My great grandpa and one of his Angus Bulls
My great aunt Marge still runs cattle on her ranch, 30 miles of dirt road and an hour and 1/2 drive from town. My cousin Margie and her daughter Sarah run their family ranch near Mountain City, and my great great aunt Stella still runs cows with the help of her son Ray on the ranch her parents started in the late 1800's.
My great aunts Marge and Ellen whom I am named after
My great grandma Mabel and granddad Hugh brought the first Black Angus cows to North Eastern Nevada and now they are the most prevalent bred in Mountain City, Nevada. My dad has worked really hard to make them one of the best herds in Elko County.
My great grandma Mable
I enjoy all aspects of raising cattle and ranch life. There is so much satisfaction to be had from working with animals and the land. You pour your heart and soul into the care and well being of the animals. Sure there is a lot of worry and heartache, especially watching a calf die or having to put your favorite horse down because he is too old to live comfortably through the winter. This is all part of treating animals with dignity and respect.
I'm not sure who this cowgirl is, but she is one of my relatives
There are many late or sleepless nights while calving. Worry about markets and how you will get your calves sold or how you will buy hay to get them through the winter. But watching young calves buck and play on a spring afternoon, seeing the dumb calf suck on his own finally after 2 days of helping him, or the sight of a graft calf wagging his tail as he nurses a heifer that lost her baby, and she's loving him as her own, that makes me happy and gives me a strong sense of accomplishment and that I am doing what is right for me and my family.
Other than college, I have never lived more than about 100 miles from the ranch I grew up on, and hope move back to the area someday. I still get homesick when I go for a visit and then have to leave. It is the place I am the happiest, feel the most at ease, and the most like myself.
Another picture of my great aunt Marge
My parents were insistent my brother, sister and I all have college educations. I can see where they are coming from now. I struggled for 5 years trying to figure out my place and what I wanted to be when I grew up, to find a career I could be happy and successful with. All I have ever wanted was to make a good horse and raise quality cows.
Personally, I feel the best about myself and life in general after a long day caring for cattle. Whether its branding, processing, shipping, or even calving, just knowing I've played a hand in helping produce a safe and wholesome food for my family and the world is pretty awesome. Anything that can take grass and sunlight and turn it into something tasty is alright in my book!