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ranching

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Mitch Behling- A Millennial in the Beef Industry

April 29, 2015

I can’t tell you guys how excited I am about this interview! Mitch has been a part of my family before he could walk or even talk. I consider him and his brother cousins although they are of no blood relation. Back story: my grandfather’s mother died when he was just 13 years old. Shortly there after he went to work for Bud & June Sample who would be Mitch’s great grandparents. These people not only gave my grandfather a job but took him in and treated him as a son and brother. Although that was three generations ago, Mitch’s family and my family still celebrate the holidays together. Better yet, Mitch and I are usually on the same team during family games… and by no chance at all, we are usually the winners! ūüėČ Sorry Brett!

Without any further ado, here he is!

1. Give some background info on your ranch. Family history, how many generations, specific location, sector of the industry (cow/calf) and the type of cattle you raise.

I am the fifth generation in my family to ranch in the Central Valley. The current ranch in which my family owns and operates was founded in the early 1900’s. It is located northeast of Clovis, California at the base of the foothills. We run a commercial cow/calf herd of Angus cattle.

2. What is your role on the ranch? And does having another sibling help in the sharing of responsibility?

My role on the ranch is helping my dad. The tasks can range from cattle work, to welding projects, building fence, putting in water lines, or various other improvements to the ranch. I have an older brother who helps however he is now attending school in Idaho.

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Featured, Interview Series

Gabriella DeSimone- A Millennial in the Beef Industry

March 1, 2015

Not all that long ago I was asked to give a short talk to the Young Cattlemen & Cattlewomen of California. It was there that I met Gabriella. Since then her and I have become friends and shared our stories. She is the perfect person to start this series. She is bright, talented, and above all else, driven. The fact that she made the time to do this interview only shows her dedication to this industry. It has been such a pleasure to get to know her and I hope you guys enjoy the interview!

1. Give us some background on your ranch. Family history, how many generations, location, and type of cattle you raise. 

See my previous post here and check out the video that Gabriella put together. It explains a ton of her multi-generational ranching history.

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2. What is your role on the ranch? Has this role changed as you’ve gotten older or had more experience? Does being female have anything to do with what your role is on the ranch?

From my experience, I have not seen any distinction between my role and that of the men due to gender. Simply because I am not there full-time is the main reason we differentiate. That has always been something I admire about my Gramp and his two brothers. If an individual has an interest, a personality that is good to be around, and is willing to learn, they will take the time to teach and show them genuine respect regardless if they are male or female. 

3. What are you studying in school and where at? How does your degree apply to the ranch?

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2014 Drought

California Drought on a Central Valley Ranch

July 17, 2014

My friend and fellow blogger, Megan Brown,¬†over at The Beef Jar¬†recently uncovered some rather hurtful words that her local Butte Environmental Council shared on their Facebook page. ¬†After I saw what’s pictured below,¬†I decided that maybe I should continue to share how real the drought in the Central Valley is and how it has hurt my family’s business as well as multiple farmers and ranchers in the area. ¬†Just to be clear: my intent in writing these posts is to share our business, foster agricultural education, and develop conversation pieces that may lead to a better understanding for the greater good. ¬†I hope it comes off that way.

Here is what Butte Environmental Council put on their Facebook page that inspired this post:

Cry me a River??

Cry me a River??

My mom is the 3rd generation cattle rancher and she runs the ranch my grandparent’s fought hard to preserve all their life. ¬†As most everyone knows by now, over the last 4-5 years we have had a heck of a time with the drought. ¬†2014 has been the worst. ¬†The ranch we raise our beef on solely relies on annual rainfall to grow the native grass to feed our cattle. ¬†There is no irrigation on this land. ¬†Average annual rainfall for us is somewhere around 12-13″ a year. ¬†This year, there was no rain in December and most of January (typically wet months for us). ¬†Our grand total was a whopping 4.89″ of rainfall. ¬†That was also accompanied by record high temperatures.

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Calving Season 2013, Meet Your Beef

Calving Season 2013

August 27, 2013

Well, it’s here! ¬†The best time of year (besides maybe payday and my personal favorite, Christmas).

Calving season means a lot of things for us on the .7 ranch.  It means having all hands on deck 24/7 watching the cows by checking on them multiple times a day.  It means new life and sometimes harsh realities of life but it also means the beginnings to a paycheck.

This last Sunday my mom had spent the morning checking all the cows and bringing up the first calf heifers* who were getting close to calving. ¬†She had let my brother and I know that there was a heifer that she thought was starting to calve and to check on her first thing when we arrived. ¬†When I got there that afternoon, said heifer was certainly in labor. A crick in her tail and some mucus coming out her back end. ¬†About 10 minutes later there were three of us there watching her every move. ¬†Below are the chain of events in pictures. ¬†I apologize for the vulgarity of the first picture but I warned ya it was my intention to show exactly how this ranching thing works ūüôā

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*Clarification: first calf heifers are the females who have yet to have a calf. We pull them out of the herd (always with a buddy) and put them close to the barn so we can monitor them more closely in case there are any complications.  Because these animals are rookies to being a mother we take extra precautions to ensure live and healthy calves.