Tommye Conner

ImageAt age “39-plenty,” this Midland, Texas, woman serves as an ambassador for the ranching industry and traditional cowboy ways.

The official ambassador for the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso, New Mexico, Tommye Connor—aka “Mama T”—fills that role unofficially for many other such gatherings, as well. She encourages young and old alike to connect with the Western way of life she knows so well.

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Family Fortitude


The T4 Cattle Company, a family-owned and -operated cattle ranch in New Mexico, has outlasted recessions, fires, death and countless droughts through sheer deter- mination and a close connection to the land.

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Killer Consequences

Now that horses can no longer be slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S., the horse industry is feeling the effects: experts point to a drop in the market, welfare groups are finding homes for more unwanted horses, but thousands more are heading for slaughter plants across the border.








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Old Spanish Ways

Only a handful of ranches in the West send out a wagon anymore. Most places aren’t big enough to justify the experience. Finding cowboys willing to sleep in a teepee for six weeks isn’t easy, either. But for the Spanish Ranch in Elko County, Nevada, sending out the spring wagon is a way of life.

I caught up with Ira Wines, buckaroo boss at the Spanish Ranch, in early May of 2006, just 10 days before his spring works began.


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Down Sonora Way

Two Northern Mexico ranchos reflect the area's rich vaquero heritage while infusing legendary American bloodlines into their horse breeding programs.

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It's in the Blood

ImageLong recognized as one of the country’s outstanding ranch and rodeo families, the Suttons of South Dakota attribute much of their success to bloodlines and breeding.









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Mountain Dogs

Cody Price has been tending cattle in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains for 10 years. The New Mexico cowboy's job isn't easy. The rugged canyons, steep hillsides, thick brush and hard-headed bovine make gathering cattle difficult.





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On the Ropes

HorsesAs modern technology and enviornmental regulations modify ranching in the Great Basin, the Spanish Ranch remains tied to its buckaroo traditions.





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