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Ranching is not only a job, it’s a way of life that connects people to the land, both physically and spiritually.

February 26, 2013

Calm Evenings

The headquarters lake sat still yesterday evening after a full day of moving cattle around down south.  It was a good reminder that a new season on the Chico is getting closer.  With March comes wind (and hopefully some of that white stuff in liquid form).

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February 20, 2013

Moving Heifers

We were due to sort heifers today out in the pasture, but Jeff predicted a snow storm coming through and wisely had us all out on horseback yesterday. A beautiful day warm enough to peel off the outside layer of winter clothing. We trotted out to the Dixie, Elk and Antelope pastures. The riders split up and each gathered a corner or area. The heifers moved really nicely and we didn’t need to push them at all which makes for

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February 19, 2013

Busy Day at the Corrals

Yesterday the temperatures were rising in their 40’s and it makes working in the corrals that little more pleasant. I am hoping to get quite a few rides on my horse Black Friday before the season gets in full swing, it just takes 20 minutes at the end of the day to stay consistent with him. I’ve been using Rocky to help work him and get him used to someone above him.

Today we will be gathering the heifers and sorting

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February 16, 2013

Who we are, where we’re going

Amy suggested we try a different approach to opening our financial planning brainstorming meeting. At her suggestion I put together a few prompts, & an outline that led us to describe the Chico in some different ways, and embark on our brainstorming meeting in a positive, cooperative spirit.

In the meeting, we were attempting to answer the questions that I alluded to in my last blog post, How can we make enough money to offset the losses that not having calves

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February 14, 2013


Gordo helping me saddle up Rocky Top. He and the horses are regular pals now.

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February 14, 2013

Drought, selling cows

Duke, Stuart Amy & myself met on Tuesday afternoon to check in. The dress code was neckties & work clothes. The topic of conversation revolved around the drought, & that we are going to sell off a substantial chunk of the cow herd over the next months.We were all quiet & thoughtful & a little goofy looking, as we sat & talked about what the ranch might look like with fewer cows on it, & where we’ll focus our time

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February 13, 2013

Beefmaster records

Duke tasked Amy with certifying the Beefmaster cows. The Beefmasters are a pure bred group of cows (Beefmaster is the name of the breed). We haven’t registered this group for the last eight years. And now it’s time.

The re-certification process involves going through years of calf records (lists of numbers indicating a momma cow and her calf) & matching the current group of cows, to the ones we had certified 8+ years ago. Some records are incomplete, and numbers are

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February 11, 2013


The Blue Dodge didn’t want to start today, so it got a solid run around behind little Duke’s truck – the pull start worked with great success!

I’ve never been very mechanical and have enjoyed learning little in-and-outs that are necessary when the machines break down. The malfunctions are inevitable and the hard life machines live on the ranch makes breakdowns a frequent occurrence. Because of this we all become impromptu mechanics, building on the experiences from our last mechanical challenges.

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February 8, 2013

Sandhill Crane Workshop

There are just over three weeks left until one of our favorite workshops of the year– the Sandhill Crane Photo Trip! For the third year, professional photographers Mike Forsberg and Dave Showalter will join us at the ranch to lead a group of students on a photo-excursion across the valley to capture the 27,000 cranes that migrate through our area annually.

We’ve just had a last-minute spot open up so give us a call if you want to join us! March

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February 7, 2013

The Quonset

This week has been dedicated to reorganizing and improving the Quonset (the big red hangar looking structure at HQ).  Here Harper is planing 1 of 6 new work benches we’re building for the metal and auto mechanic bays we’re creating in the Quonset.  He’s planing it smoother than Suave’s new felt brim.  For those unfamiliar with Suave’s new headwear, it’s pretty darn smooth.  For those familiar with the Quonset, note the west door is open in the background.  Eli, Michael

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