Featured

#RangelandWednesday: Cattle Drive

This week was a very fun and eventful week. Starting on Monday, July 13, Kyle (one of the hands) and I helped Nate (the Kane’s youngest son) by going out to Wolf Creek to do a few things to get ready for a large cattle move. We rounded up cattle that were lame or not paired up and then traveled along Smith Creek to set up a water tank in the place that we were going to move the cattle to.

The big cattle move began on Tuesday and ended on Thursday. I helped out Terri with lunches and I helped David with moving cattle when they needed an extra hand. The first move was from their property in Parkman, WY, to the water tank near Skirt Creek. The second day was the easiest. The cattle were able to move up the mountain to a certain point, which made moving the cows a breeze. The third and final day was the most complicated due to lack of reception and having to drive up steep and rocky roads. On this day we had the most help as well, since Terri and I are great with logistics.

I got the chance to help move cattle this week–and it was fun!

On Friday, July 17, Kyle and I checked water tanks, repaired any tanks that needed it and started on the invasive species work on other parts of the ranch. Instead of spraying for leafy spurge, David uses bugs called “flea beetles.” The beetles are set on large, thick patches of spurge and then over time they will eat the patches completely.

I am learning about the use of “flea beetles” to control leafy spurge.

This was a new form of control for me since I learned in school and while working for companies that spraying and reseeding is usually the faster and more obvious choice. I am doing more research on flea beetles and will add this knowledge to future control methods if applicable.

Featured

#RangelandWednesday: Rain Delay

This was a usual week. On Monday and Tuesday, I resprayed fields and pastures that Larry and I sprayed at the beginning of my internship in Buffalo.

Sometimes certain fields require respraying.

Wednesday and Thursday brought stormy weather, which conflicted with our respraying schedule because it added three inches of water to Clear Creek. In order to respray the last of the fields and riparian areas, I need to travel across the creek and due to the high water levels, this will have to be push back to next week—my eighth and final week here in Buffalo.

High water levels can make crossing the creek difficult.

This was also a week of chores that—in my opinion—kept me busy but added no further experience into studying or identifying rangeland species. Going more into detail, Wednesday and Thursday was spent in the garage sweeping for eight hours, two of which I spent fixing a backpack sprayer, which I did not mind.

Friday of this week and Monday of next I am taking off to visit my family in the Rawahs (Rocky Mountain National Park) for the 4th of July weekend. When I return next week, I will begin to respray the riparian areas across the creek, if water levels are permitting.

Hopefully it will be possible to spray next week.

After having finished up the first half of my internship here in Buffalo next week, I will be joining the Kane family in Sheridan to finish the remainder of my internship at SR Cattle Company.

Next week will wrap up the first half of the internship.
Featured

#RangelandWednesday: On the Lookout

The week started off as a regular week. I re-sprayed a couple fields in front of the pastures, so that Larry and I can start planning for the back pastures. This is how Monday and Tuesday went.

On Wednesday, Larry and I went to the back four pastures and started to scope out what spraying would look like. We started with the windmill and elk pastures, which are the pastures furthest away from HWY 16. We looked for grasshoppers and leafy spurge. Most of the spurge we found were in draws and hills. The grasshoppers were more sporadic, since they can actually move around. We found little to no grasshoppers in any of the four back pastures.

Scouting rangeland for invasive species is critical for pest control.

Larry then sent me out to finish scouting those two pastures so we could move on to the front two pastures. In the elk and windmill pastures, I found large patches of spurge, in only a few areas. I didn’t find enough grasshoppers to make it a concern.

Each pasture could potentially have leafy spurge and grasshoppers. Fortunately, there were not alarming amounts in these pastures.

The next day we scouted the front two pastures, which are called the south and center pastures. These two areas had exponentially more leafy spurge and grasshoppers. However, there still were not enough grasshoppers to warrant spraying for the species.

The grasshoppers are not enough of a concern to warrant spraying for them.

On the last day (Friday), Larry and I brought up a map of his property to label the areas where we needed to spray. We needed to label where we found invasive species to provide these details to Lander Weed & Pest, in order for them to spray these areas. We will get an answer sometime next week on how they will spray and the chemical they will be using.

