Pages Navigation Menu

Beef & What Cowboys Do

Visitors from Pennsylvania once asked my husband, “Are cowboys real?”

The answer is yes! Cowboys and cowgirls still work and ride on today’s modern ranches. Every successful cow-calf operation or beef producer relies on men and women with skills and horses, and these punchers are good at what they do, as most have been “day workin'” their whole lives.

The herd of mama cows are the cornerstone and the bulls are the future of a successful ranching operation, and keeping our grass and the livestock healthy is a priority. Cows can get cuts, pink eye, infections, or split hooves. A man on foot or on a 4-wheeler can’t drive a sick 1500 pound Black Angus across miles of grass into a pen without frightening an already scared animal and risking more injury. A confident cowboy on a well-trained horse is invaluable at getting the job done while maintaining calm and order.

A cow punchers skills are especially critical at this time of year: Branding Week!

A hot iron to tough hide is one of the oldest methods of identifying livestock, and is still the most efficient and humane way for ranchers to claim ownership.

It’s no Hollywood myth. Skilled cowboys and cowgirls continue to be essential to the cattle industry. We are blessed with a dedicated, hardworking labor force who understands the importance of what we do. Next time you sit down in front of a plate of food, say a prayer of thanks for that farmer or rancher. We’ll keep working hard for you to produce the best quality beefsteak that we can.

Rules of the Branding Pen

  1. Horses have the right of way.
  2. There’s one boss who will assign you a job.
  3. Stay on the side you’ve been assigned to.
  4. Flankers stay alert and be ready.
  5. If it’s not your turn to flank, stay out of the way.
  6. Don’t cross in front of the calf’s head when he’s on the ground. Sometimes it makes him want to run the wrong direction, back behind the branding pot, when he jumps up.
  7. Be ready ear taggers, shot needles, branding iron handlers; wait until the calf is flanked, and then move in quick and do your job

I will have copies of my cookbook in Amarillo at the Coors Cowboy Club chuck wagon gathering! It’s got cowboy approved recipes spanning 150 years plus the history and stories of the trail driving era.

3-4 June 2022, Amarillo Tri State Fairgrounds

Natalie Bright is the author of “KEEP ‘EM FULL AND KEEP ‘EM ROLLIN’: The All-American Chuck Wagon Cookbook”. With over 100 recipes, cattle drive history, archival photos, and her own Texas ranch photography, you can bring a taste of the old West to your kitchen. She is also the author the Trouble in Texas series for middle grade readers and a series of easy readers about rescue horses. The Wild Cow Ranch western romance series is now on sale, all six books for only $3.99! Natalie and her husband raise all natural Angus beef of the high plains of Texas.

Buy the entire series — 6 books — at a one time low price! Click the photo for buy link.