Ranch Diaries: Building human connections from a remote ranch

Passing on knowledge is crucial to our way of life.

 

Ranch Diaries is an newtowncarshare.info series highlighting the experiences of Laura Jean Schneider, who gives us a peek into daily life during the first year of Triangle P Cattle Company, a new LLC in southcentral New Mexico. Installments are every other Tuesday.

With the solitude Sam and I love comes the challenge of making meaningful connections with characters other than the four-legged kind. Last night, six inches of fresh snow on Fence Canyon Road forced me to remember that accessibility — to town, to other people — is once again reaching a somewhat unpredictable point. While being a little snowbound doesn’t make me panic, I’m glad for the larger network of people Sam and I have when the snow starts to fly. Even if support and encouragement isn’t face-to-face, it counts.

  • Ag people talk ranching.

    Photo by Elaine Patarini
  • Chicken networking.

    Laura Jean Schneider
  • Christmas caramels are underway.

    Laura Jean Schneider
  • Making time and place for family to visit is important too.

    Laura Jean Schneider
  • One of the perks of branding, a local way of ranch networking.

    Laura Jean Schneider
  • Sam and his nephew, Owen, who's come out to help for the past two summers.

    Laura Jean Schneider
  • This year's wreath, complete with solar lights!

    Laura Jean Schneider

One thing living remotely has taught us is to use all the tools at our disposal. While Sam prefers keeping in touch by phone, I’ve used Twitter to make new connections. I recently discovered @agchat: once a week, farmers and ranchers from all over the country — over 61,000 followers — tweet about Ag issues every Tuesday, tagging their thoughts with #AgChat. I’ve bumped into dairy farmers, wool producers, horse trainers, entrepreneurial coaches, and future interns. Come to think of it, I was initially contacted about writing Ranch Diaries through my Twitter account. I also post updates on a personal blog, and find Instagram a fun way to share bits of news and images from our life with a greater audience.

We’ve attended several Quivira Coalition Conferences in Albuquerque over the years, and this year we wanted to make sure we attended their Career Connection. It’s free and open to the public, and we felt it would be a great place to meet folks with the interests and qualifications we were looking for. A young couple from Alberta, whom I’d connected with via Twitter about Ranch Diaries, came up to us and we talked about the logistics of making a small ranch work. A Fulbright scholar who studied grazing management in Central Asia discovered she and Sam had gone to the same college and studied Russian with some of the same professors. We met a young ranching family of four from eastern New Mexico eager to start taking more ownership in their work. Lingering over a late dinner table packed elbow-to-elbow with people we’d met over the years through our own experiences, it was wonderful to be surrounded by people invested in progressive ranching.

Having a circle of familiar names and potential resources seems like a good idea. But when Sam and I gave some thought to what we want next year to look like, we decided to try to add meaning and value to our work by bringing in more people to join us. We both agree that passing on knowledge is crucial to our way of life. We’ve been lucky to learn from some great teachers, and I’m happy to announce we might be taking a few interns for the 2016 season so they can experience the way we work.

Now that winter is closing in, it’s helpful to think back on the connections we have made around here thus far  and we’re  looking forward to new possibilities in the year to come. 

NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • Boise-based Winter Wildlands Alliance is looking for an experienced and highly motivated individual to organize our annual Backcountry Film Festival and Tour and coordinate additional...
  • SUMMARY Leads, administers and manages the land conservation, conservation easement stewardship, and property management activities of the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department within...
  • Position Summary: Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a Staff Attorney who is passionate about Western communities and the protection of the natural environment to...
  • Deschutes River Conservancy in Bend, Oregon
  • Position Summary: Western Resource Advocates seeks a passionate Water Policy Analyst with knowledge of western water issues to join our Healthy Rivers Team to strengthen...
  • 9+ acre inholding. Passive solar strawbale off the grid and next to the Continental Divide Trail in ponderosa pine/doug fir forest at 7400.
  • Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring an Education Center Director to oversee the operation of the Bears Ears Education Center....
  • Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • Verde River Exchange - Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • Teton County Planning & Building is hiring! Our ideal candidate is a team-player, a problem-solver, pays attention to detail, and can clearly communicate technical material...
  • Studio Architects is seeking a full time Architectural drafts-person/project manager with1-3 years of experience to join our firm. At Studio Architects our mission is to...
  • needed for 16,000+ acre conservation property in south central Colorado. Qualified candidate would have experience working on a ranch or wilderness property, general forestry/fire management...
  • Nanny for 18-mnth-old. Yearly salary, vacation, health insurance. Spanish/other foreign-language native spkr prefrrd.
  • Washington Association of Land Trusts seeks an ED to build on WALTs significant success & to lead the association to new levels of achievement. See...
  • Secluded, energy efficient Southwestern home on 40 wooded acres. Broker - Rand Porter - United Country Real Colorado Properties. 970-261-1248, $425K
  • 57 acres in Skull Valley, AZ, 17 miles from Prescott, year-round creek, swimming holes, secluded canyon, hiking/meditation trails, oaks, pines, garden, greenhouse. House, office building,...
  • Historic 1893 Ranch Headquarters. 4 Bdrm, 3.5 Ba, 4000 ft2. Remodeled 2002. Includes 2 studio apts, stables, arena, workshop, 5 RV hookups. Chirachua & Peloncillo...
  • The Vice President of Retail Operations will provide overall leadership and accountability for purchasing, product development, merchandising planning, visual merchandising, retail operational excellence, oversight and...
  • Grand Staircase Escalante Partners seeks an experienced fundraiser with excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • position in Phoenix with the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy.