working the buffalo from my trip to Lemhi. The crew The Lemhi Rancher assembled was all sorts of random. A sister and her crazy kids, a brother and his family, a few hands from the ranch and then the office crew.
The owner of the ranch has several businesses under his hat, which means he has a variety of guys that work for him. The office guys come in really handy on the days when they run short on ranch hands.
Most ranches are only run with a few guys. Sure there is always work to be done, but for the most part, the day to day things can be taken care of without a big crew. But then there are a few days that you just can't do it alone. On our operation, we turn to our neighbors and friends and in return we help them. We realize how valuable the ranchers are that we work with and grateful we are that they are willing to step in. In a way they become invested in our operation, hoping that the work that they do for us isn't in vain. Because of their hard work, we are happy to turn around and help them whenever they need. And its become a real blessing working so closely with neighbors. They aren't competitors down the road but are family of the industry.
At Lemhi, it isn't quite the same. The cowboys don't go into the office to help do the accounting or paper work. But working together on the ranch helps them have a better understanding of the role each of them play in the big pictures. Working buffalo might not be their strength, but every bit of help is welcomed. We take the buffalo-working crew however they come, with grateful hearts.