McCoy's Farm & Ranch Family: The Blackard Family
Congratulations to the McCoy’s Farm and Ranch Family of the Month; the Blackard’s! This Region IV family of seven resides in Mount Pleasant, Texas. Chad, Caroline, Ethan, Caroline, Landon, Collin and Ayden own and operate the C2 Ranch with the help of the Bradley’s; Charlie, Brittney and their 2-year-old son, Brodee as well.
The main part of their family business is operating a preconditioning yard. They receive high risk cattle, and their job is to get them started on feed and treat them for any sickness for approximately 60 days before they are taken to grass. The family said their every day consists of maintaining the cattle’s health. “We have to feed them, ride through them, check them for any signs of sickness, treat any sickness we see and provide the overall care for the health of the cattle.”
Not only is this operation their family business, but this is the family’s lifestyle. “We are compassionate about the ranching lifestyle,” Caroline said. “We believe in teaching our kids to work hard, and we love riding good horses everyday. It is hard work, but when you are doing what you love, you look forward to it.”
In their operation, responsibility and self-discipline are crucial to the success they seek to achieve. Since they are providing care for cattle that have the risk of becoming sick, it is critical that everyone does their part. There are a lot of cattle to look at, and everyone has to feel confident that the cattle are getting the care they need.
On a daily basis the family has to divide and conquer. The kids have been involved in the cattle operation since they were big enough to help, and everyone joins in to process the cattle when they arrive .“One of the first jobs each child has had is to pull the tail and hold it out of the way during castration; it can be quite comical as they are learning,” Caroline said.
According to the family, some of the kids help doctor cattle and some help feed. Everyone is willing to do whatever needs to be done to make it all happen. “We have been blessed with good kids and good hired help, and that is what makes us successful,” Caroline said. “We believe in teaching our kids to work hard, and we love riding good horses everyday. It is hard work, but when you are doing what you love, you look forward to it.”
Outside of ranching, all five kids in the family rodeo. The family practices as much as possible, although occasionally their practice may come in the form of pasture work. Some days there are yearlings to be doctored before leaving for a rodeo, but luckily the family is able to come together in order to get any task done that presents itself on the ranch. It is also convenient that all of their horses can be used outside in the pasture as well as in the arena. The same horses they compete on are the same horses they can go check and doctor cattle on. The family said they start young horses in the pasture working cattle, and then transition them to working in the arena. “We are riding our next rodeo prospects each day to work, and the kids are constantly swinging a rope,” Caroline shared.
Between rodeoing and ranching the kids are all expected to care for their own horses and the cattle they practice on. They are also able to process cattle on their own; check, doctor, and move cattle to different pastures; and perform or assist in every aspect of the ranch work. They carry a lot of weight around the ranch and their work is very valuable to the everyday C2 practices.
While ranch work can be serious, the family said they don’t ever go a day without laughter! “With five kids there is always something funny to tell,” Caroline shared. “Everything turns into a bet whether it is stripping down to your underwear and doing a belly flop off of your horse into a water trough, or attempting to chute dog fresh yearlings as they are leaving the squeeze chute!”
But, all bets and jokes aside, the family said they are honored to be selected as the McCoy’s Farm and Ranch family of the month, and they are thankful to McCoy’s for recognizing farming and ranching families throughout the THSRA.
“We are excited to be chosen to represent our Region 4 as the Farm and Ranch Family,” the family said. “Our region is made up of a lot of hard-working families, in a lot of different professions, and the fact that they selected us for this opportunity is truly an honor.” By