Leslie Kinsel is a beef advocate and hard-working business woman in her family’s multi-faceted ranch enterprise, Kinsel Land & Cattle Company, headquartered 10 miles outside of Cotulla, Texas – about 90 miles south of San Antonio. The Kinsel family has a long history of cattle ranching and wildlife management. In the 1920s, her husband Dan’s great-grandfather farmed land southeast of Cotulla, near the Nueces River. That property is still owned by Dan, his mother, and his brother. Throughout the years, additional acreage has been purchased or leased throughout several counties and added to the ranch roster.
Nearly every rancher will agree that ranch life is 24/7. Leslie finds truth in that statement and mentions that the “work” is both the hardest AND most rewarding aspect of her job. Partnering together as a husband-wife team to raise a family and run ranch operations is best done by dividing the work in a way that capitalizes on the talents of each person. Dan is manager of the Kinsel ranching interests along with running Dan Kinsel Ranch Broker LLC, a ranch sales company. Leslie, who has studied agribusiness and holds economics and law degrees, is the support person for all things essential or that pop up unexpectedly in the office or field. For example, she maintains financial records, oversees tax compliance and insurance, manages employees, drafts contracts and correspondence, drives trucks, rides pastures, works cattle in the pens, feeds horses, develops and manages young horses, and assists with legal matters.
As an advocate for beef and agriculture, Leslie has been involved (often holding board and leadership positions) with Texas Beef Council, Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Council, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and the State Fair of Texas. She is a member of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas Farm Bureau, and American Quarter Horse Association. She has also been a volunteer for Texas 4-H and many other youth organizations.
“Additionally, I enjoy barrel racing and have several horses and dogs to make sure I have no spare time to kill,” jokes Leslie with a side of seriousness.
Laboring on a ranch offers plenty of opportunities to make humorous memories. Leslie shares that when she and her husband work cattle in the headquarters pens, she usually gets the job of climbing up on top of the chutes and working the “cut gates” which sort the cattle and direct them into certain holding pens.
“Dan calls out where each animal is supposed to go. He is the ‘boss,’ and calls the orders for this chore. But like any good wife, sometimes I direct them into a different pen,” jokes Leslie. “In reality, I sometimes just miss the gate cut because cattle come through too fast or a stubborn cow makes its own choice. It’s impossible for the arms of a 100-lb person to hold back a 1500-pound cow who wants to go her own way! When these inevitable mishaps occur, I jokingly announce I’m taking over the boss position and making my own calls.”
When not hard at work, Leslie likes to sit down and enjoy a grilled Ribeye steak.
The couple has two grown children, Matt and Hailey. Matt is a social media marketing pro that has relocated to Dallas, where he is still able to provide valuable marketing insight and support to the family businesses. Daughter Hailey, now living near Stephenville, is a professional barrel racer with numerous wins and titles on her resume. She competes with her beloved horse “Sissy Hayday.”