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Are Ranchers a dying breed?

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PPRM

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I grew up with my dad working weekends for different farms and ranches. I worked on them since the third grade, graduated from school and statred putting together my own. It's funny, you learn a ton more when your own money is at stake......

My wife is from a small town and thought she wanted to marry a cowboy. She has learned a ton, complains about the work, but just try to sell one that she has decided is one of "her babies"......LOL.....

I have found I need to rent aground and own the cattle. It works out on paper, but it does lead to a gypsy ranching style......Seems like you have everything lined up, then the owner sells or decides a relative or friend needs the place worse. It has lead to a few times of feeding until you find some grass. It is also a juggling act to find pasture matching the number of cattle you have......

There's a ton of satisfaction walking through the cows right before calving, enjoying the cows you put together and the anticipation of the calves they'll have. There's also a ton of satisfaction from riding a yopung horse that everyopne says , "That's a damb nice horse." I haven't paid more than $1,000 for a mare or $500 on stud fee to get these babies and have enjoyed raising them. I know there's a ton of nice three year olds that are for sale and just need rode that wouild pencil out better, but there's just a lot of rewards in raising your own....

I also get a lot of reward buying rough looking cattle and turning them around. Be it calves or broken mouth bred cows. Just something about taking an animal and treating it right, turning it around and being right, it has it's own rewards...

Hmmmm..... seems like I have rambled. This either resonates with a person or doesn't,

PPRM
 

Jinglebob

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After reading all of theses posts all I can say is what I've always said after a tough day, "Hell, if ranchin' was easy, everybody would be doing it!"

Great reading on this post! :)
 

PPRM

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Another thing, at my age (41) I AM CONSIDERED A PUP IN THIS INDUSTRY....Gotta say, it is rewardig when the older guys take notice and say you are buying right or actually start to ask your opinion. A lot of games in buying cattle at saleyards, intimidation, some good natured ribbing to get you to doubt yourself. A few years later, you have others asking you to buy some.....

Anyways, more rambling.....


PPRM
 

Hanta Yo

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PPRM,

I've enjoyed your posts, you seem to have a good head on your shoulders, I've alway thought you were our age. Hats off to you, we are almost 50. (I never thought I would get this old, my mind is young, my bones aren't.) :wink: :!:
 

PPRM

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I just figure the older we get, the more time the wife and I need to spend warming our bones up with each other :oops: :lol: :eek: :) :wink: :wink: :wink:

I have been blessed to have had some really neat people take the time to work with me and share thioer knowledge,

Thanks Hanta,

PPRM
 

Jinglebob

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PPRM said:
I just figure the older we get, the more time the wife and I need to spend warming our bones up with each other :oops: :lol: :eek: :) :wink: :wink: :wink:

Aw, a man after my own heart! :lol:

I just love it when the little woman says, "I'm cold". I only know one way to warm a person up. :shock: :eek: :lol: :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Saddletramp

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I was bred born and raised in Chickasaw county, Iowa. All I ever wanted to be was a cowboy on a ranch somewheres. Our farm wasn't big enough for two families and I left home when I was 19.

I have worked ranches and knocked around for thirty two years always for someone elses brand. I have seen herds of ranch kids leave their home place for something else and take for granted what they had at home.

Fellers like myself are out here doing it because it is what we love and it is our dream. We are here because we want to be.

Are we a dying breed? Yes, we are. Whether you're taking about Ranchers or Cowboys. Will we ever be gone? Never, because there will always be someone out there who loves the land and will take care of the animals whether there his or not.

Why? They're not your stock. Because it's what we do. And the person who has to ask why will never understand the answer even if we could explain it.

Right now I ride for the Spearhead ranch and every day I count it a privilege to take care of Spearhead cattle. But if I wasn't doing it here, I would be doing it for someone else somewheres else. There are still some out there that feel the same way( not as many as there once was) but there's still some. We won't probably ever get a start or if we do it will sure be a fight to make it work. But there will always be a remnant and that's why the Cowboy or the Rancher will always be around someplace.

