Erin Wickersham is one busy lady! Involved in the daily operations of the family business, Wickersham Angus Ranch (founded 1992), she’s also a wife, mother, and runner.
The ranch, located in Bryan, Texas, is a seed stock operator that sells registered Angus bulls to commercial cow-calf producers. Erin explains, “We run about 100 cows that we use to maintain our herd and each year, each cow produces one calf. From these, we retain about 30 bulls that we then develop and sell private treaty as well as 25 heifers that will serve as replacement heifers.”
Erin, married to Tryon Wickersham, says that both sides of their families have been part of the agricultural industry for as long as she can remember or been told. Today, their children Katherine (11) and Lydia (4) are growing up to continue the legacy, sharing in the day to day operations that keep the ranch humming. “The girls work alongside us to take care of our cattle. They help us feed, check for calves, vaccinate, along with other tasks. We enjoy working together and consider a blessing to own and care for cattle,” says Erin.
As for running, Erin took it up in high school as a way to exercise regularly and get it done quickly. It was practical, in simple terms. “I grew up in a very rural area, so driving to a gym to workout wasn’t an option,” she says. In addition, she enjoys hiking and just being outside.
Her favorite running memory is participating in the Chicago Marathon in 2005. “It was special because I trained and ran with one of my friends and mentors. We put in a lot of sweat (and some tears) together,” explains Erin, who is currently logging “maintenance miles” until a race comes up that suits her fancy.
Erin thanks the Texas Beef Team, of which she is a 3-year member, for being great role models and advocates for the industry. “As those of us on the team know, beef is a great source of protein as well as provides vitamins and minerals. All beneficial for a healthy and active lifestyle, such as running.
Other Animals: My daughter owns five commercial heifers that she exhibits as part of the Commercial Heifer Project in Brazos county and we have three horses, three goats, one dog, and one cat.
Education: Both my husband and I are fortunate that we were able to study Animal Science in college. I earned my Masters in Dairy Cattle Nutrition and my husband completed his Masters and Ph.D. in Cow/Calf Nutrition. We both grew up in agriculture. I was raised on a family dairy farm in Kansas while my husband grew up raising cattle and farming.
Hours Worked a Week: That’s a hard question, it really depends on the time of the year. During calving season and breeding season I put in a lot more time than other times of the year. I also keep up with all the records for the ranch which is somewhat seasonal as well.
Struggles of Ranch Life: Sometimes it can be unpredictable. We might have an evening activity canceled at the last minute because a heifer needs assistance calving. Growing up on a dairy farm taught me a lot about being interruptible.
Rewards of Ranch Life: Taking an evening walk and seeing the cows out grazing – doing what God made them to do!
Favorite Beef Cut: Filet
Favorite Cooking Method: Sear on the grill and then cook to medium rare on a rack in the oven.
Favorite Hometown Burger Joint: Koppe Bridge Bar and Grill – College Station, Texas