Monica Bagwell and Bryan Walker find their place at Walker Ranch Cattle Company
Green Acres may be a fictional tale of farm-crossed lovers, but it’s real life for Monica Bagwell and Bryan Walker.
Their love story is the case of country boy meets city girl, marry and instead of moving into town they join forces to create Walker Ranch Cattle Company, a 20-acre operation in Northeast Oklahoma outside of Welch, Okla.
The couple married in 2014. Together they have two sons, Bryson, 12, and Brant, 16.
When they met, Walker was looking for land to purchase to branch out on his own from his family’s agribusiness.
Monica admits going into the marriage she was a “straight up city kid from Tulsa.” Now thanks to Master Cattleman classes offered through Oklahoma State University Extension, she works alongside Walker in the family’s endeavor.
“It was a learning curve for sure,” Monica said, adding the classes which included a cow/calf boot camp were, life changing. “I took the courses because I can’t jump into something and not know [things]. I knew I needed to get more information, to be able to take care of the critters.”
The couple’s ranch includes 15 head of black Angus commercial cows. Sharing a bull with Walker’s cousin’s ranch, they mainly have fall calves.
Monica said they’ve moved their operation from selling steers to selling pasture-raised, grain-fed processed meat by the quarter or half directly to the consumer.
The grain mix contains no hormones. The couple buys their feed from Bartlett Coop out of Chetopa, Kansas.
Other animals on the ranch include an assortment of chickens, which Monica jokingly calls the “barnyard mix” featuring everything from Easter Eggers, and Golden Lace and Silver Lace Wyandottes, to Red Island Reds and Brahma Chickens.
They often find a new variety to add to their brood at the Afton Poultry Swap, a swap meet set between Afton and Grove on Highway 59. The event, now in its 34th year, takes place the third full weekend of each month.
“They are so fun to watch,” Bagwell said. “I’ll just sit out there for hours. The hens talk to the chicks, the roosters talk to the hens – they all have their own personalities.”
While both have jobs off the ranch – Walker as a salesman for a bottle company, and Bagwell as a marketing professional for a medical office – they see their corner of the world as a potential retirement oasis.
“This is our little slice of heaven,” Bagwell said. “We just chill out, hang out and watch the cows. It’s peaceful. Our little place out in the country, watching the calves grow up.”