The Wayland family roots run deep in the northwest Oklahoma community of Arnett.
Both Joe and Sally Wayland – along with their parents and grandparents – grew up on and around farms and ranches surrounding the Ellis County town.
“We’ve been here a long time,” Joe said.
The family tradition continued on as the Waylands have raised their three girls – Jordan, Peyton and Sarah – on an Angus cow/calf operation that traces its heritage back to both of their families.
The headquarters of the couple’s farm today was purchased from Sally’s grandfather, while most of the family’s land was cared for by Joe’s parents and grandparents. The family even lives in Sally’s grandparents’ house.
The opportunity to raise cattle on pieces of land that his parents and grandparents cared for means the world to Joe.
“I’ve got a lot of pride in it,” Joe said. “I know what my parents went through to hang onto their land. They liked to starve to death for a lot of years. They finally came through it and had a good operation and a good life.”
Most of the operation’s original farmland has been planted to native grass, which grows well in the ranch’s hard, rocky soil. The family also grows some wheat for hay or to graze out weaned calves.
“I love to see cattle do good from our management,” Joe said. “We’re trying to raise a good calf that can do his job in the feedlot. So far our cattle have been grading really good and doing a good job.”
Retaining ownership of their cattle through the feedlot, the Waylands enjoy the opportunity to see the fruit of their hard work.
“That’s the reason we do it,” Joe said. “It lets us know we’re doing our job to the best of our ability.”
Much of the cattle on the rough terrain of the Wayland ranch are worked by horseback on horses raised by the family.
“Raising colts is a long process,” he said. “It’s kind of like raising kids. There’s a lot of pride in it and a lot of enjoyment in seeing one grow and develop and make a good horse.”
Joe and Sally are grateful to provide their three girls with an opportunity to learn about life while caring for cattle, just like their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
“(The girls) see a lot about life on a ranch,” Sally said. “They’re there when the calves are born, they’re there as they grow up, they’re there as we sell them. They see the full life cycle. I think that makes them strong. I think that’s a good life for them to grow up with.”
With a deep passion for their way of life, the Waylands are proud to carry on their ancestors’ agricultural legacy in Ellis County,
“We chose ag because that was just our place to be,” Sally said. “We didn’t ever have any other idea of wanting to do anything else. It’s always been a part of our lives.”