Featured

#RangelandWednesday: The Lay of the Land

This week was a slow week. On June 15, the weather was calm all day and the wind did not pick up at all, so I was able to finish up several fields and eventually start on the last riparian area.

On June 16, the weather consisted of high winds and dark cloudy skies, which was consistent for the next two days. I was not able to help in the fields due to high amounts of rain, unless it was with cattle—which was a new experience.

Being around cattle is a new experience.

On June 19, the weather finally cleared up and I was able to spray. This time spraying was more of a learning experience, since Paul from Lander Weed & Pest came up and was able to increase our pesticide strength. Paul will be helping Larry and I off-and-on for the next two weeks.

This week was a learning experience as usual. I figured out Larry’s process on how he runs his ranch, what I should be doing when not spraying and how he wants me to spray. What I mean by this is, I was always confused on what Larry wanted me to do since he is used to communicating with Michael (current ranch hand). I figured out that as long as I am being helpful and remembering tasks Larry has given me in the past that have not been completed, he is happy with the work I am doing.

There are many learning opportunities in this internship.

Due to some of the communication opportunities and confusion in exact tasks to be done and task execution, I have had the opportunity to work on developing interpersonal skills as well.  As I am building relationships with Larry, I am learning how to advocate for myself until I have clarity in what he wants and push to set expectations so there is less confusion on my part—and less frustration on his.

I am also learning how to have professional conversations when our expectations do not align—though those conversations may be difficult.  Finally, I am learning to develop multi-generational relationships when there is a fundamental difference in understanding each other and pressing in until we can align.

Featured

#RangelandWednesday: Covering Ground

This week started off similar to last. I finished spraying across HWY 16 on June 8 and moved on to fields #12 and #14 towards the middle of the day on June 9. 

Spraying across the highway was the most difficult patch I have done, and I will have to come back to this area on a later date to see the progress and effectiveness of my application. For this land next to the highway, I mostly used the backpack sprayer—due to the amount of steep terrain. However, I was able to use the ATV sprayer along the irrigation ditches.

Steep areas like this can be difficult to spray.

On June 9, fields #12 and #14 were much easier patches to spray because the fields are flat and very similar to the fields Larry and I sprayed the first week. This task was a great “break” from spraying on foothills and small canyons—which is seriously the most difficult task I have done in a longtime!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is week.4_pic.2-1.png
Flat ground is easier to cover.

Towards the middle of the week, spraying was off-and-on due to high winds and our moving further into the pastures east of the highway. The pastures extend for a couple of miles and the chemical being used cannot be out in the sun for more than an hour, or it will lose its effectiveness.

While the wind was picking up, Larry showed me how to do fly rubs and more surrounding how he operates his cattle ranch. On Friday, I ended the day by spraying the tree line near the front end of the south pasture, and I intend to finish this stretch on Monday, June 15.

Featured

Fight for the Drive

The Old West is revitalized each year when the historic cattle drive known as the Upper Green River Drift makes its way through western Wyoming. Cowboys mounted horseback drive thousands of head of cattle along the path, just as they have done for 124 years.

Photo courtesy of Mountain States Legal Foundation.

Right now, outside forces are threatening this longstanding western tradition. Radical environmentalist groups are working to issue a devastating blow to the grazing practices that these ranches have efficiently implemented for years.

Fortunately, ranchers have already made headway in the case.

An early victory came as a federal judge rejected the preliminary injunction filed by these activist groups that would have immediately hindered the grazing ability of cattle from these ranches.

To see what Mountain States Legal Foundation is doing to help ranchers in this case try and preserve the western way of life, read the story below.

Ranchers Win Early Round In Fight to Save Historic Cattle Drive


To learn more about this epic cattle drive, watch “The Drift: An American Cattle Drive” from Caldera Productions.

Featured

#RangelandWednesday: The Way to Spray

This week was more of a straightforward and normal week.  Since Larry and I started spraying last week, we have sprayed six fields, two pastures and eight riparian areas; mostly for leafy spurge and Russian thistle.

The ATV-mounted sprayer helps to cover a lot of ground.

