Lacey Livestock – CA. Great Ranches of the West

“It all comes back as I drive up into the high country of the eastern Sierras. Much has changed since my first trip to this area but the land is the same : stark, rough and beautiful. Snowcapped Mount Whitney rises to more than 14,000 feet just to the west, with other “fourteeners” peaking along […]

Monahan Ranch – NE. Great Ranches of the West

“While still a teenager, James H. bought a quarter-section of land in 1893 and raised a few cattle, selling beef to the railroad crews for five cents a pound. His boldest venture came when, as a 23-year-old, James rode to Wyoming, bought 600 head of cattle, and drove them himself back to his little ranch. […]

Salmond Ranch – MT. Great Ranches of the West

“When Lewis and Clark explored the Great Falls Plains southeast of the Salmond Ranch, they expounded on the vast herds of majestic buffalo. Short of the buffalo’s decline, this land must look much the same as it did when President Jefferson’s Corps of Discover made their way through the Northwest. I can almost hear the […]

White Ranch – TX. Great Ranches of the West

“Swimming cattle is a centuries-old practice, unique to the state’s oldest family ranch. It’s held over from the days when ranch founder and patriarch Taylor White drove cattle to New Orleans across four rivers by way of the Opelousas Trail. ‘The Mississippi had barges,’ Bill White tells me, prodding one of the cows forward, ‘but […]

Warren Ranch – WY. Great Ranches of the West

“As the group rides away from me, the rich history of the ranch echoes under the staccato of horse hooves life far-off gunfire. The tale of the Warren Ranch begins miles and years away in Port Hudson, Louisiana, as a nineteen-year-old corporal, eager to speak to his commander, threaded his way through medics tending fallen […]

ZZ Ranch – AZ. Great Ranches of the West

“One morning Dan’s father, George, decided to go out and check the pumps at the various ranch wells. He parked his pick up at the first pump. Suddenly a helicopter zoomed over the surrounding boulders. Presuming it was Border Patrol, Dan’s father waved, checked the pump and then drove up a small canyon to check […]

Haythorn Ranch – NE. Great Ranches of the West

“Craig and wife, Jody; sons Sage and Cord, and Craig’s mother, Bel, host the auction, where this year 343 quarter horses sell to registered buyers from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The Haythorns run Longhorn, Black Angus, and Hereford cattle on their 75,000 deeded and leased acres, yet the horses are what the Haythorns […]

Pine Creek Ranch – NV. Great Ranches of the West

“Decades later, several days’ ride north of Widow Smith’s place, 14-year-old Wayne Hage was fed up with mandatory church attendance enforced by his mother. One night he finally spelled out his good-byes on a piece of paper and ran away from home, dreaming of an adventurous cowboy life. He didn’t run too far, however, and […]

Siddoway Sheep Ranch – ID. Great Ranches of the West

“More loss has come from the depressed wool and lamb market now that cheaper, imported wool has gained such a foothold. Jeff and Cindy Siddoway have been forced to diversify their operation in ways never dreamed of by their ancestors. Inspired by an episode of Little House on the Prairie, the family was determined to […]

Drummond Ranch – OK. Great Ranches of the West

“I’m instantly enchanted by this family – by their appreciation of history, their concern for the land, their creativity. For example, Ladd’s wife Ree recently launched a modern Little House on the Prairie blog that gets more than 3,000 hits a day. Is she a pioneer woman like the last century’s Addie Drummond? ‘I am […]