From the Ground Up - Back to AG Roots

In this week's From the Ground Up we go down the road to Grimes County to visit with a woman who decided to return to her agricultural roots.

Her family’s family has been in the ranching business for over 100 years.

“Had a career prior to this in sales and marketing, that was my heavy background, and last year made the decision that this was the path that I wanted to follow, and what I felt passionate about.”

The decision Kelley Sullivan is talking about put her on her family’s ranch in Grimes County.

“When I was a child I spent a great deal of time with my Nana and Pawpaw, to the point that my Pawpaw always had me dressed as a little cowgirl, and of course I had my first pony when I was, you know before I could walk and so it’s always appealed to me and it’s a very important part of our family heritage.”

Kelley enrolled in TCU’s Ranch Management Program.

“I will tell you I was very skeptical of my ability going into the TCU program because I didn’t come from the heavy production, daily production background. What I felt I was probably going to bring to the program or to at least my classmates was the fact that I’d been involved in business before and understood those concepts alone.”

The idea behind the program is to put a pencil to every management decision you make.

“You look at the soil type and what forage it will produce. You look at how many animal units it will run, any outside influences, you know what I call wildlife, things of that nature, but you break every little element down and at the end of the day run budgets on every possible scenario that you can imagine to evaluate your return on investment and your return on equity.”

There’s no doubt in Kelley’s mind she made the right decision.

“I get to work with my father every day. How lucky am I?”

I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.

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