As we all are fathers of young children, we love to support any organization that is making a positive impact in the lives of kids. Organizations like St. Jude’s and Kids Outdoors, which exposes children to nature and the environment, are very near and dear to our hearts.
As a part of my series about TV’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Bubba Thompson, Cody Harris, and Booger Brown from the TV show, The Cowboy Way.
In addition to being a rancher, Bubba Thompson is also a skilled carpenter, who loves to create things with his hands. Before appearing on The Cowboy Way, Bubba won the hearts of women everywhere on the southern-style dating show Sweet Home Alabama, where his integrity, manners and respect for women landed him in the runner-up spot. In September, 2015, Bubba gave up his bachelor status and married his true love, Kaley, and the two of them live in Geneva, Alabama with their daughter Andie.
Don’t let Cody Harris’s youth fool you — he ropes and rides with the best of them. He and his wife, Misty (a champion barrel racer) are well-known in the rodeo circuit. Cody is a longtime pro-rodeo, calf-roping competitor, with more than a few championship buckles to his name. Now retired from competition, he keeps his hand in the game as a rodeo producer. His annual “Bulls on the Beach,” which takes place each September on the Florida-Alabama border, is one of the most popular rodeo events in the country. Cody is also the author of “My Word Is My Bond: Cool Cowboy Sayings from the Heart to Get You Through Life.” He and Misty live in Robertsdale, Alabama with their son Carter.
Booger Brown’s fun-loving and gregarious personality have helped him to become a fan favorite on The Cowboy Way. He is a 4th generation cowboy, a rancher, and an accomplished horseman. He is a well-respected and highly sought after horse trainer, and his skills and expertise have not gone unnoticed by those in the industry as he was invited to compete in the prestigious Road to the Horse competition, which will take place in Lexington, Kentucky this month. Booger, his wife Jaclyn, and their son Matthew live in Geneva, Alabama.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share a story with us about what brought you all to this specific career path?
Booger: I am a 4th generation cowboy, so not only was it in my blood, and I was raised to be one, but I had a passion for it. I always wanted to carry on the tradition, do it even bigger, and to make my family proud of me.
Cody: Similar to what Booger said, I was born into this life, and I didn’t have a choice, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Bubba: I always grew up around horses, and I enjoyed roping cattle, and I met a lot of people along the way who have helped to shape me into the cowboy I am today.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Booger/Cody/Bubba: To get the opportunity to have our lives shown each week on a television show on INSP — “The Cowboy Way.” Not too many cowboys get the chance to do that. We are about to start filming for our 6th season, which will premiere next February, and we’re all still excited that we get to do this. It was also great when our show won the Cablefax Program Award for “Best Family-Friendly Series.” To think that earlier that day, we were in Alabama, out working in the field, and later that night, we were out in Los Angeles picking up an award, that was cool!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Bubba: I made the mistake of listening to Cody and Booger when they told me to just let a horse I was riding buck (that’s when a horse is trying to get you to get off of their back, and will jerk pretty aggressively to do that). Odds are that if you “just let her buck,” she’ll buck even harder, and you won’t stay on her back for very long. That ended up being a pretty painful lesson!
Cody: I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of proper communication when I was purchasing cattle, and I thought I was quoted a price of $1,150 per head, when actually, the gentleman I was buying from wanted $11,500 for a group of six cows, making it closer to $2,000 per head. Needless to say, I was a tad bit short when I came with the check in hand. I ended up still being able to make a deal with him, but I still have nightmares about that experience. Now, when I make deals, I over communicate!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Booger: Right now, I’m preparing to compete in a very prestigious competition called “Road to the Horse,” where I will get to put my years of horse training experience to the test. I’ve admired this competition ever since I was a kid, and I’m so honored that they chose me to compete this year. The event takes place in Lexington, Kentucky from March 22–24th, and I’m super excited about it. So, I’m spending a lot of my time training and getting ready; and I’m also still running horse clinics and buying and selling cattle.
