June 7, 2013


Ranchlands' founder Duke Phillips is a third generation cattle rancher who believes in economic diversification, high conservation ethics, and public education as critical to the future of ranching.

Today was a special day.  The season’s first branding, later than normal by almost 60 days due to the dry weather.  We haven’t wanted to be distracted from giving the cattle herd all of our attention because of the elevated stress level, so we haven’t branded at all, and instead have focused on putting the entire together along with the horses, into one herd that is rotating around the entire ranch in a migratory pattern.

We met at 3’30 am and departed in the dark, so as to be at the back side of the pasture with the entire day in front of us, and so as to better be able to pair the mothers with their calves.  Another reason it was special is because the entire crew was made up of everyone from both ranches, except for Jeff, who stayed behind to mind things at the MZ.  All 23 of us with the wagon hitched had, spent the better part of a day, holding the cattle up out at the Holmes mill, and dragging them out one by one with ropes.   A grand day, branding, eating bean and onion tacos and spending time together doing something that I think every one of us felt was the funnest things we could be doing anywhere.