Busy week at The Fence Post
March 10, 2017
I hope you don't mind, but every once in a while, I just have to brag a little about The Fence Post and the people who contribute to the magazine.
Although I believe every week we produce outstanding work, this week was particularly busy and our staff writers and freelancers were scrambling.
The wildfire stories that have been coming out of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are gripping including our own, which was written by Rachel Spencer and can be found starting on page 5. Spencer and her family raise cattle and goats in Wiggins, Colo., and it was difficult for her to hear about the devastation caused by the fires.
She called me after she sent me the story and we talked about how important it is for the media to cover stories like these, no matter how painful. She said she was on the phone with one of the ranchers as he was putting out a fire and wanted to tell him to just go fight the fire and not worry about talking to her. But she sensed that he knew his story needed to be told. That's because those people know they are going to need help and the media can get the word out.
So we will continue to write stories about the wildfires and their aftermath. We know not all of the people impacted will be made whole again, but with some help, maybe their lives can be made bearable going forward. Of course, we included information about how those of us not impacted by the fires can help.
Another important story for water permit holders is the water rights story starting on page 70.
We won't know which party, Welton Land & Water Co. water rights holders or Two Rivers Water & Farming Co., will prevail but it is definitely a story that we will follow up with as it continues.
If the court rules against the senior water rights holders in this case, it could be a game changer for others in Colorado — and not in a good way.
Then there is the Wyoming School of Horseshoeing story on page 80. The Terry Bison Ranch has started a school for farriers. Those of you who hire farriers probably know that there is a great demand for them. So it's good to see that someone is making the effort to fill that gap.
We also squeezed in a feature on Hadley Barrett, who made a name for himself in the rodeo circuit and beyond. There is no doubt he will be sorely missed. That story appears on pages 36-39.
Finally, I hope my alpaca story on page 42 will prompt you to check out the National Alpaca Show March 17-19 in Denver.
These animals are not only cute, curious and gentle, but they could also be a new, important source of revenue for ranchers once the market for their fleece is fully developed in the U.S.
As promised, we started our Farm and Ranch Life pages featuring reader's photos on page 74 and 75. We have some talented photographers in our readership area. ❖