Howard Ranches today is primarily a stocker-feeder operation. The cattle purchased typically weigh between 400-500 lbs. and are bought year-round from order buyers in Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Florida and Mexico. Country cattle are bought from pot loads and trailer loads and are then worked and preconditioned in traps at the Claypool headquarters.
Wheat cattle are contracted in late summer for fall delivery from ranches in New Mexico. Stocker steers and heifers are brought back to Oklahoma and grazed to eight weights. Feeders are sent to Dumas Feedyard, LLC, (co-owned by Steve and Jim), and summer cattle are grazed on native bluestem pastures from April to fall.
The cow herd consists of black/black-baldies. Hereford and black bulls are used for replacement heifers. Charlois bulls are used as a terminal cross. All calves are retained for grazing and fed out at Dumas Feedyard, LLC.
At Howard Ranches, farming is a year-round job. Wheat is grown for grazing from November through May. Cattle will be pulled off some wheat in late February so that it can be harvested. Improved pastures consist of Bermuda grass, kline grass, and plain bluestem. Bermuda traps are used for preconditioned cattle. Fertilized fields furnish grazing and supply hay for year-round needs.
Pecans have been farmed for thirty years on Howard land. Beginning in November of each year, pecans are harvested, cleaned, and shipped to sellers.