This was my first week ever spending any extended period of time on a ranch in my life, and I have to say, although it is a lot of hard work, it was also extremely interesting and enjoyable. The first day we jumped right into it and went on my very first cattle drive. Having not ridden a horse in a year, I was definitely nervous. However, everything went well and the Kane’s were very helpful and explicit about what I need to do and everything went off without a hitch. Having the first all day cattle drive under my belt, I was not as worried about the second one the following morning, especially since these were not two-year-old heifers and somewhat cooperated. Throughout the week I learned the ins and outs of the ranch and have an idea on some of the names they use for places. I have also learned a lot about farming and planting seed and working the soil with a land planer. This first week has been an overload of information, however that being said, every bit of information that I have gained has been extremely useful and valuable. Furthermore, the E-U ranch is in one of the most beautiful places I have been to. It does not have steep snowy mountains and high alpine lakes, but it has rolling green hills where the antelope roam and the deer play. It seems as if I could be in Ireland with the green grass and stark beauty, as well a the stunning sunsets.
Hello! My name is Jedidiah Hewlett and I will be the intern at Ladder Livestock this summer! I started the week off busy as ever. On Monday, Pat took me around and showed me the meadows and also the conservation efforts of the ranch. They have installed permanent structures in the river to improve the fish habitat for their recreational guests. The riparian areas look really good! When we got back to the home ranch I started dragging the meadows to break up the cow pies and help them release the nutrients better. On Tuesday, I continued dragging meadows. On Wednesday, we went and branded about 60 calves on the desert. The steers and heifers get a different brand for easy identification. After we were done, Meghan took me around and showed me the sheep camps and lambing barns. They are quite impressive!!! On Thursday, we moved some furniture into the trailer where I am staying and then spent the afternoon dragging some more meadows. Even though it was a push to get it done, we finished up the meadows below Battle Mountain so that we can start irrigating them. On Friday, I learned how to wrangle the horses and then spent the day out on the desert gathering cattle. It was some really neat country, and some of the sagebrush was over my head! On Saturday, we rode out to the desert again to gather cattle. Unfortunately, I got separated from the other riders and didn’t get regrouped until about 10 o’clock. I learned a few things from this experience, namely that I should have paid better attention to the landmarks to guide me back to where I needed to be. It was a lesson that I would rather not have learned in that way, but now I know what to do if another similar situation were to arise. The summer sounds like it will be full of many more adventures, including the training of the three new mustangs that we adopted. I am excited!!!
Rylee was born and raised in Burns, Wyoming and is the 4th generation of her family to grow up in Laramie County. She fell in love with the agriculture industry at a very young age after being active in 4H and FFA. Rylee competed on several different teams for each organization and represented various groups on the national level. She went on to judge livestock for Laramie County Community College.
Rylee has a strong passion for the sport of rodeo. She grew up around horses and has competed in the sport of rodeo from a very young age. During her sophomore year of college, she was granted an opportunity that would aide her in being an advocate for the sport when she became the Lady in Waiting for Cheyenne Frontier Days. She would go on to serve as Miss Frontier in 2017.
With roots in eastern Laramie County, she hopes to pursue a career being an advocate for the agriculture industry and western way of life that embodies the spirit in Wyoming and surrounding areas. She will graduate in May of 2019 with a degree in agriculture communication with minors in agriculture business and public relations. She wants to use her degree along with her background and experience to further promote the industry she is so passionate about.
This week was we were in the saddle almost every day. I actually got a little tired of riding. On Tuesday we weaned the calves at home and turned the calves out. We were going to let them work their way back to the pasture we had taken them out of, but they were hungry and camped a little too long on the clover. We lost one calf because she bloated, despite our efforts to remedy it. It is important that calves get only hay or grass when they are really hungry instead of legumes, like clover. Otherwise, they eat too much and their stomach can’t process it fast enough, so they bloat.
We weaned the calves down at the lease pasture this week. We got them all into a big corral that we built out of panels and sorted the cows off. Then we hauled all the calves to the home place and vaccinated them. The calves were sometimes hard to work because the alley is made of panels and they can see out. I think that they would have been easier to move through if the crowing alley had something on it so the calves wouldn’t get so scared.
This week we did a little experimenting with a pivot-corner irrigation method. Mr. Perry had an old single-gun sprinkler that we got out and tried to use on the meadow where the pivot didn’t reach. After we repaired the pipe going to the sprinkler, it worked really well! It shoots pretty far and does a good job of spreading the water. I had to replace a pulley on the swather this week because the bearings had worn out. After that was done, I cut down one of the alfalfa meadows over two days. I calculated that I was cutting 6.5 acres per hour with the 14ft rotary swather.
As my internship comes to an end, I am grateful for all the things I’ve learned and the people that I have been privileged to meet. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to live and work in a part of Wyoming that I had not seen previously. I will certainly benefit in the future from the many lessons that I have learned during this summer.
My time here at the E Bar U has come to a close and I couldn’t be happier about the time I have spent here. I not only learned the day in and day out work required to keep a large operation running, but how a family works together to make a livelihood in modern day agriculture.
The Kane’s are not only great stewards of the land and livestock but they are some of the kindest and hardest working people that I have ever had to pleasure to meet. I would like to give a special thanks to the Kane’s for their hospitality and welcoming me into their family for the summer. I would also like to thank the Wyoming Stock Growers Association for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime.
This was the last week for me here at the Ladder Ranch. Monday, we went and moved cows around in the Colorado forest and put some salt blocks out for them. Tuesday, we looked in the heifer pasture to see if we needed to doctor anything. There was one bull that had foot rot and one bull that needed to be moved. Other than that everything was fine.
