We ranch as a family. It is part of our heritage and hopefully part of the legacy we leave behind. Over the generations there have been a lot of names and faces that have been a part of our family ranch. These are the characters that are around the ranch today.
… The Rancher– If you asked The Rancher what his goal in life was he would tell you it would be to be living and making it at the home ranch. Its important to him that people understand our role in feeding the world and how we change and adapt our ways to be better producers. To that end he graduated in animal science emphasizing in beef production and continues to look for ways to improve our business. All he has ever wanted to do is ranch and cowboy. He can be happy doing the most physical work in the roughest conditions if it is just him, his horse, and his dog.
… The Rancher’s Wife– Obviously, that’s me! I grew up on a ranch in Montana and loved every minute of it. I told my grandpa that I would marry a cowboy some day and his reply was that I shouldn’t set my stakes too deep. True to my word I found him in The Rancher. Coming back to the family ranch was always apart of our family goals but the reality of it has been such a blessing to us.
… The Rancher’s Sidekick– We tease that our son has been cowboying before he was born, roping with the umbilical cord and dallying it around his knee. When he isn’t out with his dad, he is ranching inside with all of his tractors, bales, cows, horses… the list could go on and on. The older he gets the better helper he is on the ranch and of course he is NEVER too small for anything. That means this ranching momma gets to be creative in ways to help our little rancher put his brand on the ranch.
… The Ranch Princess– As little as she may be, this girl has a special place on the ranch. You should know that she is the first girl born on the ranch (well, born at the hospital but brought home to the ranch) in nearly 60 years. She may be small but her love for being out on the ranch is larger than life. She takes every chance she can sneak to be out living our extraordinary ranching lifestyle.
… The Cowboy Kid– Just like his older siblings, this little boy is determined to be a part of the ranch. He is always ready to head out with boots or coat and constantly waves good bye to me. Being out with his dad really is his favorite thing. He will wake up early just to make sure that he doesn’t get left at home. His determined spirit will always keep him part of the picture.
… Rancher Sr.- This is the man that heads up the ranch these days. The Rancher’s love for the ranch surely comes from his dad. Rancher Sr. has lived and worked on this ranch for all but a few college and mission years. I am always amazed at what this man can do (and maybe this point I should expect extraordinary things from him). He has a quiet passion for life, but that doesn’t mean he lives life any less. His hard work, service, and compassion reach so much farther than what we often see on the surface.
… The Cattlewoman– Now it has been a long hard struggle to find a name to honor this woman as she is portrayed in this ranching story. She married Rancher Sr. young and jumped into being a ranch wife with two feet. She did well to learn the cowboy jargon, the dos and don’t of ranching and how to make it on the long hard days. Along the way she picked up a few bits of wisdom- cowboys work better with good food and a wife should never do anything the first time that she never wants to do again. Her role may not be quite so apparent, and chasing chickens isn’t too glorious, but she truly does help keep this ranch running.
… The Ranch Boss– Grandpa really is the boss- what he says goes. Every other rancher of his generation has retired that are living in this valley but The Ranch Boss gets up early every morning to put in his time alongside the other cowboys. Over his many years the ranch has changed and developed into this thriving cattle business. There aren’t too many families that have the opportunity to work with so many generations.
… Grandma– There was no better name for grandma than Grandma. She has handled the ups and downs of ranching over so many years like a true ranchers wife. Though she isn’t able to be out on the ranch as much as she would like, she still manages to be apart of the ranch. Another behind the scenes hero.
… The Cowpoke– This cowboy is currently a seasonal worker. Maybe an-occasional-weekend-and- holiday ranch hand would be a better description as he is away and busy with own grown up job working for John Deere in the AMS sector. Whenever he does make it to visit the ranch he takes a trip or two around the to see what’s new and to reconnect with the ranch.
… The Montana Girl– The Cowpoke found himself a great, sweet wife from the grandest place- Montana! Although she didn’t grow up on a ranch she saw the beauty of the country life and wanted it for herself. She is on her way to being a great cowgirl and an even greater ranch wife. She knows that the way to a cowboy’s heart is through his stomach so she spends her time perfecting recipes and sharing them and her story on ButterLoveandCowboys.com.
… The Buckaroo– If ever there was a brother that was ALL cowboy and NO farmer it would be The Buckaroo. His perfect day would entail pushing cows from the back of a horse with his dog at his heels and no tractor or semi time. Once he is inside he puts his other cowboy talents to use and does a little custom leather work. Someday he is going to be our own personal vet (don’t worry, you can call on him too!) but I guess in order for that to happen, we had better put him through vet school first!
… The Buckarette- And if there was ever a wife perfect for The Buckaroo its this girl! His ideal woman was someone that could rope with him. The Buckarette can do so much more in so many ways- she gets out there and works with the guys every chance she gets. But her many talents go beyond the ranch- she can whip you in any basketball game and then serve up the best cupcakes!
… Baby T- The Buckaroo and The Buckarette have the sweetest baby! Her happy place is outside whether it is in the saddle or playing with the dogs. It won’t be a surprise to anyone to watch this little lady grow up to grow up just like her parents and have an intense passion for the cowboy way of life.
…Cowboy Pete– There is so much to be learned from living on a ranch- it does so much to shape a boy into a man. Like getting that first BB gun and using it for that first hunt. There’s the first bruises from a calf kick or a horse buck off. Or only finding gloves for the right hand but not the left. But seriously, Cowboy Pete has become a fine horsemen, cow hand, farmer and a savvy mechanic amidst all of the ‘other’ lessons he has learned on the ranch. There aren’t too many cowboys that work as hard, as smart, or as long as this young rancher does.
… The Nightingale Girl- Cowboy Pete found a wife that couldn’t have been a better fit! She is game for anything- a long days work moving cows or a fun dirt bike ride on the range. While she grew up as a city girl, her heart beats country and is looks forward for the potential of living the ranch life with her own cowboy. There is so much to her story-a budding ranch wife by day, hospital nurse by night and adventurer when ever the time is right!
… Cowboy E– Rounding out the cowboy crew is Cowboy E. He’s young, but that only means he has the energy to put in a full day of work and then go play. What better place for a boy to grow up than where he gets to drive big tractors, ride horses, 4 wheelers, motor bikes, and shoot guns!
… The Cactus Rose- Soon to join the herd is Cowboy E’s sweet fiancé. Their story began during high school and only sweetened with time. The Cactus Rose grew up ranching close by and even ran cattle with our own during the summers. She adds to the cowboy scene in another way with her handmade, custom silver jewelry for those that want a little western bling.
Its inevitable- the family will change. I twill grow, people move away and some come back. It will evolve over the years but one thing is for sure, we will always have each other and the ranch will always be our home.