A Visit to the Home Place

Going “home” for us means a 14-hour drive across the prairie and Black Hills, to the upper “breaks” of eastern Wyoming. My wife’s great-grandfather homesteaded a ranch there more than 120 years ago. Her folks moved back nearly 40 years ago to build a life for their kids, and build a registered Angus herd. Teri’s youngest brother recently moved back with his wife and three young girls to continue the family tradition, and to build a future for his family that we all hope and pray will last another generation or more. It’s not an easy life, for sure, but it’s a good one.

(c) 2012 AgriLife Studios

When we visit the ranch it’s a “vacation” — we roam the pastures and hills, ride 4-wheelers, enjoy the vistas, and occasionally make ourselves useful by joining the family in working calves, feeding cows or fixing fence. It’s a time to appreciate the lifestyle and enjoy each other’s company. Then we drive back to Minnesota, the place our kids call home, and return to our normal routine.

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Meanwhile, the family back on the ranch continues plugging away. For them, the ranch is a way of life, and a living – barely. They’re doing okay, but this ongoing drought means there’s not enough grass for the summer calves, and not enough hay for the cows in the coming winter. Feed prices and fuel prices are high. And as our family and their beef-producing co-horts across the country sell more cattle so there’s fewer mouths to feed, the price of cattle makes its downward slide on the market cycle.

We pray they will all weather the storm. And we’ll do what we can to help out. Because keeping the family on the ranch means, maybe, at least one more generation can call it “home.”

(c) 2012 AgriLife Studios. All rights reserved.

Published by agrilifestudios

Scott is co-onwner with Shawn Nielsen of AgriLife Studios. AgriLife Studios is a premium image solutions provider specifically serving the agribusiness sector. AgriLife Studios offers top-grade stock photography and assignment photography and video services to support agrcultural marketing programs. We specialize in livestock, equine and rural lifestyle images.

5 thoughts on “A Visit to the Home Place

  1. Great article on the ZumBrunnen Ranch with photos to show activities that keep us busy as well as having a good life with God’s provision at the heart of all we do” making a living a life”!

  2. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that Wyoming has been my family’s home for the last 30+ years as well. While “my people” hail from Colorado, Texas and Kansas originally, my folks moved to Wyoming in the early ’80s where my Dad managed a ranch on the Laramie river for about 30 years. Mom’s worked for the University of Wyoming most all of that same time span. Recently “retired,” they now have a little acreage of their own. I’m excited to make new memories there… after all, “home” is wherever you hang your hat… or is that “heart?”

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