Between June 1 and June 6, we sprayed unless the wind picked up to over 15 miles per hour, which is the regulatory maximum for when chemical can be applied to an area. This is set to reduce and stop the drift of chemical to other plants—like trees and shrubs—that can easily be killed by chemical.

Careful application is key when spraying.

 By the end of the week I learned to slow down on spraying and how to apply certain chemical to specific areas. This is necessary in order to assess the fragility of weeds and determine the amount of chemical needed to kill them.

Featured

#RangelandWednesday: Zane’s Second Week in Buffalo

My second week started on May 26, following the Vignaroli’s camping trip. On Tuesday, Larry and I began clearing more debris from fence on the south side of the property, then fixed the fence to be sturdier and better prepared for when the river floods again. This took most of the day, but near the day’s end we scoped out spots to spray weeds when the weather permitted.

 On May 27, Larry sent me out to the bull pasture to do spit repairs for fencing. I would reapply clips, stretch wire and replace posts to make the fence “like new”. This project extended into fields #3 and #12, which I finished the next day.

On the next day, Larry and I finally found time to spray. Around noon, the wind was low enough to spray fields #3, #10 and #11. This took the rest of the day. I learned more in detail—compared to my last internship—about application rates and better methods to conserve chemical.

Learning correct chemical application techniques is a key aspect of this internship.

 On May 29, Larry and I finished field #3 and were able to see our progress from Thursday’s application. This week seemed longer due to the number of hours spent repairing fence, mixing chemical and spraying, but it was full of lessons learned.

Larry has taught me more about application rates, chemical conservation and land ownership than a company or contracting agency would have.

Featured

2020 WSGA Communications Intern: Madison Pollart

Hi there! My name is Madison Pollart and I am very excited to be the communications intern for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association this summer! I hail from Snyder, Colorado, where I was raised on my family’s small cow/calf operation. I am a graduate of Prairie High School in New Raymer, Colorado, where I was an active member of the school through numerous athletics teams and organizations. I served as president of the prominent New Raymer FFA chapter, where I also competed in various events. It was here that I began to pursue my passion in advocating for the agriculture industry.

FFA was a large part of my high school experience.

I am heading into my senior year at the University of Wyoming, where I am earning my bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and minor in public relations. In my time at UW, I have been a member of UW Women’s Club Volleyball, UW Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers and I am currently serving as treasurer for the Wyoming Collegiate Cattle Association—an extension of WSGA.

I am proud to be a member and officer for WCCA! The future of the cattle industry is bright!

I have a deep love for the cattle industry and passion for the agriculture industry overall. I enjoy spending time working both on my family’s ranch and neighboring operations. After graduation, I look forward to a career that will allow me to advocate on behalf of the cattle industry and ranchers everywhere. I plan to continue being involved in my family’s ranch and hope to have an operation of my own one day. As the sixth generation of my family to work in production agriculture, I am dedicated to continuing my family’s tradition of being good stewards of the land and the livestock we raise on it.

My sister and I are both lucky to have been raised in agriculture.

This summer, I will be taking the reins of WSGA’s social media outlets–including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter–while also contributing to its websites! I also look forward to working with WSGA on various projects this summer, including the Environmental Stewardship Award and the Wyoming Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show.

I cannot wait to get out into the great state of Wyoming to meet and work with some of the exceptional ranchers that help keep this state and our country running strong. I am sure that a summer full of learning and adventure awaits me…and I am so excited to get started!

Featured

2020 Rangeland Intern: Zane Schneider

Zane will be interning near Buffalo, WY this summer.

Hi, my name is Zane Schneider and I am WSGA’s rangeland intern for the summer. I am a senior at the University of Wyoming majoring in energy systems sciences, with a concurrent major in energy in natural resources. I also have a minor in geology, with a concentration in GIS mapping systems. I grew up in the small town of Eaton, Colorado.

During my academic career, I have managed to accrue two years of work with reclamation monitoring and ecology experience. I had the privilege of working for KC Harvey Environmental, LLC., where I learned valuable professional skills in biomass operations, equipment maintenance, energy systems and energy efficiency. I am interested in advancing my current skills to develop and build robust, durable solutions to the most important challenges facing my profession in invasive species monitoring for rangelands. 


