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Ranch Broker Experience: Spring Branding, A Rocky Mountain Tradition

Ranch broker Ed Roberson offers his experience and thoughts on the annual spring branding at the Cottonwood Land and Cattle.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the annual spring branding at Cottonwood Land and Cattle near Wheatland, Wyoming.   Given all of the late spring moisture that has fallen in eastern Wyoming, the grass was growing and the pastures and hillsides were verdant and green.  The weather was warm, but not hot, making it a perfect day for hard work with a great group of people.  As usual, the spring branding was a “neighborhood” event, with many of the nearby landowners and ranchers lending a hand to brand and vaccinate Cottonwood’s 250 calves.

Given my intense interest in western history, it’s fascinating to think that this tradition of spring branding has been playing out throughout the western U.S. for over 150 years, relatively unchanged.  Although we now have metal corrals, a propane flame to heat the branding iron, and modern vaccines, the basics are still the same – round up the herd into a corral, rope a calf from horseback, wrestle the calf to the ground, brand it, castrate it, release it, and repeat.  In our case, we repeated the process 249 times!

Enjoy these photos of a true Rocky Mountain tradition:

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By Ranch Broker Ed Roberson.

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