Meet an Idaho Rancher: Diana Graning

I’m Diana Graning! My husband Cody, myself and our two daughters Mesa (5) and Riata (1.5) are ranchers in Keuterville near the breaks of the Salmon River. Along with ranching, we also own a custom crop spraying business in Idaho County. We raise Limousin Angus cross cattle known as “Limflex”. Our herd started when my Uncle decided to sell a small bunch of my late grandfather’s older Angus cows, as to make the herd more manageable.  At that time the connection to my grandfather’s cattle was as tender as ever and I convinced my husband that we had to purchase them. So we started with 11 head and have grown quite a bit since winter of 2013. Although, we still have a handful of those original 11 and we have since kept a few heifers as well. It makes me proud to keep a little of his herd genetics around.

When it comes to eating beef, everyone loves a good steak; but for an everyday meal that’s affordable, easy, and so delicious I’d say either a Roast or Chuck Steak in the crockpot for French Dip Sandwiches.  I have used many Chuck Steaks for this. It’s best to thaw and trim them before, season well and let them cook on low for 8 hours. They should shred up pretty good, put a scoop of meat on to some hoagies with the inside grilled and pepper jack cheese with au jus sauce for dipping. You can also add green peppers and onions. Even as a rancher, one thing that I am still always learning is how to use all of the cuts for the best eating experience.

Diana Graning | Idaho CattleWomenWhat is your favorite part of the beef industry?
I would have to say my favorite part of the beef industry is the closeness between beef producers. It doesn’t matter where your operation is what breed you raise, its size, whether you’re a feedlot owner, stocker, cow/calf, etc.  All beef producers seem to treat each other with respect, a smile and usually a question like “how’s the weather around your place?” We share so much in common that if there is a time when a beef producer in need, there will be support from all over come to lend a hand. It’s a special thing to be a part of.

As young producers that started small, I am so appreciative for all the support we have received. It’s because of other ranchers and our own hard work that we were able to grow in herd numbers, pasture and equipment via letting us know of available pieces or allowing us to take over unused land. It’s refreshing to see relationships built between veteran and young producers.

Why are you passionate about the beef industry?
I am passionate on a couple levels. First I have seen how beef operations can be passed down from one generation to the next, keeping a legacy alive. I think you will be hard pressed to find another industry with as much tradition and heritage associated with it. Second, when it comes down to it, we as a society need agriculture. We have a need for a nutritious and healthy product to nourish our bodies. I enjoy being a part of providing that.

When you’re not busy ranching, what do you like to do to “unwind”?
Ride my darn horses! Even better if I can catch a barrel race. For an inside activity I like to crochet, watch documentaries on about anything  and Big Bang Theory.

What is your favorite part about Idaho?
I was born in Winnemucca, Nevada; however my family roots have always been here on the Prairie, including my grandfather ranching here, as well. My favorite part about it all are the wide open spaces and challenging country. Living so close the Salmon River canyon I have an established respect for the areas that sometimes are just plain inaccessible by man. To ranch in many parts of Idaho, horses are still very much needed. I appreciate living in a state that there are still areas you can’t drive too.

Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Meet an Idaho Rancher: Robin Lufkin

I’m Robin Lufkin, and my husband Carl and I are ranchers from Lemhi County! I was raised on a ranch in Leadore, not too far from where we live now, and Carl and I have ranched together as long as we’ve been married. We have always raised commercial cows, but for the last 15 years or so, we’ve started raising registered Angus bulls and sell them each spring at our annual bull sale. My favorite part of ranching is knowing that my husband and I are making a living the same way our parents and grandparents did, and that we’re providing that same opportunity for our children and grandchildren. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I love producing a product that is not only nutritious, but delicious as well!

Robin Lufkin | Idaho CattleWomenWhy are you passionate about the beef industry?
Because I believe we produce a great product very efficiently that has many health benefits.

What’s your favorite beef meal to cook (or favorite beef recipe)?
I like to grill especially in the summer, but cook about all cuts of beef throughout the year.

When you’re not busy ranching, what do you like to do to “unwind”?

I love to golf although I’m not very good at it. I also like to knit, read and yard work. Oh and cook!

What is your favorite part about Idaho?
The diversity of it. It has so many different wonderful things about it from one area to the next. And the fact that it’s such a great agricultural state, we grow so many different crops and foods!

Categories: Beef, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Meet an Idaho Rancher: Laurie Lickley

Hi, my name is Laurie Lickley, and I’m proud to be an Idaho rancher! We live outside of Jerome, Idaho, on our family’s “century operation”–which means it has been in my husband Bill’s family for more than 100 years. Our kids, Valene and Cole, are our operation’s 5th generation of Lickleys.   

Over that 100+ years, our operation has constantly developed and evolved to fit the time’s best management practices. Our most recent change has come in the last seven years, where we’ve started running our cows year-round in northern Nevada. We winter them on the river, where warmer conditions provide excellent winter forage, where we supplement with hay as needed. We move them to the mountain in March, where they will calve in April. Our calves are weaned in October, backgrounded, and shipped by the middle of November. We run our replacement heifers in California before coming back to the ranch for April calving with the rest of our cows. On our home place in Jerome, we also raise a few different crops, primarily growing alfalfa hay, corn silage and potatoes, all on a rotating schedule.

