Agriculture could be considered a job, a career or an industry, but for Curtiss and Brenda Nipp of Love County, agriculture is a way of life.
“I am the third generation to live here on this place,” Curtiss said of the family’s farm near Wilson. “It is kind of like agriculture is a part of us, not because it is just something you want to do.”
Generations of Oklahomans have worked to care for the land in the best way they know how, and Curtiss works to better the soil daily because generations before him instilled that trait in him.
“We believe in being land stewards,” Curtiss said. “A few people out there will tell you they are not farmers, they are ranchers. The bottom line is if you are not a grass farmer you will not last long in the cattle business.”
The grass the family’s cattle feed on is the basis of the Nipp’s ranch, and Curtiss focuses his efforts on soil health and growing good pasture for his cattle.
“We not only want our pastures to look good, but we also want them to produce and cattle to do good on them,” Curtiss said.
The Nipps raise purebred Charolais cattle to sell to cattlemen across the U.S. with one or two bull sales each year. To further their family business, a barn with a sale arena was built on the property to better connect with customers as they build relationships with fellow cattle producers.
“It seems that the buyers feel like they are a part of the whole operation,” Curtiss said. “Within the past twelve months, we have sent bulls from Idaho in the west to Virginia in the east and into Florida as well.”
When it comes to sale day, the entire Nipp family comes together to ensure the process is a smooth as it can be for the people traveling to the ranch.
“It kind of brings us all together when we have the sales,” Brenda said. “Everyone has to pitch in, and everyone plays a part.”
Long before and after each sale, Curtiss and Brenda spend hours in the pasture not only looking at the cattle and grass, but also admiring the hard work they have put into the ranch.
“I think the thing the whole family enjoys more than anything about the cattle business and being involved in agriculture is the bond it puts you back with our Maker and mother earth herself,” Curtiss said. “You get to see the fruits of your labor on a daily basis, and sometimes you have to face up to your failures.”
Watching the sun set over pastures with lush grass and grazing cattle is a sight the Nipps do not take for granted. They are proud of the work they have invested to care for the land and their livestock.
“I think at some point we will be held accountable for the way we took care of God’s land the same way we will be for the way we treated our fellow man,” Curtiss said.