To Tyson Hann, juggling a full-time job in Environmental Engineering in Katy, Texas and then commuting two hours each way to work the family ranch every weekend has become a way of life – and so has not sleeping much! Monday through Friday, Tyson is busy designing water and wastewater treatment centers, while Saturday and Sunday are earmarked for ranch operations including strategic direction, herd management, and marketing responsibilities.
Even though taking on two jobs doesn’t make life easier, Tyson says, “I love working on the ranch so much that it feels natural and like something I’m just supposed to be doing.”
Spring Valley Ranches is located in Gause, a small town twenty-nine miles west of Bryan/College Station. Here the Hann family focuses on Charolais seedstock (a world breed, originating in France) with an emphasis on commercial bull production. At any given time, they’ve got 250+ mama cows, calves and developing bulls and heifers roaming the 550 acres.
Tyson’s father, Roy Hann — a retired TAMU Environmental Engineering professor, founded the ranch in 1978 and still works seven days a week (at 85 years of age) to keep it going. “It’s one of the things he cares most about,” says Tyson, “and for me, one of the biggest rewards of helping out has been the time spent with family – most particularly my dad.”
It’s hard to imagine Tyson would have time for much else, but he’s been happily married to his encouraging wife, Hailey (a high school English teacher and cheer coach) for nearly nine years. In fact, it was Hailey that convinced him to recently join the Texas Beef Team. Yup, that’s right – Tyson is a runner with a 3:42 marathon PR! His next race up is the Nashville Half Marathon in April.
Keep reading to learn more about Tyson’s ranching and running story.
Education: I earned two Bachelor’s degrees, a Master’s degree, and a Doctor of Engineering, all focusing on environmental and water engineering at Texas A&M. Additionally, in high school I was involved in FFA, 4-H and over the years have had plenty of on-the-ranch training and excellent mentorship from experts in the Beef industry.
Hours worked: In my “day job,” I work 40 to 50+ hours a week and on weekends 25-40+ hours on the ranch, and more if needed during the week.
Hardest Aspect of Ranch Life: For me personally, the distance and time commitment are difficult, along with the realization that we are doing business with nature and there’s a lot that is out of our control. For the industry overall, it’s being profitable at each step along the beef chain while being mindful of the ultimate consumer demands.
Most Rewarding Aspect of Ranch Life: I have five brothers and sisters who grew up around the ranch and participated in ranch activities when they were younger – those are good memories. They all wound up settling into careers outside of agriculture, but all do enjoy visiting the ranch and seeing the progress that we are making. I also have a deep passion for my cows and love to see each generation as they are conceived, arrive, grow, and carry on towards being independent.
Favorite Beef Cuts: Ribeye, Filet, Brisket, and Flank – but I’ll say that any can be great when properly prepared.
Favorite Beef Recipe: Smoking brisket on the offset steel smoker that I built from scratch. I will handpick the right brisket, trim it meticulously, season with kosher salt and coarse black pepper, burn oak wood cut from our ranch, and spend the 8-15 hours necessary to get it “just right.”
Favorite Burger Joint: Coat’s Grocery in Gause, TX. Burgers (using meat purchased there) are one of the big staples on my weekends up at the ranch. Coat’s is tiny, has no bathrooms, and doesn’t take credit or debit cards, but it is the rock of the Gause community and probably the last single family-owned grocery store in the country.
Active Hobbies: While in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University, I lost 40 pounds and things stuck from there. I enjoy running (my dogs, Brody and Sophie, are good running buddies) and am a member of the Texas Beef Team.