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15 Nov 2022
by Bownds Ranches

With regular trips to the market replaced by curbside pickup and grocery delivery, our convenience culture has made it easy to forget about the hardworking men and women behind the scenes who power our food supply. In this month’s blog post, we’d like to take a moment to shed some light on the lifestyle of local farmers and ranchers and show our appreciation for all the hard work they do to make sure our daily meals are available and delicious.

A Look Behind the Curtain

If you’ve never spent a day with a farmer or rancher, it can be easy to think their day-to-day lives are simple and straight-forward. After all, there are no 9 AM performance reviews with the boss, annoying coworkers to avoid at the water cooler, or HR notices that need to be adhered to. It seems like a simple life - just wake up, tend to the animals and crops, and then go to sleep.

However, this mindset severely glosses over the challenging lives that ranchers and farmers experience. Most of the time, their days start at sunrise (or before, in some instances) and last well into the late afternoon or evening hours. For farmers, there’s often back-breaking manual labor when harvesting produce, constant worry about the weather and rainfall, and a seemingly never-ending list of fields that need to be plowed, planted, weeded, fertilized and rotated to keep the crops from ruining the soil. There are myriad decisions to be made daily, such as how much fertilizer to use for which crop, when to plant seed, which type of seeds to choose, when is the best time to harvest, how to avoid a crop-killing freeze and much more.

For ranchers, there’s feeding, watering, repairing fences, vaccinating animals, and rotating fields to keep livestock from ruining the land by eating all the natural grass. Add in the stresses of running a business from these efforts (marketing, packaging, filing taxes, distributing and more are all tasks that still exist for farmers and ranchers, since they’re essentially their own small business), and you’ve got a recipe for very long, grueling hours of work. To make it even more taxing, most of these tasks must be performed seven days a week. You can’t just ignore the crops or livestock because it’s Saturday when you’re a farmer or rancher.

To say the least, these jobs are tedious and labor-intensive, and practically require a passion for the lifestyle since it’s not a life of luxury and leisure. There are long days, lots of potential pitfalls, and a reliance on Texas weather to cooperate, which it seemingly seldom does. Just this year, for example, farmers and ranchers have been hit with one of the worst droughts in recent memory, which puts even more strain on them to irrigate crops and feed and water livestock.  Mix that in with rising fuel and transportation costs to get their goods to market, and the margins for those who fuel our food supply have gotten dangerously thin.

Some of Our Favorites

Luckily for us, there are plenty of farmers and ranchers here in the area that help keep our communities fed and thriving. We’d like to recognize a few of them quickly as a way to say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work they put in day-after-day.

Shudde Ranch

The Shudde Ranch has roots that go all the way back to its first year of operation in 1897. Currently, Janelle and Gerry Shudde manage the ranch.While they have retired from selling their pastured beef in retail, they still raise cattle in partnership with the nearby Parker Creek Ranch. All of their cattle for harvest goes to Mandy and Travis Krause. Both the Shuddes and the Krauses shares the same goals of producing healthy nutritious meat.

Back 4T Farms

Back 4T Farms, located in Eden, offers a wide variety of products that all come from regenerative farming practices. They currently raise and farm eggs, chicken, pork and beef. Their goal is to "provide whole nutrient dense foods to as many people." If you want to know more about them, you are welcome to visit the farm. They also set up shop at the Concho Valley Farmers Market in San Angelo.

Bandera Grassland

Featuring Bandera Grassland is a two-fold endeavor for us. Based in Bandera, they’re a Hill Country rancher that produces great, grass-fed beef in a sustainable way. However, we also wanted to highlight them because they stand as a great example of the perils that can befall ranchers in Texas. Their website currently shows a notification that they’re unable to process beef orders until 2024 because the severe drought forced them to sell off their calves, since there wasn’t enough grass to sustain the whole herd. They’ll have to wait until this year’s calves are old enough to take to slaughter before being able to fulfill new orders. Part of our reasoning behind this blog post is to share awareness so that quality ranches like Bandera Grassland don’t become a thing of the past.

Sharing Thanks

From all of us here at Bownds Ranches, we want to share a special word of thanks and show our appreciation to all of the farmers and ranchers in the agriculture industry, not just here, but also all across the US. Without you all and all of your hard work, there would be no Thanksgiving dinner for us to partake in this year. From the bottoms of our hearts, we thank you and we are grateful for all the long hours and difficult labor you put in day after day for us.


A day in the life of a rancher is non-stop, there's always plenty to do while tending the land. But there's no lifestyle more fulfilling. If the idea of owning a property that can be passed down from generation to generation appeals to you, Brandon Bownds is only a phone call away. As a 5th generation Texas rancher and a 3rd generation ranch broker, he knows what it takes. Brandon's passion is his pride, and it would be his honor and privilege to help you find, upgrade or sell your family ranch.