Agriculture

When the Sky Ran Dry

Jan 21, 2013 By John Burnett

Bad as the current drought is, it has yet to match the most arid spell in Texas history. Nearly two dozen survivors of the fifties drought remember the time it never rained.

How to Water Dowse

Sep 30, 2011 By Andrea Valdez

This blistering summer has left Texas drier than a piece of gas station jerky. It was so hot that planes couldn’t take off from airports and train tracks were bent out of shape. And while Governor Rick Perry prayed for a downpour to end the drought, officials in Llano turned…

Randy Goode, Artificial Inseminator

Oct 31, 2009 By Texas Monthly

Goode grew up on a ranch in Damon, where he now runs an artificial insemination business. He travels the country collecting DNA for a U.S. Department of Agriculture research project on mad cow disease. Back in the seventies, my dad learned to artificially inseminate cows by reading a book and…

The Man In the White Hat

Feb 1, 2006 By John Spong

To hear John Poindexter tell it, he’s one of the good guys—a faithful steward of his West Texas land and therefore a worthy bidder for 46,000 acres of Big Bend Ranch State Park. But sometimes having your heart in the right place simply isn’t enough.

Reversal of Fortune

Aug 31, 2004 By Pamela Colloff

Eight years ago, 42 people in the West Texas town of Roby—7 percent of the population—pooled their money, bought lottery tickets, and won $46 million. And that's when their luck ran out.

Showdown at Waggoner Ranch

Jan 1, 2004 By Gary Cartwright

It’s the nation’s biggest spread within the confines of a single fence—more than eight hundred square miles extending across six counties. So it’s fitting that the family feud over its future is big too. And mythic.

The Last Posse

Mar 1, 1998 By Gary Cartwright

After thieves stole his daughter’s horse, deputy U.S. marshal Parnell McNamara didn’t make a federal case out of it. Instead, he rounded up a group of old-style lawmen and lit out after them.

Mesilla Real Soon

Aug 31, 1996 By Anne Dingus

The time is ripe, and so are the chiles: This tiny, homey town in New Mexico is the ideal spot for a fall weekend getaway.

Beef Choice

May 31, 1996 By Paul Burka

PITY THE POOR COWMAN. all his life he has been told to raise bigger and better cattle. More meat on the hoof meant more dollars in his pocket—which is why Texas ranchers have turned away from smaller British breeds like Angus and Hereford in favor of heftier continental breeds like…

Waterworld

Aug 31, 1995 By Helen Thorpe

Roberts County landowners are battling to save the Ogallala Aquifer—;and what remains of heir agrarian past.

Button Pushers

Jun 30, 1988 By John Morthland

Dealing drugs along the border is a risky, illegal business—unless you happen to be one of the nine Texans licensed to sell peyote.

Coping

Feb 1, 1977 By John Graves

Living in the country is all you ever wanted—and probably more than you bargained for.