Darvin Knapp grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D., with a great amount of time being spent on his grandparents’ farm located in Lake and Moody Counties of South Dakota.


In 1979, he moved to Houston, Texas, to begin his career in the oilfields. While in Texas, he worked for Penrod Drilling, Clayton Williams Energy and then in 1994 began working for Chesapeake Energy, for whom he worked in College Station, Texas, Lafayette, La., and Oklahoma City, Okla.


He remained with Chesapeake Energy until October 2007, when he resigned as the vice president of drilling to pursue other ambitions.

 

Darvin and his wife of 30 years, Annette, have three children: Myranda, B.J. and Leticia; and nine grandchildren: Annabella, Marek, Kaleb, Kennedy, Addisyn, Brooklyn, Sterling, Alexander and Robert Jr.

 

 


Ken Davidson was raised in Waco, Texas. With his dad working for Kerr-McGee, the family transferred to New Mexico, and then again to Oklahoma City when Ken was in sixth grade.


“Even though I was born in Texas, I’m an Okie,” he says with a smile.


Ken fondly recalls the days he spent on his grandparents’ farm, as a child.


“Because of that experience and what I learned there, I have a desire to be close to the land, again,” he says. “Our careers have allowed us to do it, later on.”


Ken is a proud alumni of Oklahoma State University. He worked for Chesapeake Energy for many years, and retired in the fall
of 2005.


Ken and his wife, Jimi, have four daughters – Holly, Tara, Sara and Jordan; and two granddaughters – Ava and Adaline.

 

 


Ken and Darvin met while working together for Chesapeake Energy in College Station, Texas in 1996. A year later, they were both reassigned to Oklahoma City. The two have maintained their friendship and business alliance since.


Darvin and Ken have always possessed a desire to get back to their agricultural roots with the purchase of a cattle operation. And in 2004, that dream became a reality with the formation of Cattle Company.


Darvin says the ranch brings back memories of childhood.


“I always enjoyed being on the farm with my grandparents, and I wanted to get back to what I had always enjoyed as a young person,” he says. “I always wanted to acquire some cattle and get started in the cattle business.”


Ken located the property as he was driving on Highway 74 in 2004. He noticed the “for sale” sign on the property that is now the home place – at the junction of Highways 74 and 51, near Marshall, Okla.


They purchased that quarter of land, in addition to the registered Angus cows – originally owned by Larry Sebranek – that were on the property.


Larry was hired to manage and feed those 20-30 cows until the spring of 2006, when Willy Couch was hired as ranch manager. Steve Oliver was hired as a herdsman a few months later.


Shortly after, purchased 40 registered Angus cow-calf pairs from Oklahoma ranch Rolling R3 Ranch, and the growth of the ranch began.


Today, 74-51 consists of registered Angus and Sim-Angus cattle, selling about 300 bulls yearly.


In recent years, the demand for bulls has outgrown supply, manager Willy Couch says. Therefore, relies greatly on the support of cooperator herds across the country: those of Fenton Farms, Stigler, Okla.; Hall Farms, Oaktown, Ind.; Elmore Cattle Co., Waukomis, Okla; Womack Cattle, Pembroke, KY; and many breeders throughout the Midwest. In addition, Travis Pembrook, Fairview, Okla., and Kyle Conley, Sulphur, Okla., provide bull buying assistance throughout the year.


“These cooperator herds provide large volumes of quality cattle for our customers,” Couch says.


strives to provide quality service to producers at all levels of the production cycle, as well. The ranch recently partnered with the Mason family to purchase Northwest Stockyards near Enid, Okla.


“We felt it was an important piece to our plan to become an all-inclusive operation,” Darvin says. “We can go back to our customers who are buying our cattle – offering customer appreciation sales, and offering another avenue to help them market their cattle.”
Ken says strives to provide value to customers at all levels of production.


“Darvin and I are like T. Boone Pickens in that we’ve learned a fool with a plan is better than a genius with no plan,” he says with a laugh. “Our plan is to continue to improve our seedstock operation and improve our commercial herd. And, we hope to be in all spaces within the cattle businesses – from a producer all the way to providing beef to the retail market, at some point in time.”


Darvin says he views as a legacy he hopes to preserve for generations to come.


“I view this ranch as something we can leave behind to our kids,” Darvin says. “We hope they’ll take as much pride in it as we do, and see the value in it – to be out working with their hands.”


For Ken, he feels a responsibility to be a steward of the land.


“I have learned honesty, hard work and integrity from people in rural areas,” he says. “Being good stewards of what God has made – that being the land. It’s more than just a personal goal; it goes back to being humbled by what God has created. And it helps keeps me in the place that God wants me to be.”


Not only does strive to care for their land and animals. They strive to provide quality for customers, too, Darvin says.


“When you look at the amount of time we’ve been in the business, and the reputation we’ve had for doing things the right way, I find great pride,” Darvin says. “We have a reputation for the quality of cattle – from the sale ring to the show ring. Everything we do is geared toward the customer – making them happy, and bringing them the best value for their cattle.”


Ken agrees.


“I absolutely love it,” he says. “I love seeing the animals and trying to raise and nurture and engineer a product that the American consumer can trust. That with our brand on it, it’s as good as it gets – it’s second to none.”


Darvin says the crew works hard to maintain the trust and loyalty of their customers.


“Everything we do goes back to the management and the quality of service we put out there,” he says. “At the end of the day, your product is only as good as your reputation. We want to make sure we’re doing the right things out there.


“I hope they know when they purchase cattle from us – whether it be momma cows or calves or bulls – that they leave feeling appreciated,” Darvin continues. “We hope they feel they’re getting a great animal for a fair and marketable price. We’re not about taking advantage of our customers – we want them, as well as us, to make money.”


Ken agrees.


“When we say something, we’ll do it,” he says. “We care about their challenges, their families, their hopes and their

dreams. When our customers have a problem, it’s our problem. We’re going to be right there, shoulder to shoulder

with them.”


Above all, Darvin says, is committed to the cattle industry and its customers.


“We don’t take anything lightly,” he says. “Just like with our oil careers – which we’ve been in for more than

30 years – we’re in it for the long haul.”