Hello Reddit!!! I am a Wyoming rancher and creator of the YouTube Channel OUR WYOMING LIFE, back again for another AMA after over a year on the ranch and growing our YouTube Channel to almost 50K subscribers. With me is my wife Erin. She is a ranch wife, mom, market farmer and she also helps run our local farmers market. She is also a local food advocate.

https://www.youtube.com/c/ourwyominglife

Proof: r/https://twitter.com/OurWyomingLife/status/1043843921640660993

Thank you everyone for a wonderful day of AMA. We are now done after 13 hours of answering questions. Thank you to all our new subscribers, we look forward to getting to know you and thanks to all the folks at IAMA for allowing this to happen.

Comments: 2814 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

Elmattador837 karma

How do farmers/ranchers go on vacation? Does another farmer take care of everything while you’re away?

wycattleman1154 karma

Thats usually how it has to work. Any time we leave, even for a day trip we have neighbors that will look in on the place a couple of times a day and we do the same for them. Some times of year you cant go anywhere.

ColonelVonStugen510 karma

Do UPS/FedEx/Amazon charge extra to deliver? Assuming they deliver to the ranch

wycattleman751 karma

No extra charge and we love amazon prime! We even get toilet paper delivered :)

saltygipsy402 karma

Did you ever consider a different career and if yes, what?

wycattleman535 karma

We worked in radio for many years before coming back to the ranch to help out family. Been on the ranch for 10 years now. I worked as a DJ and operations manager while at radio stations and my wife Erin worked as a sales manager.

summacumloudly351 karma

How far must you drive to get groceries and gas? How difficult is it to make and maintain friends? Have you ever been snowed in (unable to drive a hardy, well-performing vehicle) and for how long?

Members of my extended family are thinking of retirement in WY and...I don’t think they understand the level of rural they would be getting themselves into.

wycattleman479 karma

We're actually very close to town. About 15 minutes. Some people live much further from their nearest town. No problem maintaining friends. Most of our close friends are actually what we call neighbors. They live within 5 miles. Yes we do on occasion get snowed in. But that's rare and only happens every 5-10 years. There's lots of town in Wyoming. We don't all live in the boonies but if that's what you prefer there's plenty of space available.

IAmAChemicalEngineer290 karma

Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Park?

wycattleman351 karma

Both have their good points but I am partial to Yellowstone, so much to do and see. Thank you

Pineapple_Badger273 karma

What are your thoughts on the Cliven Bundy case? (Not so much the standoff, but the initial dispute over paying grazing fees)

wycattleman532 karma

Fees are fees, if you agreed to them then there isnt much question. Alot of it comes from hard headedness if you ask me. Old ranchers can be a tough breed to deal with.

sky_kid239 karma

What do you wish more people understood?

wycattleman712 karma

I wish that more people understood that ranchers and farmers that raise animals aren't bad people, that we provide food for our nation and we support our families with ranches that have been around for sometimes over a hundred years. Your food doesn't come from a grocery store, yes it has a face and that face is the face of families across the world. Thank you for the great question!

Demon_Slut222 karma

What are the best/worst things about living in Wyoming?

wycattleman506 karma

The wind and cold temperatures in the winter definitely are one of the worst things. The best thing is the freedom of this lifestyle and the wide open skies. Love the space.

ryrymackie177 karma

Have you had any notable experiences with big wild life (bears, wolves, etc)?

wycattleman341 karma

I have come across bears, coyotes, wolves, that sort of thing but most will run. The most notable might have been a badger that took on our dog. Both came out alive but it was a fight! Thank you

Hyper_Fujisawa152 karma

Do you guys get any kind of subsidies or is your ranch completely solvent on its own?

wycattleman292 karma

Farm subsidies are real, they are mostly for crops. There are no such things as beef subsidies or hay subsidies, therefore we receive none. Thanks

Cosmicpalms151 karma

What’s the scariest shit you have ever seen out there?

wycattleman287 karma

Rattlesnakes will sneak up and scare you out of your boots, so will badgers and they are mean as hell.

