September 14, 2013
Long-time rancher Walt Davis will entertain attendees at a Brown-Bag Luncheon on September 19 with tales of his experiences while trying to make a living on ranches in west Texas and Southeast Oklahoma.
The noon luncheon at Donald W. Reynolds Community Center and Library, 1515 W. Main St. in Durant, is sponsored by the Friends of the Reynolds Library and is free to everyone.
Davis is the author of “How to Not Go Broke Ranching: Things I Learned the Hard Way in Fifty Years of Ranching,” an irreverent, sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, look at the various approaches to ranching he has encountered and conclusions he reached about them.
Born into a west-Texas ranching family, Davis learned the same practices regarding grazing and working livestock that generations of his family had followed. But when he went away to Texas A&M College as a student of animal husbandry, he says, he learned “how poorly my ancestors had been doing things for the last two hundred years or so.”
Fresh out of college and thinking he now knew everything about the ranching business, Davis says, “I took a profitable ranch to the edge of bankruptcy.
“When I finally woke up,” he adds, “I started changing our program toward one that emphasized profit rather than production … [to a] ranch that was consistently profitable and a whole lot more fun than when we were ‘doing it right.’”
After a bad fall curtailed his activities, Davis turned to writing, consulting with ranchers and teaching seminars about ranching.
“A Gathering at Oak Creek” is a novel set in the west Texas ranch country that Davis recently published. Copies of both it and “How to Not Go Broke Ranching” will be available for purchase at the luncheon.
Davis also writes columns for the Farm Progress family of magazines and is working on a third book: “The Gyp Lease Tales and Other Lies,” a collection of short sketches about ranch life.
He and wife Diann now live at Calera, OK.
Davis will be interviewed about his books by news anchor Rita Kotey on the KXII-TV noon news on Tuesday, September 17.
Luncheon attendees are encouraged to bring sack lunches to eat during Thursday’s presentation. The Friends of the Reynolds Library will provide bottled water and cookies.