Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Brad is coming back!

Greeting from Elkhorn Creek Ranch in western North Dakota near the epicenter of the Bakken oil formation. 

I was flipping through the calendar the other day and came to a number of realizations.  In no particular order:  2012 is almost 1/3 of the way over already. We will soon wrap up calving season (at which time we will 'work' our 2012 calf crop, giving them their baby vacciations and branding them with the ranch's ID) and move into the next season on the ranching calendar.  MOST importantly however, I realized that Brad Hagen will be here in less than a month.  Brad was our NDSU summer intern in 2011 who just didn't get enough of his extreme ranching experience last summer and is going to join us again this summer.  When Kyle learned of this exciting news this past March he ran around the house YELLING very loudly, "My Brad is coming back.  My Brad is coming back.  YEAH!  My Brad is coming back......". 

Above, Brad is attempting his first ever 'wrestling move'.  Kim (on the heals) was kind enough to suggest Pete and Cissy catch the biggest calf in the pen.... so that's what they did.  Lyle (the MD administering the vaccine) pointed out that if he missed the calf and got the human leg accidently, it could fall off.  It was about that point in time that I pointed out to everyone if they were successful in scaring him off, there was still 40 miles of fence to get around before turning pairs out to summer grass.

 On this beautiful June day in 2011, we worked 20 of the late calves that weren't old enough on branding day to recieve their baby vaccinations.  Pete's little mare, Cissy, took to the calves in the pen quickly healing them and holding 'em for the wrestlers.  Prior to that day, she had only pasture roped calves to doctor sick ones.
Two weeks before the beautiful sunny day documented in the first three pictures, we snapped this group photo with the 225 pairs in the background that we worked on Memorial Day weekend 2011.  L to R - Kim on her grey gelding, Lee on the famous Lenny (its an elephant, no its a horse.... Lazy Lenny to be exact), Brad on Hoss (y Horse).... Kyle's gelding, myself on Cissy and Pete on the one, the only, Pokey Pine (Sydney Tastad's mare that we had last summer getting her 'ranch' smart).

As the calendar continues to flip at a furious pace, I hope to bring you periodic updates from our little piece of heaven at the end of the road where every day we strive to ensure that the cows are happy, the calves healthy, and the horses and humans are fit.



  1. Thanks for the blog V. I'd love to follow your blog as your mother-in-law and I do not have nearly enough coffee days left to keep up on everything Best Ranch related!Cynthia

  2. So happy you started a blog! Looking forward to more posts. :)

  3. Cynthia and Kristen - Thanks to both of you for visiting my newly created blog and for your king words :).