Running a livestock herd is not for the faint of heart. Between breaking ice in the winter for water access, running cattle through chutes for health checks and stretching miles of fencing, America’s ranches are built on the blood, sweat and tears of hard workers. Two years ago, three ladies from central Missouri took on the ambitious task of starting Lady Livestock Company, and life has never been the same.
Emma, Staci and Macey Hurst (pictured above, from left to right) are known for their direct-to-consumer beef sales, registered Black Angus breeding stock and passion for the blue and gold. Macey is a former Missouri State vice president and Emma is the current chapter president at Blair Oaks High School in Wardsville, Mo.
“I truly didn’t realize that people could go into agriculture as a full-time career until I got into my high school’s agricultural education program,” Macey says. “It was exciting to find that the thing I was most passionate about I could do for a career, not just as a hobby.”
After earning a degree in agricultural business-marketing and sales and agricultural communications with a minor in Spanish, Macey joined her mom and sister back home to continuing working on their young business.
“Anytime you work with family members, there are moments of disagreement and things you have to work through,” Macey says. “Managing our family dynamics is a project for us, but it helps that we are all at very different stages in life and have different skill sets.”
This variety of talents helps ensure a successful business. Staci has been in the cattle industry for more than 30 years and works in real estate. Macey manages the social media, merchandising and website for Lady Livestock Company. Emma is known as the creative one and the people person. As a young agriculturalist, the concept of selling beef directly to consumers allows her to advocate for the business and encourages buyers to trust her when she explains how the beef got to their table. The ability to communicate effectively is just as important of a skill for farmers today as any other farm skill.
“Farmers are no longer just responsible for providing a delicious, nutritious and safe food supply,” Macey says. “We also have to ensure our customers trust and understand where their food comes from.”
Photo: Courtesy Lady Livestock Company