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All Articles written by // Jacob Meldon

Jake graduated from the apprenticeship program and is now Manager-in-Training of Chico Basin Ranch.

July 28, 2017

Grass Talk

Right now the Chico is in the prime of growing season. We had plentiful moisture in the spring and we are just now entering the wet season. This week a storm came through dumping 3 inches across the Holmes and Wolf pastures. Combined with warm temperatures in the nineties, the grass is going crazy.

This weather is bread and butter for short-grass prairie like the Chico. The dominant species for the Chico is blue grama grass. It’s a

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October 26, 2016


Yesterday morning we rode from headquarters in the dark to get a jump start on the cattle. We hit the back of the pasture right at 7 o’clock when the sun was rising. In the distance I could hear an unfamiliar sound at the nearby reservoir. As I went about moving cattle, a flock of Sandhill Cranes took flight from the water and continued on their migration.

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June 20, 2016


While out checking fence with Thor and Tate, I noticed this grass that looked different than the others. It’s known as Squirrel tail, a cousin to Fox tail. Squirrel tail grows in the drier upland pastures whereas Fox tail grows in the wetter areas around creeks and ponds. Fox tail has a more bushy seed head unlike Squirrel tail which has longer, more flowing seed tails. Squirrel tail is a great indicator species to help assess rangeland health. Duke and I have been talking

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May 19, 2016

Wide Open

Today we rode out east to the Sands to move the Beefmaster herd. It’s a long trot to go around the neighbor’s property and reach the back corners of the pasture but it’s a worthwhile journey. Nowhere else on the ranch can see so far and really appreciate the vastness. This picture was taken at full zoom on my phone and still the subjects are small. I can barely see Becca moving the line of cows and Maddie is a

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April 7, 2016

Poetry with Jake

This is the lead

A string at the first bead

Now they follow

And later they will wallow

While I’m drinking mead.


The end.

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September 16, 2015

Poetry with Jake VI

This is my dog on a truck
He brings me a lot of luck
We ride around the ranch
Until the sun makes us a little blanch
But we still haven’t been stuck

The end.

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August 11, 2015

Quiet Morning

I sat on the back porch last Sunday enjoying the cool morning air when I heard a rhythmic beating. It’s not uncommon to hear trains at the nearby test track but this happened to be a hummingbird right outside the screen.

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June 25, 2015

Poetry with Jake V

We’re going on the road
Hauling a good load
Off to another branding
Let’s hope it’s a good landing
It’s time to go beast mode.

The end.

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June 2, 2015

Poetry with Jake IV

Poetry with Jake IV

The spurs will chime
All the hands will be covered with grime
The irons will heat
And the marks will be neat
It’s branding time.

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