Herdnerfer146 karma

What speed internet do you get on the ranch?

wycattleman208 karma

Not bad, we have radio internet which gives us 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload. Not too bad really, used to be worse at only 5 down and 1 up.

CardboardSoyuz113 karma

Is cattle rustling still a thing?

wycattleman160 karma

Although I have never had to deal with it, from what I have seen and heard it is. So is stealing hay and ranch and farm theft can be big. Thanks

generally-speaking109 karma

How much of the work done on your farm is automated?

wycattleman194 karma

I had to think about that, the only automation we have is water in some spots which is on timers.

AfroSparrow105 karma

Comparing life before living on a ranch to the way you are now, are there any small social gathering or aspects that you miss?

wycattleman181 karma

When we first came here I did miss the social aspect, working with people, going out after work, that kind of thing. It can be secluding at times. The YouTube channel really helps, now I have tons of people to talk to everyday :) Thank you

Infogal103 karma

What do you think of the Longmire books and TV series?

wycattleman123 karma

I really like them, I have only seen a few episodes and read a couple of the books. Like anything there are parts that get out there but they are fun. Thank you

SuttonScowl92 karma

Best dogs?

wycattleman195 karma

Cattle dogs? Australian Shepard, blue healers, those are the most popular with ranchers here. Thank you

Jubjub052789 karma

What does a typical day look like for you?

wycattleman231 karma

That really depends on the time of year and what we have going one, but its up at 4 or 5, get as much done before kids wake up. Get them off to school then back out to work. It could be feeding, calving or projects but it will last all day. Usually I am back around dark for dinner. Thank you

Whitelion9987 karma

How many years until you had a sustainable profitable farm?

wycattleman125 karma

Some years are good and some are bad, some are profitable on the farm, but there are many different little things that can swing us from the black to red very fast. Thank you!

bozzy25385 karma

What’s the worst thing about your job?

wycattleman191 karma

Blizzards and having to either feed cows or calve in them. Nothing worse that 50 mph wind, and blowing snow stinging your face. Those are days I wish I ranched alot farther south! Thanks

steveeeeeeee79 karma

What is your favorite national or state park near you?

wycattleman159 karma

I really like Devils Tower, although I only recently visited it for the first time. Its quiet, not a lot of people and very impressive. Thanks

rhacer79 karma

What is one of the great misconceptions, those on the coasts have about those in "flyover" country?

wycattleman231 karma

That there is nothing here, behind every fence is a story, a family and a life. It easy to forget that those that raise a majority of the food you eat are right here working.

Ten_K_Days68 karma

Are you a fan of Chris Ledoux? One of my favorite all time musicians..

wycattleman108 karma

Yes I am, Chris's ranch and family isnt really that far from us. I met him a few times before he passed and we remember him, his smile and his laugh often. Thanks

kartuli7860 karma

I've been to Wyoming, drove up from Colorado, through Cheyenne, and stopped for lunch in New Castle. The main street had more side by side ATVs than actual cars. What do you usually drive, a truck, or a side by side? Also, on a more serious note: as an expat living abroad, looking in on my country, I really worry about how divided our nation is right now. When you meet someone of a different political ideology, do you focus on your differences and bicker, or do you try to find a common ground? I think we all love America, so starting from that, is a good place, I think.

wycattleman108 karma

On the ranch its a side by side most of the time, to town, a pickup :) I am a huge common ground person, we all eat, thats usually where I start. Some just want to fight and having a YouTube channel has taught me that some just want to fight and there is no convincing them otherwise. I am a nice guy and will try to talk to anyone. Thanks

cdnmoon58 karma

I'm tired and was skimming headlines. I thought this read Wynona Rider.