Just my thoughts. :wink: :wink:
 

DOC HARRIS

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I have spent an hour and a half tonight reading the comments and opinions on this post, and the fervent, sensitive, emotional and heart-felt thoughts expressed here tonight have left me with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat! I thank God for letting me "meet" such wonderful people as you Ranchers and '"Wanna Be's" on this Forum. I imagine that some of you will think that what I am going to say will be too sentimental and maudlin. . . . .and perhaps you will be right. But here goes anyway! I hope you will try to 'sense with every fiber of your being how emotional and sincere I am with these thoughts!

I have been on BOTH sides of the Agricultural fence, so to speak. The old farm house I lived in as a kid had NO electricity, NO running water, NO central heat, NO air conditioning, - not even a pitcher pump on the old kitchen counter - nor even a sink! Wake up in the morning with snow blown across the bed from cracks in the log chinking of the walls. And chores! Hated Chores! But circumstances dictated that one does what one has to do! :shock:

A stint in the Air Corps during WWII convinced me that I wanted to get Agricultural Education and do Farming/Ranching correctly so I got a degree in Ag, and then taught Ag for several years. Loved it.

A wife, three sons and financial needs dictated a career changel Now - - -enter the BIG CITY! Thirty Plus years of Chiropractic practice in - - - Los Angeles, breathing air that had passed through the lungs of several thousand other people first, gasoline engine exhaust, smog--SMOG- - SMOG- coughing, burning eyes, tasting that sickening air pollution, screaming drunk neighbors fighting, Police sirens, ambulances with people injured and dying from being struck by vehicles driven by drunk drivers or out of their minds on drugs, worried about whether you are teaching your kids the things that they must know about life and God and their futures. - - - - -and all the time - in the back of my mind was - Beef Cattle - -Beef Cattle - Beef Cattle and the fresh air, and sunsets, and clean mown hay, and the smells of a barn, and harness and saddles, and the feel of a pitchfork handle in the hand, and clean shelled corn, and the sound of a John Deere Tractor poppin'! People who have not experienced those "emotions" can't understand the deep down gut feelings that reminiscing brings back to you!

To attempt to explain those sentiments and passions to those 'not in the know' is impossible. The pictures that those of you put on these posts (Soapweed, jersey lilly, Hanta Yo and all you others), gives me a feeling in my soul that can not be described! :D

I agree that Agriculture is not what it used to be. And Thank God for that! Everything changes, and correctly so for it can't stay the same. Ranchers must change with the times - and 4H Clubs and FFA Chapters are doing their part to help that along. The TV Network RFD-TV is doing WONDERFUL work in that regard also. If farm and ranch parents can enthuse and excite their youngsters with the GOOD and POSITIVE aspects of the glorious FREEDOM of living on a ranch and experiencing clean soil running through their fingers, and a fresh calf looking at them after they dry them off and encourage them to nurse -- THEN they will know that they are here on this earth for a reason, not just putting in their time until they die. It's a hard, tough, sometimes heart-breaking life - - but the POSITIVES W-A-A-A-A-Y overcome the Negatives In My Humble and 80 year old opinion. God Bless America and Every One of you wonderful Ranch and Farm Folks. I love you all!

DOC HARRIS
 

PPRM

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Jingle Bob

Nothing like the right woman settling her head on your chest......I love being my wife's Man Pillow,


PPRM
 

Hanta Yo

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You guys are a joy in our hearts. Thanks for lovin' us so much. I don't speak for your wives, but I think I speak for a lot of women out there who love their men so much.

Hanta Yo
 

Rowdy Ranch

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Great Peom--sw! That really sums it up. I know that there are some kids that want to make a living an easier way since working on ranch and seeing parents work hard,BUT some (like me)just have it in them to continue the ranch way of life even tho there are simplier ways and more MONEY. Our oldest son always did good in school and went to votech after and knew that he always wanted to farm and ranch-he knows that there is lots more money out there and lots easier jobs with lots less hrs. In our area there are lots of good paying factory jobs with 3 days off and 4 on. Even had and uncle say to him-you don't want to ranch and farm the rest of you life-well son had quite a response to that. We never forced him to farm and ranch full time,but that is what he chose to do. Number 2 son will probably go to college close by and continue to have an interest in the place,but will more than likely choose a different occupation.
Ranchers may be a dying breed,but that just gives us more fight to continue our way of life!
 

