Family Fortitude

ImageThe 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.

Phil Bidegain stops his horse to watch his Hereford and black baldy cow-calf pairs weave through the chollo and juniper. Pushed on by cowboys and a driving October cold front, the herd plods south toward the edge of Mesa Rica, from which they will descend 1,000 feet in elevation, down a narrow, winding dirt road.

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This Land is My Land

Active ImageRanchers in Southeast Colorado continue fighting to prevent the U.S. Army from taking their land.

Even after a long, steady gaze, the scenery in Southeastern Colorado doesn’t have much to offer. Compared to the majestic mountain peaks found farther west and north, this area of the state appears to be a whole lot of nothing, with flat, dry and rugged expanses stretching for hundreds of lonely miles.

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Purdy Places

Picabo Livestock in Idaho, a family-run ranch for 125 years, has a rich history, one steeped in cattle, horses, farming and innovative business ventures. But Bud and Nick Purdy don’t rest on past achievements. They continue building for the future.

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Seasoned To Sell

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For Bill and Carrie Weller of Kadoka, South Dakota, success in the horse business is all about athletes and atmosphere. As far as prestigious horse sale locations go, the Kadoka, South Dakota, rodeo grounds is probably never going to make it onto anyone’s “top 10” list.

That’s not to say there’s anything shabby about the setup. The grounds themselves are well groomed and in good repair. What’s more, they’re put to use regularly for local rodeos and horse shows.

The problem lies in the arena’s geographic location.

 

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T4 Tough

Ranching in central South Dakota can be both breathtaking and backbreaking. The Cowan family has learned what it takes to survive while building one of the most successful horse programs on the Northern Plains.

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It's in the Blood

Long 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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