Ranching Lifestyle Survey

If the thought of ranching for a living sounds interesting and fun, you should take the following survey first to determine if ranching would suit you. Some of the questions concern your personality; others determine your knowledge about ranch life.

1. After accidentally stepping in fresh manure,
a. you’re convinced that your shoes are ruined and plan to throw them away
b. you complain about it but continue on
c. either you ignore it if you wore overshoes or you scrub it off in the dirt

2. Working outside in nasty winter weather conditions as part of your job
a. sounds excruciating
b. could be tolerated but you’d prefer to work in decent weather
c.you’d accept it if it was necessary

3. The sight of dead animals, blood, or slimy animal backside material
a. grosses you out; makes you squeamish and likely to pass out
b. makes you cringe a little
c. doesn’t bother you or you could overlook it in order to do what needs done

4. Popular beverages at a branding include
a. mojitos and pina coladas
b. pop, water, iced tea
c. beer

5. Neighboring ranchers welcome
a. comments and suggestions on how to run their ranch
b. beer
c. compliments on their place and/or cow herd

6. Sleeping in and having days off
a. is a high priority
b. is optional
c. you find it hard to sleep in (but power naps do wonders) and you take days off when work is less demanding

7. Your ideal winter outer work wear should be
a. something that looks good on you
b. something you’re okay with wearing everyday
c. practical, comfortable, and warm

8. Getting up in the middle of the night and going out in cold weather voluntarily to check on cows during calving season
a. sounds asinine
b. would take some motivation and a lot of grumbling but you could do it
c. would get done if knowing that a calf’s life may be at stake

9. Ranchers love
a. fancy gourmet salads
b. pop and candy bars
c. tasty beef and potatoes

10. When offered a rocky mountain oyster cooked on the branding stove, you
a. refuse to eat anything not cooked in sanitary conditions
b.hesitate but are willing to try this ranch delicacy
c.ask for salt and pepper

11. You approach a closed gate to a pasture with cows in it, but don’t see any cows around, you
a. don’t bother shutting the gate when you leave
b. leave the gate open but shut it upon leaving the pasture
c. shut the gate once you are in the pasture and do the same upon leaving

12. You find an old, worn out vest that needs tossed out—mostly because it’s really ugly; you
a. throw it away
b. put it in the dog’s house
c. keep it handy in case a chilled calf needs warming

If you answered mostly a’s, ranching is not something you’d excel at. Reading about ranching should satisfy your curiosity. If you answered mostly b’s, you have potential but need some work. You’d have to buck up and get calloused. Start by eliminating complaining and whining. If you answered mostly c’s, you must be able to put up with a lot of crap because this is one lifestyle that cows dole it out daily.

column originally published February 28-March 6, 2010

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