CJ

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My deal is much like both Hanta Yo and SW's. After many years of sweat, I was the second choice at home. So I'm not there anymore. Started over with a wife that turned out to be a nightmare, so I'm starting over for the third time, mostly with cows on shares. It's hard but I know how, so it will get done. Maybe someday I'll own them all, maybe not. If it takes day work and side jobs for years to come it will be worth it to me. I've done the town thing and I did it well, but I've never been happy there. It's a subsistance life that you get caught up in, waiting for your paycheck and the weekend. I'll likely never have the cash money like some folks do, but thats OK with me. Never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer. Also saw my kids losing out on more than they were gaining when living in town. That alone is worth giving up a lot of material things to me. A lot of my family just shake their heads. Tsk tsk tsk. He could be doing so many other things. :p Thinning out- most definitely, but a long way from dead. There will always be a few around.
 

sw

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Sandhillbilly,
thanks for starting this post, so many of us get to working with our heads down not paying attention to what is going on around us and why we do this. All of these posts reminds us. I get a big reminder every year when we go to an inner city school and share our lives with them and they share their lives with us. 3-4 days is all I can take of big cities, can't wait to get home and do something like fix a fence.
 
A

Anonymous

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...startin' to sound like we all need to gather up someday and pitch in at someone's brandin' and follow up a full day of draggin' calves to the fire with a proper 'nut-fry' and throw down a few beers to those who've gone before us, and who surely hope we hang in there and manage to pass the torch to the younger generation... 8)
 

sw

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Yes Sir. Even spending an afternoon with these people at Deadwood was priceless hope we can do something again. Meeting most of these people was like you have known them for a long time and you already know how they are going to react to something :shock:
 

hometowngurl

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well after gitting my readin' down for the next few days, :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: , here is my thoughts. I was born and raised on a ranch that is only 18 miles west of where hubby and I live now. I AM DARNED proud to be a ranchers wif( that is what my hubby calls me). I wouldn't trade if for nothing, we have worked for several different people since we got married and have been lucky that the last guy helped us to start our own herd, something more than what we have at his dad's. It has also taught us alot about being a boss, having our cows and about human nature in ranching. Our son now has asked about getting a few cows of his own and wishes that he could come back and make a living, but I feel that God still has some learning for him to do before he will be able to settle down and work on a ranch. As for having to work off the ranch to make ends meet, I've done that too and don't mind doing that, I have been able to take a course in business management that has helped on the ranch and at the places I have worked. And I THANK God for the chance to help my hubby every chance I can, if he asks or not.( you know some men don't ask). I have lived in town but wouldn't give up my sandhills for nothing as this is home to me.
 

Saddletramp

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This was a poem that was nailed to the door of the cow camp on a ranch I worked for in the 80s. If anyone knows who the author is, I'd sure like to know.

"Why do you do it?" Someone asked,
"The money doesn't pay.
The work is hard, the hours long.
How can you live this way?"

What makes you choose the cowboy life,
a life of dust and heat.
A life of sitting on a horse,
in cold and wind and sleet?"

I pondered on it a spell,
then answered that I thought
I did it cause the things I like
are things a cowboys got.

I like the way a saddle smells,
the way that leather feels.
I like the singin',jingle of
the spurs behind my heels.

I'm kinda fond of wide-brimmed hats,
I like a pair of shaps.
I like patchin' up wore-out gear
with saved up leather scraps.

It's fun to throw a perfect loop
and dally on the horn.
There's pleasure in the way I feel
when all the calves are born.

I like a brand new pair of boots.
I like old sheepskin coats.
I like the sound a horse makes when
he's munchin' on his oats.

There's not much I like better than
a silver-inlaid bit.
Or hackamores and horse-hair ropes
or jeans that really fit.

I really like tight leather gloves
or branding in the spring.
I'd rather hear a bawling cow
than hear a choir sing.

What cowboys are is what I am,
It's all I've cared to be.
Cause all the things a cowboy's got
are good enough for me.
 

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