Who We Are … Boy, where does a person start?
Steve grew up on a farm in the Virginia mountains. I grew up in the Oregon Coast Range. We met in the middle and bought the Graham Ranch in 2006.
Our lives on opposite coasts were parallel. I wanted a ranch so I earned degrees in agribusiness and range management. I interned on a ranch in eastern Oregon and then worked on a ranch in Utah. Before we met, I was the county extension agent in Madison and Jefferson Counties in southwest Montana. Steve worked as a county agent, too, and earned degrees in animal science and forage management. He always had horses, and often had cattle. He didn’t ever have many sheep. He says we should raise as many sheep as I can handle. He shears them, I keep them alive the rest of the year. We both love cattle.
Our children, Will and Abby, help on the ranch, too. During lambing season, 10-year-old Will gets up at 5 a.m. with me to spend an hour and a half at the barn before catching the bus for school. During lambing season, I tell him that he better be good or I won’t let him go to school. At 2, Abby rides horses. She rides stick horses, pretend horses, buckets, bales and real horses. She likes to go faster.
The ranch is much more than a business for Steve and me. The land and livestock will give back everything we put into it, for better or worse. They build integrity. We take care of our land and livestock to the very best of our ability so we all can be here for a very long time.