McCoy's Farm & Ranch Family: Lankford Family
Congratulations to this month’s McCoys Farm and Ranch Family, the Lankfords! While their eldest daughter Chasidy (26) no longer lives at home, Rocky and Ashlia work alongside their son Dawson (15) in order to make their family business, Lankford Farm and Cattle, a success. It is such a success that they have been in business for roughly 18 years!
The ranch spreads over 225 acres in Rusk, Texas (Region Five). Additionally, they lease around 2500 acres. Originally starting with three cows, Rocky shared that they now have about 250 cattle on the ranch and bale around 1,800-2,000 bales of hay each year. They also do custom cow work, hay baling, and pasture mowing and spraying. Additionally, Rocky partners with Trey Hassell on an 800 head custom feed yard called L&H Feeders.
The everyday work varies depending on the season. In the winter, they are mainly focused on mixing feed for the yearlings and making sure they get fed. In the springtime, they usually start spraying.
The family has no hired help on the ranch, so everyone is vital part of the ranch operations.
Even though Ashlia works a 9 to 5 job in town, she helps out where she can. “Pretty much every afternoon and every weekend, or anytime she has free she is helping out on the ranch,” Rocky said. Dawson is also a huge help on the ranch. “He is a little farm kid,” Rocky said. “He likes just about all of it.”
While he helps out his dad with a lot of different ranch tasks, Dawson’s favorite is penning cows. Rocky commented that is probably because it is the most fun out of everything that they do.
Rocky started working on his grandfather’s farm when he was seven years old. He believes that he never had the chance to choose the ranching lifestyle because it chose him first. “I think (this lifestyle) chose me really,” Rocky said. “It is all I know.”
Rocky shared that in this lifestyle he has learned a lot about the cow business over the years, but a lot of his knowledge came from trial and error.
Rocky hopes that the ranching lifestyle has taught his children hard work and the importance of keeping their word. “Most farmers and ranchers are people of their word and that is something we have to carry on,” Rocky said. “That’s the way our grandparents and parents were. I mean if they told you something that’s the way it was.”
The Lankford’s favorite thing to do as a family is either working cattle or going to rodeos. “That’s about all we do,” Rocky said jokingly. He added that they love doing that so much because both him and his wife grew up rodeoing. The whole family loves horses, so getting to ride horses all together is so special.
They also love going to rodeos and have been for a long time. When she was younger, Chasidy competed in both TJHRA and THSRA. Currently, Dawson is a member of THSRA. He competes in team roping, calf roping and cutting. Rocky said that they love going to rodeos and staying the night. They also love the people they have met through THSRA. “The rodeo families and rodeo people are the best you can be around,” Rocky said.
Luckily, the Lankfords have two McCoys close to them in Palestine, Texas and Nacogdoches, Texas and they shop there occasionally. They usually shop there for lumber and other materials that would be used to mend fences and gates. The family is honored to be named this month’s McCoys Farm and Ranch Family!