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Question from an Anthropologist

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JesseAnthropologist
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Question from an Anthropologist

Postby JesseAnthropologist » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:31 am

Hey everyone,

My name is Jesse and I'm Dutch but live on the border of Switserland and Italy in the Alps. First a little bit about myself and why I am posting on this forum. Last year, I obtained my Master's in Cultural Anthropology. Now a year later I realize that the American Culture is what interests me most. Among my interest, is that the (daily) life of the modern day cattle rancher. It is something so foreign to more, it really draws me in.

I am looking for some of you who might like to talk to me and have a casual back and forth maybe through email. Someone I can ask all kinds of questions to, but also someone who likes to talk and tell me about the culture of the modern day cattle rancher.

I looked into going on a cattle drive holiday, but (and correct me if I'm wrong) I am scared Ill be introduced mainly to the romanticed image of the cowboy. And although that too has its time and place, i'd like to go beyond that as well and talk about the culture, the work, ranching, religion, relationship to the land, to the past etc....

maybe we can private message although i am not quite sure how that works on this forum.

otherwise i can always bump this thread with my emailadress

greetings and thank you all!

ciao Jesse

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Big Muddy rancher
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Postby Big Muddy rancher » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:58 am

I'msure there are many that can help you. It is a busy time for many as harvest is upon North America and falls work keeps us busy preparing for winter.
I was working around the yard this morning getting ready to bring yearling steers in for shipping to market the end of the week.It now might be dry enough to go cut the last bit of hay I was working on and then I have to rake and bale it.
You were right about the cattle drive being the "romantic" side of our job. Most ranchers never get to spend as much time on the back of a horses as we would like. :D
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I can't tame wild women.

But I can make tame women wild.

JesseAnthropologist
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Postby JesseAnthropologist » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:20 am

Hey Big Muddy Rancher
thanks for ur quick reply and for the feedback! much appreciated. I was wondering actually, about the cattle drive. I always read ranchers go and search for the scattered cattle on their acres of land and they might hard to find, since the can be anywhere. Is there a reason why these cattle aren't kept confined (I can't think of a better word, still trying to get used to the terminology here ;-)
is it because of the huge amounts of land or are there other reasons?
or is it so that they maintain the land as well?

its just hard to imagine for a dutch boy, our country is probably the size of some of u guys ranches.

ciao :-)

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Postby Big Muddy rancher » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:17 pm

Most cattle are "confined" by a 3 or 4 barbed wire fence. The pastures range from lets say 80 acres to many thousand acres. About 2.5 acres to a Hectare.
Some places have Forest permits to run cattle and they are more a free range deal. Some places have to wait for the weather to turn colder for the cattle to come out on there own but most places can ride and do a gather to bring cattle together for weaning and shipping calves and to take the cows closer to home for winter. ATV's and stock trailer have made it so most don't have to ride as much. :?
The cattle are running on the range raising their calves. We calve starting late April through May. In June we brand the calves and they with their mothers are out to pasture and the bulls are turn in with the cows July 15. We leave the bulls in for close to 60 days then pick them up and pasture them away from the cows. In late October we gather the cows and wean the calves. The cows are pregnancy check and the bred ones go to a winter pasture where they will stay unless they need to come closer to home for feeding. The calves will be fed close to home for the winter with the best heifer calves being kept for replacement cows and the rest sold for fattening. We keep our steer calves over winter and run them on grass for the summer and start selling this week to go and be fattened.
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I can't tame wild women.



But I can make tame women wild.

JesseAnthropologist
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Postby JesseAnthropologist » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:42 am

Thanks Muddy Rancher, very interesting. Correct me if I am wrong, but in the past the practice of open ranging meant you brand your cattle and let them graze the land, together with the cows from other rangers. Then you'd round them up for selling?
What are the benefits between open ranging and confined?

You yourself? where are you located?
Were you born into the 'ranching' life?

greetings!

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Postby Big Muddy rancher » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:52 am

JesseAnthropologist wrote:Thanks Muddy Rancher, very interesting. Correct me if I am wrong, but in the past the practice of open ranging meant you brand your cattle and let them graze the land, together with the cows from other rangers. Then you'd round them up for selling?
What are the benefits between open ranging and confined?

You yourself? where are you located?
Were you born into the 'ranching' life?

greetings!


Open range is pretty much a thing of the past as most land is privately owned or leased from the government. There are places such as Grazing Associations, Coop pastures and Community pastures where cattle are co-mingled and they have a fall round up for the ranchers to take cattle home for the winter.
I ranch in the Big Muddy badlands of southern Saskatchewan. Google has lots on our area.
I was born into ranching and that's really all i ever wanted to do. My wife was born and raised in the same valley but 4 miles south in Montana USA.
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I can't tame wild women.



But I can make tame women wild.

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Postby Martin Jr. » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:52 pm

Here in north central Nebraska, the open range ended when the railroad came in the 1880's and homesteaders began to file on land.
On the Indian reservation to the north of here, it went on for a few more years as big outfits ran cattle on open land there.
In 1892, a former two term sheriff of here, was arrested for stealing cattle from the Reservation that belonged to a Texas outfit and brought them to Nebraska, shipped them to Omaha and sold them.

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Postby JesseAnthropologist » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:46 am

Does Nebraska have many ranches? Where is the heart of ranching in the US? greetings!

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Martin Jr.
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Postby Martin Jr. » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:06 am


JesseAnthropologist
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Postby JesseAnthropologist » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:04 am

Thanks Martin Jr.

I'll check it out!


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