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Working Ranch - March 2018

Josh Womack pitches hay to the steers being fi nished for direct-to-consumer sales. Adventures of a Wyoming family as they re-start the 72 Ranch he families of Wyoming’s 72 Ranch anchor a history similar to many ranchers: greatgreat great-grandparents arrived as homesteaders and fi rst registered their 72 brand in Alva, Wyoming in 1916. But as the agriculture market fl uctuated, town jobs paid the bills more than ranching. After years of working for others, Tod and Vicky Vineyard of 72 Ranch achieved their dream to return to full-time ranching. Calling themselves the “re-start generation”, the Vineyards have now passed the reins of ranch management over to their daughter Jen Womack and her husband Chris Womack. “We all bring different skills to the ranch, because of what we learned working other jobs,” says Jen Womack of Newcastle, Wyoming. “In college, Chris and I worked for weed and pest districts, so we know about weed identifi cation and invasive species control. Chris knows machinery operation from his work in the coalmines. My dad, Tod, is good at fi xing things, he’s a master stockman, and knows how to best utilize our grass. My mom, Vicky, is really business savvy. She owns an insurance agency based in Sundance Wyoming.” Jen recalls her parents working multiple jobs to fi rst purchase a small ranch, then cattle and begin to lease pastureland and hay T STORY AND PHOTOS BY MELISSA HEMKEN 48 I WORKING RANCH I MARCH 2018


Working Ranch - March 2018
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