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Read profile articles featuring individual beef producers and operations, as well as regions of the country that are key to the industry.

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Some time after he arrived as general manager of Riverbend Ranch, David Brown got a quick tutorial on how harsh the seasons can be in Idaho.

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What do you think most consumers envision when they hear the word cowboy? Maybe an image of John Wayne? Or a character from “Lonesome Dove?” Doubtless, it is a rugged cowboy (or cowgirl!) in boots, hat and full cowboy attire. Campfires and cattle drives, not computers and cameras.

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A gentle breeze follows us as we gather yearlings this morning. I watch my daughter adjust her stampede string and juggle the reins, while still keeping the saddle horn within close reach. Throughout today’s ride, my husband and I take turns sharing our saddles with our 2-year-old son.

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For over 100 years, the Farthing family has carved a life out of the rugged Wyoming landscape, ranching and raising horses and families.

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Heather Smith Thomas has raised cattle since the age of 12, and owns and operates a cow-calf ranch in Salmon, Idaho with her husband Lynn. She is the author of several prominent books on raising cattle, including “The Cattle Health Handbook,” the “Essential Guide to Calving” and “Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle.” Her work is also featured regularly in several horse and livestock publications.

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