McCurry family named 2021 Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber's Farm Focus Family of the Year
John and Melody McCurry of McMurry Angus Ranch were named the 2021 Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce Farm Focus Family of the Year.
This 5th generation family owned cow/calf operation started in 1928.
For John and Melody McCurry, keeping in rhythm with the land and the animals is crucial. That is why they not only pasture raise their animals, but they utilize soil health practices on the pastures their herd feeds on, including utilizing cover crops, crop residues and no-tilling. Their animals graze in three counties, including Reno and Harvey.
Having both served on prestigious National Livestock Judging teams (Oklahoma and Kansas State University), in addition to growing up on cattle ranches, both McCurrys know their animals. The farm holds a sale of pedigree black Angus on the second Thursday of each March.
Although Melody McMurry grew up with a hodgepodge of breeds, she understands the value of Angus and participates in the family business. Recently, the family put on electronic tags so running the cattle became easier for them.
"We're always looking to improve," Melody McCurry said.
The entire family helps in the operation, including Aubree, 10, Molly, 7, and Drew, 4.
"I like steer because they're nice, but sometimes they can headbutt," said Drew, 4.
Aubree, 10, participates in 4-H and shows in the Junior Angus Association. But what she loves best, she said, is working with her father and the animals. She also helps with calfing, which takes place in both the fall and spring.
"I love cattle," Aubree said. "You always get to do new things."
Both Melody and John McMurry said they enjoy raising their children on their ranch just outside of Haven.
"I want the kids to know that hard work does pay off," Melody McCurry said. "I want them to be able to roll with the punches. We all enjoy working together."
When it's time for moving the cattle to different pastures, the family is all in, with Molly and Drew helping the animals and Aubree helping her grandfather with counting. John is often on one of the family's three horses, Buck, Sugar or Windy.
Both Melody and John said they could not think of raising their children any other way.
"It's what I was put on this earth to do — to nurture and take care of the animals," John McCurry said. "I want the kids with me to learn more about the animals and the business."
The Agirbusiness Committee of the Chamber each years selects a local Reno County farm family for this award. Nominations are submitted for family farm operations and scores based on criteria for the impact on continuing to grow the ag economy, giving back to the community, involvement in organizations that advance the cause of agriculture statewide and nationally, and in particular in continuing to develop young people that will continue in the ag industry for future generations.
"The McCurry family is doing just that (giving back to the community), returning to Reno County after college and raising a family up to appreciate their role in the McCurry Angus Ranch," said Debra Teufel, President/CEO, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce. "John has served in various state associations and locally is involved in Reno County Cattlemen, Reno County Livestock Association Board and the Reno County 4-H Saw Committee."