Why ‘Fixer Upper’ Star Chip Gaines Considers Real Cowboys a ‘Different Breed’

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Fixer Upper star Chip Gaines may live the lifestyle of a cowboy on his 40 acre Texas ranch, but he wants his fans to know that he’s not the real deal.

Chip Gaines is a farmer and cattleman—but he doesn’t consider himself a true cowboy. Instead, he calls himself a “student cowboy.” Or, at least, that’s what he told Cowboys and Indians during a 2019 interview.

Chip, a self-proclaimed “city boy,” has spent his entire life looking up to his grandfather, who Chip says is a true cowboy. His grandpa taught him to buy, sell, and breed cattle. And Chip’s made somewhat of a side career doing that on the ranch he shares with his wife, Joanna Gaines.

But when Cowboys and Indians asked Chip about his own boot-wearing status, he said, “I really am not a cowboy.”

“I mean, look,” he continued. “I love living out on the farm. We’ve got 40 acres, we’ve got cows, and I certainly dabble in it. But when you talk to guys like my granddad who’ve literally lived and died by the cattle market, who lived and died by these droughts … these boys are a totally different breed, and it’s a tough, tough business.”

To Chip Gaines, farming is more than a business, though. It’s “a lifestyle.” And while he certainly enjoys living that life, Chip doesn’t think he measures up to the men and women who feed our country.

“Do I love the cowboy lifestyle? Absolutely. Do I admire it? Do I long to be more like that? The answer is yes to all those things,” he continued. “But when I think about those cowboys that literally put food on the table because of that business, that lifestyle they’re actually submerged in, I get a little weak in the knees. I mean, you gotta be a tough son of a gun.”

Why ‘Fixer Upper’ Star Chip Gaines Likes to ‘Spend Time With God’ on the Farm

Chip Gaines and his wife Joanna live the ultimate celebrity life. The Fixer Upper stars can’t go out in public without being instantly recognized. And they rarely pass a magazine stand without seeing their own faces. But when they’re at home on their 40-acre ranch, the couple feels just like everyone else.

During a 2019 interview with Cowboys and Indians, Chip said that his farm is a place where he can go to decompress and connect with God.

“I’m a guy of faith, so I like to spend time with God out in those environments. It’s just sort of my comfort zone,” he shared.

Chip also said there is “something about those animals” that humbles him.

“You know, they’re just not respecters of people,” he continued. “They don’t care if you’re a billionaire or you’re barely making the mortgage payment. They poop and pee and kick and scratch at you, just like they do anybody else.”