When Walden Farm and Ranch Supply decided to open a new location in Weatherford, TX, there was one man they knew they could trust with it: Cody McCleary. It was a new adventure and challenge, and Cody was excited about the opportunity. “Larry Walden and I share some of the same business philosophies, so I was a good fit.” he says.
Growing up in Erath County, Cody knew agriculture was his calling. He graduated from Tarleton State University with an Agricultural development degree but that wasn’t the first time he’d come to Parker County. “I first came to Parker County in high school for a stock show,” he explains. “I loved the agriculture atmosphere, the people. Everyone was so down to earth, and they made you feel welcome as a stranger coming in. I always wanted to come back. When a job teaching ag opened up in Weatherford, I was really excited to get back to Parker County.”
A Passion for Ranching
While teaching ag, Cody was also selling feed on the side, so the transition to working for a local feed store was very easy. “I’ve done it all, sales floor, delivery, truck driving. I’ve also been involved with mills and watched feed get formulated and manufactured.” he says.
Cody spent 14 years working for another feed and ranch store. When he came on board, he started working at Walden’s other locations to learn the business, later transitioning to Manager of the new store when it opened. “Larry had also been an ag teacher, and education is as important to him as it is to me. He knew I would want to hire good people, and educate them, so they could educate the community. He said it would be my baby and if it was going to work, I had to make it work. Gladly, I accepted the challenge and I felt good about it. Believing in what I do is important to me. I feel like if you’re going to do anything, do it to the best of your ability. I couldn’t be more grateful to Mr. Walden for the opportunity.”
A Passion for Teaching
Along with his love of agriculture and strong work ethic, Cody brought with him his passion for teaching. Nearly every available area of wall space in the Weatherford Walden Farm and Ranch Supply proudly displays banners from livestock show winners throughout the area. “I love seeing a young girl or boy go out and show their project, whether it’s rabbits, sheep, goats, calves or swine, I don’t care.” he explains proudly. “When they see it, the light bulb goes off and they get it. It builds their character, it builds responsibility. It’s a program I think is truly great across this country. It builds young men and women and makes them better leaders and better people. They learn to be accountable.”
Cody continues “The livestock show program teaches them how to buckle down and get the job done, and also to make sacrifices. Sometimes you have to set aside that concert or that party because you’ve got to go get the sows in the crate or get them fed. That’s what teaches kids how to work and get the job done. To be responsible for taking care of that animal.”
At Walden Farm and Ranch Supply, they don’t just talk the talk. Cody and his team exemplify this philosophy of hard work and accountability. “If I tell you I’m going to do something and I shake your hand, that’s what I’m going to do.” he says “Agriculture is about the relationships and the friendships you build. Sometimes things just happen, but with those relationships and that trust built, they will believe in you and trust you. You build that trust by taking care of business, and doing what you say you will.”
“That’s one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed working with Hi-Pro.” Cody continues “They take care of business. They do what they say they are going to do. A huge part of being successful as a feed dealer is to stay the course. Pick out quality feeds that you believe in, and stay hooked up to those feeds. Hi-Pro is a company that knows how to stay the course, and be accountable to their customers.”
If you’d like to meet Cody and the rest of his team, stop by the store at 1450 Mineral Wells Hwy. in Weatherford, TX. You can also call them at 817-757-4148 or visit their website.