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McCoy's Farm and Ranch Family: The Coward Family of Region X

Congratulations to the McCoy’s Farm and Ranch Family of the month; the Coward’s! Will, Becky; their two kids, Kyle and Jenna Ruth; along with Will’s parents, Mike and Kay own and operate the Coward Ranch located in Gatesville, Texas.

The Coward’s are very familiar with the ranching way of life as the Coward Ranch has been in their family since 1924. Kyle and Jenna are the fifth generation to operate the ranch.

Their cow/calf operation includes commercial Angus cows and registered 44 Farms Angus bulls. This past year the family marketed their calf crop through the Superior Video Auction, and they said they pride themselves on raising quality cattle. Kyle and Jenna have been successful showing cattle the family has raised on their ranch at the Coryell County Commercial Steer Show and the San Antonio Commercial Steer Show.

The family also purchases bred heifers throughout the year at special replacement sales, calve them out and sell the pairs. Becky explained how this program helps to supplement income to their ranch when they have excess grazing.

While the entire family lends a helping hand for daily chores, each member has their niche. “Mike is the key man and the one who keeps everything going,” Becky said. “He maintains all of the equipment, does most of the farming, and is in the cow herd daily.”

Kay checks the bred heifers during calving season, manages the online marketing of the cattle, and serves as the “glue that keeps us all together,” Becky said. Will is in charge of most of the purchasing and sales of cattle and equipment; Becky helps work and feed cattle, and fills in the gaps wherever she is needed, and Kyle and Jenna pen and sort cattle.

“Kyle is a tie-down calf roper, so he always wants to flank the calves at working time rather than running them through the chute,” Becky said. “Jenna ran the tractor and baler that baled most of our hay this last summer. She also really likes to feed hay and check cattle with her dad.”

Though managing a ranch can be a full time job in itself, Becky and Will both have nine to five jobs in addition to their ranching duties. Will serves as the Banking Center President for National United in Gatesville, and Becky is a guidance counselor at Gatesville Intermediate School. “When we get home from town we get to work and do whatever needs to be done,” Becky said. “Everybody does their part; we get up early and work late to get it all done.”

Because of their outside jobs and Kyle and Jenna’s extracurricular activities, “things don’t work unless everyone does their part,” Becky said. “We don’t get much down time, so rodeos are our family vacations.” Both kids compete in the Junior High Division. Kyle competes in the tie-down roping, breakaway roping and ribbon roping; and Jenna competes in the breakaway roping and ribbon roping.

“The horsemanship and roping skills that the kids have learned in rodeo has helped out on the ranch,” Becky said. “The kids put into practice their horsemanship and roping skills; we hope that our kids will continue to learn those life lessons about responsibility and self discipline.”

The family said they are honored to be chosen as the McCoy’s Farm and Ranch family of the month. “We are truly honored to be selected,” Becky said. “Putting in a hard day’s work and teaching our children a strong work ethic is really important to us. Hard work will get people through just about anything.”

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