Steve and I live on the ranch (The Taylor Ranch) that has been in my family for more than 60 years. But our history goes back even farther when my great grandparents began ranching about 10 miles away along Texas Creek in the late 1800’s.
Dad tells stories of riding the train along the Arkansas River when it still carried passengers and of his uncle trying to rope bears. He remembers favorite dogs, favorite horses, favorite cows, and the beauty of a newborn calf. Hardship also speckles the past when burning spines off cactus to feed cows was necessary during drought years and the tragedy of finding a young heifer shot is an indelible memory.
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Steve and I were married on a hill above the ranch in April of 1977. The wind blew my hair horizontally while our parents and a favorite dog looked on. Two years later we took a detour up North when an opportunity for ranching in British Columbia, Canada presented itself. We (I) thought we’d go for a year or two, but we stayed for twelve. We worked on two different large ranches, Empire Valley Ranch and the Gang Ranch in a remote area of the Cariboo along the Fraser River. For the next twelve years, Steve honed his ranch management skills, and I began my writing career. We adopted our youngest son, and I taught in both one and two room schools.
We moved back to Colorado in 1991 when our youngest son was ready to start school. We went into business for ourselves with the purchase of 24 bred heifers and ran the remainder of my Dad’s cow herd on shares. Not long after our return, Steve attended the Ranching for Profit School which became pivotal in ranch changes, including adding cross-fencing to improve land and pastures and shifting the breeding season to allow for summer calving.
Today our business includes marketing of natural grass fed beef to consumers and promoting sustainable, profitable agriculture. I recently retired from my job as a fifth grade teacher at the local K-12 school and have published my third Colorado-set historical fiction novel for young readers.
Together, we are committed to carrying on the heritage of the ranch in a world of change. We are connected to both the land and our past with the hopes of passing on a legacy of ranching, agriculture, and land preservation to future generations.