Amanda Bradshaw will bring some unique perspectives into her job as the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale’s new manager.
A Red Bluff native, Bradshaw’s family has a cattle operation and she also grew up showing horses competitively, which will give her insight into both main auctions at the annual five-day gathering.
She also knows a thing or two about being a trade show vendor. Her father, local saddle maker Judd Miller, was essentially the sale’s first vendor in 1982.
“I grew up coming to this event,” said Bradshaw, 36, who is taking over as manager for the 2021 sale. “I have a strong love of community and I feel very passionate about this event. I’m excited to be part of the sale here and of keeping it going for hopefully another 79 years.”
Bradshaw is also only the second woman to manage the sale, which had a female manager on an interim basis a couple of decades ago, according to organizers.
“I hope to be someone that young women in agriculture can look to” if they aspire to be involved in ranching, Bradshaw told Western Farm Press. “Our future is our youth, and it’s very important to reach out and inspire our youth.”
Bradshaw was hired to succeed fifth-generation rancher Adam Owens, who managed the last of his 11 Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sales in January. For Owens, the sale is a family tradition; his great-grandfather, Roy Owens, was a founding member nearly 80 years ago, and his grandfather, Bill Owens, was president of the sale in the 1980s.
Owens announced last summer that he would be stepping down after the 2020 event, and the board began looking for his replacement.
“We have a cattle operation of our own that needs more attention,” Owens said.
STARTED BY LOCALS
The bull sale was started by local ranchers just after the Depression as a way to boost their sales, and then other livestock was added as the event grew in popularity. Today the sale is as much a social event for families as it is a business trip for ranchers.
Before wrapping up with the sale of all breeds of bulls, the nearly week-long extravaganza at the Tehama District Fairgrounds in Red Bluff includes an online feeder and replacement heifer sale, auctions of stock dogs, geldings and mules, a big trade show, seminars and numerous other attractions.
A sort of rock-concert atmosphere surrounds the quarter horse and paint gelding sale, which is held in the largest arena – the Pauline Davis Pavilion – and is the only one of the sales that requires a $15 ticket to attend.
Amanda and her husband, Mert, own and operate the Mert Bradshaw Cattle Co. and Tehama Fencing Co. They have three young children.
“I look forward to being part of this organization,” she said of the bull sale. “I feel privileged to be a part of it. I’ve grown up around the industry, so I do feel comfortable. And you can always bring a new perspective, a fresh pair of eyes.”