So, how do you feel about a Wynona Rider?

wycattleman41 karma

I'm a fan :)

TalkingBackAgain49 karma

Wyoming Rancher, it's January, it's cold enough to freeze the balls off of a polar bear: how the fuck do you keep your herd alive?

wycattleman65 karma

Cows are quite resilient, they have shelter and we can put down bedding and whatnot to keep them off the wet ground. I worry more about keeping myself alive :) Thanks

animalshapes42 karma

I've been considering moving to Laramie for school. What are the best/worst things about Wyoming life?

wycattleman80 karma

Most would say the wind, Laramie can be tough place to live, snow often closes the roads in that area. I lived there for a while and spent alot of time in a closed down town. Thanks

Jmersh41 karma

I live in Colorado. When and how did everyone in Wyoming agree to drive exactly 1 mph slower than the speed limit, exclusively in the left lane, while driving through our state? That must have taken some serious organization.

wycattleman75 karma

You have no idea, we had a lot of meeting about that.

Juddston39 karma

Is your ranch/grazing ground on leased US Forest Service land? And if so, how do you feel about the federal reintroduction/protection of keystone predator species like wolves and/or brown bears? If you lose an animal to predation, does the compensation received actually equal the monetary value of the animal lost or do you end up in the red?

wycattleman65 karma

It is not, all of our land is privately deeded. I'm glad I dont have to mess with BLM land.

thebuddybud38 karma

How are you?

wycattleman43 karma

Doing great, how are you?

ssl-335 karma

Which parts of the animal do you consider to be inedible?

wycattleman62 karma

Theres lots I personally wont eat but many do. I hate liver, but some love it. I would never touch hooves or feet, but some do. Yuck!

kogger33 karma

I just read Gretel Ehrlich's book The Solace of Open Spaces. It really gave me a different picture of the ranching experience in Wyoming. Have you read it? What do you think of it?

wycattleman33 karma

I have not, but I just added it to my list. Thank you very much

Just_some_guy1633 karma

Do you name your animals? I only ask because i dont think i could kill an animal with a name, but i also cant imagine raising an animal from birth without naming it sooner or later

wycattleman47 karma

Some do get names, we have kids, they would name every single calf, cow, pig, horse and chicken. It can make it harder, even without names, most animals spend a long time here, I deal with them everyday, you get to know them.

CriticalDog31 karma

Thoughts on the Bundy debacles in recent years?

Having grown up in Montana, and seeing the scourge of meth and other drugs that are gutting small towns, do you feel that Wyoming has the same issues?

wycattleman54 karma

Wyoming has a huge meth problem and its very sad to see. Bundy? A mess that might have been handled differently many years ago and a mess that thanks to hard headedness will continue for many more probably.

Zelda_is_my_homegirl30 karma

Is it a dairy ranch? If so, what do you do with the baby cows after the mother gives birth?

wycattleman42 karma

We do not raise diary cattle, ours is strickly beef cattle. Thank you

DSoftheMoon29 karma

How close does your life resemble the TV show of The Ranch?

wycattleman56 karma

I like The Ranch, they do have some good points about how hard it can be to keep a ranch going, and yes we tend to have a few drinks now and then but nothing like on that show, or I wouldnt get anything done :) Thanks

Skatykats28 karma

Do your cows eat grass in fields in the summer and eat hay you provide in the winter? When you round them up are you riding a horse or on an ATV or something?

wycattleman50 karma

Yes, cows eat pasture grass all year long except when there is snow, then we feed hay that we harvest during the summer. Most of the time we work cows on ATVs. Thanks

falsehood20 karma

What's your best video?

wycattleman40 karma

That a tough one for me, Some I love and some I dont. Our most popular are selling calves or dealing with bulls but that is just he internet, but if I had to choose it would be Our Story https://youtu.be/32R0RME-T_I or a tribute I did for Gilbert who brought us here. https://youtu.be/mpwGPL83XRw Thank you!

falsehood18 karma

When do you get up and when do you retire?

wycattleman39 karma

I go sun up to sun down, although during calving season its a matter of checking cows every couple of hours, then its lots of little naps. Thank you

chocolatechipbookie17 karma

Are you hiring? What kind of experience would one need to work on your ranch?

wycattleman43 karma

We arent hiring right now, but when we do, I really am just looking for a willingness to learn and work. Someone who will show up on time and is not afraid to get dirty and work

insidekanye15 karma

What are your thoughts on “checker boarding” in Wyoming and most other western states? Do you have any publicly owned land that is “locked” by your property?

