Hello to all of you from the Hayhook Ranch, located in the Shields Valley, north of Livingston, MT! Pehr and Gail Anderson started the Hayhook Ranch and now my brother, Sheill and I are currently running the ranch. We are proud of our choice of livelihood and the career of ranching. Being ranchers, we are care takers of the livestock and as farmers; we are care takers of the land.
We were all born nurturers, not only to our own families and children, but to the livestock and the land too. We have the opportunity to raise our kids in the way that teaches them responsibility and respect, with integrity and character. We teach them how and what to do in dangerous situations. These kids are around this from the time they could get in a backpack on Mom’s back or in the play pen outside of the corrals while we are working cattle. They are taught the values of taking good care of the cattle and the land. With that comes the work ethic that employers are looking for today and pride of being able to partner in a productive agricultural business that feeds America and other parts of the world.
Our silent partners, (our kids and the animals we raise) need us as parents to be responsible for their healthy upbringing, protecting them from sickness and disease. Teaching them to make good healthy food choices and eating habits and that quality of life is worth something.
We make decisions, like if our children should be vaccinated or not, to help prevent some serious diseases that are out there. We do the same for our cattle, to prevent them from getting illnesses and diseases. We treat them accordingly for any sickness that may keep them from becoming a high quality product for our consumers.
In the same way we feed our children a nutrient rich diet to help them have a long and healthy life; we want the cattle to have a healthy, quality diet too. A proper diet results in high quality beef with high levels of protein and iron that, in turn, become an important component of our healthy diet too. We supplement our cattle with minerals and salt after gaining knowledge of what our soil and feed have in it through soil testing and feed sampling. We find out what is needed in order for the cows to have a higher fertility rate and healthy calves…just like we give our children extra vitamins and minerals if they can’t get a good balanced diet.
We protect our children from the hazards of farming and ranching, just like people in an urban setting protect their children from different hazards that are in the city. It’s what you grow up with in your environment; it’s what you teach them to do when different circumstances pop up. We teach our children the safe and correct way to do things with each individual task in the same way they are trained for any job they may tackle in adult life.
We protect our cattle from the hazards of living (in the wild) on private property, by fighting for our private property rights. We are accountable for our livestock by keeping the fences up and intact the best we can.
If we had the opportunity to choose our lifestyle again and the character qualities we want to instill in our children, we would not change a thing! We are proud of who they have become; they work hard and believe that what they do is for the betterment of other people.