Last month’s feature (“Fluffy cows, the rest of the story,” Drovers/CattleNetwork, August 2013, page 24) described how Matt Lautner’s prize bull Texas Tornado became an Internet sensation earlier this year. Freelance writer Terri Queck-Matzie, Fontanelle, Iowa, described how Lautner capitalized on the moment, creating a Facebook page — Fluffy Cows R Us — (which had over 39,000 likes by the end of August), and developed strategies to promote his cattle and increase consumer understanding of beef and beef products. When the Internet sensation reached a peak, the story was picked up by major news organizations such as ABC News, CNN, the Today show and the Associated Press.
“Now that we’ve got their attention, I think it’s a great opportunity to teach (consumers) about our industry,” says Lautner, who breeds show cattle near Adel, Iowa. “Every year, millions of Americans walk through the cattle barns at fairs and expos, and now, more than ever, I think they are going to stop and really take a look at the fluffy cows in the aisles. This is the perfect opportunity to talk about not just fluffy show cattle but also beef and beef byproducts.”
Queck-Matzie’s story created a sen sation of its own — though not how we anticipated. Artist Hayes Martens created drawings that show the various meat cuts that are derived from an animal such as Texas Tornado, and hedonated the original to Lautner who offered it in a charity auction to benefit young Drew Shryock’s fight against cancer and Cowboy Up For a Cure. The drawing sold to a group of 56 donors for $14,000 and has been donated to theNational Western Stock Show in Denver.
What we neglected to tell you was what many readers wanted to know about the artist, Hayes Martens. We received several emails and phone calls requesting more information about Martens and how to contact him. Martens and his wife — Kelly (Bosworth) Martens — live on a farm near Chillicothe, Mo. Kelly raises Angus cattle and works for Trans-Ova Genetics.
Hayes’ livestock art work is gaining popularity, and he is available to perform commissioned work. While the original meat cuts drawing featuring Texas Tornado was sold at a charity auction, Martens has artist proofs available for $175, and prints of the regular series are sold for $80 each. Martens donates 25 percent of the proceeds from each print to the Cowboy Up For a Cure foundation.
To view more of Martens’ work, visit his Facebook page: facebook. com/HayesMartensArt.
To contact Martens directly, call 660-973-7432 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.