Meet the Rancher: Sandford Ranches

EDITED BY JESSIE TOPP-BECKER, MANAGING EDITOR S andford Ranch was estab lished in 1986 by Blake and Carole Sandford on an 80 acre farm with a few cows in Wise County, Texas. Today, the opera tions are much larger and other family members, including Jack Sandford and his brother, Ben Sandford, along

grade its base stock and has recently looked into in-vitro fertilization as a way to rapidly upgrade the base stock by using its own recipient cows for embryos. The ranch’s registered cattle have been artificially inseminated or had registered Angus bulls on them. The commercial Angus herd is cov ered with both registered Black Angus and registered American Aberdeen bulls. The Texas ranch is approximately 8,000 acres of land divided into 20 different pastures within a five-mile radius. In Texas, the Sandford fam ily has about 700 acres of farmland for winter wheat. Most of that land is utilized for graze-out. The pasture is about one-third na tive pasture and the cows that run on it get liquid feed and have loose mineral. On cold winter days, cattle have access to Coastal hay. The Sand fords can run one cow-calf pair per 10 acres of native pasture. The other pasture in Wise County is all improved Coastal Bermuda grass, some of which is hay field to winter their cattle. The family grows and bales their own hay for the cattle. The cattle that run on the Coastal pas ture are hayed and given high-protein cubes during the winter and also get loose mineral. On the Coastal pas ture, they can run about one cow-calf pair to five acres.

In Oklahoma, the Sandfords oper ate a cow-calf operation as well as the majority of their stocker opera tion, which is along the Red River. The ranch consists of 4,000 acres of farm land and 5,000 acres of grass pas ture. They farm everything themselves and turn out their home-raised calves to graze winter wheat. They also turn cattle out on neighboring wheat pas tures and will take in outside cattle on the gain from time to time. The Sand fords harvest their own wheat and do custom combining for other farmers. The family also has a grain elevator and weigh station where they store their own wheat and also purchase wheat from local farmers. “The ranch is a great way of life for our entire family and we have all been very fortunate to be able to raise our children this way. It is a lot of work for everyone, but it is a good, wholesome way of life that has helped bind our family together,” Sandford says. “It has been a great way for the children and us to see God’s hand at work on the land and with the cattle each day. It has helped prepare our children for their future in teaching them many different life skills and good character traits. “Even though we always continue to work hard at making a profit ranching, the most important things for us have turned out to be what ranching has done for our family’s way of life.” TL

with his brother-in-law, Bodie Cole, have joined to help run the ranch. Sandford Ranches is comprised of a commercial and seedstock operation that includes both Black Angus and Aberdeen Angus cattle. The ranch consists of a 2,500-head cow-calf operation as well as a 3,500-head stocker-calf operation in northern Wise County, Texas, and southern Jef ferson County, Okla. “We strive to raise high-quality cattle that are moderate framed and forage efficient, that will thrive on grass pasture,” Jack Sandford says. “We believe the Lord God created cattle to be this way in the beginning, and we strive to follow His lead in order that we may be good stewards of the ranch.” The commercial cow-calf herd is predominantly Black Angus, primarily of northern genetics, as well as black Aberdeen Plus ® cattle. Approximately one-third of the cattle are foundation registered Angus bloodlines. About one-third are Aberdeen Plus. Sandford Ranches is continually trying to up


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