Page 80

Working Ranch April/May 2016

to catch the cattle in the right pen according to owner in the main alley, and another alley is used to simultaneously load cow pots out of three loading chutes. ALLOWING CHANGE The association uses a horseshoe shaped rotation through the pastures; one spring starting on the west side and heading east, and reversing it the following year. Over the years the members have developed water wells to improve distribution of cattle according to available technology: windmills, then submersible pumps, and now converting to solar. “We’ve tried to improve the quality of the bulls,” Zakotnik says, “through the bull selection committee, and it has and has not worked. You know, it was pretty hard to go tell an old kid how we were not accepting that bull. But the effort did improve the quality of the breeding cattle.” With a 50-year history, the association has seen change, both in the agriculture industry and ranch families’ lifestyles, and adapted to it. “The young guys, like Seth, are able to ranch because of the oil and gas extraction industry here,” Zakotnik says, “but they also have other fulltime jobs. People are in a hurry to come; they’re in a hurry to go. We used to gather the cattle and sort them all a-horseback in a rodear, and it took three weeks. Now we put them all through the corral and it’s faster, but not traditional. If it were up to an old rascal like me, we’d still do it the old way! There are some drawbacks to the association, Zakotnik adds. “You can’t do everything with your privately owned cattle that maybe you’d like, and you don’t have complete control over the bull pool. And yet, there’s young families in the association that wouldn’t have the opportunity to be in the cow business without the grazing.” McCray Beal of Altamont, UT brings cattle up the alley to be loaded. The sort crew is able to direct the cattle 15 different ways for the 15 member ranches at the same time. 80 I WORKING RANCH I APRIL / MAY 2016


Working Ranch April/May 2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above