This was another busy week at the Ladder Ranch! We started off the week by discovering that the cows had broken a gate and let themselves into the National Forest! We spent a couple of days fencing the pastures and rebuilding the gate so that the cows would stay off the forest until mid-June. While we were gathering the cows back, my horse decided to lay down in a pond after she had gotten a drink. It ended with me in the water soaking wet! Luckily, it was midday and the sun was hot. Another big project that we accomplished this week was fixing a water tank in one of the mountain pastures. It is fed by a spring and the cows had made a big mud hole around it because the tank was leaking. There had been so much dirt removed from around the tank that the cows couldn’t drink out of it anymore. It took a lot of grit and ingenuity, but the other intern and I got it done. We branded a bunch of about 90 calves out on the desert last week also. The Ladder Ranch brands in portable panel corrals that must be set up and taken down. The real challenge is sorting out the cows from the calves with no alley to work in. I think we all learned a little about working together to get the job done smoothly. Other than that, we have been keeping ourselves busy with yardwork, putting out mineral, and feeding the stock in the corrals. One big privilege was getting a little horse riding lesson from one of the hired men. I am very grateful to be in such a great environment for learning about horses. Next week promises more riding and branding; hopefully it goes well!!!
Feeders, fences, and dams.
This week at Perry Cattle Company, I got to spend a lot of time in the saddle, moved feeders and helped get equipment ready for cutting hay.
I started keeping a To-Do list with me. This has helped keep me on track for what needed to be done, especially since I am new and am still trying to learn where everything is.
We began the week with moving feeders. I would use a chain to hook up these long troughs to the 4-wheeler and would pull them to the next field. Then I would pour mineral into the troughs and made sure there was a salt block in each. The mineral that we use has bovatec, which helps the cattle with nutrient absorption. Later that day, I pulled out the boards and tarps that we used for dams in the irrigation ditches. It was a muddy and humid extravaganza, but that just made it extra rewarding when I finished.
The next day, I got the chance to test my saddling skills because we were going to move cattle. I almost got the saddle on all by myself, but then right at the end, I needed help. Next time, saddle…next time. We had to do some last minute irrigation work before heading off to go move said cattle. I was not very comfortable moving cattle next to the highway. Thankfully, the horse, Sam, was under control. I really enjoy getting to ride and move cattle. I did not grow up with horses and would jump at any chance to ride. Now, to have it be a part of my job is incredible. I still have a long ways to go before I am a confident rider, but everyday, I get a little better. In the afternoon, I went back to go try and get the electric fence to work. We were getting as charge of 1.9, the desired charge is 3.0 and up. After going down the fence, I thought I saw the problem. One of the splices was touching a t-post. I carefully fixed it, but that still did not solve the problem.
Wednesday, I moved the mineral feeders to the next pasture. I got really frustrated because I could not find one the feeders I had set out. Can I still use the “I am a new” excuse? I was then reassigned to help Jeff patch the gated pipe again and make sure the balers and rake were ready for action. I ran the grease gun, which made me fondly remember back home getting equipment ready for almond harvest. By the time I was done, I am not sure how much grease I got on the equipment because I was covered head to toe!
Thursday was redemption day for saddling the horses. The cattle we had just moved the other day had gotten loose which meant we needed to ride the horses and get the cows back where they belonged and fix the fence. Using my four-wheeler, I moved the horses out of the pasture, I caught Sam, then I saddled him without any help. Sam was being a pill. He was not listening to me and would not do what I asked. I got really frustrated so then I got to use a four-wheeler. We changed the electric fence charger and that worked a lot better. We got a charge of 4.0! We went back to the ranch and moved the heifers that will be getting spayed the next day in a pen off to themselves. In the afternoon, I pulled more dams, and helped Jeff with the other electric fence.
Friday was a really great day, I got to run the rake! I really enjoyed getting to drive tractor because I have driven tractors for many years and it was familiar.
I am excited to start my third week here and I am happy with learning so much!
This week, was extremely exciting. I went to my first ever branding, and I have to say, it was hard work, yet maybe one of the most entertaining things I have ever done. Learning how to trip the calf was very interesting and especially since these calves were on the larger size, timing was absolutely everything. I also learned another way to brand besides the traditional way. Putting the calves on a table certainly went fast with only 6 people. We also trailed bulls, and even though they are easier than pairs, I have to say they are way more intimidating. They seem to just want to fight for no reason and if you don’t have your wits about you then they could kill you or your horse if you are in the wrong spot. Earlier this week we received about 2.8 inches of rain in less than 24 hours, due to the actual rain and the conditions of the road, we were forced to stay in and do maintenance on equipment. I learned how to change out the blades on a swather. This week was very eye opening and new, and will truly be one that I will never forget.
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!