Beef – It’s What Eats the Rancher’s Lunch

by John Mattingly After my last month’s column that took a somewhat sanguine look at the cow-calf end of the beef business, suggesting that cow-calf ranchers are basically keeping large pets, I trust readers will have sold the 100 virtual cows I gifted them for exactly what they paid for them. Not because they didn’t …

Read more

A 21st Century Look at Ranching in the San Luis Valley

by Bill Hatcher

photos by Mike Rosso

It happens without fail every September. Driving down a county road where I live in the northern San Luis Valley, I am given yet another opportunity to ruminate on why I love living here so much. No, not it’s magnificent scenery. Instead, the little reminder of pastoral patience I’m referring to lumbers along over cloven hooves, tended by that durable American icon, the rancher-cowboy, reins or twist-throttle held loosely in gloved hands.

Read more

Doing What Comes Naturally

Cotopaxi grass farmers enjoy profitability while preserving land

Story by Susan Bavaria

Photos by Mike Rosso

A small percentage of cattle ranchers have laid down their agricultural arms and made peace with Mother Nature. Instead of inoculating, spraying, inseminating, supplementing, feeding and fighting blizzards to rescue calves born in February, these ranchers opt to coax the land into doing what comes naturally.

Read more

The Ranching Way of Life, by ScSEED

Review by Ed Quillen

Ranching – August 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Ranching Way of Life – San Luis Valley, Colorado
DVD released in 2008
by Saguache County Sustainable Environment and Economic Development (ScSEED)
P.O. Box 393, Moffat CO 81143
www.scseed.org
ISBN: None

Read more

A Passion for Ranching, by Bill Gillette

Review by Ed Quillen

Ranching – July 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

A Passion for Ranching – Colorado’s Wet Mountain Valley Heritage
Text and photography by Bill Gillette Foreword by Ed Marston
Sponsored by the West Custer County Library District
Published in 2006 by Westcliffe Publishers
ISBN 1-56579-531-8

Read more

Ghost cattle in the blue sky

Column by Hal Walter

Ranching – April 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

“We have to go back to Mother Nature’s way of doing things, and until we do that we’re going to continue to go down in every way possible. In farming, if it’s not sustainable, we shouldn’t be doing it.”

— Willie Nelson

“To Frank’s father every animal had a dollar meter on its back and the needle was always in motion. Sometimes it was going down. If you ran a thousand head, you had a thousand meters and you had to keep those needles going up”

Read more

This ain’t no disco

Column by Hal Walter

Ranching – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

IT’S BEEN A COLD WINTER, but by all signs it’s ending early. Calves were born in early February and mares started cycling with the March full moon. A mourning dove arrived the first week of March, and flocks of robins followed in the warm still days. The small accumulations of snow that remained as depth hoar throughout the below-zero nights disappeared, lingering only on the north-facing slopes where large bowls formed around the trees. A person who is connected to the land takes notice of such things.

Read more

Escaping the colonial mind-set

Essay by Tony Malmberg

Ranching – June 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

MY EARLIEST MEMORIES revolve around my dad waking me up with the sun to work cattle. My feet took the shape of the pointed boots and my head grew within my Stetson, leaving an indented white forehead. I never even thought about not ranching.

Read more

Fat Cats are really slim survivors

Essay by Chris Frasier

Ranching – April 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

FOR THE FIRST TIME, there are two cattlemen’s associations in Colorado.

In addition to the 132-year-old Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the recently chartered Colorado Livestock Association has thrown its hat into the ring.

Read more