For those who don’t know, landowners will sell and/or purchase adjacent land plots to their own property essentially locking off land owned by the state, BLM, national forest. This creates a “checker board” effect which locks off that publicly owned land from access by the public. The adjacent land owner is able to gain access for grazing, hunting, etc, without actually owning it.

Full disclosure... I’m a guy who primarily uses public land for hunting, fishing, camping, and the like.

wycattleman15 karma

We dont have any public land that is locked by us. I can see the issue, I do think its based in greed, I dont agree. How to fix it, I have no idea.

Rando_75714 karma

Beef cattle farmer in central Virginia here and a subscriber to your channel. First thanks for putting your ranch life out there in YouTube.

Question: What do the neighbors think about your YouTube channel?

wycattleman23 karma

Some love it and some hate it. I have been told by a few that I shouldn't do it because no one cares and it just makes us look bad, but most of the reaction is good. Thanks

PlanningParty12 karma

How do you feel about Jackson growing and coming to have greater political power in the state?

wycattleman39 karma

Thats a good question, I can say this, Jackson doesnt represent the state. Wyoming isnt Jackson, if that makes sense. Its like a whole other world

grebilrancher12 karma

Do you have problems with wildlife (bears, coyote, etc.)? If so, what sort of measures do you use to prevent it?

wycattleman27 karma

We do have bears, cougars, coyotes and the like. Most of the time, they dont mess with me, I dont mess with them. If they get hungry the could come and try to take a calf. Then we will protect our herd and income.

hyperviolator11 karma

Thanks for the beef. Seriously. A good burger is a good damn burger.

I don't think I've ever seen someone ask a rancher this, so:

What's your full take on the Bundy ranch thing, the Malheur thing, and all that -- but specifically as applies to the business of ranching?

I wouldn't mind hearing your political take as well, but it's totally understandable if you don't want to dip into that here. I'm not going to pretend to understand the nuances of the business side of all that and what eventually led to the first stand off, the arson thing, and all that, is what I'm curious about.

wycattleman14 karma

Thank you, politics can be a tough thing to get into, because I can see it from both sides. I didnt grow up on a ranch or farm but from what I have learned here, its hard enough to keep the whole thing going and can get very frustrating when you are told what you can and cant do. Most ranchers and farmers I have met have been doing this all their lives and they are so tied to it that it does give them blinders and makes them bitter. The old crotchedy farmer is a real thing. Bundy is one of those :) Thank you again

brianlouis11 karma

How do you see yourself competing with lab-grown meats? Think they’ll take? Will there be a marketable difference similar to organic vs conventional? Or will the farms just have a second wave of struggles?

wycattleman21 karma

I think it will be a force to recon with, but just like organic or anything else there is still a market for good old grain finished beef. It might drive the price up or down but it will be a struggle to remarket and it will put alot of ranches and farms out of business.

Henry_Darcy10 karma

Can you tell me about the wildlife? I was blown away the first time I saw a pronghorn in NM (I'm from the Gulf Coast) and I hear they are everywhere along with mule deer and other big animals. One of these days I'll make the road trip up there (24 hr. drive one-way).

wycattleman21 karma

I'm looking at a pronghorn outside my window right now lol they are everywhere. In our area we have mule deer as well, although they are a little more shy. Elk will come through occasionally.

NFLrover9 karma

Thoughts on Kanye West?

wycattleman10 karma

Never met him, would like to though

cicisbeette9 karma

Have you read Annie Proulx's Close Range and, if so, what did you think of it?

wycattleman12 karma

I have not, but now I am interested, thank you for telling me about it.

