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McCoy's Farm & Ranch Family: The Richards Family

The Richards Family of Region II

Ava Anderson

Congratulations, to the Richard's Family, the McCoy's Farm and Ranch Family of the Month! Joe Richards and his wife Brandi and two daughters, Madalyn and Lucy are Region 2 members. The Richards have owned and operated the Diamond Cattle Feeders for twenty years in Hereford, Texas.

The family-owned enterprise is a 17,000 head custom feedyard located in the heart of cattle feeding country, specializing in the best customer service from “the buy”, risk management to “the sell”, said Joe, "We believe in putting our customers and their cattle first, and we also help our customers maximize their particular position."

Brandi is employed as an animal health sales representative for Boehringer Ingelheim, and she calls on feed yards and veterinarians in the panhandle. Her expertise is not only valuable in her outside employment; but is also utilized in the Richard's family-owned business as well.

Their eldest daughter, Madalyn is a nineteen year old freshman at Texas A&M University studying engineering. She was the 2020 NHSRA World Champion Goat Tyer and the 2019 Texas State Champion Goat Tyer. Her sister Lucy is fifteen years old, and is a sophomore at Vega High School. She was the 2021 THSRA Rookie of the Year and a 2021 National qualifier in goat tying.

Joe and Brandi shared that they love watching their girls compete in whatever sport they're involved in, whether it be playing basketball, roping, goat tying, breakaway, barrels or pole bending, or just playing a game of tiddly winks at home. The whole family cherishes their time in the truck hauling to rodeos, along with their time spent with family and friends on the rodeo trail.

This family works together to make their family business successful through various means, including utilizing a custom calendar and advanced planning, which is vital to their success as a family business. Brandi and her daughters try to take care of everything at home from the horses to cattle, and Joe takes care of the feedyard. Madalyn and Lucy are also depended upon as back-up help at the feedyard, doing anything they are told from riding pens to shipping and receiving cattle. But, speaking from a mother's heart, Brandi says, "The girls will do whatever we need, but it's not always willingly!"

However, Madalyn and Lucy have been trained do anything around the yard from weighing silage trucks to cleaning water tanks. They are also called upon to check on outside cattle as well as feeding and putting out mineral. The women in this family are definitely multi-taskers and also help out in the office answering phones or inputting daily work. Brandi's quips, "About the only thing the females in this family don't do, is carry off dead skunks, that is Joe's job regardless!"

Brandi further shared that the most important traits that Madalyn and Lucy have learned from their involvement at Diamond Cattle Feeders and at the ranch, is perseverance, communication and the value of our employees.

Brandi elaborated on the fact, that the feedyard never stops. Their statistics consists of 34,000 of feeder cattle in a one year feedyard turn. From day to day we are busy buying cattle, selling cattle, hedging, feeding and caring for the cattle, as well as mixing feed, buying feed ingredients, making rations, and doing yard maintenance, as well as placing and caring for outside cattle on grass, as well as raising wheat and sorghum silage. Plus the cattle must be fed three times a day every single day and it takes more than just our family to get the job done.

"Many of our employees from the pen riders to the feedtruck drivers have worked with us every day since we started", said Brandi , "This type of loyalty is a testament to how much our employees are valued and respected, which is one of the most important traits our girls can learn and carry with them through out their lifetime."

The Richard's chose this lifestyle instead of the typical 8 to 5 job because Joe and Brandi were both raised on ranches. Brandi was raised in Northeastern New Mexico outside of Raton. Joe’s family has ranches outside of Fairfield, Texas, where his family had also owned Buffalo Livestock for many years. "Livestock and agriculture is what we knew and where our network was so it only made since that we ended up here toghether," exclaimed Brandi.

"Involvement in THSRA has further shaped our lives and has made the girls value their time and the power of setting goals and structuring a framework to achieve those goals," said Brandi, "Practice and getting ready for THSRA rodeos happens every day at our ranch, along with organizing our schedules and prioritizing our family time, in order to insure that the girls are able to get their horses exercised, calves roped, goats tied, homework completed, and basketball or track practice done, which to say the least is a constant juggle in our household."

The Richard's further shared some of their thoughts on the commercialization of the farm and ranch industry, by explaining that commercialization is the process of managing or running something principally for financial gain and added, "We love the cattle business and are grateful for the life lessons and opportunities it provides us. Afterall, what other industry allows you to take your kids with you to work everyday, and pass down generations of memories or experiences from the front seat of a pickup truck?"

However, to be able to continue to run their business efficiently and do all they possibly can to conserve their valuable resources, they elaborated on the fact that "Even though, we are a family business, that does not mean that we can use a big chief tablet and pencil to do our financials, because agriculture is big business weather you are a small farm or a large corporate entity."

"The idea that this way of life may sound romantic to many, the truth is at the end of the day, we all have to pay our bills and entry fees. We are surrounded by other family owned feed yards, farms and ranches, as many of our friends in THSRA are as well. It is our business and goal to continue feeding a growing population and we can’t do that unless we embrace technology, along with the best practices, and utilize our resources efficiently and conservatively," said Joe.

The Richard family feels very honored to be selected as this month's McCoy’s Farm and Ranch Family. Although, there is no McCoy's in close proximity, they make it a point to shop there as much as possible for many of their needs such as feedyard maintenance, water tanks reconstruction, building of pens both at the feedyard and on the ranch, and other items which they need to help them run their ranch and feedyard more efficiently.

"We have seen how committed McCoy’s is to THSRA and it is that kind of commitment and loyalty that we respect and hope that we reflect in our own lives, said Brandi, "We are also grateful to THSRA for providing an incredible opportunity to compete against the very best high school rodeo athletes in the world."


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