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Douglas County Business Success Story

Ozarks guest ranch finds expert business assistance from University of Missouri Extension business specialists.

Just like he dreamed many years ago, a river runs through it.

The "river" is Big Beaver in Ozark County. The "it" is a 1,000-acre ranch in the heart of the Ozarks a few miles southwest of Ava. The "he" is Cecil Huff.

Cecil and his wife Sonny have jobs that many people would trade for in a heartbeat. Jobs that many people happily pay Huffs to perform. Cecil and Sonny own and operate the Bucks and Spurs Guest Ranch, nestled among the rolling hills of Douglas County in southwest Missouri. They give people what they want, as long as what the people want involves fresh air, sunshine, horses, campfires, good grub and freedom from the cares of their workaday lives.

The Huffs have been working this particular piece of Ozark paradise since 1988, when they initially leased 700 acres. They knew they had a lot of work to do to convert it to the working ranch they envisioned. For instance the hay fields needed to be cleaned up in order to be productive. The cost, $30,000, is just an example of the many expenses they incurred to get the place in shape.

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