GoddamntCharlie9 karma

I love meat, dairy, and eggs, but factory farming is morally and physically revolting. I also live in rural midwest, so I don't have much more options that Walmart. What advice do you have for finding ethically-sourced meat?

wycattleman17 karma

Farmers markets! Go talk to a farmer or a rancher, find out how they raise their food. Decide for yourself, if you are up for it, ask if you can visit. If you dont have a market, go and visit a local feed store, find out who finishes their own beef and pork, you can probably buy direct from them. Thanks

INTERNET_TRASHCAN6 karma

is it as insanely pretty as it seems? pics and movies make it look incredible.

wycattleman11 karma

I agree, it is very amazing, there are days that I sit back in awe

falsehood6 karma

How do you feel about people that say that meat should be taxed more as its much less efficient at producing calories than growing vegetables?

wycattleman17 karma

I would love to see some numbers on that, we grow vegetables too, in huge market gardens and supply local farmers markets with tons of them. I wish the rancher or farmer made more off of the beef they raise, instead of the middle man. When a farmer sells a cow he gets about 1.80 a pound, a 1 pound t bone steak can sell for over 14. Tax or no tax, if the producer made his fair share then it wouldnt matter. Thanks

theBCexperience5 karma

Did you grow up as a farmer/rancher, or is it something you became later in life?

wycattleman9 karma

I did not, I worked in radio most of my life. My wife's dad became sick and we came here to help for a winter, taking a sabatical. He passed away and we stayed to carry on his legacy. Its been a steep learning curve. You can watch some of it here https://youtu.be/32R0RME-T_I if you are interested. Thank you

textbandit3 karma

It is Gods country. What tech tools do you use?

wycattleman13 karma

We have made some great videos about tech on the ranch that might surprise some. We have used a device that straps to a cows tail and sends you a text message when she goes into labor and we even utilize thermal imagers to find lost calves and cows in the snow. Thanks

5meterhammer3 karma

Where is the gold buried?

wycattleman9 karma

Well thats the secret :)

RealSciFiMan3 karma

Was your proof photo of yourselves cropped out from another photo and pasted on to a picture you found on the internet?

wycattleman3 karma

Nope it was infront of our cows. Thanks

tehmlem2 karma

Have you ever grazed your cattle illegally on federal land and then started a gunfight when they tried to make you pay for it?

wycattleman2 karma

Nope, never have.

Eggnogg6302 karma

Which bear is best?

wycattleman2 karma

We I guess that depends on the bear, we run into black and brown bear occassionally but I have never gotten to know one :) Thanks

goodtwitch1 karma

Have you ever encountered a skinwalker on the ranch?

wycattleman2 karma

Nope, never have. Thanks

wearer_of_boxers1 karma

Are you related to Winona Ryder?

wycattleman4 karma

Not that I know of :)

0_Shizl_Gzngahr1 karma

So honestly, is there stuff to do in Wyoming?

I live in California. Never hear anything about Wyoming ever. Are there bars, clubs, good restaurants, etc ?

wycattleman2 karma

yes, lol. there are bars (plenty), clubs, movie theaters, concerts and much more. We even have electricity lol Thanks!

Haarks1 karma

Ever consider living in the city? What things do you envy about city-dwellers? Thanks

wycattleman2 karma

We only came to the ranch a few years ago when my wifes dad got sick, he has since passed and we are here to keep his legacy going. Before that we lived in Boston, Denver and other big cities. I dont miss it, although I do miss the ability to go and find what you need. Lots more options in bigger areas, amazon prime helps :)

vshawk21 karma

Are you a Cowboys fan? When are they going to win the Mountain West?!?

wycattleman3 karma

Your guess is as good as mine. I make about a game a year, or try to.

AkashicRecorder0 karma

What do you think about those darn city slickers?

wycattleman5 karma

I used to be one before we came to the ranch, I didnt know a thing about ranching or farming but most that I have met, just like me are willing to learn about it. That impresses me. Thanks

LongLuk-3 karma

I recently drove through Wyoming on a road trip. My friends and I counted ~1000 cows in the many hours we were in the state. How many of them were yours?

wycattleman2 karma

If you drove by here about 200. Thanks

slaytherabbit-6 karma

Have you ever met someone through farmersonly.com?

wycattleman3 karma

Never have, sorry :)

Mayafoe-7 karma

Ever seen Brokeback Mountain?

edit....wow an AMA with downvoting a question! well done

wycattleman5 karma

I never have, although I am sure my wife has :)