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Keeping the cowboy alive by sharing, tweeting and posting

Tayler Teichert for Progressive Cattleman Published on 11 December 2018

They say the cowboy is a dying breed. While some may think so, the ranch families that are still around are doing an outstanding job of raising children to work hard and carry on the traditions. As long as there are cattle, horses and people to feed, there will be people in the agriculture industry.

I recently read an interview where this question was asked: “How do you think a woman’s role in farming and ranching has changed over the last decade?” The interviewee’s response was spot on. She said, “I don’t think it has. I feel like women have always been a major part of ranching and agriculture. … Whether that be through furnishing meals, raising bottle calves or helping move cows, women have always been a giant help to make the operation run smoothly. I think a lot of people see more women in the industry now because of social media and rodeos where women have the chance to tell their story and show their abilities, but this generation of women isn’t the first to put in a long day in the branding pen and hustle to the kitchen to cook for the crew.”

Social media has made it seem like there are more women involved in ranching compared to years prior. Now there is an outlet for those in agriculture to show others a glimpse of their everyday life, when in years past, the only way you received updates from distant neighbors was getting their Christmas card and write-up about all their kids and how fall work went. Today, we know what Beth, two states away, made for lunch on shipping day.

There are a lot of negatives that come from social media: comparison, depression, bullying and only seeing someone’s highlight reel instead of their real life. Through all of these cons, I believe there is a lot of good that comes from social media, especially in the ranching industry.

People living in rural America can sometimes feel a bit secluded and all alone while surrounded by thousands of cattle and vast open acres. The internet can really help connect those who might otherwise have to wait for their yearly Christmas card. I believe it is also merging some of the harsh lines between territorial differences in cowboys and their gear. When you can see how someone else does it and why they do it that way, it can soften a firm opinion, just a little. People are even making friendships where the only place they know each other is Instagram, but they know they are cut out of the same cloth.

Knowing there are other people, states away, digging their truck out of a snowbank, calving heifers, branding calves and putting up hay, helps you feel a little less alone in the battle. When you know there is more of your kind working to keep a way of life and an industry alive, it becomes a lot easier to work toward that common goal.  end mark

Tayler Teichert, a 26-year-old sixth-generation rancher, was born and raised ranching across the American West. Since she left home, she has worked in the Sandhills of Nebraska, the shadows of Elk Mountain, the high desert of Idaho and the sage of northern Nevada. In her writing and photography, she documents the action, beauty and everyday life on the ranch while working as a full-time ranch hand. You can learn more about Tayler and check out her photography on her website.