Wednesday, we spent a majority of the day looking for a bull that was lame and cleaning up the pasture to make sure we had moved all the cows out. We still have not found that bull. Thursday, we had some heifers back across a fence so we moved them back over as well as a couple bulls that followed them. Friday I spent the day working around the ranch cleaning up, fixing equipment and making sure everything was where it was supposed to be so it could be easily accessed. Saturday we rounded up the cows in the Wyoming forest so that it would be easier for them to be moved on Sunday.
This has been a great summer and wonderful experience. I have learned so many new aspects about ranching that I have never even thought about. I got close to all the workers around me, which now is making it hard to leave. This summer will be one for the books.
The Perry Ranch has kept range land Jedidiah Hewlett very busy this summer. He’s almost done with his time at the ranch, but he is working hard until the end.
This week we got the one field raked, baled, and stacked. We also received three semi-truckloads of oat hay and bedding. We decided to wait on the next field to let the alfalfa get a little taller. We started up the small pivot and shut off the big one, so we hardly have any irrigating to do. We had to order a new engine for one of the side-roll sprinklers because the old one quit working. That should be arriving next week.
On Thursday, we were privileged to have Mrs. Martha Mintz from the John Deere Furrow. She came out to interview us about the internship program and feature it in the magazine. While she was out at the ranch, we gathered and sorted the cattle on the home place. Then we ran the calves through the chute and gave them their weaning shots, a dose of wormer, and a nose flap. The nose flaps are a low stress and effective method of weaning the calves off the cows. On Friday, I did odd jobs in the morning and worked on finances in the afternoon. Mrs. Perry introduced me to Quick Books, a computer program for keeping track of financial transactions by categories. After we were done with the Quick Books, we transferred the numbers to the monthly cash flow.
I rounded out the week with a horse shoeing lesson from Jeff. I actually got to help put a set of hind shoes on the horse we were working on. Shoeing a horse is really an art; one which requires practice. I did pretty well for my first time, but it was a little tricky.
I finally got the time to put the tailgate back on the pickup after I straightened it with a little hydraulic pressure (the skid steer). I also got to go to the Johnson County Rodeo on Saturday afternoon. Next week promises more fun haying and shipping cows. It’s hard to believe that next week will be the end of my internship, but it is true!
Intern Andrew Mainini has a firm grasp on the measures that can be taken to prevent wildfires on the plains and ranches. Read how he explains how the E bar U Ranch takes such measures.
We are in the midst of summer here at the E bar U and as cool season grasses begin to turn dormant our chances of fires increase daily. Fire can be devastating for any ranch across the nation, but there are precautions that can be done to lessen the likelihood of a fire.
Prescribed fire can be used in the spring months to control sagebrush, other woods forbs and leaf litter. All these can greatly increase the fire fuel throughout the landscape; burning these off with prescribed fire will lower the fuel load. With a lower fuel load, if a fire is started unintentionally it will likely not have enough fuel to become out of control and is less likely to burn large areas. Burning sagebrush will also increase forage production because once the sage is killed; it will allow more room for grasses to grow.
Here on the E bar U, prescribed fire is a management tool that has been used for decades and the results are clearly shown throughout the ranch. Once sage covered ridge tops that were not utilized by cattle are now dense grasslands and are often heavily grazed.
Rangeland Intern Tyler Flatt has had the opportunity to help with ranching duties in not one, but two states this summer. The Ladder Ranch crosses into Colorado, and Tyler got to work both sides of the border this last week.
This week at the Ladder Ranch has been just a normal week. Monday, we went to the Colorado forest and pushed some cows back up that were starting to come down. We put out some mineral out of hope that they would stay in the higher elevation. Tuesday, I spent most of the day putting up hay from the upper meadow. I’ve gotten pretty good at stacking bales since I’ve been here.
Wednesday, we went to the Wyoming forest to ride through the pairs and see if anything needed to be doctored. We had a few calves and two bulls that had foot rot, so we doctored them up and went along our way. Thursday, I put up some more hay then raked a new pasture that had been cut. Friday, I baled that same pasture that I raked and put that hay up. Saturday, we rode through upper big gulch looking for a bull that needed to be doctored. We didn’t find him but we found a few cows that needed to be moved as well as some bull that were with the heifers that needed to be separated. It’s hard to believe that next week is my last week. I’m excited to see what next week has to offer.
This week I got firsthand experience managing the Perry ranch by myself. Mr. and Mrs. Perry went to their annual family reunion on Wednesday; Jeff and Amie left on Thursday. They all returned by Sunday afternoon. I put in some long days between cutting hay, flood irrigating, moving cows, and fixing fence. Everything held together and we had no major wrecks.
On Monday, I collected manure samples from the cows and calves so that the vet could test for worms. The results from these tests will determine what type of vaccine to give when we wean in a few weeks. We also got to do a little cowboy work moving cows on the lease. On Tuesday, we started taking the shoes and skid plates off of the swather and repairing them. All of them were worn thin and cracked at the place where they run over the ground. We welded ¼” plates on over top of the break to help protect the cutter bed and prolong its life. This option was much cheaper than purchasing new skid plates and rock guards from the equipment dealer. We priced that at about $1500.00. We already had the steel and just had to remove the plates and weld them together. Our job will probably protect the swather just as well and won’t wear out as quickly as the new parts would.
While the Perry’s were gone, I managed to get in some more corral repair and built two wings for the cattleguard by the house. It was patched together with some cattle panels and a wagon wheel before, so it looks much better now.
It just happened that all the hay that I cut down got rained on this week. While having an inch of rain is a blessing for the fields, it will delay our baling for a bit. We will probably try to get the field done next week before we start working calves for shipping.