Tag: ranch wife

Women in Ag: Rural-Loving Ranch Wife, Tay Brackett

Today’s Women in Ag feature, Tay Brackett, is a born and raised southern Idahoan! After graduating from the University of Idaho, Tay became somewhat of a Jack of All Trades—working as a firefighter, veterinary assistant, horse trainer, horse trader, and at one point, even sold insurance. Tay and her husband, Jared, recently welcomed their first child, Tap, earlier this year.

How are you involved in agriculture and/or beef industry today? I help out on my husband’s ranch, wherever I’m needed. I spend most of my time moving cows from one allotment to the next, administering vaccines at branding, or sorting yearlings, which happens to be my favorite.

How has your life been shaped by agriculture and/or beef industry? I have always loved animals! Like most girls, I was horse crazy as soon as I could say the word. When my sister and I were growing up, our aunt had cows; so that gave us the chance to ride, rope, swim horses across the Snake River, and even feed cows with a team of Belgians in the winter. All of that gave me a different perspective than other kids my age. I was always one to measure my success on how well I could move cows or train my horse, not by having the coolest clothes or the shiniest gadget. It gave me an independent spirit—I’m still never someone who is satisfied with the status quo or by staying indoors!

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? I know it sounds corny, but my husband is my biggest mentor. He has worked cows his entire life, but continues to look for ways to accomplish a safer, more efficient, and less stressful way to manage cattle. He volunteers his time and resources to cattle industry supporters like the Idaho Cattle Association and Cattlemen’s Beef Board, organizations that shape the policies that will impact the future of how my family, and my son’s family, will continue to grow food for this nation.

How do you provide encouragement to others? Encouraging by example! When you’re happy, others will ask where that joy comes from! I also love making people feel better by making fun of or laughing at myself. And nothing can cheer up someone’s day like bringing them out to the ranch during branding season

Tay's husband, Jared, is a graduate of Texas A&M University, so the couple try to make it back as often as possible to catch a football game. Go Aggies!

Tay’s husband, Jared, is a graduate of Texas A&M University, so the couple try to make it back as often as possible to catch a football game. Go Aggies!

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? I would want to remind people that agriculturalists were the first conservationists! We utilize a renewable resource, that would otherwise be wasted, to efficiently make thousands of products that are used by millions of people! If that isn’t good for the world, then I don’t know what is!

What are you most thankful for? I love that we get to live 40 miles from town, and are surrounded by cows and God’s Country! I see beautiful sunsets, harvest moons and countless bird’s right outside by front door. I’m thankful for getting to raise my son next door to his Nana, and that I get the chance to spend every day with my husband, doing what we both love.

What is your favorite meal to cook yourself or for others? Take-Out! Whenever we get the chance we usually grab pizza or good Thai food.

What is the first thing you do when you walk into a grocery store? Look for the exit.

What is your favorite childhood memory? Riding horses with my sister.

What are your guilty pleasures in life? Buying dog beds and eating Swiss rolls.

This gorgeous girl loves the fact that she and her husband live over 40 minutes from town!

This gorgeous girl loves the fact that she and her husband live over 40 minutes from town!

Favorite store to shop in? Brass Monkey! It’s downtown Twin Falls.

Favorite place to visit? McCall! I love the mountains and the smell of the forest.

What are three little known facts about you? 1) My nick name growing up was Tater Tot. 2) My first horse was named Nevada. 3) I flunked my 9th grade Astrology class, thinking I would never use it. Now, I look at the stars and wonder what their names are.

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

Ranch Wives

My grandma had 11 kids…… ELEVEN! I have one busy little 2 year old. I am convinced my grandmother is the most saintly person on this earth. While raising all these great people, her and my grandpa had the typical farm, complete with hogs, chickens, cats, dogs and of course, cattle. In later years, every spring and fall us grandkids, would drive the cattle herd from cow camp to the home place or visa versa, which took about two days. These memories are some of my most treasured. My cousins and I played hooky from school and when the bus approached we thought we were the coolest cats on the prairie as we led the bus through the cattle on our horses, waving at the kids that had to attend school that day.


Our family. Photo credit to Jestine Hensley

The second best thing about long days helping grandpa with cows, was my grandma’s sandwiches. She would come with bread sacks full of them. Most were bologna, slathered with some white stuff and if she felt fancy, some cheese. They were the best sandwiches I had ever tasted. Now thinking back, it was probably just because we were so hungry. About a year ago I finally figured out her secret of Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise. Who knew!?

Branding '14

Spring cattle work

This brings me to my topic of ranch wives. I am very early in my experience of being a ranch wife/mother, so I am constantly observing other gals that share the same lifestyle. I have concluded that ranch wives are a very special breed of women, like my grandmother, that have amazing skill sets that make newcomers like me, a little intimidated. They can cook, mend, clean, take care of the babes and husband, keep the place tidy, like a traditional wife. PLUS they chop wood, fix fence, memorize spring and fall vaccine protocols, ride, rope, hammer nails, castrate calves, drive truck—the list goes on. Sometimes they do all this and even hold down a full time job in town!

Growing up in agriculture definitely gives you a leg up, but I am sure finding a young gal that has mastered all those tasks doesn’t come around every day. If you find one, I’d recommend marrying her, quick!

See, I learned more about the outside chores from my mother than I did inside, which I am grateful for, but cooking did not come as naturally to me as some girls. I can burn dinner as good as anyone. Early on, I was more likely to kick in the oven door by the time all was said and done. Now I find myself mulling around in the kitchen trying new recipes any chance I get. Although I would rather be outside (as I’m sure most of us would) doing all the activities that create calluses or riding our ponies around, housework has grown on me. Not that any of us particularly care to do dishes or laundry, but there is an element of satisfaction knowing you have a clean house for your family to call home. Of course this balancing act is not narrowed to country folk; it’s any new wife or mother. We all share these times of trial and error, rancher or not.


Moving the cows back out to pasture after weaning.

Our daughter Mesa, keeps my husband and I on our toes. We are in the process of fine tuning our negotiation and bribing skills. No matter the degree of meltdown, when we ask if she wants to see the baby calves, she always responds with a sniffle and a “yeah!” It warms my heart to see her enthusiasm towards an industry I am so passionate about. I hope she never loses it. I am a lucky gal to have had some strong female influences growing up and now Mesa has them as examples as well. You can bet that I will do my best to teach her the qualities of a ranch woman. Goodness knows we need more of them! Sometimes when I have planned ahead and have a meal ready for all of us after we come in from working cattle and I didn’t even mess up drastically, I feel like I am getting closer to being one of the many ranch wives I idolize. Ranch wives are tough and caring, bold and compassionate, full of grit and pride. They know when to stand their ground and when a caring touch is needed. There is no better group of women and I am fortunate to have them as family, friends and neighbors. I look up to these talented women and maybe someday I can earn a place among this bunch of cowgirls.

~ Diana

Diana and her husband grew up farming and ranching. Now they own a crop and rangeland spraying business, and their own herd of cattle. Diana is a busy ranch wife and mom to a two-year-old little girl. When not helping with their spraying or cattle, she travels throughout north Idaho discussing feed programs with ranchers as a full-time feed consultant.

Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch kids, Ranch Life