With a population of 40,000, Cooke County, Texas is a traditionally agricultural focused part of the state. With a blend of production agriculture and the oil industry, something that stands out among the rest is a herd of iconic Texas staples, the Texas Longhorns.
Based in Era, Texas, Scott and Stacey Schumacher, along with son, Stran, and daughter, Selah, stay busy with many endeavors in and out of the agriculture industry, including raising Longhorns.
“When people outside of the agriculture industry think of cows, they think of either Holsteins or Longhorns, so we have done everything to build a brand that captures the novelty that people have with Longhorns,” Stacey said.
Scott is a fourth generation Cooke County farmer and rancher. He was born and raised in Cooke County then attended Texas Tech University and received a degree in agricultural business. After graduation, he returned to Era to continue his work with his family’s farming and ranching operation.
“Our operation utilizes a lot of land around Cooke County, including leases,” Stacey said.
Scott and Stacey were married in 2010 and grew their family when their son, Stran, was born in 2013 and daughter, Selah, in 2018.
The Schumachers run a commercial cow-calf operation and also purchase commercial calves at local sale barns to finish out on wheat pastures as a backgrounder operation. To create more value within their herd, they are starting to switch their commercial cattle to registered Angus to enter the Angus bull sector of the industry.
Scott also started a custom chemical spraying company, S&S Enterprises, where he chemically treats pastures and crops. “S&S Enterprises showcases how chemistry can help shape the future of farming and ranching, and ultimately allow farmers and ranchers to efficiently feed the world,” Scott added.
Additionally, he harvests various crops including hay, corn, milo, and wheat for both cattle grazing and combining for grain.
In addition, Stacey is the founder and Executive Director of the Texas Coalition of Animal Protection. “TCAP is a non-profit organization that provides low cost spays and neuters for cats and dogs as well as low cost vaccines,” Stacey said. The coalition has seven standalone clinics and contracts with numerous cities to do spays and neuters on-site.
Before Scott and Stacey met, she needed something to get an agricultural tax-exemption at her home. She was not interested in purchasing something for that would end up on grocery store shelf, but rather something that could be enjoyed for years to come. She loved the look and the ease of keeping of the Longhorns, and she decided they would be a perfect fit for her home.
After their marriage, the Schumachers decided to keep growing their Longhorn program. The Schumachers sell their calves after weaning or when the animal doesn’t fit their operation’s needs. Since they sell many of their calves at weaning, the Schumachers purchase cows to continue their personal cow herd growth and improve genetics.
Stacey said Longhorns can be more profitable than commercial cattle if they are marketed correctly.
“Social media changed the cattle industry for everyone, but for the Longhorn industry, it really opened up a new market,” Stacey said.
A big market they reach with their Longhorns is the homeowners who are moving to 10-to 20-acre plots wanting something that is easy to keep and to provide visual appeal to the land. Stacey said that as long as that market continues to grow, so will their Longhorn business.
It is super important for people to know that agricultural producers work hard for them and they do that with a lot of pride.
The Schumacher Cattle Facebook page has 265,000 followers watching for updated pictures of calves, daily chores in the operation, or the beloved “Hey Scott!” video segments that highlight various tasks completed by farmers and ranchers, such as vaccinating, tubing and treating cattle.
“Not being a native country person, I asked Scott a lot of questions when we met. Through Facebook, I figured out the questions that I was asked a long time ago, people were still asking today,” Stacey said.
While engaging with others on the Facebook page is not Scott’s favorite part of the job, Stacey saw the need to answer questions and show people about their way of life.
The Schumachers use the Facebook platform to sell their Longhorns, inform followers about the breed, and advocate for the beef and agriculture industries.
Building a brand around the importance of agriculture and the Longhorn industry has been important for the success of their operations.
“It is vital that people know agricultural producers work hard for them and they do that with a lot of pride,” Stacey said. “We have done everything we can to inform people where their food comes from. We want people to know that ranchers do not abuse their animals or the land, but they work really hard to maximize all the things that they can to create a sustainable product.”
Scott and Stacey have seen their son become extremely interested in the equipment they use like tractors and sprayers, and hope that their daughter, Selah, will have an interest in their way of life, too.
“My hope is that they continue in this industry, just like Scott did,” Stacey said. “We are aiming for longhorns in every pasture,” Stacey joked when asked where the operation will be in 10 years.