Pitts: The rules of being a rancher | TheFencePost.com

Pitts: The rules of being a rancher

So you want to be a rancher, huh? There is more to it than joining the cattlemen’s association, buying a hat and sitting at the coffee shop all day. These are the rules all ranchers must obey.

1 You must be at least 59 years of age.

2 Membership is nontransferable. Once you start you cannot quit. There is only one exception to this rule. (See rule No. 3)

3Membership may be canceled or revoked at any time without prior notice by your banker.

“Don’t expect kind words or praise. That will only come when you’re dead.”

4A rancher’s horse is his most prized possession. It should be a Quarter Horse, but a little Thoroughbred blood is acceptable. Under no circumstances should the rancher’s horse be a Peruvian Paso, Paso Fino or any of those foreign jobs that walk funny.

5The rancher must own at least one cow or steer, preferably not of the Holstein variety.

6Before you buy . .. beg.

7Never take your wife to a bull sale.

8Under no circumstances should you let your wife drive. If you do who is gonna open the gates?

9Keep all work within the family.

10Don’t expect kind words or praise. That will only come when you’re dead.

11 The rancher must drive a four-wheel-drive pick-up with at least two of the following in the bed: a dog, empty beer can, broken shovel, rolled up ancient barb wire, broken float valve, horse halter, sack of feed, flat tire, baler twine or a broken plastic sorting paddle.

12 A rancher should feel undressed wearing anything other than a pair of Wranglers or Levis. None of those pants with pleats or darts in the front are allowed. I think they call them Dockers. No real cowboy would be caught dead in something called Dockers.

13A rancher must wear proper headgear at all times. He or she only takes off his or her hat in two instances: at a funeral or when soliciting funds from the banker. The rancher’s hat should either be of the baseball variety, a straw hat or a beaver hat. At no time should the rancher cover his beaver hat with a plastic rain cover. Beavers love getting wet. So should ranchers.

14 Ranchers do not eat quiche, tofu or alfalfa sprouts. Sprouts are for cows.

15 Under no circumstances should the rancher belong to any organized club such as the Sierra Club, Greenpeace or PETA. It’s O.K. for a rancher to attend a cattlemen’s convention as long as he or she stays in the bar and doesn’t go to any meetings.

16 For every hour on top of a horse the rancher shall spend 20 hours fixing fence, pulling heifers or hauling hay.

17 Ranchers never experience “leisure time” but if they do it should be spent doing economic research at the auction market cafe.

18 A rancher must own a dog with good balance (for riding in the truck). It should not be a Lhasa Apso, Poodle, Schnauzer or any dog with a known heritage.

19 A rancher drinks whiskey, not wine. Water is acceptable as a chaser but not if it comes in one of those green bottles from France or a clear plastic bottle from Fiji.

20 There are four things a rancher never uses: hair styling mousse, a tractor, electric razor or a tax attorney.

21A rancher pays more attention to the rain gauge and the price of calves than he does the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

22All cattleman must be married because at times you will have to make up additional rules. This is the wife’s job. The wife reserves the right to change the rules at any time. If the husband begins to catch on to the rules the female must change the rules immediately.

23If things don’t go well or turn out right it is always the husband’s fault. ❖

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Lee Pitts

Late for quitting time


As a child whenever I’d so something uncouth my mom would say, “Were you born in a barn?”

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