We would like to congratulate the Smith Family as Region VIII's McCoy Farm and Ranch Family,. Brandon, Marie, Emma and Aydan epitomize a true Texas Ranch Family. Born into multigenerational ranching families, both Brandon and Marie are now creating their own unique ranching legacy to pass on to their children. They have not only committed their life’s work to protecting and preserving this way of life for their family, but also are advancing and innovating to create new opportunities for future generations. Along the way, they have generously welcomed numerous families onto their operation to experience ranch life, share their love of horses and support the sport of youth rodeo.
Brandon, a fifth generation rancher, never doubted ranching to be his life calling. As a toddler, he would travel with his Dad to the family ranch near Christine to join the operation. Even at a young age, he enjoyed all aspects of ranch life, from working cattle to learning the economics of a sustainable beef cattle operation. He also has a lifelong love of horses and early on began immersing himself in the family’s ranch horse business assisting with breeding, green-breaking and training horses. Even today, much heart is put into the Smith’s equine operation. Brandon is a visionary and an entrepreneur, starting his own herd at 23 years of age. He has the heart and the stomach for what can often times be a volatile business. Like many respected cattlemen, he is a man of few words but always seems to be in the right place at the right time to offer a support and leadership when it seems to be needed most.
Marie’s family has been in ranching since 1857. She comes from a long line of strong and smart Texas Ranching women with remarkable business savvy, who throughout history, have been a cornerstone to their families ranching success. Marie’s great, great grandmother, Ellen Campbell Tom is credited with saving their cattle operation, after her husband was gored to death by a Texas Longhorn, while raising her five children, despite the dangers and hardships. Mrs. Tom was very successful and continued purchasing land eventually acquiring a large holding of South Texas ranch land. Marie brings that heritage of resilience and fortitude to their personal operation.
Since they started their own operation comprising crossbred cow-calf pairs and replacement heifers in 1996, Brandon and Marie have drawn on the rich legacy of generations before them while constantly seeking new opportunity to ensure their operation is sustainable for their children and their children’s children. Over the last 20 years, they have grown and diversified their operation in New Mexico and Texas. They now run a commercial irrigated hay operation, background cattle on winter grazing and summer grass pastures across numerous counties, retain feeder cattle in several Texas feedyards, own and manage a trucking operation, and have built an equine operation along the way.
Front and center of all their ranching endeavors are their two wonderful children Emma May Smith (age 14) and David Aydan Smith (aka Aydan or Boomer) (age 11). Brandon and Marie have instilled the ranching family values of self-reliance, integrity, generosity and kindness in these children who also share a love of the family business. At only 14, Emma has already shown strong interest in the family’s business and is currently taking coursework to help her prepare to be a good steward of their operation. You can always find Boomer enjoying ranch activities. Like his father, he listens more than talks, but it’s easy to strike up a conversation if it’s about ranch life. His passion for the ranch is evident. Both are very bright, respectful, hard-working children...a rarity in today’s culture.
The Smith family also gives back. Their philanthropy has touched the lives of numerous agricultural families from 4H, FFA, rodeo, etc. They are often the first to offer a helping hand, a horse, etc. to support and encourage children who share their passion for agriculture, ranching and rodeo. They also willingly give their time and talents in numerous volunteer positions, especially in Region 8. We are happy to recognize them with the McCoy's Farm and Ranch Family Award.