Texas A&M Football Coach, Jimbo Fisher, is also a Cattle Owner
By Ben Baby, Staff Writer The Dallas Morning News, Sports Day
Jimbo Fisher woke up and drove roughly an hour northwest of College Station in hopes of landing one of his most prized targets this offseason. The Texas A&M coach evaluated the prospect, studied the bloodlines and made numerous phone calls to prepare for the impending high-stakes battle.
But this had nothing to do with college football recruiting. Fisher was dealing with an actual meat market. By Saturday afternoon, he landed the object of his affection. For the small sum of $80,000, he became the owner of 44 Ruby 9719, one of the top heifers sold at an auction in Cameron at 44 Farms.
"He said this is like getting a commitment from an eighth grader," said Bob McClaren, the president and CEO of 44 Farms.
During his visit with the Fort Worth A&M Club on Monday night, Fisher explained the reasoning behind last weekend's purchase. Growing up on a farm in West Virginia, he's always been around cattle. Fisher told the crowd in Fort Worth that his family still has a big ranch back home that has anywhere from 85 to 100 head of cattle, a herd that needed some replacements.
And Fisher knew exactly where to look.
Fisher first met McClaren during a spring practice in 2018. In addition to being the former president of baseball operations for the Houston Astros, McClaren co-chaired the committee responsible for renovating Kyle Field. Fisher, who was then in the midst of his first season at A&M, was ready for the encounter.
"I met him and he knew who I was and what we do," McClaren said. "The guy is just very prepared wherever he goes and has always done his homework. I'm sure it's one of the keys to his success."
Before 44 Farms' annual spring sale, McClaren said he talked to Fisher about what he and his brother, Bryan, were looking to add to their herd in West Virginia. And Jimbo loved what he heard about Ruby 9719.
Born on Jan. 31, the heifer is the product of a cow worth at least $210,000 and an up-and-coming bull named Southern Charm. McClaren said breeder speculate Fisher's cattle has a chance to be special in the world of Angus breeding for the next 10 to 15 years. While Ruby 9719 accounted for more than half of Fisher's weekly A&M salary of $144,230, it was worth the cost.
"That's about as good a cattle as we can get anywhere in the country," Fisher told the crowd at Billy Bob's Texas on Monday night. "It's a good investment."
The coach with a $75 million guaranteed contract at A&M isn't the only prominent client of 44 Farms. Without divulging any names, McClaren said he's been amazed at how many notable people -- professional athletes, coaches, other celebrities -- are interested in buying elite bulls and heifers.
The way Fisher described it to McClaren, evaluating cattle was almost a near parallel to his job as a coach. Instead of determining how a recruit will fare at the collegiate level, he was trying to gauge which cattle have the potential to produce high-priced offspring.
According to the 44 Farms CEO, Fisher bought several heads of cattle. But none were as prominent as the daughter of Southern Charm.
"It was a fun process," McClaren said. "I think he's got a good one."