This year holidays may be taking a different form than usual, so we asked some of our ranch staff how they would be spending Thanksgiving this year and have compiled a few of their responses here. Hope everyone stays safe and well-fed this holiday season!
A few weeks ago, Ranchlands Foundation and Chico Basin Ranch concluded our two-month effort in donating ground beef to those in need from COVID in the greater Colorado Springs community. Below are the reflections of Anja who coordinated the project for us.
From epic novels about the “old West” to meditations on the natural world and humanity’s place in it, from horsemanship instructionals to our favorite cookbooks, a (non-comprehensive) list of titles recommended by the Ranchlands team.
Over the years, apprentices have become front and center to Ranchlands’ operations.
I’m a big fan of chaos. I love trying to make sense of things that are halfway out of control. It is the engine that propels life forward, and the best example of chaos in ranching are our brandings.
Each spring, the Chico begins to see new life as flowers bloom, grasses grow, and calves are born. As spring turns to summer, our newborns and their mothers are gathered into corrals to be branded. Although somewhat misunderstood, brandings are an incredibly important event for ranchers.
I was thinking today about how different spring times can be from one year to the next.
As the days lengthen, drawing winter closer to spring, we begin readying ourselves for calving season, which officially starts for us April 1st and goes into June. In a normal year, eighty percent of the calves come in the first fifty days.
Foraging up on rocky slopes is unusual for normal cows, but not surprising for our Beefmasters cows.
I detasseled corn for four summers growing up in Nebraska. As a thirteen-year-old kid, I walked miles of cornrows, pulling tassels I saw that had been missed by the machine puller. No matter the conditions: mud, rain, horrible humidity, scorching heat, we walked the fields from sunrise until late afternoon. The pay was good for kids my age, and the more rows we did, the more money we could make. I was miserable during so many of those days but what kept me from quitting was the relationships I made with the kids working alongside me in the field. The work became bearable. Then it even became a little fun. Soon a sense of pride developed: working hard, pushing oneself, and walking through it all with others who felt the same way. I’ve begun to feel the same pride for the Chico Basin Ranch, a kind of pride I didn’t expect.