The other evening I was talking to Peter about his cattle ranch. It was a very interesting discussion. They have 600 cattle on their ranch that they have to go out and round up in the fall to bring them to lower pastures. Some of them become “wild”, because they’ve been loose for several years, in the wild, and they aren’t able to round them up. They had one like this recently and ended up having to shoot it because it got in dense brush and they couldn’t get it. They run when they see people and they even tried to tranquilize this particular one but the dosage wasn’t strong enough to bring it down.
My how times have changed as far as cattle auctions go. When I was growing up, on our dairy farm, and my dad needed to send calves to auction, he would take them to a nearby town to sell them. It was a live auction that was held every Wednesday at this particular auction building. Today, Peter said that a company comes in and video tapes the ones he’s going to sell and then the auction is held on a particular date over the computer. Bidders, from all over the country, will see the videos of the individual animals and if interested, bid on them. Once the bidding is done, the auctioneer will call Peter and tell him the price per pound that his animal went for. He can decide if he’ll accept that or reject the amount. If accepted a pick-up date is arranged and the bidder is responsible for sending a truck to pick up the cattle they bought.
He said right now beef prices are at the highest he’s ever seen. He’s concerned though that if imported beef increases, it will push the US prices down. Many of the cooking skills we saw Teddy and Chris exhibit are attributed to the cooking they do out on the round-ups. It was really neat to sit and talk to true modern day cowboys to see what their life is like. It is a really hard life….in rain, shine, blizzards, etc. The work doesn’t wait…there is always something that needs to be done. Life on the range is spent sleeping on the hard ground on a bed roll…no temperpedic mattresses for these cowboys. It was great spending time with these gentleman, learning about their lives. They are the last of a dying profession….