I love everything beef–it’s the world’s premier protein! Our family markets both conventional and grass-fed cattle, which allows us to create a product that can appeal to all consumers. It’s such a satisfying feeling to know that people across the world are able to sit down and enjoy something that my family and I have worked so hard to produce!

Why are you passionate about the beef industry? Preserving and protecting our ability to pass this business on to our children and grandchildren.

What’s your favorite beef meal to cook (or favorite beef recipe)? The Mississippi Pot Roast is so versatile and easy, although I’m extremely partial to a thick medium-rare New York Strip.

When you’re not busy ranching, what do you like to do to “unwind”? I absolutely love to travel and experience different cultures. A glass of red wine and a good book will do, too.

What is your favorite part about Idaho? The people. Never have I met such hard-working, humble folks who sincerely care about their animals and contributions to their rural communities.

Categories: Beef, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Meet an Idaho Rancher: Maggie Malson

Hi, I’m Maggie Malson. I’m a farm girl turned Idaho cattlewoman. I grew up a farmer’s daughter in small town Kansas. My husband, Josh, and I met in college at Kansas State, got married, and moved to Idaho to join his parents and siblings in the family operation. Our ranch is located near Parma, in southwest Idaho. We raise registered Angus and Hereford cattle, selling bulls and females to commercial ranchers and other purebred producers. We have three generations on the ranch, including our four children.

What is your favorite part of the beef industry? The people! People in the Idaho ranching community care about each other, their animals, and the land. They are kind, intelligent, and hard-working. I love being a part of the agriculture industry and helping to feed people. I’ve met so many people across the country and traveled to different places because of agriculture.

Maggie Malson | Idaho CattleWomenWhy are you passionate about the beef industry? I love our product—beef! It’s such a nutritious and delicious source of protein. I love raising the cattle, seeing our kids learn responsibility and work ethic by taking care of the animals, and sharing the story of agriculture with others. I don’t know another industry that has such a global reach, yet is also feels like a small, connected family.

What’s your favorite beef meal to cook (or favorite beef recipe)? Oh, this is hard! I have so many beef dishes. I think my favorites tend to keep it simple. My family loves cuts like flank and skirt steak, and tri-tip, that is marinated, then grilled and served with a fresh vegetable or salad. I make a lot of ground beef soups and stews in the fall and winter too. My family has a couple favorite recipes I make—Steak Alfredo, which is fettuccine topped with a cream sauce and sirloin steak bites, and Creamy Crockpot, which uses round steak, peppers and onions, and is served over rice.

When you’re not busy ranching, what do you like to do to “unwind”? I love to read, play tennis, and watch my kids in sports, school, and 4-H activities.

What is your favorite part about Idaho? I really love Idaho. It has so many pretty places and the sunsets are amazing. It reminds me of where I grew up. The people are friendly and down-to-earth. I love that you can drive about two hours anywhere from where we live and you can be in the desert or the mountains. It’s been a great place to raise cattle and a family.

Categories: Beef, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Meet an Idaho Rancher: Christie Prescott

Hi, there! I’m Christie Prescott. My husband Wyatt and our two children Augustus(3) and Agnes (20 months) live south of Bellevue but we claim Picabo as it is the closest town. We are primarily background and stocker operators that finish most of our cattle in commercial feedlots. We lease pasture and feedlot pens wherever we can. We have cattle on pasture or in feedlots in Carey, Picabo, Bellevue, Fairfield, Bruneau, Filer and Garden City, KS. We also operate two small cow/calf herds both a fall and spring calving set of commercial cows.

Are you a native Idahoan?
You bet, I was born and raised in Southern Idaho, attended college at Boise State University and have never had any desire to leave Idaho.  

What is your favorite part of the beef industry?
Family tradition! I grew up on a ranch in Fairfield and am happy to be allowing my kids to grow up in the same fashion. Working with cattle instills work ethic, passion, and drive.  I remember my dad working hard and our kids see us working hard. We wouldn’t have it any other way.  We also love the community and people involved.    

Why are you passionate about the beef industry?
The thing about passions is that you can’t explain them. Sometimes there Is just a gravitational pull to them. Maybe it’s the animals or the land we love the most–at the end of the day we are producing something we are proud of.  

What’s your favorite beef meal to cook (or favorite beef recipe)?
I feel very fortunate to have a freezer full of beef. It provides quick, delicious meals for my family. I think my favorite is ground beef. It is so versatile. I brown it up with onions and garlic and it go many directions from there. Spaghetti sauce, tacos, enchiladas, shepherd’s pie, simply a bake potato topping or pizza topping are some of our favorites. My husband is also quite partial to my chicken fried steak, made with cube steak. I use my Grandma Davis’s recipe which is delightful to this day!

When you’re not busy ranching, what do you like to do to “unwind”?
It seems that we are always on the go. Lately, our evenings and weekends have been spent working cattle to go out to pasture. We consider ourselves lucky when friends will come and help us out. When the work is done and we can sit under the shade tree and relax is the best feeling.

What is your favorite part about Idaho?
My favorite part about Idaho is that we are lucky enough to get to call it home.   

Categories: Blogging, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life, Uncategorized