Wyoming Livestock Roundup
Since 1940, the Northern Arapahoe Tribe has raised cattle on 350,000 acres of rangeland in Hot Springs and Fremont counties. “The Arapahoe Ranch is a wonderful example of a rejuvenated effort by the Northern Arapahoe Tribe to reconnect with its strong traditions as a hunter/ gather society whose very existence depended on its willingness to live in harmony with nature,” says the ranch website, arapahoeranch.com. On the ranch, the Tribe raises Black Angus-Hereford cross cattle, and they’ve got big goals for the future. Running the ranch Ranch Manager Ransom Logan has been at the place for 12 years and explains, “We’re a cow/ calf operation, just trying
to make a living raising beef.” The ranch focuses on a Black Angus-Hereford cross. “We also have a little Salers thrown in, but we’re diluting that out,” Logan comments. “Years ago, we used more Salers, and they’re pretty nice, but we’re slowly phasing them out because a lot of people don’t care for the Salers based on their history.” Logan continues that their current Black AngusHereford cross cattle are balanced and perform well. “We’re looking for a good, moderate-framed cow,” he explains. “She also needs to be a goodmilking cow with maternal traits and good feet.” Aside from good performance, strong maternal traits and good structure,
Logan says they aren’t particular about other traits. A year on the ranch Each year, Arapahoe Ranch starts calving in March. “Our mature cows are calved out on the ranch on winter range,” Logan notes. “We also calve about 700 head of heifers on the creek near our headquarters and through a calving barn.” He adds, “We take a little extra special care of the first-calf heifers. We keep them low and feed them.” The ranch also brings in some of the oldest cows, as well, providing extra feed during the winter months. “We give the older cows a maintenance feed if we have to, and we bring them in,” he adds. “Most of the time, they’re out on
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THE WYOMING LIVESTOCK BOARD is preparing for the 2017 brand renewal and wants to remind producers that it is very important to keep their mailing address current. By law, the Livestock Board must notify by mail at the address shown on the brand records, the party owning the brand that the brand must be re-recorded, and if the brand has not been re-recorded within sixty (60) days from the expiration date of the brand it will be declared abandoned. Brands that are subject to renewal expire on January 1 of the renewal year and the 60-day grace period expires March 1 of the renewal year. If you are not sure when your brand is scheduled for renewal or are not sure if the Wyoming Livestock Board has your current address, please contact the Wyoming Livestock Board via phone, mail, e-mail, or fax at:
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the range year-round.” The ranch utilizes a full mineral program throughout the year to ensure the health of their livestock, but they only feed alfalfa and hay when necessary. “We supplement them in the wintertime with enough protein to keep them on maintenance and keep them going,” Logan continues. “We don’t want our cows falling backwards, so we feed them enough protein for a maintenance ration, if they need it.” He adds, “If they start slipping in condition, we’ll feed them, but most of the time, the cowherd is just run out on the range.” While they opted not to background their calves this year, Logan says that they have done it in the past. At weaning in midOctober, Logan says the ranch makes a decision whether to sell calves right away or hold them over to capture improvements in the market. “We can hold out to see what the market is going to do,” he says. “We get rid of all the steers and don’t run them over to yearlings, but we retain a bunch of heifers.” Arapahoe Ranch raises all of its own replacements to further grow and improve the herd. The future Logan says that, as one
of the largest ranches in Hot Springs County, Arapahoe Ranch provides an integral part of the county’s ag community. “We hope to keep growing our herd,” Logan comments. “We’d like to get up to about 5,000 cows and be able to run more yearlings, as well.” Currently, they run about 3,500 cows and more than 2,000 yearlings. He adds that they have adequate rangelands and hope to stock it with additional cows. Sustainable ag In addition to raising cattle, Arapahoe Ranch operates an all-natural, grass-fed, non-hormone treated cattle herd, which they say “represents a strong commitment to biodiversity, and its grassfinished cattle show the Tribe’s belief in sustainable agriculture.” To expand its herd and continue to maintain the rangelands, the ranch strives to finish their herd on the range while also monitoring range conditions. “The main goal of management is to pre-
History According to the Wyoming State Archives, Arapahoe Ranch started operations on Nov. 1, 1940 after purchasing holdings from the Padlock Ranch. The purchase also included 3,023 cows, 750 heifers, 154 bulls and 261 horses. “This tribal enterprise was established in 1940 as the Arapahoe Ranch under an agreement between the Tribe and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Much of the land in the ranch was purchased by the Shoshone and Arapahoe tribes as a part of the Land Acquisition Program authorized by the Shoshone Judgment Act of July 27, 1939,” the Archives continues. They add, “Federal Rehabilitation Funds amounting to $290,000 were advanced by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs under a trust agreement to purchase livestock, equipment and to pay the first year’s operating expenses.” The ranch began operations with 4,939 cattle. They have since grown and transformed, focusing on developing and controlling livestock water, managing grazing and maintaining the ranch for sustainable agriculture production.
serve the delicate balance in nature, while keeping alive traditional Native American values,” the website continues, noting that they are also committed to preserve the diversity of plants and animal species on the ranch. “Through careful monitoring of wildlife and range condition, along with proper grazing management, Arapahoe Ranch is able to sustain healthy ecosystems where key symbiotic relationships are allowed to flourish,” the ranch comments. Ranching in Hot Springs County Arapahoe Ranch runs in both Hot Springs and Fremont counties, as well as on the Wind River Reservation. “Hot Springs County is slower paced than other places in the state, and we like it there,” Logan says. Logan also adds that ranching is a lifestyle that has become engrained in him and his family. “I love what I do,” he comments. “Ranching is what I have a passion for, and it also provides identity to the Tribe. People associate the Northern Arapahoe Tribe with Arapahoe Ranch, and that’s a good thing.” Logan also notes that the community in Hot Springs County makes ranching very enjoyable. “There are really good people in every county, but in this county especially, the neighbors get along really well,” he comments. “Everybody here tries to be neighborly, and that’s important when it come to ranching. A good neighbor goes a long way, and a bad neighbor can make problems for everyone.” Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at saige@ wylr.net.
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2016 Fall Cattlemen's Edition