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Developing as Business owners & entrepreneurs

Deborah Clark & Katie Scarbrough

Birdwell & Clark Ranch | Wellborn 2R Ranch

Deborah Clark and Katie Scarbrough have a surprising level of chemistry considering they met only nine months ago and the most time they’ve spent together was during the first 48 hours of the April 2019 Grassfed Exchange Conference. In this conversation the two women compare and contrast their ranching experience—Katie having grown up on the family ranch in Aline, Oklahoma, and Deborah starting her ranching career by joining her husband Emry Birdwell to co-manage the Birdwell & Clark Ranch in Clay County, Texas. The Birdwell & Clark Ranch was selected as a regional winner of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Environmental Stewardship Award, recognized with the Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship Award from the Texas Section Society for Range Management and Texas and Southwestern Cattleraisers Association, and honored with a regional Lone Star Land Stewardship Award from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 2018. Deborah is a Holistic Management educator and frequent conference speaker. Katie Scarbrough is earlier in her career at the Wellborn 2R Ranch and is starting her own beef company.


Deborah and Katie emphasize their development as business owners and entrepreneurs. Managing a ranch takes more than physical labor; it takes strong people skills and business skills to create profitability. Deborah and Katie also reflect on their partnerships, being kind to themselves, and the importance of having a holistic goal.

Topics discussed:

0:58 Deborah’s introduction and first memory at the Birdwell & Clark Ranch

2:05 Katie’s introduction growing up on the family ranch in Aline, Oklahoma and now starting up her own beef company.

3:18 Deborah asks Katie how she defines her "love of the land.” 

4:21 Deborah and Katie met nine months ago but really got to know each other 48 hours ago. The two reflect on their relationship. 

Katie Scarbrough, Wellborn 2R Ranch

Katie Scarbrough, Wellborn 2R Ranch

5:55 Deborah discusses how ranching is the hardest career she’s had. 

7:00 Katie talks about the importance of intellectual development as a rancher—business skills and people management skills are essential for creating profitability.

10:30 Ranch profitability and knowing the numbers to make the best decisions possible

12:56 Katie and Deborah discuss their romantic partnerships and the role their partnerships have played in their ranching careers.

16:43 Deborah shares her personal experience about why it’s imperative to have a holistic goal.

18:17 The importance being kind to yourself

21:15 Deborah and Katie discuss their hopes and dreams and long term goals.

24:18 Book recommendations:

Referenced in this episode: