What is a Ranch Wife?

A ranch is a farm where grazing types of livestock, (cattle, sheep, or horses) are raised on large tracks of open land.  A specialized ranch is committed to raising a particular type of livestock. As defined by Microsoft word.

Microsoft says a wife is a woman to whom a man is married.  Spouse, companion and partner are synonyms.

A ranch wife is a woman married to a man who owns or manages a ranch.  But what does that mean?

Here are a few things that ranch wives do:

She open gates and cuts twine off of round bale so her Husband can feed cattle.

She carries panels, gates, feed sacks, buckets of feed and more.

She is a nurse and doctor who vaccinates cattle, breeds cows, assists cows giving birth and treats sick animals.

She spends lots of time on a 4-Wheeler checking cattle, taking out salt and mineral, chasing cattle and moving pairs.  Sometimes, she is in the pickup as the leader while gathering cattle.

She cooks meals for hungry cattle working crews and her family.

She spends time in the tractor, farming and haying.

She is a “Gofor” … parts, equipment, supplies, food.

She is a light holder so her Husband can see what he is doing.

She fixes fence, washes vehicles and scrubs tractor windshields.

She belongs to the community by entertaining family, friends and neighbors.  She hosts birthday parties and makes goodies for fundraisers and church functions.

She is a housekeeper, laundry doer and cleans up after dogs. 

She is an organizer, book-keeper and bill payer.

She is a Daughter, Sister, Friend, Aunt, Niece and many times a mother. 

She is determined and strong. 

Many Ranch Wives are voices for Agriculture.  They are passionate about an industry they believe in and are willing to fight to represent the truth about that industry.  They are educated and informed about many Agriculture and life issues.

Some ranch wife’s help support their family by working in town.

For the last eight years I have been one of the many ranch wives that work in town and help on the ranch.  I have used “vacation days” to work cattle, move pairs, wean calves and be an extra set of hands during bad weather.

After much discussing, cussing, thinking and pencil pushing J and I have decided that the timing is right for me to be a full-time at home ranch wife.  Last Friday was my last day at the town job and the beginning of a new adventure.

It will be an adjustment for both J and I.  We are ready for the challenge and are going into this with open minds and patience.  LOTS of patience!  As my role changes so will my blog.  I intend to keep blogging, knowing that there will be times of the year when posts and commenting will be scarce.  A rancher’s wife needs some kind of creative outlet.  I hope you continue to join me on my journey through ranch life, my life and everything in between!

What do you think a Ranch Wife is?

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15 Responses to What is a Ranch Wife?

  1. Barb says:

    All of those and more! Congratulations on being a full time Ranch Wife.

  2. Bridget D. says:

    I think a Ranch Wife is someone who is a lot stronger than some may think! Good luck on your new adventure, Robyn!

  3. I love it, Robyn! And, I am glad to hear that you are going “full time” on the ranch.

    Although I manage a feed yard so I am not a “ranch wife”, I would add that woman involved in raising beef are relationship builders. They build relationships within the family, with people outside of the ranch who purchase their product (beef), and also cultivate the cattle/human relationship with great care and saavy.

    I look forward to reading about your new adventure!


    • Robyn says:

      I agree, Anne. In life, there are so many important relationships we build and people we work with. Even if we don’t build relationships with them we still need to be able to communicate.

  4. LaVerne Bevers says:

    Thats great!I’ve really been enjoying your blog.Lookin forward to reading more.Love ranching,grew up in it and then worked for a family friend that ranched until he passed away.Ran a few cows but had to sell due to the drought here in Texas but will be buying more soon hopefully!Your blog is 1 of my favorites and you seem like a great gal.

  5. janetwilsonbirky says:

    I am happy for J and you, differently a challenge but great. Take one day at a time.

  6. Bonnie says:

    Did you mention pulling kids, animals, and vehicles out of the mud? Good luck on your new endeavor!

  7. Aunt Linda says:

    Congrats and best wishes. The key will be lots of communication between the two of you! Smile and nod, smile and nod…..

  8. Candy C. says:

    Congrats on your new full-time job! I’m sure you will work harder than you did when you had the town job AND the ranch wife job. 🙂

  9. Kaya says:

    I read about a ranch wife and I thought that she is a very special woman. It is not an easy life on a ranch. I am not a ranch wife but I know a few of them. I admire them so much.

    I wish you a lot of strength and patience. You will get many rewards for that.

    I will follow your new journey and I will support you!!!!

  10. I’m so excited for you Robyn! It sounds like this is the right decision for you. Someday I may be emailing you for help and advise if we can ever reach the point where I could be a full time farm wife. Can’t wait to hear about all your new adventures on the ranch!

    • Robyn says:

      Thanks, Jamie! I will do my best to answer any questions you have and offer support. J and I are looking forward to this change. I do have to say my muscles are sore, but it’s a good feeling. Ranch work is just a little more demanding on the body than office work.

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