Meet Burge Linton, a man well known in Longview, Texas for his involvement in Jake’s Feed Animal Store and the visionary behind Ropes for Less. For those close to him, he is also known for his strong East Texas twang, his addiction to fishing, and his ability to eat faster than anyone you’ve ever met. Born in Longview, Burge was graced with a name that starts off every conversation with a, “What was that?”
“I’ll get asked about my name at the start of nearly every conversation. After repeating it several times, my accent doesn’t help, people ask me how I got that name.” Given the names of three grandfathers, Robert Burge Linton has a lot of strong men to live up to.
Burge attended Texas A&M University where he received a Master in Agriculture Economics degree. He quickly moved back to Longview,Texas and went to work as the Manager for Jake’s Feed, a local feed store that carries large and small animal feed and products. A fellow co-worker introduced Burge to his wonderful wife, Kristal, who was a customer of Jake’s Feed. (We kept thinking she was coming to the store an awful lot!) The Lintons now have two children, Aubrey, who is four, and Luke, who is seven months.
An avid team roper, Burge competed in a hodge-podge of competitions here and there. He could rope head or heel, but mostly did heeling since many of his buddies preferred head roping. Even though he is a seasoned team roping competitor, Burge says he still gets nervous. “The first run of every roping, I am nervous as a cat, mainly because my horses tend to be a little broncy.” Broncy, meaning his horse is the one prancing around in the box like it has seen a snake. Keeping his composure and going through his routines before a run always helped keep him focused. “I always like to picture the run in my head before I back in the box, of course, the picture in my head is always a National Finals Rodeo style 3.5. Somehow my runs always work out a little slower, but I do like to picture where the rope is going to hit the hocks and I keep that mental picture in my head as I run down the arena.”
A schedule that once boasted of five days of roping practice rarely ended in a large check, but it was the lifestyle and the comradery of team roping that drove him on. “We used to rope five days a week. I would always tell my wife, ‘How do you expect me to make a living roping if I can’t practice?’ That’s when she would laugh and load the horses.” The company, Ropes for Less.com, was born out of a need to increase the rope supply in Jake’s Feed. Being a roper himself, Burge wanted to be able to supply ropes to the big rodeo culture of East Texas. He quickly realized that in order to have enough inventory in the physical store he would need an additional outlet to sell the ropes. That meant looking to the possibilities of opening an online store.
“I thought if I created a website and doubled our rope volume we could make it work. Now we sell ten times more ropes online and are growing every day.”
Burge enjoys creating an atmosphere centered on a strong customer service policy. Even though he has a good understanding of technology and is always experimenting with new computer programs, Burge is more likely to just pick up the phone and talk to someone than bother with an email.
When he’s not at the store or in the arena,
Burge can most likely be found on the water. “Some say I have an addiction to fishing. I have been fishing since before I can remember. Bass fishing is my main obsession, but if it swims I will fish for it.” Although he used to hunt quite a bit, the sport is not his favorite because, by his own admitting, “I have a lot of trouble sitting still.” A very true statement as Burge continues to amaze us with his endless energy as he tackles the ideas of growing Ropes for Less, keeping up with our current clients, and being a great Dad and Husband.
So now you know the man behind the vision that is RopesforLess.com. Don’t be afraid to pick up a phone and give him a call. You won’t be disappointed by the accent. My last question for Burge was, “What do you like most about living in the country?” And in true cowboy fashion, a quick response of, “Peeing off the porch,” was proudly given.
Written by Kara Grimes