Holding On: Facing Building Pressures, Few Ranchers Live as Their Ancestors Did

Green Creek RanchTwenty years ago, Bill Gay could look up from feeding cattle on his Pleasant Valley ranch and see neighbors doing the same chore.

 

Early one morning last winter, Gay’s nephew, Todd Hagenbuch, was feeding cattle in the same pastures. He stopped and watched as the headlights from his neighbors’ trucks and sport utility vehicles wound through the snow-covered fields of the South Valley on their way to work. It dawned on him that he, his uncle and his grandmother, Elaine Gay, would be the only ones left in the valley for the day.

 

It’s almost lonelier than it would have been back then. ~Todd Hagenbuch

 

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