Guardians of the Grasslands: 1st-Gen Farm Family preserves their legacy, passion & piece of Texas prairie

Texas cattle producer David Crow took a leap into ranching as a passionate, first-generation farmer. Today, has grown into a legacy that will continue for generations to come by using sustainable grazing practices and innovative land management techniques against invasive species.

In South Texas, the Crow Family’s ranch stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of ranching. David Crow, a first-generation cattle producer, and his son, Matt, have transformed their coastal prairie into a thriving ranch using innovative conservation management techniques. Their story is one of dedication, adaptation, and an unyielding love for the land.

“This ranch is a great cattle ranch,” David Crow asserts. “It makes perfect sense to run cattle here. It’s not going to be a better golf course; it’s not going to be a better shopping center. This is what this land was made for.”

Located about 60 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the Parks Ranch boasts a rich history. It played a pivotal role in Texas’s fight for independence when Colonel Fannin surrendered his army to Santa Anna’s troops on its grounds. The land was purchased by the Parks family in 1860 and owned by the family until the Crows acquired it in 2000, marking a new chapter in the storied history of the land.

A First-Generation Rancher with a Vision

“I’m David Crow, my family owns the Parks Ranch,” Crow said proudly. “It’s a cow-calf operation, and it’s a family operation.”

Crow’s journey into ranching is particularly remarkable as David is a first-generation rancher, and his son, Matt, is the second generation.

The Crows approach ranching with a forward-thinking mindset rooted in innovation—adopting a rotational grazing system that divides their ranch into 10 pastures, allowing them to strategically move two herds between each pasture. This approach allows the land to rest and recover, ensuring sustainable grazing even in times of drought.

Guardians of the Grasslands: Combating Invasive Species

Conservation management is also a top priority for the Crows. They invest significantly in brush control, battling invasive species that threaten the open prairies of South Texas. By utilizing crop dusters and individual plant treatment methods, they likewise ensure that their land remains true to its open, natural state.

“Dad and I are always striving to make the land better at the Parks Ranch,” Matt said, summing up their dedication succinctly: It’s not only our job, it’s our passion. We’re doing our best to take care of this land for the next generation.”

To David, being a rancher means being a steward of the land.

“If you don’t take care of this land, it’s not going to take care of you,” he said. “You’ve got a partnership with the land. It’s not about being a cowboy. It’s about being a steward of the land.”

The Parks Ranch is more than a piece of property. For its owners, it represents an ongoing legacy they hope to pass down to future generations.

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