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Caring for our silent partners

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 ranch it with myself, Sky, and my brother Shiell Anderson. We are proud of our choice of livelihood and the career of ranching. Being ranchers, we are caretakers of the livestock and as farmers, we are caretakers of the land. WE CARE FOR OUR SILENT PARTNERS!

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, respect, with integrity and character. We teach them how and what to do in possible dangerous situations. These kids are around ranch work from the time they can 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 be a 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. We teach our kids 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 of the diseases that are out there. We do the same for our cattle, to prevent them from getting illness and disease and treat them accordingly for any sickness that may keep them from becoming a high quality product for our consumers.

We make sure that our kids are eating a rich in nutrient diet, vitamins and minerals for growing strong bones and muscles, to help them have a long and healthy life. We want the cattle to have a healthy quality diet too so we can produce the highest quality of beef, high in protein, and nutrients such as iron that help make the people who end up eating the meat healthy too. We supplement our cattle with minerals and salt after obtaining knowledge of what our soil and feed have in it so they can have a healthy diet.

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 mineral if they can’t get a good balanced diet.

We protect our children from the hazards of farming and ranching, just like the urban people protect their children from the different hazards that are in the city. It’s what you grow up with in your environment; it’s what you teach them for the different circumstances that should pop up. We train our children the safe and correct way to do things with each individual task just as they are trained in any job they are about to tackle in any geographical area and lifestyle they choose.

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. Wolves, free-roaming bison and elk pose a real threat to Montana ranchers and we fight for our property rights in order to keep our own cattle from being exposed to diseases such as brucellosis, which bison and elk carry.

If we had the opportunity to choose again what our lifestyle and what we instill into our children would be, we would not change a thing! We are proud of whom they have become, and they work hard and believe that what they do is for the betterment of other people.

One Response to “Caring for our silent partners”

  1. Todd Michael says:

    Sky, Just wanted to say hello from your past. You may or may not remember me. You and I first meet at a 4-H leadership camp in Chico Hot Springs during the 70’s. We also bumped into each other off and on at MSU since we had a few common friends on campus and in your fraternity. In fact I last remember running into you the night you turned 21.

    I was just reading the book “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” by Spike Van Cleve and got to thinking about some of the characters I knew in the Big Timber/Livingston areas. My dad used to guide elk hunters with Teddy Thompson out of Big Timber in the Hell Roaring drainage. This prompted me to google your name since I figured you were still in the Shields Valley. Great to see that you and your family are doing well.

    I guess I didn’t know, but I should have expected, that you are involved with cattle and brucellosis. My dad was a veterinarian east of Billings and at the age of 82 still works with the cattle breeder Genex Hawkeye West in Billings. We discuss the brucellosis issue every once in awhile.

    About a year ago I was driving along the Shields river wondering about how the fishing was and why I never tried to fish this river. I also got to thinking about you and wondered what you were up and where you were living but I never pursued that though any further. At least now I know.

    Anyway, I just wanted to give you a hello.

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