Published on Friday, July 7, 2017
The Greet family is proud to have four generations on their centennial ranch near Ten Sleep, Wyoming. While old farms and ranches can be found across the country, the Greet’s place is especially unique.
“There weren't a lot of centennial ranches right here because the Big Horn Basin was one of the last places to be settled.” Carol explains. “At that time there wasn't any easy access. They had to come around, north through Montana down into the basin that way. We were kind one of the first ones around.”
Today, Carol can’t imagine living anywhere else. She likes to explain, she has red dirt in her soul. But she didn’t always feel that way. Growing up, she lived in the town of Casper, Wyoming. While she spent plenty of time helping her dad on projects and enjoying outdoor sports, she’d never worked with livestock.
“Everything I knew about horses was basically from books and having a friend where I could ride on a rare occasion.” She recalls with a smile.
All that changed when she applied for a job at the National Girl Scout Center wrangling horses. To her surprise, at 19 years old, she was hired. It was her responsibility to teach campers to pack their horse for week long trips through the mountains.
“I spent two and a half summers up there working. You just fall in love with the country. It's gorgeous. Riding horses and camping, and getting paid for it, it was like a dream job.” She continues. “What a way to spend your summer.”
“And then I met some guy my third summer working up there.” She laughs, gesturing to her husband in the other room. “I met Vernon and we got married that following year.”
By that time, Carol had gained lots of experience with horses, but still didn’t know much about cattle. She’d never been around them. “It was a pretty steep learning curve for me.” Carol says.
With the help of her new family, Carol learned fast. “I moved out here and all I did was tag along behind my father-in-law, watch what he did and tried to do it.”
Carol’s father-in-law, Johnny, has spent his whole life on the ranch. It was his father who purchased the place back in 1909. Over the years, Carol isn’t the only one who’s learned from his expertise.
“I like it that my kids got to ride with Johnny and learn from him. He had a lot to teach, and still does. They're still learning and now my grandkids are too.” Carol says sincerely.
“I've got a great family.” Johnny beams. “That's the biggest accomplishment of my whole life.”
It’s clear, to the Greets, ranching isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life and done with lots of love. They treasure the history of the land and the legacy they are building for the next generation. Carol regularly documents the events on the ranch through her blog as a keepsake for her family.
“Like Vernon says, you don't do it for the money.” Carol repeats. “This is the wrong profession if you're looking to be rich and famous. It's just not going to work out that way. Why do we do this? It just comes down to love. You fall in love with a guy, you fall in love with the land, and then you fall in love with the ranch.” She says with passion. “You fall in love with the job and you've got your kids, and grandkids around. All of it, you just do it because you love it.”
"When my kids were growing up, I wrote a story called 'Red Dirt in my Soul' because that's what I wanted them to have, and what I wanted to see get passed down. What it's talking about is that you really want for them to have red dirt in their soul, and for this place means a lot to them, as much as it means to you. To see it happen, it's just a blessing. It's amazing.”
That’s why Carol Greet farms.
Author: Natalina Sents
Categories: Why I Farm, Why I Farm Roadtrip
Tags: Beck's Blog, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, hay, cattle, Family, Natalina Sents, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Wyoming, Ranch Red Dirt In My Soul, Carol Greet