Congratulations to this month’s Farm and Ranch Family, the Crews! Jack and Leslie work alongside their son, Sam (16), in order to make their family ranch and business a success. Their brand has been in Jack’s family for over 150 years and some of the land has been in Leslie’s family for over 170 years.
The Crews started buying cattle in 1996, when the market was very depressed. “We gave $360 for pairs and heavy breds,” Leslie said. “It took us almost 3 years to pay for them. Jack’s dad always said that green grass broke more ranchers than drought. Everybody wants them when they are high… no one wants them when they are cheap.”
The family’s home base is located about 10 miles north of Goliad (Region 7), but they own land in Victoria County and Karnes County as well. Their business is a commercial and pure-bred cow calf operation. In addition, Jack and Sam also train horses.
Everyday, the horses have to be cared for and the cattle have to be checked and worked. The family also spends a lot of time on ranch improvements, such as repairing fences and brush control. “There is never a lack of things to do on our ranches,” Leslie said.
The entire family is vital to the operation in different ways. While Leslie manages both the family and ranch finances, Jack and Sam work the livestock and take care of most of the ranch related business. “It definitely takes all of us to make this operation work,” Leslie said.
Sam has a huge part in helping the ranch and operations run smoothly. He heads up predator control and maverick cattle removal, as well as manages the first calf heifers. In addition, “Sam has an eye for spotting a huisache or mesquite sapling that needs spraying like no other,” Jack said.
While both Jack and Leslie used to work 8-5 jobs, they are “very blessed to be able to ranch full time now.” Jack has been ranching full time since 1998 and Leslie since 2012. The ranching lifestyle has benefitted the entire family, including Sam. “[He] has really embraced this lifestyle since he has been homeschooled since fifth grade,” Leslie said. “He has a true love for working cattle and never passes up an opportunity to help here or for anyone who calls needing help.”
They love everything that ranching has blessed them with. “Much of what we have has been given to us. Our goal has been to make the land better than when we received it and we hope Sam will do the same,” Leslie said. Jack and Leslie love that ranching has taught them hard work, and respect for the land and livestock. It has also taught them the importance of perseverance. “You can’t give up,” Jack said. “We always have a challenge on the ranch. If something goes wrong, you have to figure out how to fix it.”
When the Crews aren’t on the ranch, they enjoy traveling, cookouts and spending time with family and friends. They also love rodeo and are so grateful for THSRA. Sam currently competes in THSRA in team roping. Jack and Leslie are especially grateful for the people they have met through rodeo. “Being involved in THSRA gives us the opportunity to surround ourselves with people who have the same values and interests as us,” Leslie said.
Luckily, the Crews have a McCoys about 40 miles away from them in Victoria. They often shop there for fencing supplies and portable panels. They are honored to be named this month’s McCoys Farm and Ranch Family!