OKLAHOMA CITY – Marlow’s Woods family received the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee’s District Four Farm and Ranch Family Recognition during the organization’s 78th annual meeting here Nov. 9.
Brian and Sarah Woods, along with their five young children (Kiersten, Hannah, Grant, Jase and Nash) have a cow/calf and stocker cattle operation that they run in Stephens and Comanche counties. The family also grows wheat, alfalfa and other forage crops to feed their herd. OKFB’s Farm & Ranch Family Recognition program honors a farm and ranch family in each of OKFB’s nine districts who uphold the best traditions of Oklahoma agriculture and rural Oklahoma as they raise food and fiber for our state and beyond.
The Woods family manage their land and care for their animals using careful planning, which includes short- and long-range planning to cover a variety of situations they might encounter farming and ranching in southwest Oklahoma. “When you have obstacles come up you might make a decision based on emotion, a change in the market or weather,” Brian said. “But if I have something written out, and I stay with that, it just helps me through it.” Sarah works in Lawton as a certified public accountant, operating her own accounting and business advising firm. She said the family’s careful farm management has a purpose that goes beyond typical business goals.
“As an accountant and business adviser, the goal of any business, whether it be agriculture, real estate, commercial or something else, is to generate a profit,” she said. “For us, that profit includes the financial profit so that we can feed and raise our family, but there’s also a personal profit through which we gain satisfaction and fulfillment by contributing to the United States food supply in a responsible fashion.” The Woods family is involved in their community in a variety of ways. In 2018 they donated two steers to the Lawton Food Bank’s annual food campaign. Sarah serves as treasurer of the Junior League of Lawton, secretary of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women in Comanche County, and is a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Group and of Class XXX Leadership Lawton-Fort Sill. The family’s children are heavily involved in a variety of activities at Central High School.
The family’s ultimate goal goes beyond a five-year plan as they look generations into the future. “That’s what it’s about for us is the next generation and making sure they understand the beauty of nature and agriculture, so that they grow up to instill that in hopefully our grandkids and our great-grandkids,” Sarah said. Brian said that even through all the planning and effort the family invests in their farm and ranch, it is a simple reason that keeps them working the land. “I always look forward to what we have to do the next day, whether it’s going to be hard or hot or cost money,” he said. “I enjoy every minute of it.”