Cody: Right now, the most exciting thing I’m working on is building a house for me, my wife Misty and my little boy Carter.
Bubba: In addition to being a rancher, I’m also a carpenter, so there is always something in, or around the house that I’m working on. My wife, Kaley and I are also looking at expanding our family, and making our little girl Andie, a big sister.
Booger/Cody/Bubba: We’re also about to begin filming for the 6th season of our show, “The Cowboy Way,” so we’re all pretty excited about that!
I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Booger: It’s important to see diverse stories represented to show other people’s ways of life. We’re on a show where we get to educate people on where beef comes from, and how it got to their dinner tables. A lot of people don’t normally get to see this. Also, when we understand other people’s backgrounds, we work better together.
Bubba: We need to see more examples in film and television about people who respect and help each other, regardless of ethnicity.
Cody: We’re in a business where we make deals with everyone, regardless to what your race is, we care more about whether or not you are a good person.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Cody: Living the cowboy way is a rollercoaster. Although it’s very rewarding, it’s an expensive way of life, and you have good years and bad ones. As much as you try to stretch a dollar, it’s not a reality. I wish I had learned early on to use my money to buy as much land as I possibly could.
Bubba: Each day brings about its own set of challenges, and you have to be adaptable, at every turn. I like to be optimistic about it all, but I wish someone told me that it’s okay to hope for the best, but you need to also expect the worst.
Booger: As Cody said, there are a lot of ups and downs being a Cowboy. I wish the advice someone had given me was to not fall in love with this way of life, if you don’t want to be broke. It’s too late for that now though, but that’s okay because I wouldn’t want to be doing anything other than what I’m doing right now.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Cody: Everyone has their own type of cattle, find your niche, and stay in it. You can’t go changing because the grass looks greener somewhere else. Take all the advice you can. Stick to your guns, and find your own specialty.
Booger: Stay diversified, and have various sources of revenue streams. Also, despite how hard it will get, never give up. Real cowboys get tired, but they never give up.
Bubba: Your heart needs to be in it 100%. If you are not committed, you won’t do it well. You fight through the bad times, understanding that good ones are not far away.
You are a people of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Booger/Bubba/Cody: As we all are fathers of young children, we love to support any organization that is making a positive impact in the lives of kids. Organizations like St. Jude’s and Kids Outdoors, which exposes children to nature and the environment, are very near and dear to our hearts.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Cody: Growing up, and to this day, my dad has always been my coach. Both, in terms of performing in rodeos, and in life. He has a King Solomon like wisdom, and he is always imparting valuable knowledge in to me daily. I would not be the person I am today, had it not been for his love, guidance and support.
Bubba: My late grandfather. He was a great family man, who really held our family together. He also was a man of humble means, but you wouldn’t be able to tell it by the way he dressed, and carried himself. He felt like appearance was everything, and he told me to “dress like you are making $100 an hour, even if you are losing $300 an hour.” He was a great inspiration.
Booger: Similar to Bubba, my grandfather was my hero, a great inspiration to me, and he had a big influence on my life. He was a hard-working family man, who was married to my grandmother for 65 years. He was a role model in a number of ways, and I work hard to be as good of a husband to my wife Jaclyn (who I married two years ago), and a good father to our son Matthew. Considering that my parents have also been married for a long time — thirty-seven years, I’m encouraged that I come from a line of people who have stuck together for the long haul.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Cody: “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” If you work hard, you’ll get lucky.
Booger: My grandfather always taught me to listen, stay true, and be a good communicator. This was the secret to his great love story with my Grandma!
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Cody: George Strait. He has had a very successful career, where he has managed to stay on top for so long, and has done so with humility and a certain level of cool. I’d love to get to meet him in person.
Bubba: Robert Duvall. He always plays characters who are good upstanding folks that don’t take crap from people. That’s my kind of guy!
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