732 Triple Elm N.  •  San Antonio, Texas 78263
210-648-5475  •  210-648-4939 (fax)  •  210-451-0880 (mobile)  •  aj1mihalski@aol.com
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About Us And Our Involvement In Sale Management, Auctioneering and Beefmasters!

The familiar pound of the gavel welcomes the crowd to the Beefmaster sale. On the auctioneer block sits a man with experience, enthusiasm and a passion for the breed and those involved in the business. That passion has led to a long career dedicated to Beefmaster cattle and breeders.
Mihalski defines the meaning of hard work. He has given countless hours and driven thousands of miles promoting, marketing and selling Beefmaster cattle over the years. He was recognized for his service to the Live Oak Beefmaster Breeders Association in 2005 by receiving the coveted Legend honor and in 2008 received the Beefmaster Breeders United Member of the Year award.

Mihalski began his career in the cattle business far from the auctioneer block. As a student at Tarleton State University, he spent most weekends and summers working for Bert and Ruben Reyes, sale managers and auctioneers from San Antonio, Texas, helping behind the scenes handling and receiving cattle. With a busy summer of breed sales in 1972, the Reyes’ asked Mihalski to sit out a semester from college to help them work sales. He said yes, and never looked back.
In 1976, Mihalski headed to the Superior School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Ill., to learn more about the business he would devote the rest of his life to. The knowledge he gained at this school enabled Mihalski to become more involved with sales management, helping customers with advertising budgets, planning sales, cattle selection, and of course sale rules and the auctioneer chant. The experience paid off.
            “I essentially worked my way to the front, from receiving cattle up to the clerking office, working the ring and eventually the auctioneer block,” he said. “I got a feel for everything before I got up there.”
            Mihalski had his work cut out for him at his first run at auctioneering, not a cattle sale, but a local fundraiser with most of his family and friends in attendance.
            “I was supposed to show up and help another auctioneer, but he was more nervous than I was and I didn’t know very much. Selling to your family is the toughest crowd you work with. They’re all thinking, ‘I wonder if he’s going to screw up.’ If you can get through that crowd, you can get through anything.”

The Beefmaster Road

After working sales with the Reyes brothers for several different breeds, including Beefmasters, Mihalski got his own start in auctioneering and sales management with the Violeta Ranch Sale in the early 1970s.
            “I worked with Humberto Garza, Violeta owner, to plan an advertising budget, take pictures and promote the sale. And just because we did it right, the crowd was huge. They were packed inside and out. After the previous Violeta Ranch sales averaging around $750 to $850, the jump to $3,300 averages for the first sale I worked was pretty good. Humberto even wanted to pay the bill right there after the sale.”
            That sale reinforced Mihalski’s relationship with Beefmaster breeders.
            “It was a neat sale. I had a lot of support and encouragement from Beefmaster business contacts and friends at that first sale, like those from the Live Oak and South Texas associations that attended. When you looked out at that first sale, it looked like a Live Oak and South Texas event.
            “It helped me, because when I got started in this business I was receiving and unloading cattle and wound up working up front. All the people that I’d met along the way were there, and you see them on a more personal basis than ever when you work in the back handling their cattle. I realized people wanted you there because they were comfortable working with you.”

Why Beefmasters?

            After working sales for many other breeds, Mihalski says he just evolved towards the Beefmaster business. “In the auctioneering business, people talk about keeping all your options open; keeping your foot in all the doors so you can go in any certain direction if needed.
            “All along the way I liked Beefmaster cattle and the people I’ve worked with. One thing I’ve said at sales that I really believe is – just like the breeds of cattle are different, so are the people that own them.
            “Most of the people in the business are friends first and customers second. Most are as close or closer than family. When you travel all your life, you wind up being closer to a lot of friends and customers you make because you see them more often than you might brothers, sisters or cousins. I’m comfortable in the Beefmaster breed and with all these people. It’s been good for me, and we’ve raised our family in this business.
            And it’s truly a family business. Mihalski’s wife, Harriet, and sister-in-law, Judy, work in the office with him. And son, Anthony Jr., and daughter, Candace, have traveled countless miles with their parents to sales across the country. Anthony Jr. even followed in his dad’s footsteps by attending auctioneering school in Missouri.
            “I’ve been blessed with a good and understanding family. Over the last 30 plus years, I haven’t spent many weekends at home and I’ve missed many special occasions.”
Besides family, there are many other special people in the business that have meant a great deal to Mihalski.
            “I’ve been really fortunate with the people I’ve met and the friendships we’ve made. Growing up I never thought I’d have contact with some of the people who’ve become friends. You just can’t describe it because it’s unique.
            “Ruben Guerra has been the best friend and right hand man anyone could have. He’s made my job at the sales a whole lot easier for many years. We’ve been through a lot of experiences together.”
              “This business, to me, is built on honesty and integrity. A lot of people come and go in this business, but you won’t find many successful auctioneers who have stopped working. You learn as you go, and I’ve learned a lot from people in this business. Many of the people we’ve met have developed into the best advisors and critics that anyone in this business can have.
            “When you look at this industry, it’s changed over the years. When I started in this business, people were raised in the ag business, and many of these people are still there. However, many are coming into ag because they’ve been successful in other areas like doctors, lawyers, computer technicians and athletes.
            “From my perspective, you meet so many different kinds of people with different backgrounds. It’s fun but you definitely work for it.”
Condensed article from Beefmaster Cowman 2006, written by Chel Terrell