor

The Heritage of Change: Rishel and Patterson Talk the Then and Now

“Well, I am not going to be the first, but I doggone sure don’t want to be the last.”

Bill Rishel, longtime North Platte, Neb., Angus breeder, remembers his dad giving that answer any time a neighbor asked if he was going to adopt a new farming practice. Rishel figures some of that spirit of embracing change rubbed off on him.

“This change thing, the worst thing anybody can ever do is be afraid of it,” he says. “And the greatest thing you can do, and no matter what area you’re in or what business or what industry, is learn to appreciate it and adapt it when you can, or when you think you should.”

Rishel and breeder Larry Patterson, of BoPat Farm near Bradford, Tenn., joined The Angus Conversation for a recent episode, “The Heritage of Change.”

The pair have a friendship that spans the decades, and discussed all the innovations that have happened in the breed during their lifetime, from genetic tools to marketing. Renting scales, breeding without a semen straw and shipping cattle by rail all make it into the show. To hear the latest episode, visit

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