Congratulations to this month's McCoy's Farm and Ranch Family, the Overtons! Duane works alongside his dad, Neal, wife, Jodi, and two children, Cutter (17) and Neali (14), in order to make his family business, Overton Cattle Company, a success. The business is such a success that it has been in operation since 1957!
“My great grandfather started this business. In fact, my dad is still living on the same ranch he lived on when he was nine years old,” Duane said.
The Overton’s home base is located in Mineral Wells, TX (Region III). Their business is a cow calf operation based out of Palo Pinto, about 12 miles down the road from Mineral Wells. The business is a three-part collective. Duane manages FireWater Ranch while his dad operates the 4F Ranch. Then together the father son duo runs cow-calf pairs on lease land. They also farm 300 acres of wheat, where they run replacement heifers. Duane shared that they own about 100 cattle.
Depending on the season, the everyday work ranges from shipping and planting wheat in the fall to feeding and doctoring yearlings in the winter. During the spring, they focus mainly on branding. “We still drag calves and do it the old-fashioned way,” Duane said.
One thing that the Overtons strongly believe in is tradition. This is seen in the way they brand their cattle and work with their neighbors to do so. “We still believe in holding on to tradition and neighboring with other ranches. We all get together during branding season and everyone helps everyone else. That cuts down on expenses, not having to hire any help. It also allows all the neighbors get together,” Duane said.
The entire family is vital to the operation in different ways. Jodi works as a high school principal but is always eager to help out when needed. Neali helps her dad feed in the mornings before she heads off to school. Cutter actually works for his grandfather. Since Neal is currently recovering from back surgery, Cutter is tending to the whole ranch by himself. He is learning at an early age how to manage the entire ranch.
“When we are farming, everyone takes a turn on the tractor. Working as a family, we keep costs down by not having to hire any day help,” Duane said. “When family works together, you don’t have to take time to explain to new people what you’re doing. Everyone knows what they have to do, and it all flows a lot better.”
While Duane did used to work an eight to five job, he realized it wasn’t his thing and came back to ranching. “I grew up ranching and loved it. I honestly believe there isn’t a better way to raise your kids. They learn if they have a horse or a dog then they have to tend to it. No one is going to tend to it for them. You really can’t teach responsibility any better than that,” Duane said.
However, ranching has a lot more to teach Cutter and Neali than just responsibility. Duane and Jodi hope that the ranching lifestyle will teach their kids to hold on to tradition and take care of their family, as family is always first. They also admire the work ethic that ranching teaches. “If you want it, work for it. If you don’t work for it, they aren’t going to give it to you. Don’t sit around waiting for a handout,” Duane said.
When they aren’t on the ranch, the Overton family can either be found at one of Cutter’s rodeos or Neali’s softball games. Duane even joked, “we don’t go on vacation, we go to rodeos or we go to softball tournaments.” Cutter is a member of THSRA and competes in team roping, while Neali is on a travel softball team. “We are always together. As long as we are together, anything is fun,” Duane said.
The closest McCoy’s to the Overtons is located in Stephenville. “I have actually been in the McCoy’s and bought some things. It is neat to go in there and look not only at the amount of things they have but the quality that they carry,” Duane said. “Pretty much anything you do on a ranch you can buy stuff at McCoys to work with.”The family is honored to be named this month’s McCoys farm and ranch family!