Ranch life

Living on a Ranch Isn’t Nearly as Dirty as People Make It Out to Be

I’ve lived my whole life in a rural town, except for the brief time I resided in the city to get my degree in Animal Husbandry. Now, I’m back at our ranch and running the family business. The city was fascinating and I had the time of my life during the 4 years it took to earn my degree, but the country will always be where my heart is. If anything, the experience made me love and value my roots more.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have fond and interesting memories. One thing I would never forget is how surprising city folk’s ideas of ranch life are. I don’t really blame them as the extent of their experience in ranches and farms is probably limited to what they’ve seen on television or what’s portrayed in books and movies. That said, I always try to straighten people out. I can’t really continue to let them believe that us ranchers practically roll around in mud or animal waste all day. Maybe, just half the day. Kidding!

I mean, sure, we do get intimately acquainted with all things cow—cow drool, cow feces, cow smell. And there’s the occasional wading in cold, waist-high mud to retrieve a lost calf or being covered in oil and grease while repairing a truck. But we don’t walk around, perpetually covered in dirt and manure. We also mend fences, cut and bale hay, grow feeds, and bottle-feed calves and a few abandoned kittens. There are days spent cataloging inventories, negotiating, auctioning our livestock—all the things that come with running a business.

During my university years, I would always bring a different group of friends home every summer to show them how a real-life ranch operates. I like to think that the ranch was as educational and surprising to them as the city was to me.

I’m also still friends with some of my city dwelling mates and visit them for a beer or two whenever I have business in the city. They also sometimes visit me. Most of us have children now and kids love the ranch! I appreciate how my friends take the time to acquaint their kids with ranch life too.

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