elcome to the ranch. I’m Jessa. My husband, Kurt, and I live in central Nebraska at the base of the Nebraska Sandhills. We love it here. Kurt and his dad, David, run a cow/calf operation of commercial Angus / Hereford cross cattle. Kurt and I met at college, after I had left the big city of Omaha to try my hand in cowboy country at Chadron State. God crossed my path with this cute Wrangler wearing cowboy, and now I’m navigating gravel roads and picking sweet corn as well as making sure the cows come home. I work at the nearest big town during the school year as a teacher’s aide, and stay plenty busy during the summer months helping to work calves and doctor cows as well as tending to my backyard flock of chickens. Being from the big city, ranching was a new subject for me, but I have caught on quickly and love every minute of it (well, almost). I went through some shopping withdrawals, learned how to hurry and feed hungry farm hands, and then trying to keep the food warm when plans change, and finding out the actual reason why the front porch is really called the ‘Mud Room’. The roots of ranching and farming for Kurt’s family go back five generations, over 120 years. We are exceptionally blessed to have the shared wisdom and guidance of years of experience in the agriculture industry, as well as the beef industry. The interest in cattle started with Kurt’s great great grandfather. His grandpa began with a small herd of Hereford cattle from his father, moving on to Kurt’s dad with his large herd of commercial cow/calf, which moved on to my husband Kurt, keeping the tradition going with our own herd of cattle. We are a 500 head cow/calf operation. While we don’t have a large feed yard, we do keep most of the calves here on the ranch and feed yearlings for a while until they are sold to be finished. We keep quite busy tending to the mama cows as well as all the bull power that goes along with them. David’s wife, Carol, and Kurt’s sisters, Kristen and Lana, are all involved in the operation as well. Andy, David’s hired hand, also helps out. He is Kurt’s cousin and friend. It really is a family affair, and I am blessed to be a part of it. My husband and I live here on the ranch where he is in charge of the feeding and day-today operations. We try to keep it traditional, MARCH 2016 | WORKING RANCH | 63 Jessa met Kurt in college.
Working Ranch - March 2016
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