Ranching

The Culture |
October 31, 2009

Randy Goode, Artificial Inseminator

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 using

The Culture |
September 30, 2009

How to Build a Barbed-Wire Fence

The HISTORYIn 1876 salesman John W. Gates brought barbed wire to Texas when he wagered $1 million that he could build a fence that would capably contain cattle. Some incredulous gambler took the bet. Gates erected a fence in San Antonio’s Military Plaza and shocked a gathered crowd as a

The Culture |
January 1, 2009

How to Rope a Calf

The RationaleAsk a ranch hand how to tell if someone’s a good cowboy and he’ll say the proof is in his lassoing. The rope has always been “the long arm of the cowboy,” writes Midland native John R. Erickson in Catch Rope. Though roping began on the ranch as a

Critters |
January 1, 2008

Fred Garza, Tick Rider

Garza was born and raised in Webb County. For the past fifteen years, he has been an inspector with the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program, a mounted patrol started by the USDA in 1906.A tick rider patrols the border, the Rio Grande River, on horseback every day. Our job is

The Culture |
July 31, 2007

How to Brand the Herd

The RationaleWhy make a lasting impression on your cattle? To fend off cattle rustlers, whose pilfering of literal cash cows is hardly a defunct business (ranchers in the Southwest lost $6.2 million in livestock in 2005). “Think of branding as a license plate on your car, a means of identification,”

Texas History |
January 1, 2004

Showdown at Waggoner Ranch

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.

Politics & Policy |
December 1, 2002

The Secret History

Did Richard King cheat his partner's heirs out of a chunk of the King Ranch nearly 120 years ago? He may have—and if the Texas Supreme Court permits Chapman v. King Ranch, Inc., to go to trial, the past could come back to haunt the state's most storied spread.

Ranching |
July 31, 1998

When We Were Kings

For the first time in its history, the world-famous King Ranch is being run by someone other than a descendant of its founder. Can the mythic institution survive a changing of the guard?

Feature |
March 1, 1998

The Last Posse

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.

Feature |
April 30, 1997

The War for the Colorado

Battles over the river’s precious waters are pulling in everyone from pecan growers in Central Texas to shrimpers in Matagorda Bay, not to mention thirsty cities like San Antonio and Corpus Christi. Who will be left high and dry?

The Stand Up Desk |
December 1, 1996

Land Values

THANKS TO PAUL BURKA AND photographer Andrew Yates for capturing the story of the Stoners [“Home on the Range,” by Paul Burka, October 1996] with compassion and respect. As a 57-year-old ranch wife trying to keep my ranch going with my son (the fifth generation farmer-rancher on our land)

Business |
February 1, 1985

The Last Roundup

“When the cowboys on the 06 ranch talked about losing a way of life, they often pointed to their neighbor, Clayton Williams, as an example of what they meant. He was a millionaire and an oilman, and he represented everything they hated.”

Critters |
February 1, 1977

Coping

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