Our family has been in Walker County for over 100 years farming, ranching and raising our children up in a close knit community with an appreciation for the land, a strong work ethic and living a tradition our family began long ago. Other than our Blue Willow Beef herd, my father has his commercial cow/calf operation of nearly 400 mama cows. There is always fences to check, cows to be fed, hay to be baled and calves to be worked. Since we homeschool, we have the time and flexibility to be there “when duty calls” and all 5 kids are taking an active role in the daily operations. Maddie, my oldest, enjoys penning cows on her horse, working at the sale barns, and is interested in meat science and helping me improve Blue Willow Beef with every calf crop. Jack is best with machinery so he spends endless hours mowing pastures and helping his uncle cut, rake and bale hay. Grady is the cowman. At the age of 10 he has his own commercial cow/calf operation of about 50 head. You can find him several day a week at the sale barns, buying replacement heifers and filling orders for customers. He also raises and trains his own cow dogs. MaryJo is my sidekick. She’s doing whatever I’m doing from working calves to cooking supper. Then we have Raymond, the official gate-getter. The cattle business is our life, but it wouldn’t be without family.