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Working Ranch April/May 2016

month or two via telephone conference to stay updated on issues facing the association. The shareholders elect the board positions through ballot, but hire a third party secretary. “An association is like a chain,” Zakotnik says, “it’s just as good as the people in it want it to be. We have it as one person, one vote. It doesn’t matter if you have 300 shares or 100 shares, you still only get one vote.” Major decisions are handled by a mix of consensus and voting, with a lot of discussion in between as the ranchers work together to govern the direction of the association. “The shareholders, they all have their own businesses and ranches. They’re the bosses of everything they do,” Jones adds. “We all sit down, and it can be the hardest thing to get an agreement. Then it’s a vote contest.” Jones and his wife, Nicole, also have a trucking business that serves the nearby natural gas fi elds. Running their cattle on the association in the summer allows Jones to work fulltime off the ranch to support his family as they build their operation. “The association gave JoAnn and I a start,” Zakotnik says. “And it makes it possible for people, like Seth, that (Above) The cowboy crew brings in the cattle they gathered, which will be sorted and shipped out of the corrals the next day. 76 I WORKING RANCH I APRIL / MAY 2016


Working Ranch April/May 2016
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