Anyone who’s raised cattle knows the cowboy lifestyle would make for compelling television — but not many cowboys would dream of inviting producers and film crews into their lives.
But that’s exactly what 28-year-old Cody Harris and wife Misty have done.
As more viewers tune into “The Cowboy Way,” which airs on INSP network Thursdays at 7 p.m. CST, their dream of providing the rest of the nation a peek into their way of life has become reality.
The show follows three young Alabama cowboys and their families as they make a living raising cattle, producing rodeos and training horses. Filming a TV show that revolves around unpredictable animals isn’t an easy task, Cody said.
“Animals don’t always do what you want them to do, so it’s not easy to catch all this stuff,” Cody said. “You don’t stage roping a bull. We easily shoot over 100 hours of footage for a 42-minute episode.”
The Harrises, who live in Baldwin County near Robertsdale, co-star in the show with two Geneva County cowboys, Bubba Thompson and Chris “Booger” Brown.
Cody, a former pro-rodeo athlete who won several calf-roping championships, is no stranger to reality TV. He was a cast member of the first season of “The Bachelorette”-style “Sweet Home Alabama” that aired in 2011, and his friend, Bubba, was on the third season. That show’s producer loved the cowboys and proposed filming a pilot for a show about their lifestyle.
“We didn’t agree to do this because we wanted to be famous,” Cody said. “You just can’t turn on the TV and find good, Christian, down-home Southern values anymore. I feel like God opened the door for us to do this so we could witness to people and show them how we live.”
The show’s second season is airing now, and the third season premiers April 26 at 7 p.m. CST.
Response for the show has been overwhelmingly positive, Misty said. The couple, who are Alabama Farmers Federation members, receives countless letters and Facebook messages from viewers thanking them for being part of a show that promotes family values.
“There’s so many people being blessed by this show that it’s worth us trying to juggle it all,” Cody said. “We just want to represent the state of Alabama well.”
Cody and Misty have a lot to juggle. In addition to filming the show, the young couple manages a custom beef operation, a fence building business and a rodeo production company — all while raising their 11-month-old son, Carter.
“We pretty much started all of these things around the same time, and balancing business and family is crazy, but it’s been a blessing,” Cody said. “We weren’t given any of this. We have built our businesses from scratch. We want to work hard now so when our children are adults they can step into this alongside us if they want to.”
Misty, who is a registered nurse, left her career to pursue the lifestyle she and Cody want to build for their family. There are fewer young families who choose to make their living through agriculture, and that’s what makes “The Cowboy Way” intriguing and inspiring for so many viewers, she said.
“We’re all young and choosing to do this, starting from scratch. Our viewers are impressed by that because families like ours are a dying breed,” Misty said. “We’re just taking it one day at a time and giving it everything we’ve got.”