Watch How Tough Wyoming Ranching Life Can Be
One thing we've learned over the years is that the ranching lifestyle isn't for everyone.
As a matter of fact, the stories you hear from some Ranchers are more like horror stories. Loss of cattle, water shortages, dry summers, beef prices, natural disasters and going bankrupt are all concerns many, if not all, ranches go through at some point of time.
I once heard a rancher say:
If your ranching for the money, you're going to be greatly disappointed.
That's not the case for every ranch, but you'd be safe in saying that plenty of ranches have gone through extremely tough times and it took them a while before things got better.
One multi-generational Wyoming ranch that has gone through about every high and low you can think of, is the EO Bischoff Ranch. The ranch in Northern Wyoming, has been a large ranch for many years and just a few years ago it was nearly all lost to bankruptcy.
The ranch was for sale, but the family still fought to do whatever they could to survive and keep the ranch in the family.
That's when the family turned to the Natural Resource Conservation Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and put a conservation easement on the property. The NRCS gave the family money for the easement, basically saving the ranch and allowing them to continue making history.
The way the easement works, according to the NRCS
Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) help private and tribal landowners, land trusts, and other entities such as state and local governments protect croplands and grasslands on working farms and ranches by limiting non-agricultural uses of the land through conservation easements.
Through conservation, elk and bighorn sheep herds have thrived on the property.
This program is what saved this family and the Wyoming Migration Initiative, at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, produced a film called MY WILD LAND: Bischoff Ranch.
Take a look at the film that highlights how the EO Bischoff Ranch survived tough times.
Full Film - MY WILD LAND: Bischoff Ranch from Wyoming Migration Initiative on Vimeo.