The Way We Really Were

Photo by O.T. Davis.

By Virginia McConnell Simmons

Equal opportunity to work was unending on family farms and ranches for males and females, young and old. Branding, done before cattle were put out on pastures for the summer, is being handled in this photo by the Becker sisters east of Alamosa in 1894. A Colorado Cattlemen’s Association publication (1967) boasted, “Give a cow 30 to 40 pounds of grass a day and 10 to 12 gallons of water, and she’ll produce beef” (depending on the quality of grass, water, weather and bull she runs with – and use of public land, of course).