I started the move up to Buffalo on May 16, moving into an apartment that the Vignoroli’s are allowing me to live in for the duration of this internship. On May 18, my summer internship kicked off.

On my first day, I helped put out gated pipe in fields numbered two through five, which I found on the map that Larry—the owner of the ranch—showed me. Michael, a ranch hand for Larry, discussed with me some of the main duties I will be working on with him and what he wants me to help with part of the time. Towards the end of the day, Larry and I identified the main patches of weeds and specified those which he wants me to spray and control.

The internship entails helping manage various invasive species throughout the summer.

The next day, Larry and I did more invasive species and weed identification in his pastures, located in the northern and northeastern parts of the ranch. While doing this, we also fixed and filled water tanks and mineral bowls for the cattle.

During the afternoon and evening, Larry and I brought the ATVs out to hook them up with a mounted sprayer and backpack sprayer for the following week. After fitting one of the ATVs with a sprayer, Larry allowed me to practice (with water) on some grass and weeds in the arena. This helped me get a bearing for what type and consistency of spraying Larry wants to see.

Work will take place on many areas of the ranch.

The next day was a busy and tiring day. A project that Larry and Michael had been planning for two years was set to take place this day. Our group set up half a mile of fencing that needed repairs. This took all day, but I had the opportunity to get to know some of Larry’s in-laws and Michael’s son, Lane. For the next two days, Larry and I did several chores around the pastures which allowed us to become better acquainted with one another.

There will be many opportunities to learn new things on the ranch.

Overall, in my first week I learned to do several things outside of both the environmental field and my suburban comfort zone. These new skills will allow me to have a broader knowledge of other manual labor applications outside of my degree field.

#RangelandWednesday: New Places, New Faces

My final week in Buffalo was different from what I had been doing this summer. I started on Tuesday this week, after having returned from being in the Rawahs (Rocky Mountain National Park) with my family for the holiday weekend. This was a good break.

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday sweeping more of Larry’s property, for reasons that were not communicated. After wrapping up my duties for the first half of my internship in Buffalo, it was time to move east to Sheridan County, where I will be working at SR Cattle Company with the Kane family for the second half of my internship.

I moved to SR Cattle Company on Thursday. The Kane’s took me in and put me to work, doing things like fencing, moving cattle and helping move hay within the first couple days. Not only did I learn new skills, but I was also able to show the Kane’s my ability to work.

The Kane family welcomed me to their ranch.

Their willingness to work with me and show me new skills in just two days, made me feel very positive about what this second half of my internship experience will bring.

On my first day with the Kane’s, June 9, I fixed fence and reviewed maps of their operation. This gave me a better idea of what my purpose around the ranch is and provided a clear understanding of what I want to learn on this ranch.

There will be plenty to learn here in Sheridan County.

The next day, we moved cattle from the “OTO House”, which is the main pasture. This time moving cattle was different than using ATVs and I thought it was more enjoyable.

So far, I think the second half of my internship will help me grow in my skills and give me new experiences.

The Farm Paparazzi

Armed with an automatic setting to expose a happy life full of God's grace

Facts About Beef

Debunking myths about beef

Beef Runner

Running and Travel fueled by Beef

Wyoming Lifestyle Magzine

a virtual visit to wyoming's rural communities

Wyoming Livestock Roundup

a virtual visit to wyoming's rural communities

Bridle-Bit LLC Blog

Horse & Rider Training. Serving The Northern Front Range Since 1981

Faces of Agriculture

a virtual visit to wyoming's rural communities

The 307 Chronicles

a virtual visit to wyoming's rural communities

Wyoming Roundup

a virtual visit to wyoming's rural communities

a virtual visit to wyoming's rural communities

Double H Photography

a virtual visit to wyoming's rural communities

Ladder Ranch

Scenes, thoughts and poetry from our working ranch

Comedy Of A Cowgirl

The Comedy of Storytelling

Real Ranchers

a virtual visit to wyoming's rural communities

%d bloggers like this: