BY TROY SMITH
A Wyoming family’s commitment to never stop learning
’m starting to think there may
be something to this climate
change thing,” muses Scott
Sims. A lifelong resident of
the Rock Creek Valley, Scott
says the winters there have
been more open in recent years, with
fewer long stretches of severe cold.
Yet there’s been plenty of snow in the
nearby mountains, yielding irrigation
water for the valley.
“If that’s climate change, it’s been
good for us,” grins Scott.
Of course, “open winter” is a relative
term in Wyoming. Sims Cattle
Company, operated by Scott and
wife April, plus their son and daughter
in-law, Shanon and Melinda Sims,
is headquartered near McFadden –
some 40 miles northwest of Laramie.
Annual precipitation can range from
less than 10 to over 22 inches, but
16 inches is about average. Typically,
most of it comes as snow.
And at 7,200 feet above sea level,
summer is short. Cool-season grasses
are the dominant forages. While
working within the parameters set by
nature, making good use of forages
for grazing and hay production has
long been the objective of the Sims
clan. They’ve been working at it for
over three-quarters of a century. The
family has survived and prospered as
a result of their ability to adapt.
Scott’s Missouri-born great-grandfather
66 I WORKING RANCH I JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019