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MEET YOUR OKLAHOMA RANCHER Terry Stuart Forst Waurika, Oklahoma


Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your ranch: Terry: Stuart Ranch is the oldest ranch in Oklahoma under continuous family ownership. We have been in business since 1868, and my grandson is the seventh generation on this four-county ranch. We have a cow/calf and yearling cattle operation. We graze a little over 3,000 acres of wheat pasture. We also have a wildlife and outfitting division plus we raise, train, show and use Quarter Horses in everyday ranch work.


Tell us about the greatest challenges and opportunities that you’ve faced on your farm or ranch. Terry: Te greatest challenges we’ve had have been the extreme weather patterns of the past five years, with the drought of 2011 to the moisture in 2015. I have always operated with a drought plan in place, but I wasn’t as prepared for more than 80 inches of rain in eastern Oklahoma and close to 50 inches in Jefferson County.


I think opportunities always exist in challenges. My philosophy has always been the same as Vince Lombardi’s quote, “Luck is preparation for opportunities.”


What is the most important thing that you do on your ranch every day to make sure you are raising safe beef for the consumer? Terry: I feed my family the same beef the consumer buys. My reputation and my livelihood depend on my integrity as a cattle rancher. It’s my responsibility to my animals and to the consumer to use the best animal health practices and feeding programs available. Our family has not succeeded this far by being irresponsible. We take care of what we have and I’m proud of the way we handle our cattle and our resources.


If you could explain one aspect of agriculture or the beef industry to someone who isn’t familiar with agriculture, what would it be?


Terry: We have a true passion and love for what we do. In agriculture, your word is your bond. You respect and honor your land and livestock. You value tradition, legacy and integrity. Most importantly, I think all of us have a strong work ethic and a strong faith in God. I think honesty, respect and integrity are va ues we w


values we won’t relinquish or compromise. I believe they are integral to our being and t e b ef we p we a e p


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“My reputation and my livelihood depend on


my integrity as a cattle rancher.”


w has y ur f mily s d a l t


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e are producing the best and safest food of any country in the world. How has your family spent so many generations caring for cattle and natural Terry: God chose us to be good, responsible stewards of his creation. My family co di io s. W e w


d the beef we produce. Tose values should be very reassuring to the public that ucing t e best a d s


uce. Tos va ues s est f


resources? Te


has survived all that weather and markets can throw at us. We have adapted to conditions. We have changed our plans,s, le learning through mistakes and failures, how to best manage what God has entrusted us with. If we hadn’t managed well, we would nld not be celebrating 150 years of contininuous family involvement in 2018. To quote my grandmother Carrie Iie Ida Freeny Stuart, in reference to our forefathers, “Tese beloved pioneers have leſt a great heritage for us. Many years of hf hardship and devotioion to their country and family have produced hardy meny men of sf strong character. From this background came our great state of Of Oklahoma in which there is much pride among her peoplele.”


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If you could describe in one word the life of a rancher, what would it be?t be? Terry: Commitment.


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Learn more about the farmers and ranchers behind your beef and other beef questions at www.oklabeef.org


Don’t forget to visit ZZZ EHHƮWVZKDWVIRUGLQQHU FRP for great beef recipes and cooking tips.


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