Published on Thursday, July 6, 2017
Tony and Linda Schiffer live, work and play in agriculture as a team. In addition to their own ranch, they represent Superior Livestock, are active in industry organizations, and enjoy team roping. They both grew up in ranching families, and have continued in that way of life as adults.
“I never even thought about anything else.” Linda says simply. “Agriculture is what I live for.”
Together, the couple raises yearlings on their Wyoming ranch. Each spring, the cattle are turned out to pasture where they graze all summer. That’s Tony’s favorite time of year. “You get to look after your cattle and see them grow and do well.” He smiles. Seeing the livestock gain and reach their potential is exciting.
For Linda, seeing the personalities in each group of cattle is fun. “They’re characters!” She laughs. “The yearlings, they’re just like a bunch of 8th graders. They’re fun. They’re smart animals.”
It’s not always easy, and the days can get long, but Tony and Linda enjoy working horseback. By moving around a space strategically, using the pressure and release techniques, the Schiffers can get their cattle to go where they need to in a safe, low stress way. “You don’t beat them into submission.” Tony explains.
Livestock handling isn’t the only thing people off the ranch misunderstand. The myths about red meat and grazing impact can be frustrating for people like the Schiffers who have so much passion for this way of life.
“I think in this day and age, there's a huge percentage of our population that has no clue what agriculture really is. If we can help shed some light to that, it's better for all of us. I think the public perceives a cattle rancher to be incredibly wealthy with a million acres who just rides into the sunset. Here, we all know that's not right.” Tony explains.
It takes dedication and sacrifice to care for the land and animals. “The majority of the farming and ranch people are stewards of the land. We take care of our land. We have to.” Linda adds. “If we don't take care of it, if we graze out a pasture, then what comes back is basically weeds and you don't have the grass coming back. You wear the country down and start erosion.”
Harming the land is the last thing the Schiffers want. It’s their home. It’s their life. “The beauty of the land is awesome. To be around life. You smell the sage brush, the fresh grass, and the air. I wouldn't give it up for anything.” Linda smiles.
“I love it.” They say in unison.
That’s why Tony and Linda farm.
Author: Natalina Sents
Categories: Why I Farm, Why I Farm Roadtrip
Tags: Beck's Blog, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, cattle, Natalina Sents, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Wyoming, land, love of the land, stewards of the land, Tony and Linda Schiffer