McCoy's Farm & Ranch Family: The Lawson Family of Region IX
Congratulations to the McCoy’s Farm and Ranch family of the month, the Lawson’s! The first generation farmers/ranchers, Jonathan and Jeanette Lawson along with their children Tyler, Travis and Taylor own and operate J&L Land and Cattle, and J&L Agricultural Equipment, LLC. located in New Waverly, Texas. The family has been selling agricultural equipment, custom baling hay and breeding commercial cattle for 25 years.
The main part of their family business entails running a commercial cow/calf operation; however, during the spring they are prepping pastures for their fertilized coastal Bermuda hay. “We generally bale 20,000 square bales and 2,000 round bales each season,” the family said. “During hay season, we bale hay all day and move hay all night.”
Though this lifestyle is not a nine to five, the family said they find freedom in being in charge. “Farming and ranching knows no weekends, holidays or even 9-5 work days,” the family said. “I think the appeal comes from the fact you are your own boss, the love for the outdoors, stewardship of the animals, and most of all the opportunity to work together.”
While they might be the first ones in their family tree to make ranching a lifestyle, Jonathan’s passion for agriculture was passed down by his grandfather and uncle in Arkansas. Jonathan studied agricultural business at Stephen F. Austin and began team roping and calf roping during his time there. After graduation, he became a Houston Police officer and on the side ran a small herd of mixed commercial heifers, cut hay and sold farm implements from his front yard. As his herd expanded and several years were spent in law enforcement, Jonathan decided to hang up the badge full time and open his own tractor dealership, J&L Agricultural Equipment. He still serves as a reserve police officer for the Montgomery Police Department; however, ranching and farming take up much of his time.
Though Jonathan serves as the head honcho in all three of the family’s operations, the help from each family member as well as their full time ranch employees make the ranch go ‘round. “It takes the hard work of our entire family to make our ranch operate,” Jeanette said. “We are blessed to have family members and extended family help us if we are gone for an entire weekend rodeoing.”
When the family is not on the ranch, they said their favorite past time consists of traveling to rodeos. Taylor, the youngest of the Lawson’s, is a sophomore and rodeos at Region 9. She is a competitor in the barrel racing, breakaway roping, team roping and pole bending. She is currently the reigning breakaway champion for the THSRA and represented Texas on the national level in the National Junior High Rodeo Association Finals in 2014. In addition to Taylor’s duties on the ranch, she rides two to three horses daily, and takes care of six. She is in charge of feeding, conditioning and grooming her horses and typically competes every weekend.
“Rodeo is a lot like ranching,” the family said. “It takes dedication, perseverance and determination. There are many ups and downs, but you have to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and continue the journey to succeed.”
The family said they feel very honored and privileged to be recognized as the McCoy’s Farm and Ranch family of the month. “It is because of great sponsors like McCoy’s which allows our children to participate in this great sport of Rodeo.”