“The West –the very words go straight to that place of the heart where Americans feel the spirit of pride in their western heritage-the triumph of personal courage over any obstacle,whether nature or man.” John Wayne.
The term Ranch Grown Logic is hard to explain until you come face to face with the common sense of it all. Ranch Grown Logic is just that, the logic that I grew up with living on a ranch is western Montana. It is not rocket science, but a common sense approach to life, branding and marketing, that is best explained by saddling up.
Back at the ranch the ride today is shipping day, one of the best days of the year for ranchers, its pay day! There are also other great days to be championed on the ranch, like the last day of haying, or the day you turn the cows out to green grass, or come to think about it just about any other day you find yourself in the saddle and loving what you do.
We began this day in appreciation of the value of this day, celebrating not only a rancher’s work year cycle culminating in pay day, but also celebrating a job well done for a year’s hard work and dedication to family, land, and livestock. The joys, sacrifices, and the passion that fuels a lifestyle become a reality on shipping day, a family affair; this day stops and starts the year.
The day began with words of instruction as my brother Joe headed out of the house, talking while walking on. “Be patient, wait till 8:30 then come to the corral.” Dressed to go to work we remained patient and had another cup of coffee.
The ”be patient” directive came in reference to timing but also bringing in the heard. Bring the heard in a quiet and orderly fashion; the words not said, but understood. The plan was methodic in the approach and strategic in application. We met at the corrals, our horse trailers in a row, cowboys and cowgirls made up of relatives and neighbors joining forces in a common goal to get the job done, our task to bring the calves in without a hitch.
Riding for the brand, we headed out on a cool brisk morning towards the cattle which were separated into different pastures of steers and heifers. That part of the preparation for shipping day had been done in advance so we could bring them into the corrals in bunches, the heifers would come first.
Horses are often “fresh” on mornings like this, cool, crisp, frosty, it takes a little time and miles to get them warmed up. In all honesty they can feel the anticipation as much as we do its horse sense. Your horse is your partner and no truer words have been said that “the best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse,” but no one ever said it was going to be easy.
About 30 feet inside the gate, where the heifers were pastured, was a swampy ditch to cross. Not a small one at that, it was about 3 feet wide and deep with swamp and rock on one side and swamp on the other. As I followed the other riders across the ditch my horse balked, after a little coaxing he jumped the ditch almost propelling me into next week if you know what I mean. Oh great I thought, I have a jumper and on a fresh morning like this a good jump sometimes lends itself to “let ‘er buck!” But luckily all went well and my focus went to splitting the heard, creating manageable numbers for sorts and trip to the scales.
The first cut went smooth and the cattle were moving out nicely, but now it was my turn to cross the ditch once more, and in rides trouble. My horse “G” short for Gentleman was going to have no part of it. I made the attempt and nothing. Looking at the crossing and assessing the distance, rocks and swamp, I determined in my mind that it was not looking pretty. The clock was ticking in my head; I did not want to be one to let the crew down. I made another attempt and nothing, and as fellow cowboys saw what was taking place my brother John took his horse over the ditch as to show my horse the way, but no luck-no way. Another place to cross I thought, I looked for options, whatever it takes (WIT), ride the ditch till you find a better crossing but this ditch provided no options, and time was moving forward, this was it!
There he was frozen in his tracks, reminding me a lot of business ventures and life when we sometimes get frozen in our own tracks. Afraid to take the step, looking for reasons why we can’t do something instead of reasons we can, and the route to make it happen.
I heard my brother on the other side say “Look at me, look up.” That was it, Ranch Grown Logic; I knew it when I heard it. Look at where you want to go, not down, not at the issues that threaten, that you think are deep, swampy or rocky. Focus on your vision. Begin at the end then make you plan and work that plan. I took a deep breath of confidence for me and my horse and I looked ahead. I looked up at my brother on the hill. One small leap for my horse resulted in one giant step for my appreciation of Ranch Grown Logic! I smiled at the common sense of it all and I headed in with the heard. With the leap of faith I froze that image in my mind.
“Sit tall in the saddle; hold your head up high.
Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky, and live like you ain’t afraid to die.
Don’t be scared, just enjoy the ride.” Chris LeDoux
Come along on the trail of stories that journey into the heart of the ride; marketing, branding, motivation, inspiration as told through stories built on a collection of experiences. Ropin’ and rooted in the spirit of the West, Ranch Grown Logic is a common sense approach to marketing utilizing authentic, motivational, passionate, branding insights and stories of the West.
doWIT: “Don’t be scared, just enjoy the ride.”
- Focus on your vision
- Utilize methodic and strategic planning
- Make your plan, work you plan
- Do whatever it takes: WIT
- When Ridin’ for the Brand, “Keep your eyes fixed where the trial meets the sky.”