“You can have all the technology in the world, but it’s never going to replace hard work and working smart.” - Colby Collins
Family-owned ranch since the Oklahoma Land Run cultivates generations of hard work and sustainability.
It depends on what time of year. Late summer, for example, is a bit slower. It’s what I like to call, “the calm before the storm,” because we start calving soon. It’s pretty hectic around here that time of year, because although August is not the best time of year to calve, it’s the optimum time to ensure we have show calves for our customers.
Our tractors and equipment are a lot more efficient today—allowing a reduction in waste, for example, when you’re feeding cattle. I’m not the most tech savvy person in the world, but I’ll have to admit the internet has been a great asset to us. We’re able to sell our show cattle and bred heifers with anyone in the world. You can have all the technology in the world, but it’s never going to replace hard work and working smart. It doesn’t matter how many people tell you how to do it, or how many books you want to read, it’s experience and knowing how to do things that make you successful.
It’s important for every part of Oklahoma, but especially western Oklahoma where we don’t have irrigation, to be careful to not overgraze our grasslands. There are times when the grass looks like you couldn’t have enough cattle, and there are times when it looks like you’ve got too many, but because we don’t overgraze our grass, we’ve been able to hang onto our cow herd through drought in recent years. As far as our water goes, our rural water district has helped bring water to even the most isolated rural parts of the country. Without these folks, we wouldn’t have survived the droughts. .
"You can have all the technology in the world, but it’s never going to replace hard work and working smart." - Colby Collins
To be sustainable, you must to be thrifty and resourceful, and just like I said, the grasslands are our life’s blood. Our cows have to have some vegetation to eat. It’s not feasible to haul hay to them 24/7. The proof that we’re sustainable from generation to generation, is that we’re a ranching family. We have no other source of income. Everything we have was paid for by way of a cow. We’ve been pretty fortunate, but I’m going to tell you, “it’s dang tough.” This ranch has been in my family since 1905—my mother’s grandfather settled here during the Oklahoma Land Run. I didn’t just walk in here and start all by myself. Our family paved the way for us, and I hope I’m paving the way for my girls.
The biggest thing, I believe, that is misunderstood about agriculture is the quality of life. There’s not a better place to raise our girls and teach them. I think we’re so fortunate, grateful and blessed.
My wife would tell you I’d say New York strip, but a good ribeye is hard to beat. Medium rare and there’s nothing better. - Colby