Stran Stultz

My name is Stran Stultz and I am the 18-year-old son of Ross and Mary Lisa Stultz. I reside in Menard, Texas and am a recent graduate of Mason High School. I grew up on a sheep operation focusing on raising fine wool and fine wool cross club lambs. Coming from a long line of sheep breeders, I grew up knowing this industry was where I see myself for the rest of my life.

In 2007, my younger brother Slone and I started our journey to success by purchasing 20 club lamb ewes from our dad. Like most new ventures we had our ups and our downs, but with the help from our dad loaning us bucks, we were able to raise and show the Champion Fine Wool at Odessa in 2009, my first year to show at the majors. If you raise Fine Wools, this is the show to win, plus my grandfather Rex was there to watch me win. Luckily my brother won the show in 2013, completing the family sweep. Dad won in 1986. Man is he old!

That wasn’t the end of my successful first year. Two months later, with only one goat on feed, I exhibited the Grand Champion Goat at the Houston Livestock Show. It was extremely exciting! When the local T.V. station interviewed me for the 10 o’clock news, they asked if I realized what I had done at such a young age? I replied “yes ma’am, but I’m really a sheep man”.

My goal for my first year at the majors was to make the sale at all of the shows that I attended. Which I accomplished! At the beginning of that show season, I started with 13 lambs on feed – three of the lambs purchased from other breeders and ten of them raised by my family and I. I spent most of my time at shows watching other exhibitors I looked up to as role models, such as; Kayce Waller, Kelbie Renfroe, Dottie Cook and Sierra Martin. I wanted to be just as successful as them, just as I hope younger exhibitors now look up to me.

Like I mentioned earlier, I grew up in Menard but attended school in Mason. While attending Mason High School I played football and golf as well being a 4-H officer and livestock judging for the FFA chapter. We were very successful in football, reaching the quarterfinals my junior and senior year. In golf, my teammates and I qualified for the state tournament my senior year. It was an experience of a lifetime playing in Austin at the state golf tournament.

Playing two sports and showing sheep was a challenge to juggle all of the responsibilities but my parents and brother Slone stepped in to help get everything done when needed. My mom always had our clothes packed and hotel reservations in order. She always took care of the “other stuff” so Slone, Dad and I could concentrate on the lambs and the goats.

I also could always count on my “stockshow family” to lend a helping hand or advice along the way. The Martin family, the Strube family and the Renfroe family, along with uncle Reid and cousin Scott all had a great impact on my success and I am sincerely grateful for all of their contributions. From marking lambs with the Renfroes and Billy Dell saying we were gonna “hang a banner” with every lamb I caught, to Dad, Kenny and Slayton trying to figure out which lamb to take to which shows. They would argue alot, but would always come up with a plan that worked, as was evident by the success my brother and I had the last ten years. Even though Big Kenny never would admit he was wrong. These were great times spent with great friends.

My brother and I were lucky to have tremendous success at the major stock shows, winning 59 banners in the lamb and goat barn the last ten years. Some of the highlights that stand out are: the Reserve Grand Lamb at San Antonio, San Angelo, and Austin. Also, exhibiting the Grand Champion Goat at Houston and Ft. Worth. However, my proudest accomplishments are from the San Antonio Livestock Show. Over the last ten years I won 11 banners in the lamb and goat barn, including 5 straight Champion Fine Wool Cross banners, with the fifth coming my senior year. It was an accomplishment my Dad said no one had equalled in the last 40 years.

Looking back at my career, I am very proud of what my family has accomplished. I couldn’t have done it without my brother Slone. Even though we argue like most brothers do, we were a tough team to beat at the shows. We always felt we outworked everyone in the barn and Dad would have the lambs dialed in. It was that confidence that enabled us to walk in the show ring without fearing anything or anybody. I’ve learned alot from my Dad, from feeding, exercising, fitting and showing. We spent countless hours at the barn and at the ranch talking about sheep and the sheep business. My Dad would always say “you can go sit on the couch if you want to, but someone, somewhere is working their lambs right now and they are gonna beat your ass”. That’s all my brother and I needed to hear.

In the fall, I will be attending Angelo State University and majoring in Animal Science. I will also be a member of the ASU wool judging team. After college, I plan on pursuing my passion for the sheep industry by raising and selling sheep in Texas and across the country. Being a third-generation sheep producer, I hope to carry on our family tradition of raising high-quality livestock and helping junior livestock exhibitors accomplish their goals. I hope to not only raise sheep that are competitive in the showring but to produce animals that can contribute to the sheep industry as a whole.