We live in Grouse Creek, Utah. It's in the upper most north west corner of Utah. It is an hour every direction from cell service and paved roads. Our nearest neighbor is over the border in Nevada about 8 miles away. We live so far out that they just barely got a phone line and internet ran in here last year.
My husband and I both work for Simplot Livestock in Grouse Creek, Utah. We run about 1500 head of cattle, mostly Angus, Brangus, and Charolais cross cattle. During the spring, summer and into the fall our cattle run on private and BLM ground in the mountains near Grouse Creek and during the late fall and through the winter they winter out on the desert in Pilot Valley near Montello, Nevada. So our job is brand, doctor, gather cattle and trail to different feed areas, fence, and so on.
We use to have a full time horse training business in Idaho. When the economy caused the horse market to slow down we started day working more and taking other jobs that would let us stay horseback. Then we found out about a ranch job with Simplot last year we decided that sounded like a nice change. It's a great job, in an awesome location and we get to work together everyday still.
A typical spring day for us would be gathering pairs off the spring pasture, branding calves and turning them out on the summer range. Summer days are salting, pushing cattle out of a grubbed out area into an area with more feed. All fall is gathering the summer range, weaning and shipping calves, preging and culling cows then trailing cows to the winter range in Nevada. Normally during the winter all of our cows are turned out on a winter range and calve out there. This winter, because we had such a dry summer last year, only 500 head went to the winter range and we kept about 700 in Grouse Creek to feed hay to through the winter. This worked in our favor because we have a couple work horse teams, so we hook a wagon or sleigh everyday and feed our cows by hand and then saddle a horse to ride through and check the new calves.
Our favorite part about the lifestyle we have is getting to work together everyday, living in a remote area, and being able to make a living horseback. We can still train a few outside horses and in the summer we get time go show our horses and pick up at rodeos. We are very lucky and neither one of us could ever imagine doing any different.
One of the things that people don't understand about working and living on a ranch is that, yes we get to ride our horses everyday, live in the mountains, but it's a hard life. It doesn't pay much, we live a long ways out, you can't just run to the store for a gallon of milk, summers are hot, winters are cold, you may not see another person for a week, if you run your truck off the road in the winter, there is a good chance another truck won't come by till the next day, and sometimes you have to be here everyday for weeks or months to take care of the animals that you are responsible for. Not to many vacations. Sometimes ranch jobs are short term, you never know when you have to pack up the whole house the next day and move.
Thank you Emily for this great feature! You can follow the Fuhriman's on their blog.
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